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Can you map the different kinds of innovation in the case study? Which were incremental and which radical/discontinuous? Why? Give examples to support your answer. One kind of innovation is providing new ‘e-tailing’ channels through which you can obtain the latest CD of your preference. These innovations increase the choice and tailoring of the music purchasing service and demonstrate some of the ‘richness/reach’ economic shifts of the new Internet game. Also At the heart of the change is the potential for creating, storing and distributing music in digital format – a problem which many researchers have worked on for some time.
One solution, developed by one of the Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany, is a standard based on the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) level 3 protocol – MP3. MP3 offers a powerful algorithm for managing one of the big problems in transmitting music files – that of compression. (Tidd 46-47)
This is achieved by cutting out those frequencies which the human ear cannot detect.
There is also scope for innovation around the periphery –now music reviews and other forms of commentary become possible via specialist user groups and channels on the Web whereas before they were the province of a few magazine titles (Tidd 47) Person-to-person or P2P networking, Sean Fanning, an 18-year-old student with the nickname ‘the Napster’, was intrigued by the challenge of being able to enable his friends to ‘see’ and share between their own personal record collections. Napster.com did not actually hold any music on its files – but every day millions of swaps were made by people around the world exchanging their music collections.
Napster opened a door for many others to reinvent similar software’s or technologies successful iPod personal MP3 player they opened a site called iTunes which offered users a choice of thousands of tracks for download at 99c each. This allowed over 1 billion songs to legally be purchased and downloaded around the globe. (Tidd 48) We can see the changes of improvements over time. From having choices to purchase CD of your preference, to MP3 to transmit music files, to commentary channels from the web and then Sean Fanning invented the radical innovation of seeing and sharing music between person to person was a discontinuous yet radical change.
Even though, it took incremental change to do so and to get to that point. Another example is e-commerce, many years ago we had to go to the store to do our shopping, but now, just a click of the mouse and you can shop online. From shoes, clothing, furniture, cars, household supplies to even groceries. How about if you want to write a letter, then just send an email they will receive it in seconds rather than days or weeks in some countries. The telephone, use to be land lines, and even before then, an operator was needed to connect you to your party or to another operator in another country. OMG… I can go on and on.
Tidd, J., Bessant, J. (04/2011), Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2nd Edition. John Wile & Sons, (UK),VitalBook file. Pgs. 46-48
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