Is Elegance the Cost of Innovating?

According to the Strategy& report, the world’s 1000 biggest companies increased their R&D spending by 11.4% to $782 billion in 2018.

That’s a huge jump in only one year!

But as an innovation consultant, I find myself asking, are these companies really focusing on innovating or are they just getting better at making elegant products?

Elegance is defined as something that is pleasingly ingenious and simple. It offers a great design and user experience.

Now think about Apple products; they are widely known for their sleek design and ease of use. Considering that Apple is one of the world’s most profitable companies, it makes sense for other businesses to try and emulate this model by investing in R&D to create more elegant products.

But does creating more elegant products lead to true innovation?

Not necessarily.

While elegance is often necessary for successful product development, it should not be seen as the same as innovation.

For example, if you take two cars that look almost identical from the outside, but one car has an engine with significantly higher horsepower, then that car is innovative despite looking aesthetically similar to its predecessor. This example proves that true innovation lies far beyond just looks and design elements; it requires deep research, analysis and creative problem-solving.

Innovation requires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to product development. It means pushing boundaries by taking risks with new ideas or technologies that can benefit consumers in a meaningful way.

While elegance may help make certain aspects of a product easier or faster to use, there needs to be an underlying layer of true innovation for it to have value in the long run truly.

In conclusion, elegance is definitely important for product development, but it should not be mistaken for true innovation; there needs to be an underlying layer of ingenuity present if you want your product or service to stand out from the competition in the long run truly.

Companies need to consider that increasing R&D spending does not necessarily equate with true innovation; rather than focusing solely on making more elegant products, companies should create innovative solutions through thoughtful research and analysis combined with creative problem-solving techniques.

This will ensure their product has longevity beyond just its aesthetic properties – which will ultimately pay off in terms of consumer loyalty and profits down the road!

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