You are here

Innovation in business

Listen to the business podcast about innovation to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.




I have completed the following lessons of A job interview, Introverts – redressing the balance, and Innovation in business. The level that I chose was Advance C1 Listening.

Four examples about innovation:
1. Incremental innovation: A pen, a writing instrument. I don't know when a pen appeared, i have just known that a quill pen had appeared for a very long time, from a quill pen to a dip pen to a ballpoint pen.
2. Disruptive innovation: The typing industry. Computer disrupted the typewriter. Computer have a screen and keypads and we can listen to music from computer.
3. Architectural innovation: We can see a bamboo fan, a paper fan, an electric fan, an air cooling fan and air conditioner.
4. Radical innovation: Thanks to the internet, we can chatting face to face although far away.
After reading and doing excercise, I feel I have to writing more and more. This lesson is not easy to me. I have to learn more

Rather than think of many examples for each of the four types, I will mention to a range of Apple's products and services as they are stark agents for the innovation and their father, S.Jobs.
First, for the radical innovation, you can see it at apple 1 computer, iPod or iPhone. They all mostly first appear with brand new ideas and market at the time they manufactured. Apple 1 was the first personal computer when IBM computers were dominant on the stagnating market for businesses and militaries only. IPod was the first portable digital music player by which listeners could keep thousands of songs to wherever they wanted, and listen anytime they liked. Ipod has demised Warkman after that! The last one was the first smart phone, iPhone. Before the day S.Jobs stood in front of thousand people to present the first smart phone, we still thought mobile phones, as Nokia's products, were a highly radical innovation. From the day the iPhone have been launched, the way people use the phone have totally changed, and Nokia's products have been dead.
Next, for the disruptive innovation, beside the example in the transcription above about the touchscreen, you can see another example by Apple's retail stores. S.Jobs has mutated the way that a store used to be into a new way which focused on the feelings of customers. The customers come to the stores not only to buy but also to experience Apple's products. Focusing on the customer experiences, the stores were redesigned following S.Jobs ideas, and they are still working now. In addition, Ipad is also a good example for disruptive innovation when it has been developed basing on an earlier Mircrosoft's idea of 'notepad'.
Then, with incremental innovation, you can easily see the example through out many Apple's product upgrade. For example, you can see Iphone version 3, 4, 5, 6, 6 plus, 7... or so on. Also, with Ipad is Ipad 2, 3, mini... You can see the difference between versions more clearly when they were conducted under S.Jobs' dynasty.
The last type of innovation, architectural innovation, in fact I am wondering if it may be Appstore or Itunes, or none of them. The matter here is Apple took successful ideas of Ipod, iPhone, and iPad and applied them for music and software markets. Apple changed the conventional usages of Phone, Portable music player and notepad when built their own virtual store online where users can download music and apps to use. That's not as the conventional usages which people have had only some limited choices on their devices: connecting devices to computers, downloading things, disconnecting and playing, using just like a ordinary gadget.
In fact, from the day we know about Apple products, the grasp of innovation is talked to much more than before. Thanks to S.J and his work, he as well as his team have changed the world by their innovative ideas.

Please explain a little grammar for me about these sentences:
"Disruptive innovation aims to bring new ideas, like technology or processes, to existing markets. In that sense, the innovations will disrupt the market and the companies currently serving that market."
Why we don't use a determiner before "Disruptive innovation"? It was a specific or general noun?
If it's a name, why "radical innovation" doesn't go with R in "radical"?

Hello QTN03,

'Disruptive innovation' is an abstract concept spoken about in general terms, so no article is used. If the speaker specified a particular example (say, 'the disruptive innovation of the early years of the internet') then 'the' would be used.

I don't see 'radical innovation' used anywhere in your example, so I can't really comment on that. The term would be similar to 'disruptive innovation' - an abstract concept.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you.
Here is the 'radical innovation' being used: "And finally, we come to radical innovation. This is where a completely new idea is created for a market that doesn't exist yet. It's often what we think of when we think of innovation and it often swallows up existing markets."
Now I know about the "Abstract concept".
I had thought they should have used with "innovationS", such as, Architecture innovations....