Innovation and Invention

A few days ago, I attended a PPT (PrePlacement Talk). Frankly speaking, it was the only talk that turned out to be of some use of all the talks I attended till date. The speaker was a Vice President of the company. While delivering the talk, he reached a point where he started explaining the different between Innovation and Invention. And the explanation was mind blowing. I thought I will share it with everyone 🙂


Invention is something which creates the need. For example,

  • Edison invented the electric bulb. And suddenly everyone felt that they needed the bulb for light. Before the invention everyone was happy with candles, oil lamps and whatever else. So, the invention of bulb created the need.
  • Graham Bell invented telephone and everyone was dying to get a telephone connection. So, it again created the need of a telephone connection.


Innovation is something which is created by the need. For example,

  • Within few years of invention of bulb, people felt that the light from the bulb hurts their eyes. And they started feeling the need of something which will not affect their eyes and will also serve as a source of light. So, somebody came up with a fluorescent lamp. The need forced people to innovate.
  • With increasing popularity of phone, people felt the need of phone on the move. So somebody came up with cordless and then mobile. Again forced innovation.

All that is fine but then what is research???

In case you have further insights, please share 🙂


6 thoughts on “Innovation and Invention

  1. Nicely defined invention and innovation! 🙂
    according to me, research is re-search, or again searching for “something”, as in a solution or a new problem definition! 🙁
    For me, research is like running in a jungle, only lucky ones or ones who know the exact path get to get out of the jungle 🙁

  2. I disagree. There is a *need* in inventing the bulb. If not something called bulb, a single source of light lightening up a huge space, is the need during those times of candles and oil lamps, where electricity played a role in penetration. It’s just as internet is playing a role in moving everything online.

    So, to me it appears that the *need* compels you to (re)search some way out, which leads to the dumbest boredom, where the innovation is bred and nurtured. Finally it’s this innovation that fosters invention.

    Ah! It’s just my thought, sorry if it appears bizzare 😛

  3. @Abhishek Thank for defining research. I think you know research better than me 😀
    @Gopal You have experienced research. So I can’t comment about your comment 🙂
    @Shrikant can’t agree more!!

  4. just an impressive complex philosophical attempt by the speaker to forcefully create a difference between two terms. sounds good but reality might differ from this .

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