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Assignment 1

Ulickaej January 9, 2013 User blog:Ulickaej

              Chapter 3 starts by describing the different dimensions used to differentiate types of innovation. The book said there were four common dimensions that were used to categorize innovation:  product versus process innovation, radical versus incremental, competence enhancing versus competence destroying, and architectural versus component. There were couple points that I found interesting when the author was describing these different dimensions. When the author was talking about product versus process innovation, I found it interesting when the author mentioned that new product and process innovations often occur in tandem. The second point that I found interesting is when the author was talking about radical versus incremental innovation, he stated that the radicalness of an innovation is relative and may change over time. This simply means that a step that company took in the past may have seem radical, but now it seems like that stat is the next logical step that should have been taken. I found that the examples used in chapter 3 did an excellent job at clarifying that point the author was trying to make.

The next section of chapter 3 talked about S-Curves when dealing with technological improvement, technology diffusion, and as a prescriptive tool. The reasons that the book gave for the S-Curves for technological improvement and technology diffusion were basically common sense. What I did learn were the limitations of the S-Curve that can hinder it from being used as a prescriptive tool. There were three limitations that were listed: 1) it is rare that the true limits of a technology are known in advanced and there is often disagreement among firms about what the technology’s limits will be 2) the shape of a technology's s-curve is not set in stone 3) whether switching to a new technology will benefit a firm depends on a number of factors.

The file section of chapter 3 talked about the cycles that technology goes through. The cycles were described by two different groups of scientists. Utterback and Abernathy broke down this cycle and to two phases; the fluid phase and the specific phase. The other scientists that described the cycle were Anderson and Tushman, their description had a lot in common with Utterback and Abernathy description.  The two stages that Anderson and Tushman used to describe the cycle was the error of ferments and the air of incremental change.

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