1 — R&D is dead, long live innovation?

During my 20 years as both a passionate aficionado and professional within the innovation ecosystem, I have witnessed a profound change originally triggered by the internet earthquake (I was 19 years old when Amazon was founded) but with aftershocks and replicas way beyond anybody could imagine at the time. For these past two decades even the meaning of the word “innovation” has profoundly changed.

As The Little Black Book notes, “Innovation is a process that combines discovering an opportunity, blueprinting an idea to seize that opportunity, and implementing that idea to achieve results. Remember — no impact, no innovation.”

Beyond the usual buzzwords such as “Design Thinking”, “Agile Methodologies” and “Product/Market Fit”, I’ll try to show in the following 8 Chapters what companies have achieved in the real world, thanks to new approaches to innovation and how these companies strive thanks to vast ecosystems of competing startups, venture capital and research institutions.


It’s a no brainer for any serious observer that we’re living in a world in which the pace of change is faster than it has ever been in history. Methodologies of the past are outdated and outsmarted by a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Countries all over the world are revamping the way they structure their economies in the light of this new paradigm. The truth of the matter is that the good old R&D approach of innovation has a hard time coping with today’s environment.

The question isn’t: “how are we going to develop the technology to achieve our goals?”

The endless possibilities and the outstanding power of emerging technologies such as quantum computing, 5G networks, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence are reframing our interactions with technology. The question isn’t “how are we going to develop the technology to achieve our goals?” but rather “to what purpose are we going to take advantage of a vast choice of technological options?”.

The focus has moved from technology itself to its application to improve the everyday life of consumers, citizens and employees, in a nutshell how to improve the “user experience” at least for industrialized countries. For other parts of the world such as Africa, technology is now seen as an opportunity for a brand new generation of young entrepreneurs to help overcome the continent’s challenges such as access to basic needs, medicine, communications, stimulate a unified goods and services market and improve government efficiency.

This Chapter is part of a series of 8 daily posts, if you liked it, thank you for sharing!

Here’s the table of upcoming daily contents:

1 — R&D is dead, long live innovation?

2 — How startups fail, learn and succeed

3 — Why Silicon Valley isn’t just one place anymore

4 — Is Huawei a design company?

5 — How SpaceX agile methodology gave birth to Starship

6 — About Xavier Niel, Ecole 42, Station F and Kima Ventures

7 — How Africa is becoming an innovation powerhouse

8 — Conclusion: Innovating in 2021

See you tomorrow!




Business & Customer Insights Manager @LVMH #UX #Innovation | #ESSEC #MBA | Ex @PwC @PublicisGroupe

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Nicolas Jambin

Nicolas Jambin

Business & Customer Insights Manager @LVMH #UX #Innovation | #ESSEC #MBA | Ex @PwC @PublicisGroupe

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