PARC Innovations Update (2011 #4)

This is the archive entry for our e-mail newsletter, PARC Innovations Update. [subscribe]

Innovation vs. Invention: the debate, er, discussion

On the surface, Malcolm Gladwell’s recent article for The New Yorker, “Creation Myth: Xerox PARC, Apple, and the truth about innovation”, is a story about the mouse and how inventions travel and evolve across time and place. But examined more deeply, the article is really about the factors that determine whether you end up with an invention or an innovation. In contrast to Gladwell’s thesis that there’s a clean split between invention and innovation, and that companies are structurally limited in their innovation opportunities, we believe that there is now a framework that allows companies to innovate beyond their comfort zones and existing infrastructures. It’s called open innovation.
missed the post? read the comments/ other post responses here

Ok, so you thought of a great new product or service idea. What happens next??

Many companies want to invent the next killer app for their industry, so they can create new business opportunities or anticipate future directions. But while most companies have incremental and next-generation innovation down, non-core innovation presents the most challenges. In a talk delivered at the Front End of Innovation conference, we share some strategies and lessons learned on what happens AFTER you conceive the next “killer app” or disruptive product for your industry…
see the slideshow with talk track here

You need multiple innovation bets to increase the hits

Yet how do we — and how can you — balance the seemingly conflicting goals of long-term research vs. short-term profits, or of diversifying research into many markets vs. developing critical mass in just a few? In case you missed our “primer” on PARC’s portfolio management approach to managing R&D investments:
catch up here

The business of innovation – mark your calendars

Contact us at to book an appointment with us if you’re attending these events:

  • August 18, Palo Alto, California — “Disruptive Innovation: Opening the door to new opportunities” PARC VP of Business Development Tamara St. Claire’s talk at PARC Forum
  • September 8, San Jose, California — “The Art and Practice of Innovation 2020”, PARC CEO Steve Hoover’s keynote at Silicon Valley Executive 2011
  • October 11-12, Palo Alto, California – “How to innovate in a rapidly changing world: From networks…to networking”, PARC CEO Steve Hoover’s keynote at Sierra Ventures’ 6th annual CIO Summit
  • October 29-November 1, Phoenix, Arizona – “Finding the Key to Success From the Unknown: Strategies for Disruptive Innovation”, PARC CEO Steve Hoover’s keynote at PDMA 35th Product Innovation Management Conference
  • November 13-15, Tucson, Arizona —  Techonomy 2011: It’s not a tech conference. It’s a conference about how tech is changing everything else.
Work with us

Global competition is intensifying. Your customers have more options than ever before. Products are at constant risk of being commoditized. Newcomers are disrupting established industries. And the entire technology landscape is evolving at a staggering pace. Enter PARC…
we have a new brochure! – download it here


 Editor: Sonal Chokshi

Additional information

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Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

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We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.


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