Difference Between Innovation & Invention

Innovation vs Invention

Innovation and invention are often used interchangeably in conversation and written English. However, they have distinct meanings. Innovation does not refer to the creation of a new product or process, whereas an invention is the creation of a new product or process that did not previously exist. This article will explore the differences between these two concepts.


The invention of the wheel is perhaps the most significant of all inventions. The first time it was created, it could be considered an invention. All subsequent modifications and new designs of the wheel are considered innovations, not inventions. An invention occurs when someone has a new idea and shares it with others, creating something that has not existed before.

In society, invention is often viewed with respect and admiration and is seen as a driver of economic growth. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that it is not invention, but innovation that creates new products. For example, once the first mobile phone was invented, all new mobile phones are merely innovations and upgrades rather than new inventions. When a product or service is tweaked to make it more suitable and efficient for others, it is called an innovation, not an invention.

In summary, an invention is always something new that had not been seen or heard before. Invention is novel and has no precedent.


Innovation refers to changes that add value, usefulness, and functionality to a product or service. Improving upon an existing product to make it more useful and acceptable is considered innovation. Innovation does not necessarily mean something new or novel.

For example, the microprocessor was invented a long time ago, but its use in various products and processes to make them more useful and functional is considered innovation. This type of innovation is ongoing, as new products continue to use microprocessors to become more efficient than before.

Another example of innovation is the iPod. It is not an invention, as MP3 players have been around for some time, and Sony’s Walkman was invented long before the iPod. However, the iPod’s aesthetic design and ease of use with futuristic technology made it the most popular media player ever.

Key Takeaways

  • Invention occurs when a new idea is conceived and shared, creating something that has not existed before.
  • Innovation is the improvement or redesign of an existing product or service to add value and functionality.
  • Novelty is the foundation of invention, while innovation focuses on adding value to existing products or services.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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