There is a difference between an innovation and an invention. An invention is a new technological breakthrough. An innovation is a better way of doing something, a way to break or disrupt a current paradigm. It can be a technological break-through, a process improvement, or a new object. But no matter how clever, if it sits on the shelf or gets studied by a very small group of people it may be more of an invention than an innovation.
If you are going to become a successful innovator you must first start by identifying a high-value problem, and then build a solution that solves it.
Ed: I’ve been looking for a decent simple definition of ‘innovation’, i think i have found it.