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UoPeople Portfolio Activity Unit 4 – BUS 5112-01 Marketing Management – AY2023-T5

UoPeople Portfolio Activity Unit 4 – BUS 5112-01 Marketing Management – AY2023-T5


Title: Exploring the Distinction Between Invention and Innovation in New Product Development

Introduction: As a new Products Process Manager, my role entails assisting project managers in the development and effective utilization of new product processes. One crucial aspect of this role is understanding the fundamental difference between invention and innovation in the context of new product development. In this reflective assignment, I will delve into this distinction and share my insights on the topics introduced in this unit, including any questions that arose during my readings and assignments.

  1. Invention vs. Innovation: In the realm of new product development, it is essential to distinguish between invention and innovation:

a. Invention: Invention refers to the creation of a completely new concept, idea, or technology. It represents the initial stage of bringing something new into existence. Inventors are often focused on creating novel solutions without considering their practicality or market demand. For example, the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison was a groundbreaking innovation, but it required further development to become a practical product.

b. Innovation: Innovation, on the other hand, involves taking an existing invention or idea and transforming it into a marketable product or process. It is about refining and enhancing an existing concept to make it more efficient, cost-effective, or suitable for a specific market. Innovation often involves market research, prototyping, and iterative improvements. In the case of the light bulb, innovation occurred when it became a commercially viable product through improvements in design and manufacturing processes.

  1. Reflecting on the Unit: While exploring the topics in this unit, several questions and observations have arisen:

a. Question: How can we strike a balance between fostering a culture of invention and maintaining a focus on innovation in a company’s new product development process? Invention can lead to groundbreaking discoveries, but innovation is necessary to bring those discoveries to the market effectively.

b. Surprising Observation: One aspect of this unit that caught my attention was the significance of customer feedback and market research in the innovation process. It’s surprising to see how often companies overlook or underestimate the importance of understanding customer needs and preferences. This underscores the critical role of market-driven innovation.

c. Additional Observation: Another aspect that surprised me was the emphasis on collaboration and cross-functional teams in the innovation process. The idea that innovation is not the sole responsibility of R&D departments but involves various departments like marketing, finance, and operations was enlightening.

Conclusion: In conclusion, understanding the distinction between invention and innovation is vital for a Products Process Manager. Invention represents the initial spark of creativity, while innovation is the process of refining and commercializing that creativity. Additionally, reflecting on the unit, I’ve realized the importance of customer feedback, market research, and collaboration in successful new product development. My question about balancing invention and innovation highlights the ongoing challenge companies face in managing their innovation pipelines effectively. This newfound knowledge will undoubtedly assist me in guiding project managers to develop and implement successful new product processes.

UoPeople Portfolio Activity Unit 4 - BUS 5112-01 Marketing Management - AY2023-T5





1. As a new Products Process Manager, you are responsible for helping project managers to develop new product processes and use them effectively;

  • Explain the difference between Invention and innovation relative to new product development.

2. Take a moment and reflect on the topics introduced in this Unit.

  • Formulate at least one question that arose while you were reading the material and completing the assignments.
  • Was there anything in this Unit that surprised you or caught your attention? Explain.

For assistance with reflective writing, read How to Write a Reflective Paper.The Portfolio Assignment entry should be a minimum of 500 words and not more than 750 words. Use APA citations and references if you use ideas from the readings or other sources. This assignment is graded by the instructor.

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