Creativity vs Innovation

The difference between them is that innovation is incremental, predictable progress. Science fiction writer H.G. Wells long ago wrote about personal automobiles and other technology that was beyond his time. Yet the technology was foreseeable since he understood the science of his time. Innovation is still something to be proud of, but if one person doesn’t innovate, it is often the case that someone else will.

Creativity is different in this sense. Creativity is a divergence from incremental, predictable progress. Creative inventors diverge from the foreseeable path with a better idea that no one saw coming. Their creativity begs the question, if this person hadn’t existed, would someone else have thought of this?

I’m not hiding my bias well! I may just as well state it bluntly then. Innovation is the thing that drives progress yet it is not rare and it is not amazing. Creativity is rare and is amazing.

This is a TED talk from an advertising guy who understands that incremental innovation is a bit boring:


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