The full potential of technological breakthrough is achieved only when someone uncovers the more-powerful quiescent meaning of a new technology.
A technology epiphany is usually much more disruptive to competition than is the technological breakthrough itself.
As soon as a new technology emerges, companies should rapidly look for the technology epiphany before their competitors do. They should ask: “what is its the hidden meaning of this technology? What are its real interpretations? How can we exploit its full potential? What breakthrough changes in meaning (and therefore in competition) could it drive?” in other words they should invest in both technology-push and design-driven innovation.
Given that technology push and design-driven innovation are closely linked, design is critical for high-tech firms and their R&D departments. If investigations into radical new technologies should go hand in hand with investigations into radical new meanings, then R&D cannot be immune to design.
+Roberto Verganti, Full Professor of Management of Innovation at Politecnico di Milano