Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Game-changing ideas for your business

When it comes to innovation, small firms dominate.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Six steps to creative breakthroughs
Innovation is a process. Follow our road map to generate game-changing ideas for your business.

(Fortune Small Business) -- The history of innovation tends to highlight products, not processes.

We commonly chart human progress as a series of innovative new products: fire, the wheel, gunpowder, the printing press, the microchip. But we know far less about the cultural processes that promote successful product innovation. We don't really understand how Gorp and his caveman colleagues discovered that fire could help them lead easier and more comfortable lives, or how Johannes Gutenberg figured out that 15th-century grape and olive presses could be combined with movable type and oil-based ink in a system that allowed information to be diffused far more widely and cheaply than ever before.

We do know that in the business world, entrepreneurship is the mother of innovation. Small U.S. firms produce 13 times more patents than their large corporate counterparts do, according to the Small Business Administration. And small companies exercise disproportionate influence over technological progress. The proof: Small firm patents are twice as likely to be among the top 1% most cited patents.

So what makes small organizations more innovative, and how can you adapt these lessons to promote successful innovation in your own business? In our Innovation Nation package, you'll meet entrepreneurs from many industries who explain precisely how they came up with game-changing products or services and how they manage their teams in order to maximize economic creativity.  To top of page

To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.

QMy dream is to launch my own business someday. Now that it's time to choose a major, I'm debating if I should major in entrepreneurial studies or major in engineering to acquire a set of skills first. Is majoring in entrepreneurship a good choice? More
Get Answer
- Spate, Orange, Calif.
Sports teams want you back in the stadium Stadium attendance is down so pro sports teams are using technology to win back fans and get them in their seats. More
Homes in these ZIP codes are selling like crazy Strong job growth, growing interest from Millennials and affordable home prices are attracting home buyers to these cities. More
Working class whites & the government: It's complicated These Clearfield, Pennsylvania, residents are mad at D.C., but want more help. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play