From Bill Gates on Innovation:
Bill does make the good argument that the winners in tech are rarely the ones who come up with the new idea, but rather the ones who bring it to market properly.
Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, it just brought it mainstream. Microsoft didn’t invent the graphical OS, it just brought forward the first one compatible with everyone’s old software. YouTube didn’t invent internet video, it was just the first one to package it with an easy embeddable player and a great community. The winners aren’t the ones who do something first, but the ones who did it right for the market and the users.
We can go on with these examples. Google did not invent the Search Engine. They just did a better job of ranking results, scaling the service, providing great response and finally innovating on a business model to make tons of money. These are innovations too. Different kind of innovations than technical innovations.
The full transcript (an entertaining and informative read) is here.