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The classic definitions of innovation include:

  1. the introduction of something new. (Merriam-Webster Online)
  2. a new idea, method or device. (Merriam-Webster Online)
  3. the successful exploitation of new ideas (Department of Trade and Industry, UK).
  4. change that creates a new dimension of performance Peter Drucker (Hesselbein, 2002)

In economics, business and government policy,- something new - must be substantially different, not an unimportant change. In economics the change must increase value, customer value, or producer value. Innovations are intended to make someone better off, and the succession of many innovations grows the whole economy.

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