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Innovation v/s Invention – Soft Tech v/s Hard Tech

  • Innovation vs Invention – Soft Tech vs Hard Tech

About the blog

Madhukar Swayambhu
Madhukar Swayambhu is a TEDx speaker, awarded by Jal Shakti Mantralaya as Water Hero, Recognized as Global Top 3 Author on Water by Smart Water Magazine (Spain), having many published articles in various Water & Environment magazines.
Analytical Technology (ATi)

Themes

Of late we’ve seen the two terms “innovation” and “invention” being used interchangeably in the public vocabulary, but it is very important to understand the difference between the two.

And it’s quite easy to understand the difference in this era of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, OTT & Internet. When Apple came up with iPhone and the complete iOS ecosystem, which was reinvented with Google’s android ecosystem – that was an invention. But these new apps which keep cropping up in tons on a daily basis, which is based on either iOS or Android platforms are innovations.

The same is the difference between soft tech & hard tech.

A soft tech is an innovation that is fast to make, swift to launch, has a short life, and gets popular quickly through social media. The intent of a soft tech developer is clear – build a brand, maximize the user base, get a market evaluation done and sell it over to make a quick buck. Create another company, put some software engineers and keep working on new ideas, take out some funds to create an angel Investment Company and put some money in the stock market, to have a relaxed life.

On the other hand, a hard tech company is something that works on new inventions to change the way the world looks at a situation. Something like what Elon Reeve Musk is investing his time and money upon. For example, electric cars, space tourism, hyperloop and so on. These are huge investments, calls for a lot of risks, tough to make people understand, but will surely change the way people look at the concept of travel, be it local, long distance or space. These aren’t “sell and run” projects like a dot com or an online marketplace or an app on your mobile or tablet.

Probably, that is why the nomenclature has been soft tech & hard tech. A soft tech is soft to launch, faster capitalization, short lived and has a short term business plan or vision. The Hard tech on the other hand is hard to develop, harder to launch, need policy influence to change the way people think, but in the longer run has to have that sustainability quotient built-in.

Unfortunately, post industrial revolution in the 1400s most of what we’ve invented in the world, has led us toward a destructive development, without keeping the sustainability factor in mind. That’s why the United Nations had to come up with UN SDGs in 2016. The key reason for this in the new millennia is the global threat being posed on the sheer existence of life on the planet, with the never before catastrophic environmental changes like we’ve seen in the recent years – depleting ozone layer, depleting underground water table, Flash Floods, Water Scarcity, Food Grain Crisis, Global Warming, frequent forest fires, climate change, desertification, rapid rate of plants, animals, insects species becoming extinct, a frequent pandemic outbreak like AMR, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARS, and finally the most recent and massive impact of COVID – 19, resulting in a global lock down for two long years.

The need of the hour, today is to work on hard tech or invention of new technologies on environmental restoration, for the sake of a sustainable planet, for the sake of the sustainability of life on the planet. We need to restore Soil, Water and Air – back to their native natural status.

With the invention of Cownomics® Technology, we’ve done our contribution. It is high time for the world to invent something on the same line or at least embrace the invention that we’ve done for the restoration of the native ecology in Soil, Water and Air.

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