According to Kline and Rosenberg (2010), innovation should be viewed from a complete cycle covering the social content, market environment, and production of knowledge and facilities. The process demanded complex exploration techniques that might vary from case to case. Tidd and Bessant (2020) argued that the development could be caused by chance, accident, or serendipity, emphasizing that luck could be a controversial discussion.
The way I view serendipity is that destiny could favor us regarding how far we are proceeding and trying to achieve a particular job. The more effort you put, the better luck you might encounter, as Pasteur quoted with penicillin discovery (Tidd & Bessant, 2020). The discovery of Microware in 1945 by Percy Spencer demonstrated an excellent example of serendipity (Shackle, 2015). Initially, Spencer worked on magnetron with a high wave of beaming radiation, noticed the melting of a chocolate he was holding. From a curiosity perspective, he placed popcorn that ended up popping. Accordingly, Spencer maintained the magnetron through a high-density electromagnetic field with a metal box, which accelerated the temperature swiftly. In the same year, the discovery has been patented and became available to the public in 1947.
In his book, Johnson (2011) quoted, “The errors of the great mind exceed in number those of the less vigorous one.” However, William Jevons, a British economist, argued that the error is not arbitrary and instantly occurred in a glimpse (Farnam Street, 2012). The process involved through a path through trial and error could lead to innovation or unexpected results. I believe the more you try to achieve a particular thing, the more error you might make, thus increase the chance of ending up with unexpected results. An example of an error trial is the invention of the implantable pacemaker. Professor Wilson Greatbatch built a piece of equipment to record the hear sound when he used a wrong transistor that produced an electrical pulse mimicking the heart (Greenwald, 2018). Sometimes it could be confusing to consider innovation created by error or luck. In certain circumstances, the chance might occur without error, but the latter could be lead to innovation by the other one.
In the case of Exaptation, the theory examined the context of a change that could be technological or biological to produce a new function. For example, Corning’s combined experience in the glass industry has led to the development of fiber optics and a new generation of high-speed communication. Dr. Merrion Edwards, a director in the same corporation, announced that the fundamental understanding of glass enabled the scientist at Corning to proceed and deliver such innovational products of the optical fiber (Corning, n.d.).
Corning (n.d.). The Glass Age: Science of Glass: How it Works – Optical Fiber. Retrieved from https://www.corning.com/worldwide/en/innovation/the-glass-age/science-of-glass/how-it-works-optical-fiber.html
Farnam Street (2012). The role of error in innovation. Retrieved from https://fs.blog/2012/11/the-role-of-error-in-innovation/#:~:text=The%20British%20economist%20William%20 Stanley,of%20the%20less%20vigorous%20one.
Greenwald, M. (2018, September). 30 Life-Changing Inventions That Were Totally Accidental. BestLife. Retrieved from https://bestlifeonline.com/accidental-inventions/
Johnson, S. (2011). Where good ideas come from: The natural history of innovation. Penguin.
Kline, S. J., & Rosenberg, N. (2010). An overview of innovation. In Studies On Science And The Innovation Process: Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg (pp. 173-203). https://doi.org/10.1142/9789814273596_0009
Shackle, S. (2015, April). Science and Serendipity: Famous accidental discoveries, New Humanist. Retrieved from https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/4852/science-and-serendipity-famous-accidental-discoveries
Tidd, J., & Bessant, J. R. (2020). Managing innovation: integrating technological, market, and organizational change. Wiley.