Personal passion: Entrepreneurs often start small businesses based on their passion for a hobby or business, or to live out a dream.
Customer connection: Because of their close customer relationships and deep market understanding, small businesses can anticipate customer needs, identify new opportunities and fix problems quickly and efficiently.
Agility and adaptation: Unlike large corporations, small businesses can quickly and easily adapt their business practices, change course or even pursue entirely new direction.
Experimentation and improvisation: When pursuing new opportunities, many small business owners and managers arenï¿¼t afraid to experiment and improvise, accepting failure as part of the path to success. T
Resource limitations: Small businesses are adept at doing more with less. And these resource constraints lend to their innovative mindset.
Download a PDF of the full report: Defining Small Business Innovation
All important, yes, but in so many cases, it's technology -- usually information technology -- that turns those factors into truly new ways of doing things. The report does call technology an "innovation amplifier":
Technolohnology Increases Innovationation Opportunities Technology is leveling the small business playing field. Todayï¿¼s entrepreneurs are using technology that, just a few years ago, was the exclusive property of large enterprises. As technology becomes cheaper, more powerful and more accessible, the costs of starting and operating a business decrease, while the opportunities for small business innovation increase.
The growth of the Internet, broadband networks, social networking software and mobile computing are obvious examples of this trend.
In my view, though, these statements don't go nearly far enough. At bMighty, we believe that small businesses can now take advantage of a massive sea change in technology. As we make clear in the bMighty Manifesto: Small Is The New Large, the playing field isn't just being leveled, in many ways it's actually being tilted in favor of small businesses. (Sorry about the mixed surf and turf metaphors.)
Not only is tech getting cheaper, but smaller companies are uniquely positioned to take advantages of these technological changes. Unlike large companies, they're not bound with massive legacy investments in old technology, or burdened with protecting massive but eroding revenue streams.
Just as important, the "Internet, broadband networks, social networking software and mobile computing" are just some of the game-changing technology changes now coming to a head. You can't leave out trends like the consumerization of business technology, cloud computing/Software as a Service, and search.
DON'T MISS: The bMighty Manifesto - Small Is The New Large
Don't get me wrong, I thought the study was largely an affirmation of the bMighty Manifesto. And it does talk about technology in other places as well:
Todayï¿¼s online world provides rich and broad sources of innovation information. Online small business communities and social media tools, such as blogs, wikis and Twitter, greatly expand peer networking opportunities and provide small businesses with a diverse pool of knowledge. Itï¿¼s easy to tap into best practices from a range of industries and geographies.
Online interaction makes it much easier to stay close to customers, and more effectively spot opportunities and problems. Going further, inexpensive online innovation education and training is available 24/7, accessible when and where it is needed.
Follow your dreamsï¿¼ and make sure you have a good Web site! --Psychedelic Creations
Finally, to be fair, Intuit did address technology more directly in a 2008 research brief called Technology Trends And Small Business.