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This just in: Don’t let innovation be the enemy of improvement

Photo by Elisabetta Foco

Photo by Elisabetta Foco

In the push for wild ideas that get public attention, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. What companies and products need to focus on is improvement, not innovation.

The iPod was a better looking mp3 player that could be personalized. Virgin America didn’t do anything beyond providing stellar service to customers who were used to an industry that treated them badly. Starbucks decided to serve strong coffee prepared to order and gave customers a comfy chair in its cafes to enjoy it. Those aren’t mind-blowing ideas. They’re elegant improvements in industries that badly needed any improvement at all.

So don’t chase far out innovations. Most of that is just a flash in the pan that gets a lot of buzz for a short period of time and then dies a quick and meaningless death. What you want is a steady hum of improvement that inches up a step at a time. And those steps will add up not only to a staircase of innovation, but a meaningful long-lasting impact that makes the world a better place.

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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