Innovation is absolutely the key to business success. If you want your business to live, generally, regardless of the area you are in, then you must be open to innovation. Why? Because it's what sets your business apart from its competitors and gives you an edge in the market. Allowed, it is more important in some markets than in others; For example, the mobile phone network has much more innovation than the fast-food market.
Check out the mobile phone market today, who would you say is the boss? Do you want to answer have been the same, say, ten years ago? Probably not, since I doubt names like Apple, HTC and Blackberry would even overlook my mind again, but I'm willing to bet at least 2 of those 3 do now. No, it would have been more likely to answer Nokia, Ericsson or Motorola, but where would you put them now? (Sony-) Ericsson works well, especially with business and music-based handsets, and the same goes for Nokia. But when did you hear the sound of Motorola that produces a marketing handset? Or even a strong competitor? Probably not from V3!
This is due to the great innovations marketed by the previously mentioned new competitors and the surprise that it has taken the phone from other mobile phones. They all had to improve their game considerably and constantly had to keep up with competitors' innovation in copying new features and developing their own.
It is an example of technology and product development that, to some extent, encompasses both innovation in the sense of new technology and the improvement of current technology. But there are other types of innovation too, and the fast food industry actually serves as a good example for at least two of them; win innovation and delivery of innovation.
For example, McDonalds are famous for their highly efficient food production process, specially designed to produce the exact same quality of food no matter where in the world you buy their product. With regard to the innovation in delivery, In-n-Out hamburgers claim to be the first chain to introduce so-called "driving", which allows drivers to order and consume the meal without leaving the cars.
As we have seen, innovation has not only a strict meaning, it's not just the invention of a new product, it's all about adding an existing product (add camera to mobile, for example) to standardize how to cook hamburgers implementation of new ways to manage employees and so on.
If it's one thing I recommend to mind, it's not the definition of innovation or their variety, that's the importance of it – always listen to your customers and employees and their suggestions for improvement, regardless of how tragic they may sound and always strive to be a step for your competitors in what you offer, how you make it and how / where you sell / market it!