Cloud computing is the next big thing, and it is here. Recently, I have had the chance to use three different cloud-based, file-sharing programs: Googledocs, Microsoft’s Skydrive and Dropbox. The question for today is, which of these products, or any of the other competitors is the most innovative?

Why did I start using these products? In each case I was working on a project with someone who already had an account. We needed to share files quickly and easily. Each of the products have a different type of interface and look a little different. Each worked well, and I have no complaints. I don’t even have a preference among the three. So, which one will turn out to be the most innovative? The program that allows me to have one program I use for file sharing, not three. The one that dominates the market.

The road to innovation is littered with creative and ingenious products that failed to complete the innovation process and find a place in the market. Even with two of Thomas Edison’s greatest inventions, the light bulb and the phonograph, Edison’s technology was supplanted by new innovative products that were able to capture the market. So, in every step of your innovation, take the time to think about how this will find a place in the market. It may make the difference between success and being just another cool product left along the side of the road.

This blog was originally posted December 5, 2012