University of Maryland

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group: How Innovations Spread

February 3rd, 2015 by

If Innovations Are Good, Why Most Fail to Spread? Invitation #3

The rates of innovation adoption seem to be speeding up. It took almost 200 years for the Royal Navy to adopt citrus juice to prevent scurvy in British fleet. It took 50 years for the telephone to reach 50% of U.S. households, beginning before 1900. In contrast, it took just 5 years for cellphones to accomplish the same penetration in the 1990s. With new communication channels such as social media, innovations seem to spread faster and faster worldwide. Yet, over 95% of the patented inventions are never licensed at all. In other words, most innovations never get adopted.

Why do some innovations come to be adopted widely, transforming the ways we live, work, and play, while others do not? Why do innovations with obvious advantages fail to spread, while suboptimal technologies tend to dominate? If these questions interest or puzzle you, please join us on Monday, February 9, 2-3 pm, in Hornbake 2116, for the third meeting of the iSchool Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group. Light, healthy refreshments will be provided.

The iSchool Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group ( aims to disseminate and advance knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship. In Spring 2015, we meet on Mondays, 2-3 pm to discuss classic and new articles on key issues in innovation and entrepreneurship, in conjunction with INST 621: Managing Digital Innovations in Organizations. All members (students, staff, and faculty) of the UMD community are welcome to attend any session. This group is sponsored by the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI) and led by Dr. Ping Wang (

On February 9, we will discuss the following chapter of a classic book:
Rogers, E. M. Diffusion of Innovations, Free Press, New York, NY, 2003, Chapter 1. Available at

See our full schedule at .