The reason I thought of this is because I just spent a tremendous amount of time trying to solve a problem. The problem might seem small but it does have serious implications for my business and opens up all sorts of markets. I solved it on Sunday after lots of experiments. I proved that a lot of ideas don't wok but that a particular combination is perfect. Anyhow, I realized that the following holds true (also after having a great discussion with my German graphic designer lady colleague ).
Innovation is only possible with experimentation while having to overcome limitations. The reason I think that this is true is because there is no need to experiment if there are no limitations. We work in an environment where money is tight and resources are limited. We have to find solutions within defined boundaries and those boundaries force us to look for solutions though experimentation.
Many people seem to think that all you need is an idea, to make a product and then to sell it....then you have a business... It doesn't work that way, in my life anyway, we continually evolve each and every product with the main focus of manufacturing simplicity and productivity. The way we manufacture now is totally different to the way we did at the start. Most of the innovation came through having to rehash it all over and over again as we developed new skills and ideas. I would learn to cut something on the laser and that would get incorporated into the models or I would find a new material for a totally different product and that then gets used in our products.
The point that I am getting at is that business is not static, the entire entity should evolve over time, and hopefully you are smarter than us in that you learn from the mistakes that others have made rather than bumping your head over and over again.