Give the gifts of innovation

  • Holiday shopping is in full swing, but what to get? There are plenty of great gift guides you can refer to, so we put together a selection of products to appeal to your business brain as well as your holiday spirit. Each of these products is an example of a significant innovation, either in technology or in how a company approached a market.

    The marriage of creativity and commercial need, innovation is the process that brings concepts together in a new way to solve problem.  For real success in business, the trick is to ensure that the creative spark serves both the customers and the company at the same time. What makes innovation interesting is that suddenly, literally, you move out of the world of business as usual. And to some degree, that's what all these companies have done and what each product represents.

    Even if one of these gifts does nothing for you or your family and closest friends, it might spark an idea that you can take into your professional life.

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.