Technologies rarely stand on their own.  They may make use of underlying infrastructures, the expertise of the users, the knowledge contained in their component parts.  There can be value in controlling the major assets related to a technology (e.g., sections of the telecommunication spectrum), but there can also be value in controlling small incremental components.  What I found in my morning blog scan highlighted for me how companies have to pay attention to both the big and the small. The big: Organizational Theory includes a concept called “Complimentary Assets” (Teece, 1986 pdf; Rothaermel, 2001) The idea is that capabilities or assets that a company already has, makes some other capability or asset more valuable.  This is especially important when trying to evaluate the viability of a new business idea.  For example, Hank Chesbrough talks about how Apple’s customers' belief that Apple provides a superior user experience was an asset when Apple was considering the viability of the iTunes Store (the idea being that users would put up with the proprietary nature of the iTunes products given the superior user experience). The small: But not all additions are so vastly strategic.  Apple Insider reports that Apple has filed a patent for “Winter Friendly iPhone Gloves” or as formally presented to the USPTO a “High tactility glove system.” This is more of an incremental innovation, focused on “exploiting the possibilities of the dominant design (Henderson).” You don’t have to be an insider to capitalize on the value of incremental innovations.  DOTS (as noted in the Apple Insider article) already has a product on the market.  A prior version of iPod-clickwheel-friendly gloves (the true iGloves) have come, and I think gone, ("We are sorry, but the iGlove Multi is not currently in stock at any of our online retail partners." though Tavo, with their "PlayPoint" technology seems to have stayed in the game. Big or small, there is value to be found in innovation.  And the small can be so much more amusing.