The Lifecycle of Any Innovation

Four Stages & Twelve Roles

Stage 1: Creation

  • Designer / Artist
    one who innovates / creates
  • Client
    person or company paying the designer or artist
  • Manufacturer
    produces and sells the physical materials of the design or artwork

Stage 2: Lifetime

  • Business
    markets and sells the design or artwork
  • Target Audience
    audience the artwork or design is marketed to or intended for
  • User / Viewer 
    uses and/or experiences the artwork or design

Stage 3: Afterlife

  • Disposer
    person or company disposing or recycling the artwork or design
  • Archiver
    person or institution preserving artwork or design
  • Scholar
    person or institution researching or presenting the artwork or design

Stage 4: Legacy

  • Student
    one who studies the creation for deeper understandings, historical context, and appreciation
  • Appropriator
    one who that uses the product for another purpose
  • Thief
    one who steals the idea of the creation and passes it off as their own

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About the Author

Joshua Hoering is a writer, designer, educator, artist, and speaker based in Chicago, Illinois. He’s currently working on an MFA in Graphic Design & Visual Experience at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

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