After a long day of dreaming up new technologies, it's humbling to realize that it's often easier and more profitable to rejigger old ones.
Check out Rain Noe's great article on product innovation over at Core 77
There's at least two ways to design a new category of product:
1) Invent a new technology and incorporate it into your design (the Dyson Vacuum), or
2) Design something around a novel use of an existing technology (the iPod).
Both types can be exciting, but what we like about 2) is that you don't have to spend a dime on R&D vis-a-vis the technology...
Let's take vacuum technology, for instance.
More after the link: