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The New Trends and Technologies Driving Design Innovation in the way products are designed, manufactured and delivered is spelling opportunities for small businesses of all types. Learn how forward-thinking entrepreneurs are putting them to work.

By Caroline Tiger

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Innovation in DesignThere's no better way to discover how closely design and business are intertwined than to go looking for trends that present opportunities for business owners. Even if a trend isn't directly applicable to all industries, the notions behind it can inform and influence a diverse range of product development, distribution methods and business processes.

Here, we look at emerging trends that address the intersection of design and technology and reflect the ways in which Generation Y, the Millennials, are exerting real influence as drivers of business.

Comprehensive redesigns can be risky, wasteful and expensive--three adjectives that don't gel with a tough economy. As an alternative, designers have been stepping back to analyze entire product life cycles in search of small adjustments; in other words, taking an incremental approach. These are quiet changes, but they go a long way toward meeting desired goals.

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