Horace Dediu:

R&D expenditures on a stand-alone basis, in absolute or relative terms, do not correlate with disruptive growth. Essentially, you cannot buy innovation.

In fact, sometimes it’s nearly free. Most startups spend less on R&D than large companies do on stationery and yet the bulk of wealth creation has come from these tiny companies. The challenge is, in fact, that if you have resources you find ways of spending them (the quaint American cliche of ‘cash burning a hole in your pocket’). The temptation is always there to fund a new initiative which bright people can always envision.

Leadership in innovation is not the courage to spend but the courage to focus.