In this paper we propose a new mental representation of how markets, technology and their interaction concur in explaining the why of a certain innovation instead of another. We empirically test this theory in the telecommunication switches industry. We consider innovation as a new alignment of needs and opportunities, where markets and technology are not the sources, but the actors in this alignment process. In order to accomplish this task, we suggest proxies for technological opportunities, market needs, and, at the same time, for interactions of these two elements. We make use of a statistical tool that grasps the matching nature of this interactive phenomenon.