Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How innovation is made

~From What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis, page 113:

In 2008, I joined a seminar on innovation at the World Economic Forum at Davos. It was a highly formatted hour, with the entire room sitting in a circle (making the moderator dizzy). They had us write down the technology we loved most. Then we compared notes with a neighbor and came up with some neat invention out of this mashup. We heard a few cute ideas and then, thank goodness, a scientist in the room put a stop to it. This, he said, is not how innovation is made. Scientists start with a problem and then try to find a solution.

I agree that that is not how innovation is made. But I don't think it necessarily starts with a problem either. I think it starts off with someone saying "Wouldn't it be cool if ..." That might solve a problem, but it might just be something someone thinks would be cool, neat, fun. Then it can solve problems people didn't even know they had as new ways to behave emerge.

That said, "innovation" alone doesn't automatically lead to success, but I suppose that's a different topic. Don't innovate merely for the sake of innovation. Innovate because you think "it'd be cool if..." something.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home