Back in the day when iGoogle was around, I had a little app about innovation that was supposed to glean the internet for articles on the subject. For the entire 2 years I had the app, there was no article. Not one single iota of innovation on the humongously huge interweb to talk about?
Well I'm guessing the app was somehow broken. But on reflection,
Innovating isn't necessarily coming up with something completely and mind-stretchingly new. All you have to do is make the right connections between already existing research or ideas.
An example: A few centuries back, the common assumption was that the planets moved in perfect circular motion. Johannes Kepler realised they actually moved in ellipses only after mathematical work he carried out based on Tycho Brahe's stargazing data .
Another example: Galileo did not come up with the design of the telescope all by himself. He first heard of the idea (it was called a "Dutch spyglass" at the time), got the materials and built a better instrument than the original.
A last example to bring it to modern times: collaboration between musicians is not a new concept. But with the internet, collaboration between musicians from across the world is possible without having to be physically in the same room. This was still a bit of a problem until Soundcloud came along and addressed the issue.
New ideas need a breeding ground.
In this digital age, we have a planet-wide equivalent to the Lunar society . The Lunar society was arguably the hotbed of the industrial revolution in England. Industrialists, scientists and other intellectuals bounced of each other's ideas and made a big contribution to society.
Nowadays, we can tap into the brightest brains with a few key strokes and a click of a mouse. No membership required, everybody welcome, anytime, anywhere. Whether we want information, inspiration, direction or solutions to our problems, we can google it, youtube it or go directly to an expert we trust, for free very often!
This is the perfect breeding ground for innovation.The stage is set for an entrepreneurial revolution (and it is already happening). Do you want in? I definitely do.
Here is another take on innovation, which goes a bit further (video below).
In the next post I'll tackle how to break the shackles that prevent us from embracing entrepreneurship.
P.S: For tips on how to become more creative and innovative, check my earlier post on the subject.