What makes innovators tick? - 05/16/13

What makes innovators tick?

Necessity is the mother of invention. Without a problem there is no real need for a solution. This considered then, how does humanity decide who will step forward and lead the way? What inspires innovators to put their head above the parapet and say: “I’m going to solve this”? Perhaps they have worked on something similar previously and have identified the opportunity for growth within something that wasn’t successful the first time around. Or, maybe it’s a problem they have considered before but there has been no calling for a solution, no business or individual requirement that they could find.

There is certainly something inside the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Östen Mäkitalo and the late Steve Jobs that’s different to most people. Perhaps they see problems before there is a calling for the solution. An interesting idea. . . Instead of waiting for a problem to be posed, so that they can endeavour to source a solution, these Innovators introduced the world to problems they didn’t even know they had, swiftly offering up the solution, now that’s innovation! That’s genius! Consider this, prior to Facebook, people weren’t often heard complaining: ‘What I really need, is a constant opportunity to share my thoughts publicly and upload photos to reflect my mood’, however, it’s fair to say that the majority of the Western World engage in Social Media in some way or another now. Once the need has been created, it can be developed further carving out a path for fellow innovators to explore, Hoover to Dyson, for example.

So, what make these trail blazing innovators different to the rest of us? Is it in their genes? Was there something in their upbringing? Or did it develop through their academic life? What turns a problem solver into a problem introducer, a problem inventor? Whatever it is, it’s clear that something inspires these people to take technology and innovation to the next stage; to break boundaries, to have their name become synonymous with ingenuity and invention. Babe Ruth said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” And he’s right. That’s the crux of it all ultimately, you could have the right idea but without the hard work to back it up. . . Without the mind-set of a true innovator, these people would have given up on their pursuit of excellence long before achieving success. Edison summarizes “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”

Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda Corporation, once said “Success represents one per cent of your work which results from the 99 per cent that is called failure.” In order for innovators to hit upon the right idea, the right concept, the right path, they have to take the wrong one again and again! The key to successful innovation is persistence, of course, often paired with the sharing of ideas. Development of a concept can often only be born through having the right platforms through which to share ideas. It is highly unlikely that Zuckerberg developed the concept of Facebook before even considering innovations of any other kind. It was the sharing of this idea that surely gave him the confidence to develop it further. 

Do you consider yourself to be an innovator? Perhaps you’re a scientist; maybe an inventor? ‘Normal’ people might consider what you do to be crazy, frustrating, and even inane. But, if you’re a true innovator, none of this matters; the only thing that matters is finding that breakthrough. Here at TechScout.com we want to encourage innovators to discuss and submit as many concepts as possible. You never know, we could find the perfect match for your innovation; we do the networking for you! The opportunity for breakthrough is more readily at our disposal. You may be waiting for your dreams for the future to manifest themselves, what is it that drives you to strive for greatness in your field? The challenge now becomes the next steps, taking the idea to market. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be your challenge anymore.

So, what does drive you? Perhaps, like so many great inventors and innovators throughout history, it’s just an innate desire and a belief that the breakthrough will come, as qualified by the great Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

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