Start Up Blog

The truth about innovation

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 5, 2012

Recent shifts in technology have fundamentally changed the way we live. Consumer technology is now so pervasive that much more than communication that has been effected by it. It has changed our perceptions and what we think is possible. It has had important cultural and physical implications on consumer culture. New ideas change our physical surrounds and reality. It enables the re-birth of activities that got lost in the industrialised, world. A couple of simple examples include lomography, growing vegetables and slow food.

But all this technology has clouded our vision too. It has created some perceptions which aren’t based in reality. It has made us cluster around specific technologies, to the point that they become the archetypal definition of innovation. The place that innovation must revolve around. The app, geolocating or other technology de jour.

The truth about innovation is that it is not about tech wizardry – it never has been.  Innovation is about finding solutions. And solutions don’t necessarily involve, technology or even products. It might be a simple new way of doing something.

Innovation is really about good thinking being put into practice.

It doesn’t have to be leading edge, driven by industry or assisted by technology. It can be simple and human. And sometimes the best innovations come from ideas that got lost along the way. The re-invention or a reminder of a certain way to do things. Maybe it’s devolution? Or maybe it isn’t the ‘thing’ or ‘product’ itself that the innovation comes from, maybe it’s the things around it or the people using it. What we want to hear from people is “That’s a good idea”, rather than “Gee, I wonder how they did that?”

Innovation is all about what it provides to the end user. The truth about innovation is that it lies in the process that gets us to a better result, something that makes us happier for whatever reason.

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2 Responses

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  1. T said, on July 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Very interesting post, Steve, and one that ties in with an excellent doco series – Connections: An Alternative View of Change – I’ve been watching online. The series illustrates – with fascinating historical tales – the message of your post: innovation as solution. If you’re interested they’re available online here: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/james-burke-connections/
    thanks

  2. Keren said, on July 11, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Steve, you are absolutely on to something. With hundreds of startups popping up, its easy to lose sight of the end-goal of innovation–to add value to the market by making life easier. All entrepreneurs should be striving for this.


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