Innovation: “Make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, products or technology”
Everything we do is based on assumptions, most of which are never questioned. That’s how we’re stuck with bad ways and mediocre products, and that’s an opportunity:
1. Make a list of things we do and take for granted.
Sony once heard: “We listen to music in the living room or in the concert hall, that’s the way it is”.
And Karl Benz heard: “Transport is by train for long distances and horse for mid distances, that works nicely thank you”.
If something is done the same way every day then you can be sure that assumptions are not questioned, that’s where you should start.
2. Ask “why is it so?” to challenge the assumptions.
“Because the HiFi is supposed to be in the living room, period.”
“Because the horse is the biggest mobile power source known to mankind except for steam engines which are too big for the roads.”
3. Find new technology or ways that could negate the reasons.
“We now have chips and miniature motors, so small that you can carry the HiFi and speakers in your pocket.”
“I can miniaturise the combustion engine so it fits into a carriage, and it can be stronger than a horse.”
4. Choose the situations with the silliest counter argument.
“Why listen to music when on the bus?”
“Why have the freedom to travel 100 km whenever it pleases you?”
Appreciate initial strong resistance and the nay sayers, that’s a sure sign that you’re on the right track.
Rinse and repeat until you have a nice palette of opportunities.
(Cross-posted @ thingamy)