Here’s the funny thing about innovation. Humans really don’t like change. It’s a deeply embedded primordial safety setting we all have.
However, we are also phenomenal problem solvers whose highest functioning achievements come about through radical invention. We build and develop for the greater good.
One thing is certain: if you have ever been involved in researching, costing and launching a startup business you will have heard time and again “it will never work”. You will inevitably hit a wall of negativity. However, your beliefs, confidence, determination and positivity will help you map a way through Neverland.
Never before in human history has this been more true. Our global societies (countries and online communities) are experiencing unprecedented disruption and hopefully democratization of information. Innovation is a hot topic. The barriers to entry for startups have never been lower and the reward potential never higher. The ability to reach mass markets through platforms is unprecedented and the boom in data has us on the tipping point of an AI revolution.
A long list of brilliant minds has failed to recognize the possibilities of some major inventions that have ultimately changed our lives for the better, including several groundbreaking developments in areas such as science, computers and travel.
Examples of conviction and determination leading to innovation over rejection include:
- Thomas Edison was told the electric light bulb was “unworthy of attention”.
- Ferdinand-Foch was told, “Airplanes are interesting toys but will never be of military value”.
- Boston Post, “Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice by wires and if it were there would be no practical value”.
- Scott Montague, “I do not believe the invention of motor cars will ever effect the riding of horses”.
- Warner Bros Silent Pictures, “Who the hell wants actors to talk!”
- Head of Bayer Institute, “Aspirin is a worthless product”.
- Steve Jobs went to Atari saying, “We have this amazing thing, we even used some of your parts to build it, pay our salary and we will show you its potential”. They said no.
- Whoever said television won’t last has clearly never seen Game of Thrones.
In summary. Open your eyes, ears and senses to the world around you. What really bothers you? What are you passionate about? What can you fix or make better for you and your friends and community? Do you have the drive and passion to make a change?
And ok, sometimes we will fail and often we will have to pivot or start again. That is all part of the process and perhaps the next topic for reflection.
There have been numerous instances over the years when so called experts have been far too quick to spurn the latest gadget, latest discovery or life enhancing breakthrough. The most common question when you are presenting your start up plan is, “Why should we fund the development of this new product/service?” It is your opportunity to convey your enthusiasm and belief, be convincing and allay their fears and uncertainties.
Our curiosity results in learning and inventing things that will improve our lives and make things easier. Our needs, drive, passion and determination create essential inventions.
We can all learn to thrive in “Neverland” and unlock the secrets of innovation and please remember: never smile at a crocodile.
Image credits: .:Element2048:.
Mike Galvin is founder of the newly-launched Big Red Fish. A consultancy for innovation, marketing and global sales strategy.
Previously he was Vice President of Innovation at Tata Communications, the wholesale telecom giant that delivers 25% of the world’s internet routes and operates 70% of the world’s mobile communication.
Mike is passionate about working amidst world-class technology companies that are rapidly changing the way we live and connect – and loves being a part of the change.
He is also an avid soccer fan, skier, and golfer.