Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time
We see this fact manifest itself at a continuously faster pace with each passing day. Going back to the First Industrial Revolution of the Steam Engine era, we can better understand how the human imagination started gathering speed. A bit slow at first, innovation gradually took the snowball effect.
EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE PART 1 BELOW
The Second Industrial Revolution brought us Electricity and the resulting industrial boom of automation, Heavy Industry, as well as mass production capability through assembly lines. Of course, the Third Industrial Revolution introduced us to computers that became a compelling part of our life over a stretch of 20 years. The Internet gave computerization its biggest shot in the arm, while the advent of Social Media gave it the wings.
The ongoing pace of innovation has brought us the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the shape of ‘IoT’ or the “Internet of Things.” Going beyond the norm of human connectivity across the globe, ‘IoT’ has empowered gadgets, devices, machines, as well as systems to interconnect in an awe-inspiring fashion.
In case you are wondering, various agencies forecast the market potential of connected devices to touch anywhere between half a Trillion to One Trillion USD within a decade. One of the primary feeders of this frenzy is a heretofore neglected resource we now know as ‘Data.’
It is the ongoing pace of information that created the need for experts, scientists, computer programmers, marketers, as well as entrepreneurs to realize the value of data generated by each and every action we perform. The exact same activity is repeated by the devices, gadgets, machines, and systems in an unstoppable fashion. No wonder, Data Management, and its related avenues have acquired an enviable position in the field of lucrative career choices. What would you call it, if not an innovation?
Just as energy is the basis of life itself and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement, and progress.
“Theodore Levitt (March 1, 1925, Vollmerz, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Germany – June 28, 2006, Belmont, Massachusetts) was an American economist and professor at Harvard Business School. He was also the editor of the Harvard Business Review and an editor who was especially noted for increasing the Review’s circulation and for popularizing the term globalization. In 1983, he proposed a definition for a corporate purpose: Rather than merely making money, it is to create and keep a customer.”
I am a firm believer in the age-old dictum: ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ If not for necessity, we would never be inclined to invent anything.
Some time ago, I read an article related to innovation. In there, I found the following quote, but without any reference to its author. As such, I feel sorry for my inability to give anybody credit for the same “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” I am a firm believer in the age-old dictum: ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ If not for necessity, we would never be inclined to invent anything. The immense power of imagination we humans possess forces us to find ways and means to meet our needs. Soon we discover/build or manufacture a yet unknown creative method or product to reach a particular threshold or to speed up a process, we have reached a landmark.
Considering the above statement, any entrepreneur can see the significance of innovation as a useful instrument of growth, and hence success. It may not be out of place to mention that so many organizations encourage their staff to come up with innovative ideas for growth, and offer rewards to the best amongst them. Where is the need for such expenditure if the owner/s, and/or manager/s could think of all possible growth formulae by themselves? The befitting and straightforward one-word answer is innovation!
“Peter F. Drucker, in full Peter Ferdinand Drucker, (born November 19, 1909, Vienna, Austria—died November 11, 2005, Claremont, California), Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation.” His opinion on the significance of innovation is absolutely clear in this quote: “Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”
Who can argue with the viewpoints of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of modern times we know as Steve Jobs? He had this to say about innovation: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” He spearheaded one of the most prolific teams in pursuit of technological innovations that became ubiquitous all over the world in less than a decade.
I am sure the sagacious readers can relate to a lot more related messages on the significance of innovation for the success of any enterprise. However, it may not always paint a rosy picture in the event we put all the emphasis on this single factor at the cost of various other crucial inputs. Innovation leading to a hard to produce and even harder to sell product leads to a catastrophic situation more often than not. Also, we must keep in mind the prevailing market conditions and related intelligence concerning the competitors’ moves before investing heavily in such a venture.
I would highly recommend any savvy entrepreneur to pay heed to the following statement:“Every innovation startles us more by its novelty than it benefits us by its utility.” Source unknown. It may help tremendously in streamlining the entire process by ensuring the benefits of your innovation far outweigh its novelty appeal. Make your value proposition an over-riding factor before you start to market your innovative product and/or idea/s for mass appeal.
P.S. My next article will cover ‘organization’ in its various ‘avatars’ as one of the essential catalysts of growth. Please stay tuned and oblige.