Innovation: It’s all about seeing David in the block of marble

email article email article print article print article tip @techmeme


Think about the great innovators for a moment. They’re different. Whatever field they’re in, they don’t just look at the world, they see it.

Great innovators are constantly trying to fix things, even if they have to break them first. They’re the kid who tears apart his remote control car in a bid to try to make it go faster, all grown up.

Om Malik from GigaOm writes:

The present isn’t as interesting to most of us who live here, mostly because that would mean accepting the status quo. Instead, guys like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey want to rearrange the world to fit the future they want to live in.

I think Malik is stating the obvious. To be innovative you have to search out the cracks, challenge the way things are accepted in the present. It’s a task that’s often done best by outsiders.

For example, journalists would have never invented blogging. “What, republish other people’s news stories and give them links and credit?” Never.

Journalists would never have invented news aggregators. “What, republish other people’s news story headlines?” Never. Journalists are taught to get the whole story first. You’d get kicked out of every newsroom in the country, and into Sunday, if you had proposed doing that.

But outsiders did do those things and more, and in the process helped to remake journalism and that’s to be celebrated because we now have a hugely inventive, creative medium. Now we can do things with digital media that have never, ever been done before.

The media sector is by far the most creative and inventive sector there is, I challenge anyone to show me another. And we’ve only just begun.

Outsiders are really important to disruption in every industry because they aren’t constrained by rules, by the rules of the present. Because they don’t know what those rules are, they don’t know what can’t be done, so they try everything.

I can’t tell you how many times others, experts in their fields, colleagues, have shot down some of my ideas with, “You can’t do that, because that’s not how it’s done.”

Or, my favorite push back: “That can’t be done, because if it could be done, someone would already be doing it.”

I disagree with Om when he seems to say that successful entrepreneurs are able to bend the future to a personal will, that they seek “to rearrange the world to fit the future they want to live in.” I don’t think that’s the way these things work.

The world is too big to conform to anyone’s will. The best innovators see the beauty of David in a block of marble … and figure out how to free him.

Execution is really important; it’s the hammer and chisel of creativity and it’s how anything of value is made.

email article email article print article print article

  • TrainingAfrica

    The “Try Everything” Path to Innovation Strategy will not work if they are too many things to try. Or if you have limited amounts of time.

Related Articles on the Web

Related articles

Topics for this article

[ advertising enquiries ]

Share
  • BURN MEDIA TV

    WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE NOW
    Latest Episode
    Unboxing the Blackberry Passport

MORE HEADLINES

news

VIEW MORE

interviews

VIEW MORE

future trends

VIEW MORE

entrepreneurship

VIEW MORE

social media

VIEW MORE

facebook

VIEW MORE

twitter

VIEW MORE

google

VIEW MORE

advertising & marketing

VIEW MORE

online media

VIEW MORE

design

VIEW MORE

mobile

VIEW MORE

More in Innovation

New Japanese webcam tech could be the future of CG, gaming [Video]

Read More »