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Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Big

Innovators never think to themselves that they want to produce something that no one will notice, They are always trying to create something that will be a success, but that does not mean it has to be entirely new. In the dictionary, the word innovation just means something different and that could be a design or way of doing something.

Some of the most successful innovations from the past have not been anything major. Just think of the F1 engineer who thought of rear view mirrors for cars in the 1950s, or the person that found the way to put tea in little bags to make tea making simpler. We all tend to think of innovations relating to technology these days, but that does not have to be the case at all.

Innovators See Things Differently

People that are naturally innovative tend to see things differently to the rest of us. For instance, they will see something that we think of as one thing as something totally different. They will often find different uses for them too. For example, we might have a row of hooks on a kitchen wall to hang cups or mugs on. An innovator will find several different uses for those same hooks in various parts of the home. They might use them as hooks for keys in the hallway, as hooks for hanging their ties from or maybe as hooks for hair ribbons and bobbles for the girls of the house.

The whole point is that their mind does not fix things in stone, but gives them the flexibility to be able to find new ways of using and designing things.

Innovators Look At The Bigger Picture

An innovator will always be looking at more than what is directly in front of them or what their business is doing at the moment. They expect excellence and they see the whole world at once, and not just the kitchen table or the windowsill that is in their line of sight. Looking at the bigger picture and the world as a whole is a common trait of innovators.

It was this trait that lead to someone thinking of how to make a toasted sandwich without spending the money on a toaster oven. Simply, they lay a normal toaster on its side and placed the sandwich in each slot. It worked, and they no longer need to use a toaster oven, and nor does anyone else.

Extractor fans are another prime example of innovation. For many years people just opened a window to let out steam or unpleasant smells. That was fine until the weather dropped below freezing point and then no one wanted to do that. This resulted in homes getting damp from the steam produced by cooking, washing clothes, and baths, and they just had to put up with smells they did not like. Yet all it takes is something as simple as an extractor fan, such as the ones at Just Fans, to solve both of these problems. This is innovation in one of its simplest forms, but that does not mean it is any less important than some of the more major inventions of the past.

Innovators Give New Titles

For most of us, a milk bottle holds milk, our foot goes into a sock and an egg box hold eggs. We just accept these titles, and many more, for the things we use every day. An innovator does not accept titles like this and will often give them other ones as they find different uses for them.

The concept is very simple really. Why does a milk bottle only have to hold milk? What else could you put in a sock? What other things are the perfect shape to go in an egg box? These are the sorts of questions that innovators are asking themselves all the time, often without realizing they are even doing it.

Their minds tend to be much more open to other possibilities and that gives them the innovative edge over the rest of us.

You Do Not Have To Be Rich Or Famous To Be An Innovator

Because so many of us look toward technology for innovation we tend to relate it to the large tech firms and the people that started them or own them. Bill Gates is a typical example of what most people would think of as an innovator. So is Richard Branson of Virgin fame and Jeff Bezos the owner of Amazon. They are now all very rich and famous because they came up with ideas of doing things differently. They were not rich before this though and most innovators are not.

History is full of examples of everyday folks that came up with a new innovation. The person who revolutionized the world by inventing the wheel was not rich or famous and nor were the first Chinese people to develop paper centuries ago. Of course, there have been some innovations that have needed money to get them off the ground, but often that is because the innovator has convinced investors how good their idea is, rather than being rich themselves.

Some innovations have changed the world we live in. Things such as road vehicles, TV’s, steam engines, concrete, medicines, railways, planes, light bulbs, and electricity are just a few examples. All of these have changed our lives but possibly the most recent innovation to have so much effect was the start of the Internet in the US during the 1950s. Its use was then compounded by the introduction of the World Wide Web, which was an innovation from a British scientist in the 1990s

Innovations Of The Future

No one can be sure of what innovations will happen in the future, as if they did know they could happen now. Huge corporations and governments will no doubt continue to spend billions of dollars on robotics and things such as virtual reality, but what of the man in the street? What new things are they likely to come up with, as in many cases it is when something is in use every day that an idea forms in the mind of an innovator and new uses or designs evolve.

About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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