from Linked IN Pulse 02 Sept 14 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
What? It is important when considering what it takes to be innovative, to take a look at those who have been notable innovators in the past, as a means to gain context of how you can add to the pages of the history of your organization, and perhaps the world. No one is born with the title “innovator” and that each person who wants it, must work to achieve it in their own way. Rich or poor, blind or deaf, tough or soft, there is not anything that makes all innovators the same. Yet, each had a common desire to push on the glass ceiling and created room for the world to grow. These may not the greatest in history, but they have been put in order of recognition.
Who? These names were chosen because they all contributed to something different and did it in a variety of ways. There are names missing from this list, but it is impossible to build all-time greatest list with something this subjective, so I looked for different traits outside of just “the best ever”. It is worth understanding how their contribution can help you in yours.
Steve Jobs – Design
He was a smart man, but also had a passion for well-designed products. He knew the value in building something that looked & worked a certain way and was not content simply building a faster or more efficient machine. He required it to have a certain kind of interaction and a specific kind of aesthetic look & feel before it was brought to market. Whether it was his ruthless nature, making sure each detail was just right for his keynotes, or his highly scrutinized management style that focused on details to the Nth degree before being released to the public, there is no denying his impact on the world of computing today. He believed that innovations should be beautiful, and not just practical. Though he is an innovator for a number of reasons, it is this one that I believe everyone should take note of. It is easy to get lost in the math of a concept, or the focus to just make it work. Focusing on the design, the look & feel, as well as the operation, is something that can take your concept into a complete new category of competition and create something people will remember long past the point that the function is relevant.
Nicola Tesla – the Underdog
He was not popular in his time and there was more than enough negative press about him from competitors – especially Thomas Edison – yet he had brilliant ideas and knew it. He kept at his research even when everyone else turned against him. Things did not end well for him, he was a true underdog and his ideas have gone on to influence modern day technologies both large & small. People may not always understand your concepts, and it may even turn into a negative experience for you, but being the underdog does not mean they are bad ideas. Sometimes the most impactful ideas will run into the steepest resistance, so hold your ground and do your best to weather the storm, because if the idea is truly disruptive, then someday it will find a home.
[ Henty Ford, Thomas Edison, Wright Brothers, in Premium Content ]