Innovation 101

According to the dictionary, innovation means change, alteration, revolution, transformation, metamorphosis.

You see, innovation isn’t purely thinking creatively. Innovation is thinking and then delivering. With innovation, you either invent something entirely new or augment something that already exists to make it better.

However, there is a difference between the two. Creating something new asks, “What hasn’t been invented yet?” It constructs things that do not yet exist. Changing something that already exists begs the question, “How can this be better?” It questions efficiency and style. And more often than not, this requires a little more attention.

Essentially, innovation alters perspectives. It gives a twist to the everyday to facilitate a new everyday. Regardless of whether you’re a Microsoft fan or an Apple enthusiast, Apple’s technological development can’t be argued. Its interface is easy to use and understand, and its familiarity is what keeps repeat customers.

As a company, Apple embraced technology and in doing so, it embraced its consumers. The company stepped into the mind of the consumer and crafted a new user interface, a novel way to interact with technology. Apple gave consumers what they wanted before they even knew what they were looking for.

I believe being several steps ahead is exactly how ideas are born and, in turn, facilitated. The gears in my mind are always turning, and I credit my high-speed imagination and unbridled curiosity for forging the multiple pathways toward innovation.

Thus, Apple hints to another facet of innovation: impact. Innovation should undoubtedly embody the needs of those around you; it should focus on bettering lives and forming connections.

While capturing these instances of innovation, whether through a product or a service, can sometimes be challenging, it is always crucial. It’s almost like listening to your desires and inspirations. When you have a thought, listen to it. If you feel a jolt in your mind and if you recognize the value in it, revel in the notion.

Your notions turn into ideas, ideas turn into products and services, and those should always be protected. If you truly believe in what you’ve created, then secure it. Trademarks and patents give different levels of protection, but each ensures the quality of your product or service.

Though innovation can breed an innovator, that title, much like respect, is earned. You don’t decide whether or not you’re a thought leader – the people around you do. An innovation should be an encapsulation of needs and wants, and if your innovation caters to the needs and wants of others, you’ll garner feedback. This feedback should allow you to make it even better and that’s when thinking as a thought leader begins.

A position of that caliber is borne through awareness. If people are talking about what you’ve created, then people will buy it. If people aren’t buying, it’s not innovation. But if it is, you will have earned credibility and respect. You can take pride in helping people connect with what you’ve crafted.

And what you’ve crafted takes us full circle. It takes us right back to the mind that brought something unique into the universe.

The act of innovating demands an examination of the world around you. It craves a restless mind, a mind that constantly investigates and questions. Innovation doesn’t happen when you think outside the box – it happens when you eliminate the box altogether.

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