Does building things help nurture innovation?

This is an answer to a question submitted to the "Ask me anything (AMA)" program. This AMA channel is designed to support you get clarity to business/tech questions you may have. Periodically, I select a particular response that we feel can benefit the broader community.

It can, but this also depends on what you are building, or trying to ship. Sometimes people discover an innovative idea while trying to solve a problem or improve a process while making something.

Innovation is a highly abused word, that now it means everything to everyone.

Innovation is the process you go through to make things better, stronger and faster.

Imaging this. You run a process to sort a set of papers that takes you 10 mins each time. You change that process to get the SAME OUTCOME, but in half the time. You are innovating.

You are running a manual process to sort a set of papers. You replace the entire system with an online system where the data is constantly sorted. This means that you now both saved time that can be re-purposed elsewhere, and also can be made available to everyone on demand. You are innovating.

You are repurposing your way of engaging customers, reaching customers, using technology to create new experiences. You are innovating.

Innovation is the process of making experiments that make things better.

Innovation can be visible as one big bang transformation (never recommended unless you are an Apple company that can sustain long periods of capital investment) or through small continuous experimentation.

Experiment with

  • New technologies
  • New ways of doing things (check out things like browser extensions on chrome that save people time, and help them work better) .
  • New ways of transportation
  • New ways of working from face to face meetings to virtual for standups etc.

What I am trying to say is that innovation is often in the eye of the beholder. As long as you are constantly trying to improve yourself, your team, your business and the experience your customers have when interacting with you and your product, you are innovating.

Failure to innovate = when you fail to adapt to new ways of working. This creates stagnation and gives the opportunity to compete to advance faster than you. Banking is going through that.

On this topic I suggest you research the internet for terms like “The future of….” and you will be amazed on what people are doing. You will find innovation as a function of Digital transformation. You will find innovation as a massive revolution and re-inventions in way of transport and payments etc.

  • the future of banking
  • the future of education
  • the future of payments
  • the future of transportation
  • the future of …..<<<< fit in your market

Some are small, some are just outright huge in scale.

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Does building things help nurture innovation?

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