Isn’t it a bummer when you hit that hump while you’re on your way to the creative expressway, or find yourself at a cul-de-sac after spending hours brainstorming and wringing your brains out of all its innovative juices?
Yes, it happens to the best of us. Even the best need a little push sometimes, and it doesn’t even matter what form the push comes in. Good for you if you get that “Eureka!” moment before the deadline. Most of the time, all you need is a poster on the wall with a timely inspirational quote.
Here are eight words of wisdom from people who earned their stripes innovating that should push (or shove) you into thinking outside the box.
Tweet this! I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out. – Jeff Bezos
Just like necessity was the mother of invention, innovation is the offspring of frugality. Or so Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and one of the world’s wealthiest people, believes. And why not? Ever been in a position where your back is against the wall and there’s no way out but to break it, regardless if it breaks your own back in the process? Sometimes, discomfort, inconvenience, adversity – all the things we are trying to avoid in the first place, teach us the most valuable lessons in life and show us what we are really made of.
Tweet this! Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. – Steve Jobs
The good thing about innovation is that it is a spontaneous process, if it is a process at all. It is dynamic, it doesn’t need a conventional venue or environment, and like a thief in the night, it comes when you least expect it, at the unlikeliest of places. Ironically, however, it isn’t just some random thing that just pops up. When you’re the innovator, you half expect something great will happen because, well, you just know. After all, it is still a habit. Just like meeting up in the hallways or calling people at midnight. This Steve Jobs guys must be really good.
Tweet this! Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse. – Winston Churchill
One of the most quotable people of all time just so much as declared art is dead without innovation. And when Mr. Churchill says so, hardly anyone argues. And for good reason. See, normal people think the only art there is in the world is the one that includes painting, sculpture, music, literature, dance, et cetera. They forget that there is art in most things we do, as long as creative imagination and skill are applied in doing them. Needless to say, marketing is an art and all successful marketers are great artists. The key: innovation. While tradition is the basis when we chart our courses, it is innovation that will make us survive and thrive in the ocean of competition. In this cutthroat world, one always has to be a step or two ahead. It doesn’t matter how you do that, as long as you don’t end up being a corpse.
Tweet this! If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect. – Steven Johnson
Reinforcement is good. Reinforcement in the form of incentives is better. Isn’t it why the best athletes in the world get eight-digit salaries? But incentives can only go so long. Pretty soon, when everybody relies on just the thought of receiving something in exchange for an idea, it will be every man for himself. A way to avoid this conundrum is to create an environment that would stimulate a seemingly endless stream of ideas, where a person’s thoughts and ideas rub off on his peers, where a little idea snowballs into the realization of a dream. This environment starts in you. Leave your troubles at home and bring only your pleasant dispositions at work and the rest will follow.
Tweet this! A key ingredient in innovation is the ability to challenge authority and break rules. – Vivek Wadhwa
Being an innovator is being somewhat of a non-conformist. See, when everybody thinks of the same thing, nobody is really thinking. When nobody dares to question the institution, everybody thinks there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes, just sometimes, it is perfectly okay to challenge authority, bend the rules to see how far you can go. Until it breaks and you can really see how much farther you can go. Imagine how boring the world have been if Steve Jobs thought Windows was fine.
Tweet this! Innovation is the whim of an elite before it becomes a need of the public. – Ludwig von Mises
Long before those thin slabs of plastic and steel with touch-responsive glass bezels, and which we can use to connect with our family, friends, and coworkers were invented, nobody thought they would even be a luxury. Now, these things called smart phones are a commodity. This proves that most of the time, the market does not know what it wants. Until you, the smart guy who the company relies on to come up with practical, practicable, and cutting edge content (that’s also cool, by the way), tells the market what it needs. So if one of these days you have an epiphany and decide that every household definitely needs a gadget that can split atoms into a gazillion smaller pieces, they go ahead, work on it. In short, it is you who knows what people want before they even know it. Besides, who really knows what an atom splitter is anyway?
Tweet this! Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way. -Tom Freston
It’s easier said than done, but really, if it can be said, then it can be done. Fifty years ago, going to the moon was as impossible as sending music from your iPhone to my Android phone via Bluetooth today. And yet, it became one small step for man and a great leap for mankind. Want an easy recipe to innovating? Exactly what Mr. Freston said. If you can think of two things right now, find a way to put them together in a different way. It could be your gravy train. When I was in high school, instead of just having Coke or Sprite or Tru-Orange, I would ask the attendant to give me a little of everything. It tasted a little like root beer. If it hadn’t been invented already, I certainly would have dashed to the nearest patent office.
Tweet this! Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things. – Theodore Levitt
Good ideas are good. But sometimes, just good ideas don’t cut it. They are never enough. Yes, it’s good to hitch your wagon to a star, but don’t we all want to actually fly? Take your creativity to the next level and turn it into an innovation. Do something about it. Maybe all it needs is a little experiment. Prepare to fail, though. Sometimes, the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that, the former always failed. Now that’s a quote I don’t remember anyone saying, but you’re taking it to heart anyway. That point is, when you believe you can do it, you can.