Innovation is a big concept and sometimes hard to define; sometimes a “you know it when you see it” type situation and others when you didn’t even know it happened. Does innovation occur when a crazy inventor first dreams up the impossible or when the use of it becomes ubiquitous? As an example, you notice it to be odder that someone does NOT have a cell phone than those that do. Either way, innovation happens and it drives us forward.
Is Spindustry Digital an innovative company? In a way, we use modern programming languages, social media channels, mobile technology and other tools to implement the dreams of our clients; but we didn’t create those programming languages or marketing techniques. But again, as stated above, does innovation truly happen when some unique tool is developed or when someone figures out a great way to apply it? I think the answer is both.
I believe Spindustry Digital is innovative in developing creative ideas, application of tools, complex digital solutions, and we certainly do invent tools that help us work smarter and faster for our clients - and a fair share of unique tools for their customers as well. It’s not as obvious as an innovation in hardware or caring for crops or other physical things you can touch and feel, but it’s in there.
Innovation, as discussed in many books on the subject, has a cycle. At first there is that truly new idea; a true invention. Then, as early adopters use it, modifications are made and the invention evolves. At some point though, the invention reaches a peak. Often however, the cycle is not finished. There is the innovation in how the tool is marketed, sold, applied, paid for or charged for that causes the product or service to reach critical mass. Certainly, for example, the person who figured out how to put a movie on a DVD or even in digital format was a genius and innovator. But wasn’t the person who came up with Netflix or iTunes or even Blockbuster in the beginning as a delivery system an innovator as well? If ideas never reach their market or even more a critical mass, did they succeed?
True inventions are needed, but looking at your business, your life, your country and our future, we can be creative about how we innovate and apply what has been invented while still being excited about whatever the person in the lab, basement, cubicle or factory is dreaming up next.
This fall we are profiling many innovative companies and people in Iowa and hope you join the conversation. We’ll post out information on our blog and we’ll be using the hashtag #iowainnovation on Twitter.
A few questions to start the conversation: When do you think innovation occurs? Are you an innovator?