The act of innovation and the results thereby are always by accident. And, that’s when they are the sweetest.
Innovation is the after effect, the result of creativity. And when is creativity at its best?
Well, there are two schools of thought. One believes that you need to have experienced certain hardship, been under pressure or difficult circumstances and as you toil to get out of this situation, you innovate. You think and act in creative ways to solve the issue at hand and come up with some very novel ways of doing so.
Another school of thought believes that true innovation, for that matter quality innovation happens in an environment that helps nurture creativity. True breeding grounds of creativity need to be established and encouraged where an issue to be solved is first recognized; then, those enlisted to act on solving the issue are freed up of any other responsibilities and are charged with focusing on this one thing.
More often that not, history has shown us that true innovation happens under pressure, when you are trying to solve an issue you are struggling with. However, the latter is true as well, but what happens there is not creative innovation to solve an issue, but more of solution enhancement and optimization; albeit creative.
Let me enumerate through some examples.
The invention of the round wheel was innovation that happened to fulfill a need, transport; the improvisation of the wheel to make it last longer, go faster, adapt to different vehicles, etc. falls under solution enhancement.
Connecting people through e-mail and Facebook during this Internet age was innovation addressing a need, social connectivity. Twitter, chat and the different facelifts we see of Facebook are improvisation and solution enhancement.
Generally speaking, the birth of innovation to solve an issue happens purely due to the urge to solve the issue; there is not much needed in terms of money and establishments to do that for its entirely based on frugality and the excitement to see something new. What follows after that, demands a lot more in terms of money and material to improvise and scale.
Not to say that one is righteous than the other, we all know that the world needs both.
Creativity, whether in profession or hobby is the spark that makes what you do purposeful. Where do you find your fulfillment? In the former or the latter? Once you can answer that, you will know where your passion, your heart lies and where you can prosper and thrive.