Allow me to contradict a notion that you held for a particularly long time – Necessity is not the mother of Invention. It used to be, for a long time. But now, curiosity and creativity at work are the only reasons behind inventions. Let me explain this with an example.
Airbnb – The creativity at work
Take Airbnb for instance. There were plenty of hotels and resorts for people to stay in while visiting different cities. Do you think there was a need for people to open up their spare rooms and houses for others to spend a few days in?
They were only utilizing their creativity at work. It was just two broke men trying to make money for their rent in San Francisco. They decided to rent air mattresses in their apartment to attendees of a conference because all the hotels in the city were booked.
They called the service Air, Bed and Breakfast and this small experiment went on to create the hotel industry disruptor Airbnb.
Slack- The unique messaging app
Take another example, this time of a program that chances are almost everyone has used – Slack. Slack is a messaging and communication platform for organizations and they were doing nothing new. There are various alternatives to Slack like MS Teams, Google Workspace, Workplace by Meta, et cetera. But Slack has its unique appeal and audience.
Neither Airbnb nor Slack solved any existing problem or need. They aren’t a result of necessity but sheer curiosity. Intellectual curiosity.
Maybe the founders of Airbnb thought what if I rent the spare air mattress in my apartment to strangers? The sheer curiosity resulted in a company worth 70.68 Billion USD.
Slack, on the other hand, is worth 26.51 Billion USD and is the 581st most valuable company in the world. Result of sheer curiosity. What if there is a platform that can replace email and make communication easier?
There are tons of examples where simply observing and trying to make a change led to brilliant inventions. Let me share a few more of them.
An engineer at Ford:
Doug Martin, a Ford Engineer, brought fortune to the Ford company by implementing the result of his sheer curiosity.
While travelling long distances, in areas without any facilities or stores nearby, it would get very difficult if you’re thirsty. You always need to carry a water bottle.
He noticed water droplets falling from his car’s air conditioning system. He then came up with the idea of producing drinking water from condensed water coming from the outlet.
The condensed water was purified before being sent to a tap near the gearbox. Doug along with his colleagues built the prototype for the process. During the research, he discovered that a single vehicle could produce 64 ounces of water in an hour. Ford promoted the vehicles, by the name ‘Try On-The-Go H2O.’
On-The-Go H2O eliminated the need for vehicles to take stops during their journey to purchase bottled water, leading to fewer plastic bottles ending up in landfills.
A Factory worker at Swan Vesta:
The same ‘creativity’ let a factory worker at Swan Vesta save the company millions of pounds. An employee approached the management with a simple yet impactful idea. He suggested they use the igniting side only on one side of the matchbox instead of two.
This creativity at work enabled the company to save millions of dollars by cutting the cost of chemicals used.
At the same time, something as simple yet curious gave Apple the idea for the “Swipe to unlock” feature.
The bottom line is Curiosity, these days, is more important in generating new ideas than Necessity. And this trait need not exist only in the R&D executives or managers or team leaders of your company. Every person comes up with an average of 15 amazing ideas throughout their life. These ideas, when taken into consideration, give birth to outstanding Innovations.
I believe, that every employee in your organization has got a unique way of analyzing the universe around them. Let employees feel free to share their ideas by promoting creativity at work. Your employees’ ideas might form the better part of our next story – “How an employee’s idea changed the fortune of X organization?
To track these ideas, all you need is an all-in-one idea management platform that enables you to share challenges and get ideas submitted on the same. The next step is implementing these ideas while collaborating with people who are contributing to building solutions. All on one platform. Get your hands on the ultimate idea management software today. You can get more info about the tool here – InspireIP Ideas.
Recommended Read: Want to go through all options before settling for one product? No worries, we compiled the ultimate list of idea management software that can facilitate innovation in your organization.
Read the post here – List of best idea management software