People who believe that the wheel is the greatest invention ever assume two things: That it was wholly new when it was invented, and that is was so wonderful that people adopted it immediately. Historically, neither is true.
My seventh-grade son asked me to volunteer at his school to teach something nonacademic and fun, like how to rollerblade, bake cookies, and so on. I called the school and asked if I could teach a course called “How to Be an Inventor.” I had taught Systematic Inventive Thinking in many innovation workshops for about four years at that point, so I was confident I could deliver a fun and useful program for kids.
To my surprise, the school administrators said no.
Many "wearable tech" devices measure the calories you burn in a day. But weight watchers know that's only half the equation. You also need an accurate count of calories consumed. Now a new device will do just that. It's called Vessyl, a cup that will not only identify and track what you drink and how much of it, but also sense the liquid type. It will transform how we consume every ounce of liquid throughout the day.
Philips North America announced the launch of the second annual Philips Innovation Fellows competition, in conjunction with the release of its 2014 North America Innovation Report. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of North Americans consider themselves innovators, of which a majority (72 percent) believe they are sitting on an idea for “the next big thing,” and just need money and ‘know how’ to develop it. The Philips Innovation Fellows Competition awards mentoring and $100,000 in cash prizes to inspire would-be entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life by entering the competition.
The SIT Method is designed to help you generate lots of ideas in a systematic way. But how do you select which ideas to pursue? Filtering ideas is an essential part of the creativity process. You want to make sure you spend your time only on those with the most potential.
With so many successful products created through serendipity, it makes you wonder whether companies can rely on it to create breakthrough products. The answer is no. Serendipity, as a method of innovation, has a very poor track record. The number of serendipitous products is a tiny percentage of the total of all products. It just doesn't yield nearly the amount of blockbuster products as you would think.
So why does it seem there are so many of them? That’s because serendipitous products are more memorable than others. We hear about them in the news media more often. Because of that, we recall more examples of serendipitous products than other inventions. So we’re fooled into thinking they must be occurring at a much higher rate. It just isn’t true.
One way to develop your expertise in SIT techniques is with pattern spotting. A key premise of SIT is that for thousands of years, innovators have used patterns in their inventions, usually without even realizing it. Those patterns are now embedded into the products and services you see around you, almost like the DNA of a product. You want to develop your ability to see these patterns as a way to improve your use of them.
There's probably no better place to practice pattern spotting than at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In last week's CES in Las Vegas, "manufacturers demonstrated a range of previously mundane but now smart, web-connected products destined to become part of daily domestic existence, from kitchen appliances to baby monitors to sports equipment," as reported in The Independent.
The end of the year is a popular time to publish lists of all sorts. A quick glance at CNN, for example, revealed lists such as "75 Amazing Sports Moments," "The 50 Best Android Apps," "8 Very Old Sites in the New World," and many more.
Here is The Top 10 Most Underappreciated Inventions. The criteria for making this list are: 1. the invention has to be of high value, 2. we take it for granted; we just expect it to be there, and 3. it would be hard to imagine life without it; the substitute for the invention would be unacceptable.