Changing the world is easy. Take Steve Jobs for example. The poster entrepreneur of our era who reinvented the world! He did it, while taking credit for every idea from his VP of Industrial Design Johnatan Ive, bashing the competition and being a control freak. Nobody’s perfect.
So how did such a guy actually manage to reinvent anything? That’s because the challenge is easier than it first seems.
Here is the 3-step process:
- Choose a rising industry
- Find a decent idea
- Transform that idea into a genius one
Jobs just chose the right industry (IT), had a decent idea for a new phone (most people knew it was coming), and reinvented it as he went along, incorporating different technologies to create the iPhone. The genius is the last part. And it all comes after you start.
Let’s dig deeper into this.
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Step 1. Choose a rising industry
What you need to do is look around and harvest ideas from people – ideas for a rising industry to get into. See what people are interested in and envision their needs for the future. "Steal" every idea you can.
For instance, we all know that green energy or sustainable harmless nuclear energy is the future. But what are you going to do about it? The industry only needs great implementation. And you need to look no further than your smartphone’s clock widget to understand that “mobile” is the new revolution, inching its way into manifestation each day.
Ideas are everywhere!
Industry ideas are all around you. It’s also easy to find something good nowadays because everything is shared. A quick search and you’ll see the Top 10 fastest growing industries. The list may contain less glamour and hype than expected. But maybe, just maybe, there’s more to " nut and bolt manufacturing" than meets the eye?
Step 2. Find a decent idea (and stick to it)
Once you’ve chosen a decent industry, stick with it. Stop looking. Don’t switch industries too soon. There’s room for world-changing events in any industry. Sure, a new, revolutionary type of bolt won’t get that much press. But you still can change the world, while making a lot of money. This isn’t a method for glory. We are interested in actually reinventing the world. And to do that, you need a "brilliant idea".
Brilliant ideas already exist in everybody’s mind, in their primal state. There are basically no genius ideas in existence, just different re-interpretations / combinations of normal, primal ones which everybody has. Genius ideas are created only after you start implementing normal ones.
Bring a new idea to an existing industry
For example, the pinch-and-zoom gesture from an iPhone was actually a much older idea. In 1983 a guy called Myron Krueger invented it. Jobs just gave it a different application and a much larger marketing platform. The Nintendo Wii seems groundbreaking! That’s until you realize that motion sensor for alarms existed for years. They just integrated it in a new industry.
So don’t spend too much time looking for a great idea.
Step 3. Just do it, better!
Once you have an idea you feel is decent enough, it’s hammer time. You should incorporate new concepts into your product, much like how Steve Jobs did with the iPhone pinch-and-zoom gesture. This is the core of your business. This is where you actually reinvent the world.
You take a known idea and view it differently, adding things to it that other people haven’t thought of adding.
Synergy helps. Lateral thinking helps. Having a team with different skills is great. Just try to reinterpret other products and technologies, and integrate them into your product. Not knowing much about your industry helps. Often times experts find it hard to view stuff other than in the way they were taught. If you’re an absolute novice in your field, it’s easier to reinvent and innovate.
A few more things to remember:
1. Innovation is meant for dummies. Don’t get so caught up in innovations for your product that you forsake usability. If you want to move around, you don’t use a camel-bicycle hybrid do you? Your innovations should be easy to use and easy to understand.
2. Keep the Product simple. Likewise, you don’t want your product to be overcomplicated. You’ll end up a mad genius with no real impact on the world.
3. Keep the Name simple. I get it. You like your product to be multi-featured. You want to squeeze as much information and value into your product’s name as possible. Add an X or Z to make it sound cooler. But it’s the iPhone 5 for a reason. It’s not the iPhone 5000Y UltraTouchSensitive + French Fries, is it?
4. They like it Dummy-proof and super-easy to use. Nobody likes a stupid product. A stupid product isn’t dummy-proof.
5. Reinterpretation is not stealing. Use a retweaked bit of designs from various sources. Straight-up innovation is only reserved to the elite or the absolute novice. If you’re anywhere in between, keep on “stealing”.
So again, the three steps to reinvent the world are as follows:
- Take the beaten path (rising industry)
- Make sure you choose a decent car (idea)
- Transform that car into a super-car (reinvent) and make sure it still has 4 wheels
There are no genius ideas, only genius reinterpretations. Don’t spend time looking for a genius idea, get down-n-dirty with a decent one in a rising industry (pretty easy to find) and make sure you spend all your effort towards trying to innovate inside the limits of that particular idea.
Then, change the world.