I’ve always loved reading historical books about the bright ideas that changed the world and the inspirational people who brought them to life.
There’s something magical about studying the history of famous inventions, mistakes that turned into big businesses and everyday items had surprisingly haphazard beginnings.
But we can’t consume our way to innovation. The only way to ratchet up our species is to create.
That’s why I started keeping an innovation log. A ongoing database of ideas for products, services, inventions, businesses, organizations and other types of media. Because I love solving the creative problem, not just studying it.
Productive daydreaming is a worthwhile muscle to build. Fleshing out new ideas that could potentially improve humanity and save money and deliver joy to people who need it most, this process energizes me. It makes me feel useful. It challenges me to create value in the world, even if my ideas don’t change it. That’s why I created a gameshow called Steal Scott’s Ideas.
One insight I’ve uncovered in this process is, behind every moment of unhappiness, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, anger, inconvenience and confusion, is a new innovation waiting to be born.
That’s what I look for. It’s my favorite part of the process. Scouring message boards and product reviews and customer complaints to find those moments. Those insider signals. Those tiny details that trigger a whole world, act as shorthand for a shared culture and capture where certain people have landed.
Like when one of my clients complained that all of his socks ripped because he had legs like tree trunks. To which I replied, we should launch a line of cankle friendly socks for people with wide set feet.
Stoutz will be the name of our company.
Now there’s a great idea that solves a real problem. That’s what happens when we’re willing to allow curiosity to move us to our feet. We might actually create something to help alleviate some of the burdens of existence.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What practice do you have in place to keep innovation high on the agenda?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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