Can we afford innovation?

Let’s say you have a marvellous idea. It’s going to change the way we’ve usually done things. Maybe your idea challenges the traditional way of listening to music? Maybe it will be a revolutionary transportation method? Anyhow, your idea will make things so much more efficient, so much better but in all honesty be very difficult to sell.

Let’s go back in time to 1839 in Philadelphia. The civil engineer and inventor William Otis have just been issued a US patent for his newest invention, the steam shovel. This is reckoned to be the worlds first excavator and you would think the people would be overjoyed, but that’s not the case. The steam shovel gets its first major job to dig the Welland Canal in 1843. However, dozens of men were displaced, and laborers grew so angry that the company had to post guards on the site.1  How would you handle the situation as the project leader? The shovel was a major investment and more effective, but if dozens of men lost their income and couldn’t feed their families, would it be worth it? There would be consequences in the short run and different ones in the long run. The idea was good, but innovation changes the way we do things, turns processes upside down and change lives. It’s not difficult to understand that William Otis died before he managed to sell his first one.

Innovation is about daring to bet on what you believe in. It is also costly in terms of time and resources and mostly a try and fail mission. They say that 90% of start-up’s fail within 5 years. We believe that the factors for successful innovation is about the everyday life. It’s about waking up every day, making the right decisions at the right time and working hard and smart with lots of patience. When you have all those factors; you need a decent amount of luck as well.

We will share our story in the next one minute read. Stay tuned.

That’s a minute  - see you ASAP

  1. , J. R. Chiles, 2010, “Steam Shovel”, 15.12.2018
  2. , 2018, “William Otis” , 15.12.2018

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