Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
July 23, 2013

Creativity v. Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags: ,

One of the things that I enjoy doing is looking for new ideas related to innovation. Usually these new ideas come from studying the lives of innovators. There are a lot of insights that can be found from the examples of those who have been successful at creating new ideas and then being able to turn them into innovations. The difficult thing is to study unsuccessful innovators. That is, someone who may have been very creative, but could not get the idea to make a lasting change.

Professor Mark Allen from Pepperdine University provides an interesting insight that may help. He separates creativity out of innovation and states that creativity is an individual skill, but it takes an organization to be innovative. Take a look at the video and think about your group and then ask this question, “Is your organization getting in the way of creative people being innovative or is it fostering innovation?” You might have the right people and with a little change you can have a successful innovation.

July 16, 2013

Can a Taxi Ride be Innovative?

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags:

New York City is getting a new taxi. It is obvious that many different people discussed problems and issues that one could have in a cab ride and came up with many ideas for improvement. The new design has a number of enhancements from more leg room, to even smelling better. But when I first saw the vehicle I asked myself the question, “Is it innovative?

Change is not necessarily innovation, even when it is change for the better. So take a look at the attached video and let us know what you think; is this innovation, or just a better cab ride?

This blog was originally posted May 1, 2012.

July 10, 2013

The Simplicity of Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs

Innovation does not have to be complicated, it just has to improve and be something new. Often innovative ideas that are heading in a good direction get derailed under the weight of complications.

In the video below, Walter Isaacson, author of the book “Steve Jobs”, provides some insights into how Jobs looked for simplicity in his innovations.  Steve Jobs wanted to make the user experience as simple as possible. He looked at the interface, how the device felt, and how he could make it easier to use.

Look at your innovation. Is it too complicated?  Can you make it simpler in design and easier for the end user? Follow Steve Jobs example and you may find that simplicity is the answer you need for your innovation.