There are a lot of amazing, creative ideas out there.  Most of them never make it from the drawing board to an innovation to everyday use.  What stops them?  Is it a lack of funding, a lack of hard work or just a lack of luck?  It could be any of those, but often it is a simple lack of practicality.

I know, you are thinking if we are creative and innovative, we do not need to be practical.  The best innovators are both creative and practical.  For example, we have written several times about the wonders of 3D printing (See Innovation in 3-D, More Innovation in 3D and Innovation and How to Save a Life ).   Truly an amazing product.  These printers are available now, so why don’t we have them in our homes and offices?

While these printers are available, they are quite expensive.  But, consumers will buy them when they have a practical reason to do so.  And that practical reason is just around the corner.  A recent study shows that very soon it will be cheaper to print some products than purchase them.  That phone case you spent $20 on could be printed at home for under a $1.  When the printer is more affordable and people people realize that they can save money and customize their purchases, then the printers may be a very hot ticket.  In other words, when a practical use is discovered then this product will become innovative in the truest sense of the word.

So, in your quest to be innovative, be as creative as possible, but don’t forget the practical.