Many innovations are caused by someone dealing with a product or process, getting a little frustrated and saying, there has to be a better way. One great example of this is Reed Hastings and the founding of Netflix.
Reed had misplaced a VHS copy of Apollo 13 that he had rented more than a month before. When he took it back he had amassed over $40 in late fees. After he thought that there must be a better way, he came up with the business model of paying a monthly fee and getting as many movies as you want by mail. Eventually this plan, along with the introduction of streaming videos, changed the industry and has eliminated most local video stores.
We are going to have to deal with issues that do not go our way. The question is, what do we do? Are we satisfied with the status quo or do we look to make it better, not just for ourselves, but for others? Edison wanted to find a better way and stated, “My desire is to do everything within my power to free people from drudgery and create the largest measure of happiness and prosperity.” The message for today is to become the solution. When you see a problem, you can be the one who finds the better way.
This blog was originally posted January 22, 2013