Timing of innovation

Common sense can be misleading: what appears as obvious is always much more complex than it seems. The technology today is a constant here and now, always having to make a difference, a change, progress. But this change / difference / progress, usually called innovation, is much more political, it has a sense of opportunity, it requires strategy, lobbying, intelligence, like a well-played chess game.

Thousands (or even millions) are the new inventions happening on the web nowadays. Now more than ever, internet is a vault of new ideas. But do not be misguided: there is talent, but it is not enough to innovate. This premise is not limited to technology: history is full of artists, musicians, painters who have had the ability to create beauty beyond the parameters of their time, but time is effectively tyrant and these creators did not experience any recognition till after passing on, not even picturing how deep they would impact on culture.

Back to our point, technology is not exempt (nor ever will be) of good timing. Just look at this “spring of applications  we are experiencing in which our phones , tablets and other devices try to integrate more and more in our daily lives , regulating business hours , sleep , finance , food , leisure , to name a few . But again, these ideas can barely settle in our household of a few grateful who could not find an “analog ” solution.

By this point it may sound that the word innovation has a privileged place for certain historical figures, but this is far from true since no organization is exempt of taking a chance on it. On the contrary, in times of planned obsolescence, we cannot make changes only when our solutions’ lifespan comes to an end. Furthermore, ” innovation isn’t perhaps the term to describe this situation, being more of an emergency update in order not to lose (more) time at work.

 This debate showcases a key word: opportunity. It is quite common update your services and to hold yourself from innovation by only doing so. That is why we should ask ourselves how we can evaluate opportunity. First and foremost, we must analyze the pulse of the market in which we operate. Every industry has certain demands, patterned both by the customer and the competition. There are more viable and seemingly revolutionary ideas that every company should implement in certain industries but still are not taken into account. A clear example of this is telephone companies, recipients of thousands of daily inquires. There are management systems to supply their customers’ demands more effectively, but they still insist on traditional call center systems with primitive processes, ignoring the remarkable potential of attention via social networks. The key guideline of this example insists on opportunity as the time of adoption. It is the market that determines it, and does so based on the product / service ratio – market. Thus, management systems and technology to sustain  frequent contact with the client exist, but the market launch process is gradual, meticulous and, if one is not careful, can thwart a brilliant technological solution tailored for the customer, because of  unsuspected (or unplanned)  poor reception.

The complexity of innovation is critical, but the chance is always present. The production capacity of technological solutions for productivity that exists today is remarkable, but is a manager, CEO or director who has the power of decision. They can lead change, or hop on the bandwagon at the last minute, chasing an industry that innovates constantly, with or without us.

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