The Ubisoft Gaming development team had just presented what would be their highest grossing video game – Assassins creed 3. Based in Montreal, they had worked hard to create a new experience for the consumer and going by the numbers, they had hit a winner – innovation had paid off.
Away from gaming, there are tools that measure blood pressure, apps that can connect patients to the top doctors in specific locations for advise on a range of ailments. There are services that can deliver purchased items within hours, whether it be by land, sear or air. There are car pool services that allow clients park anywhere and arrange for pick up anywhere. There are services that promise a round up of all that has happened in the world in the last 24 hrs – all in 5 minutes.
These are examples of how people have discovered ways to make life easier, more convenient and cost effective. Since the discovery of fire, and even fore that there has been consistent movement from one invention to the other. There was also the square wheel that was changed in to the round version – again ease the process of day to day living. There are transport systems that allow people travel under water or overland at almost unbelievable speeds and that as high as 50,000 sq. meters above sea level.
Through significant investment of resources man has brought an end to diseases that wiped out millions in times past through the discovery vaccines and alternative healthcare methods. This has led to the extension of life, not only in terms of number of years, but also in terms of quality. Sadly, there have also been discoveries to end the lives of many, and that at speeds unheard of since the beginning of time.
New ideas have also been introduced to education, art and the science making access easier and learning simpler. And while getting the benefits of these innovations have come at a price fully aware of the profit motive, the individual remains at the centre of all innovation. Without the individual, products and services would not be needed and would both be of much value.
Dependence on tools where taken too far and even blamed for the inability to produce results is often a negative effect of innovation. So there is some blame on social media for the current inability of today’s teenager to start conversations and manage physical relationships. Tools should not always be blamed for inability to resolve issues as people created tools. Then, just how important are they to human ingenuity and the capacity for discovery?
It is clear, from a cursory glance through history that groundbreaking inventors did not have access to some of these tools to achieve their levels of greatness. It boiled down to the capacity of the individual to innovate. Thomas Edison reminds us “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
It might be reasonable in some instances to tone down the dependence on technology to achieve real lasting results as the more relevant innovations today tend to be those that leverage more on human relations than on complex gadgets. The exceptions here may be advances recorded in pharma/bio tech.
Human potential is still core to innovation and should be developed through reflection, engagement and the execution of ideas. People are the primary tool – their ideas, predispositions, relationships and work ethic.
Out of the box ideas that succeed remind us that innovation has the most value when it improves the of lives of the most people. The betterment of human lives remains at the centre of innovations that are remembered for generations.