Innovation Isn’t Dead (It’s Just Different)

This guest post in Forbes is written by Seth Priebatsch, Chief Ninja and CEO of LevelUp. He looks at how innovation is currently perceived  by some and offers an alternate viewpoint.

"The reasoning of innovation pessimists goes something like this: innovations of the past– like the toilet, refrigeration, and the polio vaccine– solved massive problems and changed the world. But innovations of today– like Facebook, Android, and the Nintendo Wii– solved nothing (unless you consider boredom a problem). The damning implication of this is that our generation has failed to produce innovations that will solve the tremendous problems of our time, problems like global warming, rising cancer rates, or and our depleting oil supply."

"While these arguments seem well-founded (we haven’t yet solved global warming and somebody really ought get on it), they’re missing the point. Innovation isn't broken, it’s just different. Rather than tackling today’s problems head-on, as previous generations have done, we’re choosing to rebuild the infrastructures that will enable future innovations to take on these problems. Why? Because the problems are actually quite literally too big to tackle head on. First we need better tools, then we can begin to attempt to solve the problems. So, the innovation of our generation is around building those tools, not their end result. I call this infrastructural innovation. It may be more subtle, but it’s no less grand than innovation of the past."

He then gives examples of where infrastructural innovation is at work, in the fields of education, manufacturing, and commerce.

Innovation Isn’t Dead (It’s Just Different)
Seth Priebatsch The following guest post is by Seth Priebatsch, Chief Ninja and CEO of LevelUp. There are a lot of people who believe innovation is dead. And I’m not going to sugar-coat anything, some of their arguments are solid. Just listen to academic Robert Gordon or big-time entrepreneurs Peter Thiel and […]

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