Innovation Fact 4 – Learn to steal
The creax motto is: “somewhere, somebody already solved your problem”. The challenge is not to re-invent solutions, but to re-search them. Instead of starting from scratch, look around you and learn to “steal”. Find inspiration in how other companies or industries have solved similar challenges.
In the first Innovation Fact (solutions never last), we talked about solutions versus functions. Do you provide your clients with trimmed grass or a carefree garden?
Thinking in functions is also a great way to find inspiration. James Dyson got frustrated with his vacuum cleaner because it lost suction power quickly while using it. He realized that cyclone systems, used in saw mills & paint boots, also extract dust from the air and – unlike traditional vacuum cleaners – did not clog. Being a practical man, he quickly constructed a cardboard model with sticky tape, connected it to his vacuum cleaner with its bag removed and found it worked satisfactorily. The rest is history.
When we say “learn to steal”, we mean this in its broadest sense. The ability to extract the most important information from what you see and apply that knowledge to your own challenges. You take something, work on it and make it your own. Dyson didn’t just put a miniaturized cyclone in his vacuum cleaner. He took the idea and in making more than 5000 prototypes made it his own on his way to success.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Focus on the function you are trying to solve, look around you and find inspiration to build upon. Then make it your own, optimize it and share it with the world.