On innovation: re-inventing the wheel


I recently had a conversation with hubby about his “big idea.” He went on and on about this idea that he believed was so fantastic. As I sat there listening in, naturally I’m waiting for the spark to happen. You know, that spark you get when you hear an idea for the first time where you KNOW the idea is going to change the game? I didn’t get that spark. I know what you’re thinking, “shouldn’t you support your hubby’s idea?” Absolutely, I support the activity of him coming up with the idea, the idea itself pfffft! It wasn’t a complete idea. He couldn’t answer the most basic of questions: what problem are you trying to solve and who is your primary target? He was stumped, dumbfounded and it left him defensive. 


Here is my thought. Do you think the guy who created the tire was trying to invent the wheel? Do you think he woke up one day and was like “Aha! I’ll make a round rubber wheel!” No, the wheel was already invented and no one could deny that. What he did was improve upon the wheel, especially by making it more efficient as well as last longer. When it comes to innovation you have either A. invent something B. improve upon something or C. Be the best damned provider of said something. No matter which one you decide to do, you still have to answer: what problem do I want to solve and who is my target demographic. Everything else will fall into place. 

After getting hubby to get over his defensiveness on his idea and to answer the fundamental questions of business, he got it. The idea he started with evolved into something we had yet to see. The group he wanted to help stayed the same, but the way he is to help them changed. Instead of him trying to re-invent the wheel, he invented something totally different. 

Can’t wait to see how this conversation gets him inspired. 


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