So with the world always moving forward, and people needing to become more innovative I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what it takes to be an innovator and its idea process. As innovation comes, larger scale thinking, motivation, and out of the box ideas are required.
First of all, motivation can be harder than you think. As a highschooler, sometimes I feel like what I’m learning won’t really matter or be needed later in my life. Now of course I still value education, and I still take challenging classes, but often times when I study for exams, I find it hard to have solid motivation for everything I do all the time. There have been studies shown that people don’t always have better performance in what they do from a reward or threat system. What I mean is a higher reward or a bigger threat from doing a certain task doesn’t necessarily make people more efficient. Motivation comes from people doing something because they want to. The desire to do things because they matter and because they interest the individual are far better when it comes to being motivated and thus becoming innovative. This is famously done at Google, where engineers can work on anything they want for 20% of their time. Successful, innovative, and famous things like Gmail and Google News were created from this.
Now in order to have an innovative idea process, or come up with something that is efficient, we need to think of everyday people’s needs. You can start off by thinking of your own needs, like what is missing? Is there anything that could be more efficient? Our lives aren’t perfect, and all of us have some sort of need, whether socially, financially, or productively.
Once a product, innovation, or idea comes in mind, be sure to sear it via social media. Social media has it’s advantages and disadvantages (as addressed in a previous blog post) but one thing is for sure, it’s gotten pretty huge lately. And so, it is crucial that these ideas and innovations must be shared to gain an audience. Things work much better with people to back it up. It also looks better to employers and universities if there is a steady number of followers. But you also have to interact with these people in order for ideas to be spread.
So with all this said, myself and many other people have started our own innovation project. We all like helping other people, and we all have some academic skill so we created an online homework club for our school. The need was that people in sports couldn’t normally go to homework club times because of practices. We are going to make a Google Plus community as our main page. The reason for Google Plus came into mind was because Google Hang Outs lets us help people while seeing their faces and with many people in the chat. It’s kind of like Skype but better. There is also Google Paint in case we need to help with math as well. With these utilities we are trying to creating an environment where everyone helps each other, just in an organized way, and with more tools available.
So far, the process as a whole was much harder than we anticipated. For this kind of thing, we need many people to be in on it and supporting us, and doing that has been pretty difficult. Just now, we are starting to gain momentum by creating a Facebook page to add attention and we’ve even created flyers to post in teacher’s class rooms. These steps haven’t been HUGE, by any means, but we have to take baby steps. And besides, just because something isn’t overly successful, doesn’t make you failure. It’s the process of innovation that matters, and even if this project is a flop, we all would have learned something and that is what really matters. The Project is still in it’s early stages, but we really hope for it to grow.