Doblin’s Larry Keeley is one of the most brilliant thinkers on innovation that we’ve got and you must read this piece he did for the Innovation & Design channel on what makes for truly breakthrough innovation. Yes, the internet is on the top 15 list of Biggest Breakthroughs—but so is money and limited liability. Genetic sequencing is on the list, but so is property and containerized shipping.
The real secret to Big Innovations is that they do not involve products—they involve platforms. Let me quote Larry:
“Yet when you stick smart people in a room and ask them to innovate, they will virtually always brainstorm new product ideas. We seem to be hardwired to focus on precisely the wrong place when it comes time to innovate.
Instead our focus should be on platforms: broad capabilities that have the potential to cut across industries, markets, and applications. Platforms often have some proprietary capability at the core, but not always. Indeed, it is common for platforms to integrate many otherwise ordinary ideas into a whole that is collectively remarkable—as is the case with most of the innovations on the list, and the reason they go beyond mere inventions.”
And guess which innovation is No. 1 on the list? Weapons. Naw. I like language.
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