Everything you need is invented already, use it as a tool!
I don’t pretend to discourage anyone, but to encourage all of us. We always hear that the secret for success is the innovation, that the companies that are broke got there because they weren’t innovative enough, that all the professions have to be innovative, that the innovation is the key for a new world, innovation, innovation everywhere.
The thing is the following: there are different definitions of innovation, some say that it means inventing what no one has (correct), others say that it is reaching the limit of technology (also correct), however knowing, what?, is not going to tell use, how?. How can we be innovative?.
You don’t need to be Nikola Tessla, you need to be a normal human being, like you and me, those whom their parents always use to scold us because we were always dismantling stuff, or those who never run out of curiosity.
Everything is invented, let’s take advantage of it, the way to get to new things is to take what already exists and make it better, use it, disarm it and put it back together again, if it works you just figure out how!, always ask what if? Just go for the lab accidents in a manner of speaking.
I used to have a professor in the university that always insisted of using “Benchmarking” not only as a start comparison point but also as a target goal, because we are millions of people in the world, and a great number of that are designers, so the amount of ideas that are generated of course can be similar, even be almost the same but the Implementation Methodology are very different, and if you work in a group the insights from a team can change the outcome of an idea.
(If you are not familiar with the term I would recommend reading “Understanding Website Benchmarking: When Is It Useful, When Is It Not?”)
So as the designer that I am I will use Apple as a reference, as in Apple in the beginnings not 2016 catastrophe. Initially what made this company successful was the innovative way they approached interfaces, hardware was not different or even better.
The difference was in the way they actually designed the software changed the way we used to see the world, they made it user friendly, easy to use with better results. So basically Steve Jobs saw a shitty interface which probably couldn’t understand, took it and made it better, made it usable.
When it comes to the makers community, Innovator is not that one who has an Arduino in their hands, Innovator is the one who creates something new that allows us to solve problems from the daily lives, that probably we didn’t know we had or reach new goals in the future that we never considered. All of those people that were hardware and framework developers in the beginning of the technology era, are our Luthiers is our job to use that harmonic instrument and create a master piece that not even it’s own creator would have thought of. Just like those timeless musicians.
Everything is invented, now as Makers of this new world, we have to take those tools and go crazy with them.