Do you have a desire to be more creative? Yeah, so do I. It’s hard from time to time. You sit around all day staring at the same four walls that have always been that same shade of baby blue with white, speckled ceiling tiles. It’s hard to find that gust of mojo to get your creative brain fired up and ready to produce something amazing. Most of the time I think that a third cup of coffee will help, but it doesn’t. It usually only makes me distracted by how badly I need to go to the bathroom for the tenth time today.
So What Does it Take?
So, what does it really take to be an inventor? Someone who can create something out of nothing, someone who can snatch an idea out of thin air and turn it into a living, breathing invention? Well, before we launch into discussing how was become real life innovative individuals, lets talk about how we even begin thinking like one.
I wonder what Thomas Edison was thinking when he decided to create that nifty gadget we call a light bulb. My guess is that he didn’t sit at a computer desk and Google, “how to heat a wire and make light appear.” He saw a need, created an idea, experimented and created something amazing. When trying to exercise my innovative skills I find this formula to be helpful.
A need x an idea + an experiment = an invention
Sounds simple enough, right? Not always. It’s not hard to recognize a need. How many times on a day-to-day basis do we say something like “Man, I wish I had something to help me (insert complicated task here.)”? For innovative-minded people, it’s these simple statements that kick start the creative gears in your brain. After a little brainstorming, a little dreaming, and a touch of impossibility, a solution appears. But that’s the easy part.
For example, I personally wish that I could insert a chip somewhere in my brain where I could manually choose to take a photo of exactly what my eyes are seeing. No matter how hard we try, the camera cannot capture what the eyes can see. As a photographer, this is infinitely frustrating. I’ve seen a need and I’ve created an idea, but what keeps my dream from becoming reality? Experimenting.
Stop Dreaming & Start Doing
For some reason beyond me, it is one of humanity’s most difficult tasks to stop dreaming and start doing. Doing takes time. It takes money. It takes failure. Dreaming, however, is safe. To truly be innovative, it takes the courage to be vulnerable. In order to see your ideas become reality, you have to be willing to be wrong, fail a few times, and then be wrong again. The experiment phase is hard on your will power and on your determination, but the discovery at the end makes it worthwhile.
The formula might seen basic, but the components are complicated. However, within our ever-expanding world, there is a cheat code that so many others overlook: Collaboration. As Isaac Newton said “ If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” At VoiceNation, we believe in not only dreaming, but doing, and doing it with excellence. This is why we believe so highly in open source. We saw a need within the live answering service industry and chose to meet it with years of development, failure, tweaking, and finally success with OpenAnswer – our answering service software. We are choosing to give OpenAnswer away to the world in hopes that collaboration with developers in the industry will push our “invention” further, making it inherently a better, more stable product.
In open source, we feel strongly that to really do something well, you have to get a lot of people involved. — Linus Torvalds
As so many before me, I urge you to dream bigger than you think possible. But most importantly, do something about it. Be a dreamer, be an experimenter, be an innovator and you can change the world for the better.
For more information about OpenAnswer, check out our blog post and press release on VoiceNation.com.