Innovation or increments?

This article wants to remind you that we live in a world where technology is not seeking innovations, rather incremental change and responses to crisis at the most. And we want to put forward some guidelines on how to create a culture of innovation, in technical areas where it is important to do so.

  • At the core: along life of happiness. Feeling happy every day, waking up on Monday with a purpose, not dread. A life worth living is a life where we innovate, not follow small incremental change because that new phone has to come up every year, while we know it makes no difference the workd. A life of making innovation happen, one life that knows at the end of a working day, that its fruits are for the entire humanity.
  • A healthy planet. Clean energy. Fresh waters. Uncontaminated landscapes. Do you really think making more phones and laptops that are identical to the last ones help the planet? We are only here because there is an ecosystem that supports our exhistance. If our lifes keeps on eroding that ecosystem, we will cause our extinction — the exact opposite of our purpose in life, which is to prosper and proliferate. We have to take care of our planet just as if it was an extension of our own body, and think of it as a projection of our soul.
  • Better biology, better health. There can be no life in sickness and diseases, and the pursuit of happiness will be a remote target. We need to invest more resources in improving life, not just patching it with pills, but creating habits and routines that promote health. Technology alone has extended our lives by 2x in the last 100 years. Can we repeat this feat in the next 100 years? And in the next 500 years?
  • More time with friends and loved ones. We can spend entire days in an office talking about how we can make that new phone and that new TV. But deep inside we just want the day to be over, so we can go be with our loved ones. The only time that that is not the case is when we are doing something new we believe in, that innovative work that steals precious time away from your family, in a delicate balance from feeling fullfilled and keeping all round us happy and supportive.
  • Time not money. When time never ends it is usually a bad sign. We either need a break or more commonly we are stuck doing work we care little about, and that will lead to no change. Time is precious when we can enjoy it, either doing fun activities or by doing work we truly believe on, that can really make a difference. And often time is wasted chasing money we do not need. More time also means better and longer health, a system that promotes long life and free us from a decaying body.
  • Money to make a difference. If you come out of middle class, earning 1M$ sounds amazing. If you are a lucky one and reach 100M$, 1B$, more, then what? Are you using this to create innovation and help everyone reach a happy and long life? Or are you just using your time to make more money you do not need, eventually supporting a government that can help you make more money at the expense of everyone else? It is better to know your richness contributed to a good cause, than generate more cash and leave you with again the problem of what to do with it. A meaningful life is one that pushes the most people up with you.
  • Leaders not incremental selfishness. If you are a leader, you need to care for the time and value of your people. You need to make sure they are fullfilled and what better way that to direct them to true innovation. There is time for incremental change to support business and work, but that should not be the only goal. The goal is to create value for the entire world, not just a business. Because when you have true innovation you will be valued and rewarded. But when you live for increments, then life is ough for you and all your team.
  • Teaching innovation: as parents, teachers, mentors, we need to multiply the abilities of our people and amplify their potential. We can teach the the tool of the trade, and it is a good start, but then we need to also show them than making a new phone every year is good starting point to learn technology, but at some point we need to refocus those abilities into real innovation: products that do not exist today, that people do not even know they want, but that make a great difference, just as a mobile phone did in the 90’s and 00’s. Teaching also means cultivating dreams, ensuring students and colleagues know that it is a larger risk to lose life in the oblivion of incremental change, than to start something new that nobody has tried. The courage really is to live like anyone else, rather than try a new way, and try to innovate, as we can always fall back where we started, only to find another new path. Teaching motivation and tenacity is important, maybe more than the tools of the trade. This I will teach my son.

Innovation not increments! How big is your dream?

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