You have to want, because without it you can’t move – Wieslaw Gliniak on creating innovative projects through the eyes of a senior citizen
Wieslaw Gliniak is, as he says about himself, “a man of many professions”. Author and co-author of many innovative concepts in the field of ICT and mobile technologies, such as itSPP, “let me look”, m4me, Lendi, tds. He is a “beacon” who encourages people aged 50+ to take the first step on the Internet.
Welcome to the second interview with p. Wieslaw, this time about innovation.
How to start creating innovation?
It is said that many things can be learned, which means probably this one too. Schools with a profile „invention” probably do not exist, so I will present how, in my opinion, it can be done – I hope it will be useful to someone. Above all… you have to want it, because without it you can’t move (this is not only regarding the creation of a new one). Secondly, you need to “know a little bit” in the subject matter.
Interestingly, you don’t necessarily have to be a super specialist in a particular narrow field. It can even hurt a little, but about that in a moment. Third (although many, especially in business, point out that this should be „first”). – Ideally, it should be something you come up with that serves a specific need. To be helpful to someone in something, simplify something and bring (preferably measurable) benefits.
Regarding the benefits – it is also good if there are more beneficiaries of a given innovation (although even this does not guarantee implementation). Fourth – take advantage of the concept, model: known A, B, C… joined together gives a new/innovative X (sometimes in another new industry). Well, and here you can end – this is my recipe for invention and innovation. It’s „no philosophy” – just that and so much more.
Inventor and creator of innovative solutions can be anyone. You don’t need five faculties or a great scientific background. Of course, we are talking about projects, not market implementations of them – because it is quite a long way from one to the other.
Is it actually „just so much”?
Yes. At least it works for me.
Can you ask for an example – this is probably easier to illustrate?
Here you go. Even a few:
- itSPP – new technologies (including mobile) in the operation of Paid Parking Zones. The combination of known solutions: virtually existing software (A), an optoelectronic OCR system (B), mobility (C) and a well-known and widely used payment system (D) yields an innovative itSPP. Better, cheaper, with greater efficiency, and to the extreme friendly to drivers (who park their vehicles in SPP and go where they were supposed to go; because that’s probably how it should be).
- TDS – a computer/tablet for seniors (maybe even free), which I talked about with you a few months ago.
- m4me – self-service gas stations with dispensers „opened” by cell phone (A) along with a cashless and cardless payment system (B) and a valuable loyalty program (C) and for drivers and the station owner. The whole saving time and money (of drivers and the station owner) – is also the above-mentioned need and targeting of specific markets.
- „Let me look” – to see on your smartphone online something that happens in (almost) any place on any continent.
- „Lendi” (locate & invite; loyalty B2C platform), volley4U (individual volleyball world championships), sale44 (system and smartphone application for selling real estate without intermediaries), „Ecoregio” (ecological heating e.g. Biomass home, cheapest – and maybe even free).
Is it the same in “mobile”?
Rather, yes. Anyway, as you can see from the examples cited above, in „new technologies” it is probably even easier to innovate. Here, the chances of innovation are greater, because they appear quickly and often quite new solutions.
That is, the latest (post)known A, B, C assembled into innovative X will certainly be a novelty. Paradoxically, the chances are also… less, because people do not even keep up with the changes. And what was new 1.5 years ago has already been superseded by the new-new, before the old became widespread. So here the implementation process itself may be unnecessary, because already this something X has been replaced by a new product.
But also in such traditional industries as e.g. agriculture or heating, it is not at all difficult to innovate according to the model A+B+C, while looking at the needs and benefits. The Ecoregio project shows this.
Anyway, innovation is probably possible everywhere. The well-known buffer from a railroad carriage (let’s assume that a little reduced) installed, for example. in a (well-known) car, this is also an innovation (because I don’t think anyone has installed such a thing yet). So much that it may not necessarily generate benefits.
But the principle of (known) A + B gives a new X and here it is fulfilled. And even there is <mobile> 🙂 .
Going back to your inventions – spectrum is quite a lot…
Yes, but as I mentioned at the beginning – it is not at all necessary to be the alpha and omega in a given, narrow discipline. Or rather, quite the opposite. It seems to me that a broader, interdisciplinary knowledge is better here (you can always just ask a specialist for details). And even more important is „looking through the lens of needs and benefits”.
That’s why I somehow don’t particularly enjoy gadgets. I also understand less „exaggerated race for parameters” (why e.g. In a smartphone camera 16 Mpx, if the majority is enough for example. 5 Mpx; unless it is the interest of the operators to make money from data transmission, but according to me, this is not ultimately good, because it is not caring about the benefits of the other party).
Still regarding „taking care of the benefits” – as the decline of groupons shows, the lack of care for mutual, long-term benefits eliminates the solution in question, which was innovative a few years ago (in my opinion, the benefits of sellers in groupons were illusory; only buyers gained and the market verified this). And quite a few millions of not just gold were spent on groupons, a bit in „sheepish momentum”, I think;.
Adding in passing <not necessarily specialized knowledge> – fifth, it is worth looking at something „new”. Specialists have it worse here, because they look mostly the same all the time. Someone new to the industry, sometimes does not know that „something is impossible” (according to the principle of A. Einstein: „Something always seems impossible until it is done”). This new does not know that something there passes for such a canon – that something is impossible.
I… does it.
Regarding narrow specialization of knowledge – this can inhibit innovation not only because of the lack of knowledge of the potential innovator about B, C or D. Specialists also often have beaten paths of development – improve the same thing over and over again, the same product. As it is, for example. fiscal cash register, then they figure out what to add to it, how to make it faster, smaller, etc. „They do not see” that the vendor and the customer need other functionalities, for example. measurably gained from purchases.
A smart parking manufacturer „is agonizing” about how to effectively sell this device of theirs, and is looking at the functionalities and features of smart parking and ew. competitive solutions and still „sees” only „A” – smartparking itself. And just add B and C and ew. D and it turns out that this new thing performs several additional functions and e.g. is thus per balance cheaper (these are elements of the new concept: „flyovers+” that is, how to solve the problem of putting parking lots in city centers, bicycle and pedestrian paths, safety and ecology, education of mainly the young „through benefits” etc.).).
If it’s so easy, why don’t your good inventions work on the market?
And that’s a good question (smile). I don’t really know either. Maybe they seem „too futuristic” to someone, because some actually seem… a bit bold. But this, according to me, is an immanent feature of innovation – it must be new.
Very new. Preferably still when this thing „won”t be old” also in a few years. That is, you need to think further than a year ahead.
The key problem of lack of implementations, I think, is the one pointed out above – a project, an innovative solution, is not yet a market implementation. In order for the latter to occur, you need a number of different premises brought together at one time (idea/concept; implementer, i.e., a group of people/team; funding; sometimes a desire to make changes in a given company or structure; courageous decisions by a person/people, etc.); and then you need a number of different factors to make the latter happen.).
For my own use, I also have a slightly innovative concept/theory to slightly change the model of operations of all sorts of funds supporting start-ups and innovation in business or e-business (VC/seed funds, Business Angel, incubators, etc.). So that they are the ones who, after analyzing and approving the innovative concept itself, hand it over to a team of people selected by them for implementation.
I realize that a little „I overturn the model activity” (VC fund in addition to the idea, must see the team that submits the idea). My caveat here is this: why does a VC fund want to entrust its (or „its”) money to strangers, often inexperienced, random people? Instead of assembling a team of good professionals (after all, they have relationships, they know where to look for these people and how much and how to offer them), promising well for the development of a particular project. Who, after 2 quarters, will continue to implement the project according to the provisions of the contracts, and not start arguing and resigning, like four randomly gathered students who thought six months ago that „it will be great”, but they were wrong.
Because, for example. The market surprised them (and how was it not to surprise them when they knew nothing/not much about it „before”?). It is an innovative theory for innovative implementations. The arguments of investors that a motivated team/people is the other half of success (in addition to the idea) is a good argumentation. But you can also motivate a well-chosen team.
Maybe even easier than randomly gathered a few people.
It would also be good if there were more places (if only on the web) „pinning” these three main determinants of success for business innovation: idea/concept, people/team and investor/finance. Maybe MobileTrends will do it? I give it a thought.
Of course, I do not claim to be right in my judgments. Just as I do not claim that the aforementioned my solutions are great or at least good. Besides, the topic was „how to be an inventor” – and here some way, methodology I showed. „How to implement innovation?” – about this it may be better to ask those who deal with it. I would also add that a few original, innovative solutions were successfully implemented, so maybe overall it’s not so bad.
There is nothing to be too greedy about.
So, to sum up: you need to want, a little orientation in the subject matter, you need to combine the known A, B and C and have in mind the needs and benefits of a given target and you get a recipe for innovative business solutions?
With me it works. Fact, supposedly I’m a little different (smile), but what’s the problem to try others? Such a technical note: no matter how we create new solutions (mind map; tables in the .xls; drawings on a napkin, slides in .ppt, Lean Canvas model, etc.) then physically write it down. Let’s not leave it in the thought/head, because it will also escape and will not be refined.
Because it also proves the principle that „as you write, you invent” – written down successive components create in the mind a visualization of the whole, and often this already shows the absence of a component. And we are able to design something that does not yet exist, also because „we see it” – some more functionality is needed in a solution. E.g. in itSPP it was already known who was to pay how much for parking, so it was only necessary to accept one or another form of regulating this payment. And that it is best to adopt the (known) simplest and most common one, this is the one adopted. And by that itSPP is simple and friendly.
Meaning there is a concept. But maybe there will be a market functionality as well.
Thank you for the interview and so I wish you implementations.
I also thank you for the interview and wish the same for myself. Projects await. Even those „invented” a few years ago, dedicated to smartphones, which did not exist back then. If someone needed to invent something – I can try to help (smile).
Also try it yourself – it can be done!