Innovation on a dime – putting all the pieces together

zink-1Little known to my peers, in August 2007 after purchasing a laptop for my dad, a marketing flyer that came with the packaging had a catchy subject, “Join the IdeaStorm website and help us to craft a new wave of products”; the actual site still exists www.ideastorm.com; at the time I submitted this idea “Bluetooth enabled printers: The technology is out, Bluetooth has demonstrated to be a reliable and fast way to transmit data. Network vendors even have Bluetooth printer adapter that sells for $99. Why not make a photo/laser printer with a built-in Bluetooth adapter?. Less cables, less weight for shipping, less space for packing and ability to share the printer without having a network (and a print server) setup.”

Fast forward 3 years, in June 2009, I received an email from this website saying “Your ideas and comments help to not only shape our future as a company, but also ensure that our customers have a voice in the developments in the products they are passionate about. The idea you submitted was implemented by the Dell Team.”; this idea was the inkless Wasabi printer; I got nothing other than a “thank you” letter and a pen made of recycled wood as a token of appreciation for my idea; my wife still gets upset for that.

Innovation comes in many shapes and forms; some innovative products or technologies are a total break-through in space; something absolutely revolutionary that changes our ways to think, behave and operate with others; take Facebook for example. Many other innovations are spin-offs of current innovative areas, like adding 2+2 to get 4; the pieces are right there screaming at us, willing to get utilized, exploited to create new innovative opportunities; a good example I like to bring here is the taxi revolution called Uber; which utilizes the social power of Facebook and clients have the opportunity to post their experiences, and drivers post on clients as well; takes advantages of Smartphones, GPS technology and direct communication between clients and drivers; and to top it like a cherry on an ice-cream; it adds a business model that simply works great.

If we were going to break these thoughts in individual areas; we can actually see a pattern: Technology, Need, Application (usage or benefit) and Personae; add them together and the idea, the actual innovation will tend to flow easily. I guess that something like that went through my mind that evening in 2007, I just took current under-utilized technologies, like Bluetooth in this case; saw a need, wireless printing, open connectivity, easy to use; spotted it’s benefits and applications and put myself on the shoes of the actual end-user to benefit from it.

Depending on your line of work, some people call them architects, others are called visionaries or innovators; I don’t put titles or monikers, but I do think that is fascinating to look around and think on a need to see what can I do with what I have around me and solve a current issue, need, desire; sometimes is even frustrating not to have the full knowledge or time to actually implement it; perhaps that’s a discussion for another day on “Why you can’t do all alone”; and is no less fascinating that adding 2+2 to get 4.

Yvan Hernandez

About

Yvan Hernandez has been with Sogeti Chicago for the last 3 ½ years. Started as Manager Consultant specializing in SharePoint and .Net and quickly became an SME for SharePoint leading the SharePoint community of practice for the next 2 years. Yvan was promoted to Senior Manager in December 2012 and currently leads the Business Applications practice. Within Sogeti USA, Yvan actively participates as SME within the Microsoft Alliance Group for Yammer after securing partnership level by obtaining his Power-User, Administrator and Community Manager certifications in 2013 and with the Business Critical SharePoint (BCSP) group; he is also a member of the National SharePoint leadership group.

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