Innovation for what – Mousetrap or Suntrap?
Just read the excellent post on ‘Wanted: More Idiots to tackle grassroots innovation challenges’ by Nalaka Gunawardene. Congratulations, Nalaka.
The point made by Nalaka is worthy of serious debate. Should you work at solutions which are in line with your innate strength, or should you find an area crying for a solution and then roll up your sleeves to do just that?
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s much cited quote “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” is obviously nonsense for innovators. The mousetrap is the most frequently invented device in American history: the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted over 4,400 patents for new designs of mousetraps; it has rejected thousands more. Who needs a mousetrap, anyway?