Technology has enabled creativity of ideas, ease of finding commercial opportunities and access to resources for selling and marketing those ideas as well as managing rapid growth around the world. In the past decade, upcoming technologies have led to an explosion of innovations like GPS, Skype and iPod.
(1a) Who were the key innovators and what factors enabled them and propelled them to pursue this innovation?
GPS was first established in Tallinn, Estonia. It was in the 20th century when this innovation came into being when the country was under the rule of U.S.S.R. and control of Soviet Union: FinishTelevision. In 1971, the Finish Broadcasting Company built a tower reaching the north of Estonia. This gave Estonians an opening to the west that could not be blocked by the Soviet Transmitters hence giving them a way to western thinking that geared them into becoming world leader in technology. It originated in 1960s during the World War II, for intelligence and military applications.
Its discovery was inspired by ground based radio navigation that was in existence during the above-mentioned war and the Soviet launch of Sputnik. It was in this Soviet era that Skype was launched. Skype was propelled by the need to communicate while sharing pictures and videos. Jaan Tallinn was one of the founders of Skype, who was among the spirited entrepreneurs among Estonians after Soviets Unions collapsed, and Estonia acquired independence and left with a platform for computer development.
The birth of iPod can be dated back in 1954 from the introduction of transistor radio that was followed by progressive series of electronic digital technologies. IPod was created by Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. He was reviving Apple, which was in complete disarray when he realized that revolutionizing Apple’s line of product would focus primarily on music and eventually catch up with the rapidly growing market. By innovating iPod, he succeeded in changing the preferences of the consumers and providing them with what they wanted in a portable music device.
(1b) When does innovation occur? Can it be encouraged?
Innovation occurs when there is a good atmosphere for development. This is in an environment where people can think in unusual and creative ways. Innovation requires thinking away from the ordinary and careful attention in allowing unconventional thinking. The success of any innovation can be generated by interaction among individuals talented differently as they are mostly seen as a source of unforeseen originalities and resources. Innovation is likely to occur when there is a gap in a market and there are suitable conditions for a development of a new strategy or modification of existing strategies to better ones. An example is the innovation of GPS, iPod and Skype that was intended to fill a gap within projects for different goals. The Soviet Applications provided a convenient environment for SKYPE and GPS while iPod was enabled by rapidly growing technology within the Music industry.
Companies can encourage innovation by establishing a vision that embraces better changes. By creating challenges and inspirations, people are pushed to stretch and make a current strategy broader. This inspiration creates excitement and passion that carries one through any innovation. Organisation can also encourage innovations by creating a space within the work place where individual from disparate backgrounds meet to favor informal collaborations from which innovative outcomes can occur.
Technology is advancing at a very high speed and, as a result, needs of people are changing rapidly with companies in a changing their structures to fight competition. Moreso, the global economy is open sourced thus introducing many new agents into creative processes. It then calls upon potential innovators to create and implement innovative ideas for a better tomorrow.