Innovate or Die Column February 1, 2018

Over the years I have chosen to illustrate stories of successful innovation. I write about companies that I personally know have done something highly creative and innovative to grow new revenue; or solve some other major barrier to success from hiring to legal issues.

But now I’m opening this opportunity to all readers who are interested in having their company featured in my column.

All you will have to do is send me a one paragraph description, of less than 500 words, of what your company did innovatively that successfully grew new revenues or solve the major challenge.

Andrew Weiland gave me the go-ahead with this idea. He shared his philosophy about this experiment. “The Biz Times believes in interacting with its readers. This presents an opportunity to increase our interaction and we are more than willing to support this interesting initiative”.

So if you are selected I will interview you in-depth and then feature you in my column. That in turn gives public recognition to your company; and then you can share it with customers and potential customers.

In a world where you are overwhelmed with thousands of ads per day, being written about in the media is far more effective than paying for expensive advertising.

So feel free to submit your paragraph to me at: dan@bizstarts.com; cell number 414-430-2204 if you have any questions.

Now here as an example that illustrates the single most important step in innovation: clearly identify the problem or challenge/opportunity that needs to be solved.

On October 4, 1957 the Russians Sputnik was launched into orbit. It was the first man-made satellite.

It stunned Americans and created demand to keep up with the Russians. The biggest worry was the military advantage that came with Russia owning the space above us.

President Ike Eisenhower used the crisis as an opportunity to launch an American effort to make it in the space.

According to Walter Isaacson in the book The Innovators the President assembled a team of scientists to work on a plan to launch satellites into space under the auspices of the Pentagon.

The scientists made clear that  goal this could not be accomplished without collaboration between some of the greatest research scientists in America and leading manufacturing companies in the private sector.

So 1958 MIT’s Joseph C.R. Licklider recruited a team Call Command-And-Control Research to create the possibility of time-sharing and real-time activity between scientists, industry and the military.

It led to the invention of connecting electronically through the Intergalactic Computer Network.

But researchers were reluctant to join the network because they were worried about sharing their computer research with anyone. That led to the creation of ARPANET; which was a series of minicomputers that would do the routing at the same time erecting a wall to all the research.

In order to send as much research information over the Internet,  they created a method of breaking messages into small units dubbed “packets”. That invention could be credited to Paul Baron of Rand Corporation. Breaking large information found into transmittable size led to the notion of bits and we are now familiar with that concept today.

Despite all that progress the ARPANET was still not the Internet.

It took the collaborative research of Harvard’s Bob Metcalf to create a coaxial cable that provided the high-bandwidth for system he named ethernet. Step-by-step the Internet was being built. At some point they realized that every computer needed to adopt the same method and template for addressing the incoming packets of information.

The result was the Internet protocol IP and it can be recognized by: https://   that precedes websites.

Bottom line is that the Internet then became a reality. It was built partly by the government, partly by private firms partly by scientists in and loosely interacted through the network finally called the Internet.

It took until the 1980s that the Internet moved from basically a “gated community” open to primary researchers at military and academic institutions to civilian counterparts across the United States and then the globe. That in turn led to the creation of the personal computer.

You can relax, your creative breakthrough that help your company does not have to be as dramatic as the creation of the Internet!

I look forward to receiving your creative breakthroughs and how it led to disruptive services or technology.

Dan Steininger, president of BizStarts and president of Steininger & Associates LLC which helps companies drive new revenues through innovation. He can be reached at dan@bizstarts.com

 

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