“I believe inventors are the key to solving the big problems we face today. Economics is a system, like any other. And systems are man-made. We need to tweak and reform our current system. Inventors have a unique perspective on how to fix things – they are a class of people that are habitual problem solvers. They have a fresh set of eyes to engage problems with.”
That is the answer Thomas Frey of the Da Vinci Institute gave to my final question in our interview. I had asked him what role he thought inventors could or should play in repairing our economy. His response was spot on, in my opinion.
Recently, I’ve observed a trend on the blogs and threads of inventor communities. Fear. You believe that this is the wrong time to submit your ideas to companies – that companies are so worried and so focused on simply staying afloat that innovation is out of the question and definitely out of focus. How much attention can your outside idea possibly receive when employees are being laid off?
Some aspects of these statements are true – a lot of companies aren’t focusing on innovation because they’ve got other, more pressing fires to put out. And many companies are being forced to downsize. But I don’t agree that this necessarily means the time isn’t absolutely right to submit your ideas. In fact, I believe the complete contrary.Numerous factors have combined to make this possible.
Some of the first people to be cut are probably within the research and development sector, the people who are innovators within the company. And I’ve written before about the changing corporate climate in regards to outside innovation. Companies are accepting and seeking product submissions more than ever before. Use this opportunity. Provide struggling companies with a solution.
Many of these same threads and blogs reflect a common fear of inventors and a struggle they face – who to contact, and how to do it. Don’t use the economy as an excuse before you’ve even begun. Innovation prevails through hard times, and prospers in spite of it.
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