People often ask me, why would an independent inventor like myself think that I would have an advantage working with larger companies? And why do I think that I can possibly come up with an idea that they haven’t before, given that that’s what they do day in and day out. I mean, they hire specific people to focus on imagining new ideas, right?
There are several interesting assumptions in these questions. Yes, we’re independent, we’re small, and we’re focused. But I DO think we have an advantage as product developers.
Let me explain. After attending all these corporate meetings, I’ve finally figured it out. Everyone has a specific job to do; each employee is focused on one particular piece of this gigantic puzzle. And because they work on a piece of that puzzle, they don’t always have the opportunity to stand up over the table and look at how all the pieces come together. And really, that’s the basis of our job: what is important is that we study consumer’s wants and needs. Focusing on the big picture allows us to discover how pieces can work together, how different aspects influence one another.
I recently walked into a boardroom and realized: I know more about this particular subject than any other single person here. You have to recognize that individually, employees who have worked for ten or twenty years are experts. And that expert experience and knowledge is invaluable. But they often have only bits and pieces of the puzzle. You need to gather the lifetime of experience and knowledge these experts have to construct your own puzzle, and to make your path as smooth and your foundation as strong as possible.
It has been my experience that often times, corporations are focused on putting out fires, so to speak. Focused on preventing something bad from happening. But that leaves little room for innovation. If innovation is being shuffled to the side from inside the company, that leaves the perfect opening for you, the independent inventor from the outside.
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