The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Innovate through Intersections

Posted by kenhoward on June 11, 2007

Every once in a while a new seminal idea appears. These are not likely the result of an inspired yoga session, or round robin brainstorming meeting. Rather, they often emerge from heavy quanitites of research, writing, and introspection by brilliant theorists and researchers.

Most ideas, however, are combinations of multiple seminal ideas. Most innovation is the result of chemistry: mixing together ingredients to create some new compound. Those who tend to be really creative innovators tend to be good at creating intersections: crossing two typically unrelated concepts to create something new. (Remember the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial?)

A Couple Great Intersections:
Home computer meets the notebook -> Laptop.
Computer meets the pocket Daytimer -> Palm/PDA
Mexican Restaurant meets McDonalds -> Taco Bell
Bell meets clock -> Alarm Clock
Alarm Clock meets radio -> Clock Radio
Classical meets Jazz -> New Age Music
Copier meets Telelphone -> Fax Machine

So if you’re interested in innovating, try creating unexpected combinations and imagine the result.


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