Innovating from a lack of talent

Innovation comes from many sources. Many great inventors and entrepreneurs have developed inspired transformation from the seed question “where’s the pain?” …

Take photography for example … How did the inspiration for photography come about? What inspired the first mover in this field?

In short, it was a lack of talent!

In 1833, Henry Fox Talbot was on his honeymoon. Standing by Lake Como he wanted to capture the moment, but was frustrated by his poor drawing skills, and not a little jealous of the ability of his wife and sisters to sketch the scene!

He reflected: “…the idea occurred to me. How charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remain fixed upon the paper … And why should it not be possible, I asked myself” …

And from that moment, Henry Fox Talbot set about tackling the challenge of finding ways to capture images.

Of course the development of cameras and photography had many contributors and many inspirations, from the first crude cameras and light sensitive papers to the smartphones we all carry today …

Many of these innovations arose from passionate people applying their talent and their energy to solving a problem that caused them and others pain or difficulty.

That’s a good point to bear in mind, wherever you find a problem or a pain, there’s a potential solution, product or company lying in wait!

So some handy questions arise:

  • Where’s the pain experienced in your life, in your team, with your products, by your customers?
  • What’s the pain experienced by the customer no one yet serves because no one yet recognises their pain?
  • What opportunities for beneficial chance could come from addressing the causes?