Commentary

Remembering The Wow Factor

We are fortunate to live during an incredible time; revolutions are driven by 140 characters, I can share a life-changing moment with the world in six seconds or less, and people are empowered to change the world like never before, thanks to endless innovations, constantly emerging technologies and cutting-edge ideas.

It seems like every day there is a new social-sharing platform, a “game changing” data mining company or even a platform promising to turn the world of online video content upside down. However, in a world inundated by new technologies and digital platforms, it’s easy to become numb to this flood of innovations trying to attract attention from businesses and consumers alike.

The reality: there are a myriad of transformational, mind-blowing, magical, quirky inventions and ideas being introduced daily that have the ability to disrupt and advance our lives. For inspiration, here are three wow-worthy examples of innovations that go beyond fad, to the truly transformational:

*Google Glass is a wearable device many have dismissed as another fad or Google prototype being pushed upon marketers as a new revenue source. But to Aleksandra Blaszczuk, a 26-year-old recent quadriplegic, this isn’t just an expensive ‘fad’; Google Glass is allowing her to do things she never thought she would be able to do again – like taking pictures and taking video as she uses the technology to reclaim her ability for self-expression and self-reliance.

*Hövding, a radical and revolutionary bicycle helmet that is so unnoticeable it is actually invisible, provides riders with an airbag for the head without the bulk or (often unattractive) look of a standard helmet while delivering paramount protection. As more cities around the world introduce bike share programs, Hövding provides an innovative solution that can help make the roads safer for cyclists.

*For those who don’t see 3D printing’s value beyond creating fun die-cast figurines for your desk, look at LayerWise, a Belgian company who has used 3D printing to provide an 83-year-old British woman with the first 3D printer-created jaw transplant.

Innovation is no longer solely reserved for mad scientists and those trained in the art of technology. Smart and creative ideas -- the heart of invention -- can even manifest themselves in new strategies and ways of working. Take Beyoncé, who released her latest “visual” album exclusively via iTunes on a Friday morning without any pre-release announcement, going on to quickly shatter iTunes sales and Billboard records. Without a single ad, she turned the music world upside down, causing even the best in the business to evaluate how secrecy can be used to power surprise and delight.

While these are only a few of the thousands of innovations and disruptive ideas changing the status quo and altering our world, there’s still plenty to tout. Whether it is an invention that promises to advance the state of healthcare, evolve the education sector, empower emerging markets or simply provide a “cool” tool to attract attention, we must never forget the wow factor. Embrace it with open arms.

 

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1 comment about "Remembering The Wow Factor".
  1. Gray Hammond from Quire , February 19, 2014 at 10:32 a.m.
    Glad you mentioned new strategies (models) and ways of working (process). Too many think Innovation = Invention only.