There are several things that keep the world going. Love, peace and such… One thing I think a lot of us tend to look past is innovation. Not just technological or intellectual. While these are great and probably have much to do with the progress we’ve seen they’re just manifestation of the larger phenomenon of ‘ideation’.Wikipedia defines Ideation as:
“Ideation is the process of forming and relating ideas. It is important in creativity, innovation and concept development.”
A friend of mine here, has dedicated his blog to the idea of innovation and the importance of ideas. There is a theory that suggests that creation runs from the subtle to the gross. Concepts to details and so on so forth. Innovation is pretty marvelous whether you choose to believe this explanation or not. Why? Imagine arriving at computers from the need to find a faster way to process data, the airplane from the desire to fly… Its almost magical. It only takes longer.
All of innovation has a common thread which is that almost all invention is the result of utility. The finer detail here is that no-one remembers an obscure little creation- the art for art’s sake principle does not apply here. Why? Because innovation is not an art. In several ways it is more of a craft. Hence the need for application in a commercially successful way. Popular usage is what makes history dotted with massive changes.
I began with ideation, and so a bit more on that. Like all things, for ‘ideas’ to be successful structure is necessary. Hence ideation. That is to say, that if ‘ideas’ are to last in the marketplace in the form of a new product or service or an improvement in organization or process they must be structured. This is where ideation comes in.
This is what Wikipedia (also a great idea) has to say about ideation: “(n) A structured approach to thinking for the purpose of solving a problem, often employing graphics. Ideation is the conceptual phase of the design process. Feasibility studies are often performed to define the problem, identify important factors that limit the scope of the design, evaluate anticipated difficulties, and consider the consequences of the design.” Self explanatory.
While we’re at it take a look at these pages that are doing something rather interesting; turning ‘Ideas’ into a commercial idea: