In the good old days, computers weighed thousands of pounds, took up four stories, worked on something called vacuum tubes and had to be fed punch cards just to work. It is actually kind of impressive that machines like that were capable of managing air traffic or running a nationwide system for taking airline reservations. Just imagine trying to play Tetris on something like that. Obviously, the power of computers has gone up while the size has gone down. Most people have heard the line that there is more computing power in a current smart phone than there was at all of NASA when they first landed on the moon.
While it is probably not a good idea to try and invent a way to repopulate the lunar surface by using your Android, it does bring up an interesting point. With all of this power and technology available in the palm of our hands, the possibilities for what a person can invent and be successful at are endless. It just takes a little creative thinking.
In 2008, Travis Kalanick was attending a conference in Paris and having trouble getting a cab. Most people probably would have done nothing about it, except complain to their friends when they get home, but Travis figured there had to be a better way. He wondered if, instead of calling several different phone numbers and hoping for the best, what if there was a way to put out a request to a pool of drivers, letting them know where he was. He went back to San Francisco and for the next two years, he and Garrett Camp worked on creating such a program. Today, Uber is in 200 cities in 55 countries, and is valued at 41 billion dollars.
Certainly it would be nice if every innovation could result in such a high level of success, but even if the numbers change, the blueprint remains the same: find a need that is not being filled and fill it. They did it by starting on their own, working out the bugs and creating a system that worked. Then they did the hardest part: they got it to the people who could do something with it, and that skill is one of the most important start-up business models to emerge in the last few years.
Bridging the gap between inventor and investor is a crucial component to achieving success, and that is why it is best left to professionals. Having a company that can make sure an innovation is ready for the market and also has the tools to take it to the next level can spell the difference between having a great invention and telling a great story about the one that got away. The idea may be as simple as "I need a better way to get around," but it may also be the idea that revolutionizes the world.
http://www.thejumpstarters.com Jack Terry is a freelance writer and blogger who covers emerging trend in 21st century technology while fearing for his life in the back of NYC taxis.