It’s nearly impossible to mention Elon Musk, cofounder of PayPal and current CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, without thinking about innovation. Musk is truly a king of innovation, sharing the stage with other entrepreneurial giants as Sir Richard Branson, Oprah, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and Walt Disney, to name a few.
The quality of life as we know it wouldn’t be the same without these entrepreneurs. The value they add to our lives is priceless, from entertainment to travel to technology. Though most entrepreneurs have vastly different perspectives on how to run business or conduct leadership, one thread unites them all: innovation.
There’s a lot more to innovation than just thinking differently. You have to lay the groundwork first. The following are a few simple examples that will help you think differently:
Tech innovators are the rebels of the business world. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them, or vilify them. But the one thing you can’t do is ignore them. That’s what makes these leaders a force to be reckoned with in their respective industries.
Those who think differently push us to be greater, which to some may be perceived as “crazy.” Simply put, the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do. But before you can truly think differently, you have to build a foundation, and that starts with a unique vision.
Having vision requires thinking well beyond the basic idea. Think of the creators of Google: in the late 1990s, while doctoral students at Stanford, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched the search engine Google with a single vision – to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
In turn, Google has become one of the most profitable companies of the 21st Century. The vision here appeared far-fetched back then, but think about where Google is now. Businesses can’t survive without an online presence on Google. Your startup may not have that massive Google appeal from a product or service standpoint, but don’t let that slow your vision – even the ideas you think are truly crazy.
Vision can’t flourish without passion. Sir Richard Branson describes passion perfectly:
“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passion in a way that serves the world and you.”
The more passionate one is about solving a problem or achieving a result, the more likely one will be successful, whether that means trying to figure out how to internationalize Disney-owned content or developing strategies to reach and engage a younger audience on mobile.
For those involved in startups, a study in the psychology of innovation will provide a smoother path to successful entrepreneurship. This out-of-the-box thinking has helped me build my company into a top online travel agency. Practice these lessons daily to grow your innovative side. Your business (and personal life) will surely benefit from it.