Inside the Box

The practice of systematic creativity

Are You Sitting On the Next Big Thing?

More than 70 percent of us think so, but barriers stand in our way.

A new study by Philips North America suggests that nearly two-thirds of North Americans consider themselves innovators, of which a majority (72 percent) believe they are sitting on an idea for “the next big thing,”  and just need money and ‘know how’ to develop it.

Almost half of respondents feel the best innovations come from individual inventors (47 percent) and startups (24 percent), followed by academics (13 percent) and corporations (11 percent). However, one in two people said financial support from big companies is the key to achieving successful innovation, followed by mentor relationships (47 percent) and government incentives (44 percent).
Many respondents feel that lack of money and a narrow mindset are the top barriers to preventing people from innovating, indicating the need for collaboration with and support from big companies:
•             Lack of money (70 percent)
•             Narrow/stifled mindset (41 percent)
•             Unsupportive corporate culture (40 percent)
•             Government regulations (37 percent)
North Americans feel that successful innovation has a purpose beyond creating technology for technology’s sake. Sixty-two percent of respondents said successful innovation improves lives, makes daily life easier (57 percent) and meets an unmet societal need (33 percent).
Healthcare (57 percent) was cited as the top area where innovation can improve lives, followed by work/life balance (38 percent), education methods (33 percent), technological solutions for the home (30 percent) and public transportation and infrastructure (30 percent).

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Learn more about Philips and its focus on innovation in Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results for its use of the Subtraction Technique to create the Slimline DVD player.



Copyright 2014 Drew Boyd


Drew Boyd is a professor of marketing and innovation at the University of Cincinnati.


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