Research Says: 'Park In Your Garage Again'

Mar 27 2014, 3:03pm CDT | by

Research Says: 'Park In Your Garage Again'
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

There must be something magical about starting a company in a garage. We’ve heard legendary stories repeated over the years—a few rogue innovators set up shop in someone’s garage and create the beginnings of massive success. Stories might come to mind like Jobs and Wozniak, and Hewlett and Packard. They conjure up images of secretive prototyping, overnight brainstorming and tinkering, and change-the-world vision. It makes you wonder what is it about garages and innovation?  Is it about a being in a space where you can’t damage anything, or where you won’t be bothered? Is it about being in a place that’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and probably a bit dusty? Is it really about the garage at all?

null

Consider 11 year-old Cassidy Goldstein of Scarsdale, New York. In 1999, she was frustrated by broken, short, crayons. She invented the Crayon Holder—a plastic device that holds even a stub of a crayon so that a child can still color. Consider this for a second. Crayola has been making wax crayons since 1903. No one ever got frustrated by broken crayons? Goldstein didn’t need a lab, or a factory, or even a garage to innovate.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger had a simple idea for their second app. They wanted to make an app that made it easy to share photos online—with cool, one-click, digital filters. At first it may not have sounded like that big of an idea. But, just two years (and 13 employees) into it, the simple idea was sold to Facebook for $1 billion. You’ve probably already figured out we are talking about Instragram. Once again, no garages were involved, except for parking cars.

Or, consider jet fighter squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Albert J. Amatuzio. After flying numerous missions, Amatuzio became curious about the synthetic lubricants being used in jets. How did they function so well in temperature extremes? How did they reduce engine friction better than petroleum lubricants? But, most importantly, if these synthetic oils worked so well for jets, why weren’t we using them in car engines? Amatuzio launched the first synthetic oils for automotive purposes in 1972. AMSOIL is now an important name in motorsports. …okay, maybe a few garages played a role, but Al wasn’t going to drive his test engines into the living room.

The point is; there’s a little piece of genius existing in these and thousands of other stories that often seem to get lost when they come from places other than garages. What is that little slice of genius? It’s simple: intention.

A study conducted by Forbes Insights in conjunction with the O.C. Tanner Institute, revealed findings that might change the way you think about innovation. The innovators themselves may not be geniuses at all. Instead, the study proved that award-winning work is not determined by intellect, or attributes, or even trends. In fact, innovation, according to the study is derived by something much more simple and easier to grasp—the simple intention to make a difference people love. As it turns out, this intention was the guiding force of all innovative, award-winning work analyzed in the study.

null

  • Focus on the people: Whether you’re trying to innovate a product, a process, or an experience, focus your attention on the people who you are trying to affect. Your innovation might be geared at simplifying workflow for your team, or offering fantastic service to a customer. Think about them, watch them, talk to them, and dream about them. Climb inside their world, and get to know it better than they do. Write down their names, what they care about, what frustrates them, what they are really trying to do and why. You will discover innovative ideas that are grounded in real human need.
  • Ask what difference would they LOVE? We often don’t think about what we could do beyond the boring checklist of “satisfies expectations.” This isn’t about satisfaction. Nor is it about tiny improvements that they may possibly like. When you ask yourself what people would LOVE, you change and elevate your thinking. You ignite your passion. To get your ideas flowing in new ways, consider things people naturally value like autonomy, well being, nurturing, connection, ease, excitement, security, etc. The more you think about new elements of value, the more paths you will see to real innovation.

As simple as these things may sound, they are often the most unpracticed elements in our daily work. Maybe there is a special magic inside a garage. However, each of us can create our own “innovation garage” right in our own cube, or office or workspace by intentionally setting out to make a difference people will LOVE.

Oh, and by the way, if the garage pictured above seems to strangely ignite your creative juices, you’re not alone. This was the original home of a little company named HP—considered by many as “the birthplace of Silicon Valley.”  It was a great place to start a company. But, it also looks like a great place to park a car.

David Sturt and Todd R. Nordstrom work with the O.C. Tanner Institute. Learn more about the NYT Bestselling book Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love, from McGraw Hill. You can also subscribe to the O.C. Tanner Institute monthly newsletter, Appreciating Great Work, here.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

US nurse beat Ebola released from hospital
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS/EFE) Amber Vinson, one of the two Dallas nurses who cared for an Ebola-infected Liberian man and then infected with the virus themselves, was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Tuesday after a 10-day stay.
 
 
Chinese peacekeepers to help build Ebola quarantine center
United Nation, Oct. Oct 29 (IANS) The Chinese contingent of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will help build an Ebola Quarantine and Control Center in the capital city of Monrovia, a UN spokesperson said here Tuesday.
 
 
Obama urges not to discourage health workers going to West Africa
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) US President Barack Obama warned Tuesday that returning healthcare workers should only be monitored "in a prudent fashion" and not be discouraged from going to West Africa to help curb Ebola outbreaks.
 
 
Pakistan for normalised ties with India 'despite provocations'
Islamabad, Oct 28 (IANS) Pakistan Tuesday told a senior US official that it wants normalisation of relations with India despite the "recent provocation of hostilities" along the border and also sought the international community's intervention in the "core issue" of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

US unmanned spacecraft explodes shortly after launch
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) An unmanned spaceship operated by a private US firm exploded just minutes after its launch Tuesday, media reported. The rocket blew up over the launch complex at Wallops Island, Virginia,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
A$AP Rocky and Chanel Iman split
A$AP Rocky and Chanel Iman have reportedly ended their engagement. The 26-year-old rapper, who secretly proposed to the Victoria's Secret model in April after less than a year of dating, recently split from the 23-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Australian troops conduct G20 security training
Sydney, Oct 29 (IANS) Australian special forces troops have conducted G20 training exercises involving a mock hostage recovery operation in Brisbane Tuesday. Australian Defence Force spokesman for the G20, Maj. Gen....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Nick Jonas angry over band split?
Los Angeles, Oct 29 (IANS) Pop star Nick Jonas is reportedly angry with his siblings over the breakup of their band - The Jonas Brothers. The trio disbanded in October last year after pulling out of a North American...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Chinese peacekeepers to help build Ebola quarantine center
United Nation, Oct. Oct 29 (IANS) The Chinese contingent of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will help build an Ebola Quarantine and Control Center in the capital city of Monrovia, a UN spokesperson said here Tuesday...
Read more on Business Balla
 
IS captures three gas wells in Syria
Damascus, Oct 29 (IANS) The Islamic State(IS) militants Tuesday captured three gas wells in Syria's central province of Homs, media reported. The IS captured the gas wells east of Palmyra in Homs after intense clashes...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin's split wasn't dramatic
Jennifer Lawrence's split from Chris Martin reportedly ''wasn't dramatic.'' The 'Hunger Games' actress quietly decided to end her relationship with the Coldplay frontman a few weeks ago after four months of dating...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Eddie Redmayne just wants to pay his mortgage
Eddie Redmayne says he is just trying to pay his mortgage. The 'Les Miserables' actor, who is set to marry antiques dealer Hannah Bagshawe in December, claims he doesn't consider himself ''a movie star'' and doesn't...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jane Lynch finalizes divorce
Jane Lynch's ex-wife Dr. Lara Embry received millions in their divorce. The 'Glee' star, whose split from clinical psychologist was finalized on Monday (10.27.14), following their separation in February 2012, reportedly...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
David McIntosh keen to marry Kelly Brook
London, Oct 29 (IANS) Following their recent reconciliation, actor David McIntosh says he wants to marry his on-off girlfriend Kelly Brook. The 28-year-old star is eager to wed the model in Mykonos, Greece, reports...
Read more on Celebrity Balla