Innovation is the Saving Grace

Photo from 

I don’t care what anyone else says – we are living in absolutely amazing and fascinating times!  I totally believe that innovation is going to continue to drive us to fantastic heights (it may take a while and be painful in the interim, but there’s a lot to look forward to).

I know the doom and gloom police are going to come after me, but there are things happening right now…actual physical products and breakthroughs…that make me feel like I used to feel when I was a kid reading Science Fiction books and thinking "wouldn’t that be cool…!".

This started because of a discussion I had this afternoon talking about my Christmas present this year.  I got an Ipod Touch.  I’ve had an ‘old school’ Ipod for about 4 years and always really enjoyed it, but it never really struck me as a ‘wow’ type of thing.  It had great functionality, it could do what it did really well and was very intuitive, but it wasn’t really something you would show off.

The Ipod Touch does all the stuff my original Ipod did and a huge amount more.  Music, movies and there are thousands of applications that you can download via the wifi capability.  If it was just eye candy, then it wouldn’t be a big deal, but there’s a lot of cool things you can do with it, some of the even practical.  I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials, but you need to check one of these out (or an iPhone). 

But the really cool thing is that as great as the Ipod Touch is – there are lots of other amazing innovations out there (most of them with a bigger long term scope).  Check out a few recent ones that I thought were really cool!

1.  Tesla Roadster – New Age Performance!

I have to admit that I’m fascinated by the Tesla Roadster.  Now that people are getting the chance to drive production models (they’ve already had their first wreck) it’s moved out of the prototype idea and is a real tangible breakthrough in what’s possible.  This is a wholly electric car that can outperform anything else that’s out on the street!

From an overall socioeconomic perspective, a sports car sounds like a waste (especially at $100,000 price point).  But it was done this way on purpose.  Now they not only have proven that the performance is possible, but they have also gotten the public’s attention by cultivating a powerful and wealthy customer base.  The next steps are to refine the capabilities and cost to generate affordable electric performance for everyone.

2.  A new way to detect cancer (early)

Cancer is bad news all the way around, but one of the things that’s made it really difficult to deal with (medically) is that historically they couldn’t really detect it until symptoms started showing up, meaning that it was already established and much harder to get rid of.  A group of medical engineers at Massachusetts General have developed a Cancer Detection Tool that uses new technology to get a 99% detection rate of cancerous cells in a way that’s quick and easy to use.

This is a tool that can be used to give instant feedback to doctors now and could be developed for inexpensive public screenings in the future.  It’s not a cure for cancer, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

3.  Water everywhere and not a drop to drink – until now!

More than a million people (mostly children) die from a lack of quality water every year.  Existing water treatment methods address some of the issues, but generally don’t cover what’s needed.  However Proctor and Gamble recently developed an amazing Water Purifying Powder that not only makes the water safe to drink, it actually removes all of the particles (dirt and other stuff)

For just a few cents, 2.5 gallons of water can be treated – making it an extremely affordable way to get clean drinking water.  In fact, Proctor and Gamble were going to give up on the product because there wasn’t a way to legitimately make money on it.  Luckily one of their executives championed to create a non-profit to create and distribute this stuff out to the world!

We live in amazing times – if new technology can make water drinkable, cheaply, quickly and easily detect cancer, deliver unbelievable performance with an electric engine and entertain millions of people in thousands of different ways, we can solve all sorts of problems!

Share your thoughts on new technology that you find amazing!

Shawn Kinkade   Kansas City Business Coach