At the birth of almost every innovation, the innovator always thinks and does something nonsensical. This means No matter if you are the boss, team leader or soloist with office dog: Please allow nonsense! …
Innovation does not need a human being. Innovation makes no sense at all. Never! Think about it! There are many suitable examples. Let’s just take the “roll case” …
… so the suitcase with rolls down to it. Normal suitcases, because today there are only boxes with wheels. But not so long ago, this innovation did not exist. Hard to imagine, but all the cases were dragged and not rolled. That’s how it was. Did we desperately wait for the roller case to arrive? – Of course not!
A real man carries his suitcase himself
The society was designed before this invention for the “role-less”. At stations and airports, there were porters who carried the heavy luggage for a fee – or you just wore it yourself. (Or the grandson, who had to accompany the grandma to the station for this purpose.) So it worked!
But then came the year 1970 and Bernard Sadow had to wait with his wife at an airport in Puerto Rico at the customs clearance – loaded with two heavy suitcases and no porter was in sight. But he saw a luggage cart! And when he got it, his suitcase and baggage carts blurred into one and the same thing: the wheeled suitcase!
Back at home, he set to work and built a prototype: four rolls from the hardware store screwed down, attached a flexible band for pulling – then he applied for a patent for the construction.
Innovations are ALWAYS nonsensical
However, as always, the beginning was difficult: he tried to offer his rolling suitcase to various New York department stores. The response was underground: a suitcase with wheels? Completely crazy! Trailing a suitcase like a dog on a leash? That does not make anybody! And anyway: A real man carries the case itself!
Exactly this defense reaction is what I want to point out:
Innovations are ALWAYS nonsensical, Unusable, Superfluous. Do not think anyone would have waited for your good idea!
- Post-it Notes: Why should we get any colored notes anywhere?
- Thermomix: Who wants to spend a lot of money on a heatable mixer?
- Navis: Why install a device in the car, if you know the route anyway or just look in the Shell Atlas can?
- World Wide Web: What? What for? Such a nonsense!
The birth of every innovation: something nonsensical
Everything complete mischief … in the respective time, when the innovations came up. But precisely because they contradict the current “sense”, nonsensical innovations are so valuable. Ludwig Wittgenstein has expressed it wonderfully:
At the birth of almost every innovation, the innovator always thinks and does something nonsensical. This means: Whether you are the boss of a company, head of a marketing department or a solo entrepreneur with an office dog: please allow nonsense!
As an inspiration, here’s the link to a carpentry workshop where employees are encouraged to design bold and nonsensical products and offer them to customers. One of the reasons why the small joinery is today a premium supplier of world market leaders in aircraft and yacht construction.