Innovation Brings Wealth. Inhibiting Innovation Creates Poverty. If The Western World Doesn’t Pull Itself Together, We’re All Going Down The Same Path
The Need For Innovation
A while back, a dear colleague shared a post about the the need for innovation in general, and the need for innovative subjects like programming in school in particular. And just as my colleague and many others are pointing out, it’s time to bring on these forces as soon as possible — because innovation takes time.
Why Does Innovation Take Time?
For me, with previous PhD-studies of change, and in my role as a serial entrepreneur having contributed to this exact change, the question has never been “if” things take time, but “why”.
Is it because the tech developers need all this time? Not so much so. In the western countries I’ve been working in (with origin in America on my father’s side, and Europe on my mother’s), we are fortunate to have some of the most talented technicians and innovators in the world. Some are even both knife-sharp and swift as lightning. So then, is it because the adoption for individuals take time, as many people might say? Naaah, not as much as it is claimed. And the ones who insist on it, simply don’t know their digital marketing.
But if both accusations on the producer or the consumer side mostly have a scent of “blaming the victim”, then where should we look? Can it be so, that the Western countries simply live in a security-promoting culture with an extremely bureaucratic structure? Well, even if it may sound polemic, now we’re at least getting close. Compared to most of the other non-western countries I work in, we in Sweden (to name one of the countries I’m working in right now) find an immense inertia regarding everything from politicized consensus decisions, extended institutionalized investment processes, dogmatic Central Bank Governors and stiff-legged Financial Supervisory Authorities. All of them probably great to protect our sense of security, but complete killers for our innovation.
“In a world where the big fish no longer eat the smaller, but the fast eat the slow, we in Europe are more and more putting ourselves in a very tough spot.”
How Innovation Can Move At The Speed Of Light
In my company (AIAR) we have taken a giant leap into an innovation process within learning, cheered on by early adopters in the whole world. And it didn’t take any time at all. Regarding tech and adoption, it took less that six months to become the world’s most downloaded independent learning app within its segment. Instantly gaining top reviews and being downloaded in 165 countries. BUT…
….the majority of the users came from Asia.
Because there, innovation doesn’t go slowly. There it moves at the speed of light. In a world where the big fish no longer eat the smaller, but the fast eat the slow, we in Europe are more and more putting ourselves in a very tough spot.
At AIAR we are now taking a holistic approach aimed towards creating the world’s first app within micro-learning for all types of subjects. In the process we have already launched the world’s first app with AI support in learning, on Google Play. Now we are about to launch the global standard for blockchain secured certification. After that… well, the sky’s the limit.
When Innovation Escapes — And Leaders Start Lying
So what happens? Well, because of the sluggishness in the innovative forces here in some parts of Europe, and because we DO want the sky to be the limit, we at AIAR are now doing what many other wonderful innovators and golden businesses here in Europe do, we leave the country. More and more of the management now ends up in Singapore, production earlier in Barcelona, now in Ukraine (yeah, sorry forgot to mention, not ALL parts of Europe are sleeping) and later most likely going to India/Vietnam. And the target market? It’s to be found in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific in general, and South East Asia in particular.
And THAT (!) is the biggest risk with inhibited innovation, to not adjust oneself to an environment moving at rocket speed. And not supporting our next generation in their natural striving towards the digital.
People leave. Countries get intellectually impoverished. Leaders start to lie about statistics stating how good things are going (e.g. total growth instead of per capita). Compare themselves to other losers (European has-beens) instead of the real winners (the Asian tigers).
A Gigantic Museum
And suddenly we have a Europe, and unfortunately eventually even America, that more and more is becoming a gigantic museum we travel to, to see how people used to live “in the good old days”.
It’s HIGH time to wake up. And one of the most important things to begin with is the content in school. But everything is a giant chain, where nothing is stronger than its weakest link. The way to educate. The tools to learn. The strategy behind learning…
… and unfortunately we in the western world have quite a few (!) weak links there :-/
But anyway, to you guys who stay and keep fighting, keep it up — you have my deepest respect — innovation is truly the key to absolutely everything!
Me, I am doing two things. Going to Asia — “If you can’t beat them, join them” — and staying hungry. And yes, I’m hungry enough. I’m hungry like a trillion wolves. And now I’m going for the greatest of meals — c u soon :-)