Innovation + Plus One?

If we operate from the perspective that “true” innovation is something that is new “in the world” and has a significant impact, then it’s fair to say that most of us as individuals are not likely to reach what is a very high bar. That is just the realist in me talking, I’m not suggesting we should sulk away, giving up on any hope of being creative or coming up something new. Holding that goal in our eye is only likely to make us more successful rather than less (in my opinion). So, if alone we are not likely to meet that rather high bar, what are we to do (by the way, someone will, and if you don’t try, it won’t be you)? One of the first things we can do is look at organizations or people who have met that bar, and perhaps even seek their opinions and thoughts. To that end, this article and its opening paragraph caught my attention (as an architect by background I also found it quite evocative):

Why (wait for it, it’s a surprise!) Is the World’s Most Innovative Company of 2017

“Picture your ideal neighborhood. What does it look like? Is it manicured, with buildings set in a pattern so that everything flows together, designed for perfection? Or is it gritty and spontaneous, the kind of place where a restaurant might move into the space that used to house a dry cleaner? Boxes bearing the Amazon logo can arrive at doorsteps in either of these environments, of course, but Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, prefers the second type.”

Fast Company | Noah Robischon | 02.13.17

Yep, Amazon; surprised? Probably not, at least not if you stop to consider the impacts and the changes Amazon has had (as detailed by the full article). The impacts that Amazon has caused (intentionally or not) have been new and without a doubt have had a wide impact. Whether you like Amazon or not, it’s worth reading the article if only to put things in perspective.

So what could “we”; design technologists, architects, engineers, drafters, designers, interns learn from Amazon and their success? Their ability to fundamentally alter a landscape (as evoked in the opening paragraph), I’m not sure; single-will determination, drive and focus; application of technology to efficiency (and brutal working conditions, supposedly….)? I don’t know, but I think it might be interesting to have a someone from Amazon at a DTS (aim high, right?).

We want DTS 2017 to be about Innovation.  If you are planning to come, or might consider it, who would your ‘plus one’ be? Feel free to write in with comments, we’ll post them, we’re also open to suggestions. We’d like to have interesting guests at DTS and some guest blog writers. Tweet about #DTS, or ask to join our semi-public slack channel and start a conversation.

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