Over the centuries we have come to romanticize innovation as a spark of genius in one individual—the eureka moment—in which a solution to a real world problem is suddenly solved. This fallacy indirectly tells us that some people are innovative while others simply are not. However, this could not be further from the truth.
For instance, we all recognize Alexander Fleming as the brilliant mind behind penicillin—he stumbled across this miracle medicine and single handily created the field of antibiotics. In truth, the creation of penicillin took decades and the collaboration of many individuals. While Fleming did write about his finding in 1929, he did not have the skill set to study penicillin in any detail and turn it into a workable compound, Fleming was brilliant but he was not a trained chemist.
In 1939, two chemists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain came across Fleming’s paper and immediately understood the significance of his findings. They used their skill sets to product penicillin in quantity and began experimentation of it. Once they understood that this medicine could have a profound impact on society they needed to find a way to produce it in a massive quantities—in steps the Rockefeller Foundation, which provided the necessary funding to develop methods in which it could be mass produced. In 1945, Fleming, Florey, and Chain received the Nobel Prize for medicine. So while, one man is often given sole credit in the history books for this great invention, it in fact, took the skill sets of many people to test the idea and bring it to market.
We started this post with the Fleming narrative to help alleviate the stress many entrepreneurs feel—that they have to come up with a magical business idea and execute it on their own. This is simply not true.
Building a team to help execute your idea is optimal. With a team you are imploring the talents and skill sets of many individuals. Not only do these skill sets help with execution, but they aid in the entire product development process. A team member might bring up a feature that you simply have not considered yet, or have an idea on how to broaden your market reach. Surrounding yourself with people of differing skill sets will greatly increase your chances for a successful product launch.
Collaboration is the ultimate competitive advantage for businesses in any stage—startups to multinational corporations. The individuals on your team each have a role to play in innovation, and by harnessing these talents, you will effectively build a stronger product and business.
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.
Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.