Look at the past (3/3) – Fiction turns reality

Craziness can become brilliance

When thinking about change and progress, most of us will be aware of the importance of new technologies and developments. Blogs, seminars and magazines on the latest technological achievements and trends are a cherished source of inspiration. But how often do you consult history books when looking for ways to innovate your business?

Fiction turns reality

Many ideas seem far-fetched or even completely ridiculous at first. After laughing about it for a moment, most people will ditch these ideas in a heartbeat. We have no interest in unrealistic ideas after all…

Still, I would urge anyone to save even the most far-fetched ideas. For sooner or later, almost any desirable fantasy product turns reality. Perhaps your idea seems completely out of reach now, but what happens when a new law comes into place, when a new technology becomes available or when the price of a certain commodity drops? Is it conceivable that a development like this brings the realisation of your crazy idea within your grasp?

Many thoughts for progress that were ridiculed at the time, only proved feasible much later on. Da Vinci sketched a parachute, a helicopter and a submarine, centuries before materials, technology and proper knowledge made successful implementation possible. Jules Verne described the moon landing more than 100 years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the rocky surface. It wasn’t until John F. Kennedy expressed the wish to put a man on the moon that the required technology was developed. The bike had been around for about one hundred years when the invention of the chain transmission finally made it a truly useful form of transportation (just imagine how uncomfortable and unstable the ‘penny-farthing’ bike must’ve been).

Long forgotten wild ideas can ‘suddenly’ become feasible thanks to new technologies, fresh insights or changing public opinion.

What ancient, discarded ideas will inspire you to come up with revolutionary inventions?

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Biomimicry, using nature as a tool for innovation.3M Post-it®