What Does Innovation Mean?

By Maria Jones

If you stop and look around at your daily life, you will notice innovation is everywhere. Without innovators and individuals who either have ideas or create inventions, we would be no where as a society. The definition of innovation, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “the introduction of something new.” This definition is simple and to the point, but at times you may stop and ask yourself, “What does innovation mean?”

Early Innovation

In order to understand what innovation means, one must go back to prehistoric times. These were times when humans were evolving and beginning to develop tools and ways to survive. During these times, innovating meant discovering and creating new inventions to hunt, gather food and build shelter.

During the mid-1400’s, the world saw many important inventions and innovation. The Printing Press changed the way the world communicated important news and information. This important innovation led to the mass production of books. Another innovation of this time, the screwdriver, proved its importance throughout history by maintaining its relevance for centuries.

Humans evolved and centuries passed and soon innovations started to create a whole new world. The industrial revolution, which began in the United States around 1820 and ended around 1870, was an amazing time for innovation. During this time, innovation meant establishing a better world full of factories, technology and better forms of transportation. These innovations meant improved global communication and trading of goods. Buildings and structures were enhanced, steam engines opened up opportunities across the world, and a new way of living was developed.

Current Innovation

Our current way of living is incredibly technologically advanced. Today, when one thinks of the word innovation, he or she imagines new developments and inventions in the world of modern technology. The newest smartphones and mobile apps are some of the main focus of today’s innovation. Even the smallest child is able to utilize the technologies made by companies such as Apple.

People of today seem mostly intrigued by neat and simple inventions such as the Snuggie. An innovator enthused millions by developing a blanket with sleeves. Another innovation of this time includes the Selfie-Stick, which allows users to easily take their own photo using their smartphone.

Our everyday lives are consumed with innovations that are constantly being updated. Innovators work hard at taking classic inventions and upgrading them to fit modern times. For example, the classic idea of the clock has advanced into many different forms; including the digital alarm clock, smartwatches, etc. Technology advances so quickly around us, at times, it seems difficult to imagine where we will be in the next decade.

The Future of Innovation

When we think of the future, we cannot help but picture flying cars and hover-boards. We imagine something close to the Back to the Future movies. The truth is, we are not exactly sure what the future holds for innovation.

The only thing we can count on is that there will always be inspiration. There will also always be innovators willing to use that inspiration in order to create something special. Whether the innovations of the future improve the medical field or global communication, the most exciting part about the future is knowing there will be amazing new innovations to improve our world.

Innovation, along with the development of technology, has been a key factor in the success of society for centuries. Innovators improve our medicine, food, technology and general lifestyle. Innovators must continue creating ideas and inventions for the improvement and overall well-being of the world. We must not take for granted the true meaning of the word “innovation”, but instead, use it to motivate us to achieve new levels of ideas and invention.