One of the things I find most fascinating is making associations, making connections between seemingly disconnected ideas. At this time I am working on how to be innovative in missional research. By missional research I mean discovering the best ways for Christ followers to apply their apprenticeship to Christ in a specific local context and that especially when the apprentice is of a different culture than the context. The European Missions Research Group (emRG) is a great example of this kind of innovation.
Today I found an encouraging video on successful innovation. Henry Blodget, CEO & Editor-in-Chief The Business Insider, asks a few people, “There is Pleanty of unsuccessful innovation in the world. If you had to boil down your keys to successful innovation what would be your top three?” The answers were great but the ones that really struck home for me came from Marc Andreessen who has been an amazing innovator in internet software and is often a keynote speaker in Silicon Valley conferences. He inspired me this morning. You can watch the video below but let me quote a couple of things he said in response to Henry Blodget’s question about the keys to successful innovation:
“There has to be very very strong vision, which, by vision I mean there has to be a very strong understanding of context. Its what you find in all the great innovators, in my experiance. They really understand how things work today, they really understand how technology works today, they really understand how technology is being used and they can just see in their head, just see there is a better way to do it.”
Who innovates, “Almost always only one or two or a very small team of people. … And its gotta be the right people, got to be people who have a real vision, and a real idea, and a lot of drive and a lot of knowledge.”“Determanation, it doesn’t magically happen over night and in a lot of cases it takes itteration, it takes refinement, it takes changes of plans. And so the willingness to stick with it and continuiously addapt and fundamentally not give up, I think is a recuring theme. Marc Andreessen co-founder, General Partner Andreessen HorowitzIt takes time. and fundamentally not give up.”