6 Famous Quotes About Innovation and What we can Learn from Them
Merriam-Webster defines innovation as “the introduction of something new” or “a new idea, method, or device.” However for those of us whose work depends on innovation and ingenuity, this word can take on a slightly different meaning.
The following six quotes—gathered by The Economist—are from well-know individuals dealing with the concept of great ideas, originality, and innovation:
- Great Ideas Often Take Some Convincing
Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.” Howard Aiken, computer scientist, quoted in Portraits in Silicon by Robert Slater (1989)
- Innovation is Not Always Welcomed
“Large corporations welcome innovation and individualism in the same way the dinosaurs welcomed large meteors.” Dilbert comic strip
- Focus on What You Believe is Most Important
“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea. And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” Steve Jobs, founder of Apple (1955–2011), quoted in BusinessWeek, May 1998
- Don’t Be Limited By What Currently Exists
“The public does not know what is possible. We do.” Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony (1921–99)
- You Can’t Make Improvements if You Never Look for Problems
“If it ain’t broke, break it.” Richard Pascale, academic (1938–), Managing on the Edge (1990)
- Innovation Sometimes Means Redefining the Rules
“If you can, be first. If you can’t be first, create a new category in which you can be first.” Al Ries and Jack Trout, The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing (1994)
Sound Off: What’s your favorite quote about innovation and how does it inspire you? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.