It may sound like a buzzword, but there are a lot of reasons why people put a lot of emphasis on “innovation”. Innovation not only allows you to remain pertinent in the competitive market but plays a vital role in economic growth as well.
Most importantly, it actually enables you to solve critical problems. To put it in simple words, an introduction to something new is called innovation. If there is nothing new, there is no innovation; and without something new, progress cannot be made. For an individual, an organization, or the society at large, it is necessary to be innovative in order to stay relevant to the competition.
Just like Kodak―a company that used to be the world’s most trusted and widely recognized brand, practically owned the photography market. The company was dominating the professional and retail photo processing markets and was so popular among the people that “Kodak Moment” became another word for a great photo. As the technology progressed, a digital camera was invented but instead of adopting the innovation, Kodak dismissed the capabilities of the digital camera, and that decision initiated the downfall of the company.
In 1975, Steven Sasson, an Electrical Engineer in Kodak, told his bosses that he has invented the digital camera. Kodak totally ignored the digital camera because they thought that going digital would mean no more need for films or paper which would make them close down the factories manufacturing these items, and would result in a huge loss for the company.
Other companies, however, adopted the change and started implementing the new idea by producing and selling digital cameras on a larger scale. And just in a decade, the company that was once ruling the photography industry was out of this race. It’s overwhelming to see the rapid technological changes happening around us; for example, the size of the computer chips being reduced to half in size every year or so while the efficiency and the speed are being doubled. And seeing the advances in nanotechnology in the field of medicine, it’s safe to predict that in a few years we would be able to put it in people’s cells (like spinal cells or brain) to heal them and cure or at least manage certain disabilities. If you see the technological enhancements, in a very short span of time, our linear thinking of us as human beings, is not keeping up with the changes happening in the world.
For that, we need to have an exponential mindset to navigate these rapid changes. Talking about the history, before the 20th century, when people were used to driving the animal-driven carriages and carts, no one would have thought about a mechanical car, but in the early 20th century, when the first car came out and it took the masses around 10 years to adopt the change.
Over the decades, cars have been made progressively more complex with the addition of new features. Now they are more reliable, more comfortable and easier to operate as well. In the late 20th Century, the idea of having a cordless device that can fit in the pocket seemed impossible but then the first mobile phone was invented and a couple of decades later we had smartphones available for the masses. So you can see that how fast the globe changes with innovation. And the only way to survive is to adopt the change, otherwise, you will not be able to survive. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Innovation the core reason for modern existence.
At times, innovation may seem like bringing up some undesirable consequences, but we all know that change is inevitable and mostly it is positive in nature. In terms of boosting incomes, jobs, and economic growth, the potential gains of innovation are huge, but unfortunately, when it comes to adopting advanced country experience to upgrading their business processes, technologies, and products, just like any other developing country, we are not keeping up to the mark.
Despite the fact that propitious returns are guaranteed, Pakistan, over the years has still shown a lack of interest in R&D spending. From industry to services to agriculture, we are still pursuing the old technology and hoping to get a different outcome. The absence of innovation, which can enhance our technological capabilities, is one of the main reasons why Pakistan is stumbling to secure a firm foot in the global business domain. Pakistan can easily narrow the economic gap with the developed countries by focusing on innovation.
If we compare Pakistan with Thailand, Singapore, and India, in these three Asian countries, Research and Development is the core component of their knowledge capital, which leads to technological advancements by triggering innovation. We need to adopt an R&D-based culture before it’s too late. Lack of Innovation would make us unmanageably distant from the developed nations. To be able to revamp our dreary productive capacity, the state needs to assign R&D institutions to propose modern, economical, and prudent solutions to our manufacturing & agricultural problems.
This article has been submitted by M. Rizwan Saqib. He can be reached at @SaqibWrites on Twitter.
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