The Nature of Innovation
Matías Creimerman - Buenos Aires, Argentina - 2020-04-01

The Nature of Innovation

The human being by nature has two questions: to survive and to discover what to survive for.

In the matter of surviving, it is the innate one that makes us be who we are both individually and as a whole, the first thing is to survive, then from there the rest of things are born, surviving beats everything, even morality, honesty, etc etc.

We are one more species in this "reality" and we are even the result of "evolution", so we could even suppose that we are the survival of an "energy" or "matter" of something lower or tiny that is "evolving" to keep up with the changes in the rest of the matter and "survive".

On the question of why or for what purpose to survive, in no book will we find why it is necessary to survive, although we all have our own ideas and beliefs. Religion has been a means of understanding it, philosophy, and many other things, but as individuals and as a whole, we are experiencing the life and drawing our conclusions. We have even needed to group together to survive, as one more entity (families, tribes, teams, societies) and dynamics have emerged in the groups that have made us even forgetting the basic question of why we have to survive.

Remaining with the simplicity of self-preservation, I could consider that knowing that I am not eternal, that main impulse that makes us live should be used to maintain me as an entity in time, either with my own body and "soul" or with the inheritance of my children, because if there is something that this life gives us, it is the possibility of transmitting our tiny parts that compose us to a new being that will continue in life.

And on this simple thought, I base all my conceptualization of innovation. That is, if we want something to be maintained over time, to survive and evolve so as not to decline or exist, and even to improve in order to face the environment in which we live, we need innovation. I could extend to several concepts, even competition, but I will leave them for other posts.

We are constantly innovating, and we need to improve so that it does not get lost in time. Society even catalogues us and rewards/punishes us or qualifies us in an environment of continuous competition.

All this is just for continuous innovation and evolution.

I don't want to go too far back in history to talk about innovation in society, so I'll start with the 1st industrial revolution.

In this first revolution, man was a peasant, living off the land (he had already evolved and innovated to survive by producing the countryside and exploiting other resources). This had a limitation, the field and the land are limited like the sea, there is a certain amount of land and sea for the world and it does not reproduce. This was a situation of many confrontations between groups and tribes of humans, since the land exploited, it always gave the same amount or even less between one year and another and if there was hunger and to survive, you had to fight to eat. The cake was one and it always had the same amount of portions, all We were fighting over the same cake and the same amount of slices. We had to innovate to survive.

In the second industrial revolution, man managed to find new ways to increase production, the machinery managed to make man go out in part of the field and produce in the same time, more food. It was not only the use of machines, but also innovation in the field of fertilizers, storage, preservation, etc. It also began to exploit other resources that gave rise to new technology. What was the result? More cakes to hand out to everyone, in less time and less effort. Here we began to notice another feature of innovation, reducing costs and increasing productivity. Everything was already different, everything was improved and everything was evolving, before we used the barter, then the exchange for precious materials and then the money appeared, everything started to be part of innovation, evolution and "better" survival. Another point of innovation, improving of the well-being and the increase of tools to improve the operation.

In the 3rd industrial revolution, already with other discoveries and tools all thanks to innovation, we found themselves better positioned, but with more competition, because resources began to be scarce again, the world population and well-being increased exponentially and found us at another point to increase the cake. Electricity, photography, communication, transport, all kinds of media and tools to shorten time and improve productivity Another feature of innovation, reduce resolution time and find resolution to problems that we don't yet know to inject improvements to what exists.

The demand to survive and the offer to find the means to do so is the nature of innovation. We could say that innovation leads us to want to always build a better world for the well-being of all.

In the individual need to survive, we manage to build a group that, when faced with the requirement of a need, innovates to supply that need.

Some may see it as selfish and others as completely collaborative, but the individual need for better well-being drives those who can solve the need to drive it. Even meeting needs is meeting ours. Another point of innovation, serving others benefits us directly and indirectly.

Between the 3rd and 4th industrial revolution that we are experiencing today, a new question arose, who can, are constantly innovating for self-benefit, i.e. the pharmaceutical companies are not only researching in biology or medicine for the betterment of man, but also for retribution. The age of services, it's a question of innovate to improve themselves every day and promote reciprocal well-being between those who can and needs. We could say that innovation then is also improving the services and how to meet the demand for improving our well-being and obtaining our demands fulfilled. This also makes the world oriented to serve where there is innovation also began to be selective (if there are more cancer patients than cholera patients, it is more likely to be more invested and innovative in curing cancer than cholera or perhaps also in different times and at different levels).

The 4th industrial revolution finds us in a new paradigm, in all revolutions, always man lost jobs to evolve into new ones, always shortened times, reduced costs and increased benefits, even achieved that we evolve in less time than in all our history, 1000 years of progress are a small percentage in relation to our existence and that time is getting shorter and shorter, but automation with technology and digitization, shortened the time and did not generate the same number of jobs indirectly than in other revolutions compared to the growth and welfare of the humanity directly. That is, if we compare that 30 years ago a factory needed 5000 employees to build X amount of cars in Y amount of time, today to build that same X quantity uses less Y time and far fewer employees, the big mostly by machine. Thus, the distribution of work and individual benefits is disproportionate among different sectors.

We can understand that human progress is mainly generated by the division of labor, and throughout the ages and industrial revolutions, we were and are more and more specialized, but the machines are solving increasingly complex problems that don't even require human intervention. We are no longer competent in dealing with machines and artificial intelligence. We teach the machines how to we behaved so that they do our repetitive work, and we taught them to learn on their own, and today they have learned and even solved and improved what we were doing. We can even replicate them and even cheaply or even almost for free. With which, we lost our capacity to innovate, today they do it, and considerably a lot faster. Today there is already software with artificial intelligence that decides whether to hire humans for a project, because they're managing it themselves. Some will think that if the machines take our jobs and even they decide when to assign it to us, we will have equal but lighter work and when necessary, but even artificial intelligence evaluates our work, replicates it and self-management, eliminating those jobs for when it is required in the future and they do it themselves. This innovation, it does improve our well-being and reduces costs, but it increases the number of people without their income individually won. If we compare the number of hours required to work from 30 years ago, the number of workers and population, we notice that working hours are the same, less is needed workers and the population has increased. Even the number of university graduates in the world has increased and do not work in the area they graduated from or are areas that no longer need workers.

The nature of innovation in the digital age and 4th industrial revolution is totally different to how we've known it. Productivity is separated from human labor. This time, the machines took on that role. But what won't change is that this new era will be about improving the well-being of humanity. Now we have to innovate how we will achieve that there are no owners of the world, owners of the machines that enslave us, and that the world be a place where we can improve the welfare of all humans and everyone's basic needs are met, because the 4th revolution has already begun and the machines are between us.

In conclusion the nature of innovation is:

  • The demand to survive and the supply to find the means to do so.
  • Reduce costs and increase productivity.
  • Improve the well-being of humanity.
  • Increase the tools to improve the operation and technology.
  • Shorten production times to respond quickly to developments.
  • Reduce resolution time and find solutions to problems we don't yet know in order to inject improvements to what already exists.
  • Wanting to always build a better world for the well-being of all.
  • Serving others benefits us directly and indirectly.
  • Improve and promote mutual well-being between those who can and those who need to.
  • To improve the services and the way of supplying the demand to improve our well-being and the obtaining of our fulfilled demands.
  • To introduce improvements and novelties in the current situation in order to evolve and improve it.
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