Obsession with the Next Big Thing, Game Changer, New Wave Value… How Business Leaps Beyond Ordinary to Xtraordinary

Next Big Thing — it’s the new rage, latest fad, exciting trend, serious disruption… that changes everything… According to Tom McClintock; as great as it may sound– finding the Next Big Thing is a challenging effort and the obsession to create it usually ends in failure… hence whole process is counter productive, waste of time, and many creativity resources are stifled with no tangible outcome…

According to Dr. Carl Ledbetter; venture capital firms and other investors, receive proposals daily from entrepreneurs, business claiming to have the Next Big Thing… and most get it wrong… so, as soon as the would be innovators say; they are next Microsoft, or next Google, or next Facebook… the meeting is over: There is nothing more to discuss– there is never a ‘copy-cat’ success: The Next Big Thing is never like the Old Big Thing…

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Thinking about the Next Big Thing is very tempting; it’s an unbeatable addiction to imagine a magic pill or silver bullet– everyone loves big ideas; they are flashy and they grab attention… According to Laya Maheshwari; creators of Next Big Things become celebrities and they gets– headlines, funding grants, TEDTalks, much more… maybe even a Nobel Prize. The task of changing the world, i.e.; creating the Next Big Thing is one of high stakes, requiring massive ambition, but it also offers large rewards. Hence, many companies actively encourage workers to dream big and look for the Next Big Thing…

However consider a different scenario, which operates on the premise that if a ‘big idea’ or ‘big thing’ sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The odd thing about the Next Big Thing is that the media are dedicated to the assumption that most people are dying to find out about the Next Big Thing… After all most people like ‘things’ and especially ‘big things’… But why? In this age of too little time and too many distractions, it seems odd that so many  people care so much about the Next Big Thing…

In the article Best Way to Look for Next Big Thing by Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. writes: The opportunity to innovate the Next Big Thing may be right in front of your eyes… but if you don’t turn around, or if you blink then you miss it… Seizing on a moment of opportunity is about having the right field of vision… Which means you must pay attention; look up, look down, look all around… Look for the things that other people don’t see. Chances are if you see an obvious opportunity to innovate other people see it too. So look for subtle patterns, small holes, tiny inconsistencies, minor inefficiencies… The opportunity to innovate may be something you see every day, but you will never see it if you don’t look close enough…

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That’s why it’s better to think smaller and look at what is already there. An innovation does not have to be ‘radical’ in order to be meaningful  and worthwhile… Instead of trying to find something no one has ever seen before, create extensions of current solutions. Take something that already exists and make it different with better value… Apply more an effective uses of– low-cost, high value… to transform old thing into a more efficient new thing… The key is not necessarily newer but– different, cheaper, faster… Here are three places to look for a better line of sight:

  • Find unmet needs and fill them: Examine key interactions between business and consumers and see where there are critical desires unfulfilled. Consider for example, the ways insurance companies have improved their old services by going directly to customers and determining what wasn’t getting done. When they discovered that homeowners insurance didn’t include earthquakes or that small business insurance plans didn’t include data breaches, they came up with new services accordingly… The key insight was to uncover a shortcoming or void and fill it…
  • Find inefficiencies and fix them: Observing when and where services are untimely is a great way to locate high-potential innovation initiatives. The relevant example is the recent series of simple but game-changing improvements made to travel… Now, there are tons of low-cost apps that track your flights and gates and allow you to reschedule on other airlines and manage those travel crises. At a more local level, apps for immediate car and parking services and hotel and restaurant reservations have shortened– in some cases, even totally wiped out– wait times for services you use on a daily basis… These innovations didn’t require a massive amount of capital– they were just opportunities to apply low-level technologies to existing inefficiency…
  • Find complexity and eliminate it: Identify process that is unnecessarily complicated or that rely too heavily on bureaucratic procedures and make it simpler. Getting rid of needless complexity is exactly the motivation behind innovations, e.g.; in college admissions, registration: A decade ago, getting in college was a deeply convoluted, ambiguous and stressful process. Now there are college selection ‘wizards’, where you can put in your information and receive back a list of the institutions that best match a person’s profile. Thanks to these type services, a person can submit one application for many schools… What is significant about these seemingly minor developments is their power to make a once-tortuous procedure turnkey…

In the article Next Big Things by Nina Cresswell writes: Imagine a world without Internet: Tricky, isn’t it? Then take away the mobile phone and all the handy gadgets that you use through the day… clearly you would be absolutely baffled… It’s would be terribly difficult to imagine a gadget-less universe… Hence there is an ever-increasing quest for the Next Big Thing– gadgets from sci-fi and fantasy are no longer just fiction… Also, science is forever changing the future of health care… media is widely accessible… and the world is delving deeper into full Internetification… Here are few brain-popping future prospects that are sure to become the Next Big Things:

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The ‘Internet Of Things’ is a concept which describes a kind of technological nervous system linking every human, animal, object in the world… Also, say hello to the miracle material; ‘Graphene’ and it’s going to change the future– it’s 200 times stronger than steel, more conductive than copper and 100 times more efficient than solar power. That combination of qualities alone paves the way for endless possibilities, e.g.; 70% lighter aircrafts, faster internet, longer-lasting batteries… and ability to physical bend the smartphones into a neat package…

Then there is the ‘driverless car’, which is sure to be life-changing; it’s similar to airplane on autopilot– these cars take full control– steering, accelarating, braking… all on its own…

In addition, imagine a world without wires– a ‘wireless world’… This would mean the smartphone can charge sitting in your pocket as you wander around… and no tangle of wires messing up your room… and electric cars would recharge without the use of heavy cables: Pretty nifty…Then there is the ultimate holiday bragging rights– ‘space flight’… spend a week floating weightlessly in low Earth orbit… A flight in low Earth orbit will cost about $100,000… but as technology advances prices will decrease… These are just a few of the many Next Big Things that will emerge in your lifetime…

In the article Management: Next ‘Next Big Thing by Stefan Stern writes:  Management is both science and art, and the trick of it lies in separating the good ideas from the bad, and knowing when to be scientific and when to be artful. At a time of rapid change in a highly competitive business environment, management must embrace the concept of the big idea or better yet the Next Big Thing… to think about. However, organization often think of big idea or the Next Big Thing as just ‘things’… whereas, innovation can also be relevant to people issues and human factors… Hence, increasingly many organizations are shifting priorities from a search for ‘things’ to the search for ‘human factors’…  

Suddenly it’s acceptable to embrace the importance of the human factor in business, and ‘niceness’ is back in vogue… at least for some of the time. People are talking about strategy not just in visionary terms but also in emotional ones. In era of globalization, ‘corporate social responsibility’ is maturing and growing into something more serious and substantial… Behind all this is the big ‘green’ question of sustainability that looms large… and makes the ‘human factor’ as the potential Next Big Thing…

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According to Tom Peters; good management is little more than series of closely observed Hawthorne Effects (i.e., by showing a genuine interest in workers you let them know that they real matter)… when workers know and understand that they matter they become the initiators and innovators of the Next Big Thing…

According to John Garnett; when you care about what workers care about, then workers care about what you care about… In that sense workplace conditions matter, e.g.; chairs, workspaces, lighting, break-out areas, refreshments, the way people are spoken to and involved…

These are not merely ‘hygiene factors’ (in words of the psychologist Frederick Herzberg), they are the keys to workers productivity… and commitment to success of the organization. Hence workers are more alert to the potential business opportunities and they become the ‘true creators’ of the Next Big Thing…