AI Business Consultant

Future Sources of Innovation - Big Companies, Startups, and AI

14 April, 2024

Investors and business leaders perpetually scan the horizon, seeking the next seismic shift that will reshape industries and propel humanity forward. The allure lies in being early adopters, riding the wave of change, or at least avoiding being swept away by it.

Historically, we associate game-changing innovations with industry giants. These behemoths have left an indelible mark on our world, from Apple revolutionizing personal computing with the iPhone, to Google's transformer architecture that kickstarted a new era of artificial intelligence.

Small Companies and Their Prescient Thinking

However, a deeper look reveals a surprising trend - small startups are eight times more likely to come up with groundbreaking ideas than the largest corporations. As one expert put it, "Startups don't have a lot to lose. They can try something wild and crazy, and if it doesn't work out, no big deal."

The cost of pivoting and going after a different customer segment is low — whereas if a big established company tries to radically reshape its business model, there's probably going to be a lot of obstacles. This agility and willingness to take risks allows startups to think beyond the constraints that bind industry giants.

The Elusive Spark of Conception

We often celebrate the moment of creation—the unveiling of a groundbreaking product or service. Yet, the true innovation lies not in the final outcome, but in the invisible journey of conception.

Innovation is not a linear process with a single eureka moment, but an organic, meandering path filled with unexpected turns. The tangible breakthrough masks the complex web of ideas, serendipitous connections, and intuitive leaps that gave birth to it.

How AI can Help Us come up with innovative ideas in future

Interestingly, artificial intelligence itself may hold the key to unlocking future innovation. Language models like BERT are essentially "prediction machines" - they generate new text by learning from vast troves of existing information and anticipating the most plausible next words.

Researchers have found that by running these models in reverse, analyzing how "perplexed" they are by historical statements, they can identify ideas that were truly novel and ahead of their time. The assumption is that the model represents the general imagination of the time,. So if a statement perplexes the model, it would have perplexed your peers. This offers a fascinating window into the conception of groundbreaking ideas.

Path Forward

As we peer into the future, openness becomes our compass. Welcoming diverse voices—outsiders, mavericks, and unconventional thinkers—fuels innovation. These disruptors challenge assumptions, spark new connections, and illuminate fresh perspectives that industry veterans may have overlooked. They are the catalysts that ignite the sparks of game-changing ideas.

So, investors and leaders, look beyond the obvious. Seek inspiration from the audacious startups, the unexpected visionaries, and the uncharted territories. The next paradigm shift might emerge from the most unlikely corners. And remember, innovation isn't just about creation; it's about conception—the invisible dance of ideas that shape our world.

Contact Me