1. The magic combination of inventing and innovating simultaneously.
2. A totally made up word!
When you tell muggles (those not from the toy industry) that you invent things for a living, a few things cross their minds.
Firstly, “wow that’s cool” – whilst inside they’re thinking “that can’t be a real job can it?” Secondly, their brain automatically conjures up an image of a wacky guy making stuff in a shed – that sort of ‘Robin Williams in Flubber meets Isaac Newton’ vibe.
However, as innovation and new ideas continue to take centre stage across businesses around the world, the very premise of being an inventor in today’s era is evolving.
Speaking for both sides of inventing – reviewing and submitting – I see a demand for businesses to have a mix of inventor sources, from classic to new era. Firstly, because great ideas can come from any source and secondly, those sources and methods, be it in-house or external, can provide different types of ideas.
There are the classic inventions (a magical new mech), the innovations (a new animated IP or a board game that’s built a fan base already from a crowdfunding site) and then there’s both (Paw Patrol, the magical toy mech plus the story). When you combine both, you get innoventing.
If you can create an idea that has the combination of inventing (conceiving a unique idea) and innovation (executing that unique idea so it has the ability to disrupt) then you’re ‘innoventing’ – you’ve gone beyond the raw invention and shown the vision by applying it to a commercial market.
The image that pops into my head when I think of an ‘innoventor’ is a person and/or persons (men, women, students, micro studios, mega agencies – whoever and located wherever) with octopus like arms and multidisciplined minds to output all the eclectic creative skills and disciplines needed to create awesome concepts. I’m thinking Ursula meets Steve Jobs?!
And to all those those muggles out there, it’s a real job… I promise!
Fi Murray is the founder of Making Things, an invention and innovation studio. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org