The boom in innovation

I’ve spent the past couple of hours going through my feed reader catching up on all the stories I’ve missed over the past week or so and I was struck by the enormous number and inventiveness of the new apps and hardware being reported on.

It strikes me there are several things happening at once which have come together to create this explosion of creativity:

  • The emergence and ubiquity of powerful smartphone platforms – mainly IOS and Android at the moment, it has to be said – packed with sensors
  • Cheap and scaleable cloud computing platforms which makes initial costs low and encourages experimentation and lowers the financial bar
  • The coming of age of funding platforms like Kickstarter which combine easy access to crowd-sourced funding coupled with the rapid feedback of a social network (if you don’t get to the target amount, it’s a powerful message from the market)
  • The emergence of cheap 3D printing which makes prototyping much, much simpler and cheaper. (You can buy 3D printers in Maplin, a sure sign the technology has arrived!)
It may feel a bit like the bubble in 2000, but these enablers make things very, very different this time.

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