If necessity is the mother of invention can we say that ambition is the mother of innovation? The most famous inventions that our society witnessed appeared as solutions for specific problems. The train appeared when the chariots were no longer suitable for covering long distance travels. The telephone was developed as soon as people started living scattered across the country. When the steam engine was no longer able to sustain the growing need for energy man came up the explosion engine based on fossil fuels.
Now, what problem did the iPod solve, or was it fruit of Apple’s ambition to increase its profits, its market share and the total return to shareholders? The Nintendo Wii is arguably the most innovative video game console of the last decade, yet one can not help but ask: what kind of problem does it solve? Can we say that invention is connected to needs while innovation is connected to wants?
The legion of iPod fanatics certainly did not need the device, but they wanted it. They wanted a portable, user-friendly MP3 player packed with a sleek design. Apple identified such a desire and addressed it awesomely.
The first time I wrote this post I used the word greed instead of ambition. A couple of days later I was thinking about the fact that greed carries a negative feeling with it, like if a company was only concerned with money. Ambition is a more vast word, when Steve Jobs idealized the iPod he was not pursuing money exclusively but also power, recognition and the like.
Do you think we can say that ambition is the mother of innovation?