While conducting interviews and research on an article calling for less talk on innovation and more doing, I stumbled on the list below of somewhat unknown and starling things about innovation and thought I would share.
Most of these will not help you be a better manager or leader, but will serve you well when faced with someone who thinks innovation is either really new, only done in silicon valley or only limited to things like Facebook.
Below is a slide deck I assembled.
10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Innovation from Richie Etwaru
For those that want a bit more details, below is the list with the text from each slide above, and a link with more information for each of the 10 items.
1. YOUR EARS CHOPPED OFF -- In the 1600s, the punishment for being an "innovator" was getting your ears chopped off. You were seen as a troublemaker.
2. FIVE YEAR OLD INVENTOR -- In 2008, a British five year old was issued a patent for a "Sweeping Device With Two Heads" invention.
3. CHINA ON THE MOVE -- In 2012, China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) granted more patents than any other patent office in the world, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
4. WOMEN INVENTORS RISE (LEAN IN) -- While men still file many more patents than women, female inventors are increasing their share of U.S. Women were listed as inventors on 18 percent of all patents issued to U.S. inventors.
5. LIPITOR WINS -- Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug used to help reduce heart attack and stroke risk, represents the most valued patent in history.
6. WORD INNOVATION OVERUSED -- In 2011 the SEC shows companies mentioned some form of the word "innovation" 33,528 in annual reports, which was a 64 percent increase from five years before that.
7. WORST INNOVATIONS -- TIME's 50 worst innovations listed in 2010 include Foursquare, Farmville and the Segway. Go figure.
8. MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANY -- SalesForce.com does not even make the well-respected top 20 most innovative companies in the world list published by Booze & Co.
9. PATENT WARS HEAT UP -- In 2012 both Google and Apple spent more on patent litigation than on R&D -- 20 Billion in smartphone industry alone in two years.
10. FIRST PATENT EVER -- On July 31, 1790 Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.