What do DJ Danger Mouse and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have in common? They’re examples of one of the main engines of innovation: the mashup. Some innovations involve the creation of something entirely new. More often, innovations combine existing concepts from different domains. The concepts are well understood. The innovation comes from mashing them up — combining concepts to create something new.
What do you get if you combine wheels with luggage? Rollable luggage. (Why did it take us so long to figure that out?) What do you get if you add a power supply? Self-propelled luggage. That sounds like a good business idea.
We even have jokes that follow the same pattern. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite. (I didn’t say they were good jokes).
Mashup thinking can lead to stunning new product development, devices, tools, and processes. What do you get when you cross an X-ray with data processing? The MRI. Mashup thinking is also fairly easy to master. You just add things together. Sometimes the result doesn’t make sense but often times, it leads you to an intriguing discovery. If you want to be more innovative, think about doing the mash.
So, what do DJ Danger Mouse and IEDs have in common? Well, watch the video.
How do you stimulate innovation in your business or organization? The same way you get a kid to eat broccoli. You can’t get a kid to eat broccoli by pleading with him. Or by cajoling, or punishing, or even by withholding privileges. Telling him to “think outside the box” won’t work either. But you can lead him to broccoli — just as you can lead your business or organization to innovation. Learn how in the video.