Oct 16, 2014 7:38 PM

Innovators Are Learners Not Experts


It is often assumed that the greatest innovations come from people who are incredibly gifted, possibly even geniuses. While this is sometimes the case, more often than not those who are responsible for the most creative ideas and products are not the most knowledgeable or brilliant people in their field. Their true gift is their ability to learn from other experts and geniuses.

We are living in times of unprecedented advances in fields such as technology, science, medicine and other areas of knowledge. Information in all of these fields is increasingly possessed by specialists. The problem is that someone who is an expert in a particular area does not necessarily have the ability to turn that knowledge into a practical product or solution. The true visionaries of today are those who are able to create new ideas, systems and products. They often accomplish this by learning from experts in many diverse fields.



Consider some of the most renowned technological innovators of recent years. People like Bill Gates, Steve JobsMark Zuckerberg and Larry Page. While all of these people are certainly brilliant, none of them could have produced the types of products and companies that they ultimately built on their own. Their success came from leveraging the skills and knowledge of thousands of programmers, researchers, financial experts and other specialists.


You don't have to be a famous entrepreneur or the CEO of a major company to learn a lesson from this principle. The fact is, one person can only know so much. One of the powerful aspects of modern technology is that it's now easier than ever to connect with others and establish mutually beneficial partnerships with them. The trick is to know your own strengths and to fill in any gaps by finding others who are experts in these areas and learning from them.


To sum it up, I would like to share one of my most favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, "If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got."


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