Innovation in tight times is always hard. It can be especially difficult in the tough economic times we face now. To be the innovative person now is like being Noah facing the task of building an ark in the middle of a desert. You can compare it to the Wright brothers taking their first flight, and the preparations they took in the 1800’s to their first flight of 1903. You could even make the argument that even the person who invented the idea of the ‘pet rock’ was innovative, while a huge stretch. What are you mad! Innovation takes not only time and dollars, but also a grain of insanity and a number of pennies to throw into a wishing well along with your prayers. All in the hopes the idea you created with will be successful.

This brings me to the wheel. The wheel is probably the most important mechanical invention of all time. Nearly every machine built since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution involves this single, basic principle embodied in one of mankind’s truly significant inventions. It is hard to imagine any mechanized system that would be possible without the wheel or the idea of a symmetrical component moving in a circular motion on an axis. Various references all over the internet state that from ancient drawings, the earliest known use of this invention was a potter’s wheel that was used in Mesopotamia (part of modern day Iraq) as early as 3500 BC. You can find a wheel like component in every part of your life. It has been reworked, downsized, enlarged, given spokes and saw like grips. Yet everyone says “don’t reinvent the wheel.”

People have their reasons for saying this because it may be easier to go with the status quo or do what has been supposedly proven and repeated time and time again. Yet, I say, when there is an opportunity to change things, make them better and become innovative in what you do or how you think, by all means – reinvent the wheel. You can use the basis of many proven ideas and build upon them to create your own success.

In time like these, when everything around you seems like a desert, you may have to build an ark just to change things up a bit!

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