The Next Big Thing Always Starts Out Looking Like Nothing At All

All people can make a list of what is not working at work, in their relationships, finances etc. But very few people have the ability to develop practical solutions to their problems. Even worse fewer people can notice the next big thing even if it’s around them.

When Alexander Fleming first published his discovery of penicillin, no one really noticed. When Xerox executives first got a look at the Alto — the machine that would become the model for the Macintosh seven years later — they didn’t see what the big deal was.

A couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with Paul Isaac Musasizi– the Chief Executive Officer of Kiira Motors Corporation-the pioneer electric and solar Motor Company in Uganda. We discussed the obvious facts about why it makes sense to have Corporations like Kiira. Firstly Africa gets enough solar power in a day to power the entire world for a year yet we industry on depending on hydropower. Secondly, when we start manufacturing carbon-free cars we protect the environment and can create at least ten thousand jobs through the supply chain and directly.

While the above seems obvious and you think people would be excited about Corporations like Kiira Motors not everyone is and Here is why: We always think that when we see the next big thing it will be obvious, but the truth is that it always starts out looking like nothing at all. The problem is that when something truly has the power to change the world, the world isn’t ready for it yet. It needs to build advocacy, gain traction among a particular industry or field and combine with other innovations before it can make an impact.

Breakthrough innovations like those of Kiira Motors are not single events. It is a long process of discovery, engineering and transformation that usually take decades to fully materialise.

What I have learned from Paul and is: Great innovators aren’t just people with ideas, they are people who are willing to stick it out, take the shots from people who ridicule them and, eventually they really do change the world.

PS: Paul is one of our Speakers at the forth coming VelocityXperience on March21,2020