You Either Copy or Innovate

Of course I heard this listening to something today.  The context of the conversation where I heard this had to do with mobile phones – most specifically, the iPhone.  I don’t know which side of the conversation you sit in, but they all seemed to think that everyone else copies the iPhone.  The iPhone was the innovative thing.  Go check out the tech blogs to read about it that – I don’t necessarily want to write about phones.

We do live in this world where our identity is manufactured.  We buy clothes that look like everybody else’s clothes.  Then we go home and we customize them.  We do this with our web profiles, our cars, and our phones.  We balance Being Unique, but Belonging.  We can’t help but copy identity – because it’s what’s out there.  If we innovate too much, we end up looking like weirdos.

There are those that lead us and innovate.  They are the ones that everyone copies.  They are the ones that don’t really react to anything – because they aren’t copying.  They lead.

I’m not saying copying is bad.  It can lead to good things and help the bottom line.  You just can’t call yourself original or a leader if you’re copying.  Copy?

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One thought on “You Either Copy or Innovate

  1. Lem,
    I once heard someone talk about development in this way: during our teenage years, some internal message kicks in that says, “hey, I have to be someone special.” Teens typically go about this in two ways: First view, and most dominantly, most kids will follow the script. They get straight A’s, become captain of the team, lead their youth group, and have the most culturally accepted apparel. The second view, the minority is one where the kid goes, “To hell with it. I make my own rules. I do things my way.” They choose the path of non-conformity. Both are developments of the ego. The first group does better earlier in life, when structure and appearance matters. The second group does typically does better in the later parts, they don’t conform, find their own ways (often through struggle), and develop innovative patterns of living.

    I was part of the second, but I am still struggling quite a bit with the structure and order of life.

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