The Next Big (Small) Thing

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by: Idris

I often chat with my friend Scott Friedmann about radical ideas to
reinvent industries and how we have no shortage of them. We talked about
hundreds of ideas of reinventing the next Starbucks; the next Burger
King; the next MTV and the next everything. The scary part is almost all
of them are viable. That leads me to think where is the NEXT big idea that can drastically improve our way of life for the general mass??

I was thinking about seatbelts and bicycle helmets the other day. Whether you secure yourself with a basic rope like a crazy cab driver
in Naroubi or a smart automatic seatbelt in the latest Mercedes, the
seatbelt is now fairly well accepted in most societies. It has not
always been that way, and through its creation in the 1800s many lives
were saved. It takes a very simple idea /creation to change the way
people think about their sense of safety. The saftey belt idea saved
many lives and still saves many today. Cell phones may yet be the other
big invention that can claim to have saved many lives.

Then I ask myself where is the next seatbelt? ….simple idea, big impact.
Bringing it closer to home to what I do, what’s the last digital device
/ apps that is simple but yet have a big impact? With all this GPS /
LBS / RFID / Google Earth… I think there are plenty of ingredients to
cook up the next big thing.. (not another videosharing site please).

business strategists we always think about creating new markets, the
question becomes how do we ensure that the poorest segments of society
can access these product? I remember reading about “design for the bottom of the pyramid”,
but who is taking the lead to do this? While corporations are looking
for their next big growth opportunity, the world at large is looking
for a more inclusive form of capitalism. What if we can engage the 6
billion people who are making less than $1 a day… profitably? Serving
this traditionally underserved market demands a bottom-up approach to
business modeling and ideation. This kind of “Social Innovation” will be the next big thing on its own. And that’s a key part of the framework I developed in my CEO Innovation Playbook which I am adovcating within my business circles.

Do you have the next big idea for the bottom of the pyramid? Send them this way.

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