Howard’s SVII super short Innovation definition. Innovation = Applied Insight. Have you noticed how difficult it is decline with grace? What you say, you have never experienced decline? Never been in a new project, activity or startup not in the under 1% that never became a unicorn? Most of us have experienced some sort of decline in love, business, health or just keeping our computers, cars and phones working. And most of us have also experienced various types of ascent into new relationships, jobs or learning curves. Plenty of mistakes are made by every creative person all of the time, but they seem to hurt more when declining then when ascending. Decline causes a sense of scarcity, sometimes evolving into fear. Scarcity is rational to those living on a fixed or declining income. Just as abundance is rational when things are going great.
The best way to get to abundance is to invent some new turf to play in. A market, a company, a technology, a relationship or a new skill set. Another word for this is innovation. You (or others nearby) have an insight which can be applied and adopted. Insight is where abundance comes from. When people are feeling afraid, they are unlikely to take chances unless and until they are so afraid, that they have to.
Economies can crash based on fear (the scarcity model) or skyrocket based on optimism (the abundance model). Same is true of civilizations, romance and every other thing of value. The tangible is always modulated by the intangible, so we had better get our intangibles straight. The long term answer to making the world work is abundance not scarcity, and widespread abundance is not going to be achieved by taking what someone else has, away from them. Long term this simply leads to revolution or oppression but not abundance. Fear is not the way to thrive. It maybe a way to survive but at what cost and in what state. There are many who would rather not be alive than to live always being afraid and they do take big chances. The alternative is abundance which is within every persons reach. Abundance begins as an intangible, before it can evolve into a tangible. Yes there are plenty of examples of people doing well at others expense but this is not a long term solution to help billions of people to make it. It is more on the path to a great species die back, not on the path to a sustainable future for humanity.
There is only one long term future model which can survive and it is abundance. The good news is innovation is the primary mechanism by which abundance occurs. Which means there is always a potential solution. The even better news is humans have evolved to be genetically terrific at adaptation, creativity or innovation, whatever term you choose, they all support abundance. We are the very best species at creating or destroying tomorrow. Scarcity vs. abundance is a simple belief choice which gives rise to an intention. The intention to decline or to ascend.
A brief note for those who want to go back the good old days. They were not so good for most of humanity only for an elite subset of humanity. It is very tempting to view the past as a romantic idyllic time but once a thought has been thought, it can not be unthought without a lobotomy. Taking aways mankind’s tools simply will transform us into a pre-monkey state. We can not put the genie back in the bottle without a great dieback. We can destroy civilization leaving a few percent of the world’s population to survive a doomsday scenario and this could result in going back to the good old days, but eventually humans will think the already thought thoughts, and we will find ourselves back to the same place where we are right now.
Technology is not the enemy, a human nature based on fear and greed is. Stainless steel can be made into a scalpel, a scimitar or a guitar string. When people live in a fearful scarcity mentality they simply decline. Some feel like they are running out of time, money or vitality. Over a hundred year life, sure we are running out of everything. Although worrying about it is a waste of time. Trying to take someone else’s time, money or vitality ultimately does not work. Greed is just one form of fear derived form scarcity. A secure person does not need more than they can use. Hoarding is a scarcity behavior, as is taking things way from others.
Inventors, innovators and creators all know that if they want to have big dreams they need to be leveraged by and also serve stakeholders via a quid pro quo. You have to give others something to make it worth their while to participate. Then the sky is the limit to how large dreams can go, which is also called collaboration.
It is already past the time to face and embrace the fact that Western civilization has entered the information age, which means most manufacturing jobs are not coming back. All those drivers about to become unemployed certainly are intelligent enough to turn skills they already have into new ones. Becoming an information worker does not require genius. You just have to want to learn new skills and accept change.