What comes to mind when you sip tea or coffee from your favorite cup?
If you are the inquisitive type, maybe you have thought of its development process. Forget the molding process it went through to become that beautiful porcelain you hug so tight when reminiscing over life gone by. How about going back to its ancestral days?
So let’s travel back 40 years ago in the life of that cup and examine its path of evolution. What do you see?
A seemingly calm but deadly river. Plenty of trees only scientists can name. Farm animals ranging from dogs, cows, goats to the Baa-baa black sheep. Farmers and their families sitting under a huge tree to escape the wrath of the noon’s heat.
But do you know what I see?
A young boy squatting on a large dark rock by the riverside with his hands clasped in attempt to contain water and bring it to his dry lips. His mother bending beside him holding a large arrowroot leaf with water constrained within it. The water dances from side to side leaving a whitish coloration everywhere it touches yet it doesn’t leave any wetness. It is as if the leaf is oiled to prevent it from getting wet. She holds the leaf with both hands and helps her youngest child to drink from it.
A few meters from the trio sits an old man on a secluded rock, his feet soaking in the water. In his hands is a calabash; half a guard if you may. He too is having a fill of the cold water from the river.
So, how many cups do you now see?
It’s clear now that your expensive porcelain cup didn’t come to the world by the swish of a magic world. It evolved from the clasped hands, to the arrowroot leaf, to the calabash and then developed through various other ancestors you may not see now to become what it is now.
Each one of the cup users believed they had the best version until a more efficient one was born. And each new version was birthed from dared ideas developed with a desire for a more effective world.
Do you not see the innovation through the evolution process?
Through the Eyes of The Innovator
If you still believe innovation must involve computers and the rest of the tech world, you could be missing the whole essence of it. The evolution of the cup doesn’t have any technology involved until way later in its life. But its evolution process is exactly what innovation is all about. No codes. No gadgets. Just humble ideas evolving to make work easier, efficient and exciting.
So when at Young Innovators magazine we say that the future is innovative, it is because everywhere we look that’s what we see. And because the process doesn’t stop, we dream forward the innovation.
This evening as you go back to your home and sip that tea, coffee or porridge from your porcelain, ruminating over the events of your day, in your hands will be nothing else but a piece of the world’s innovation. So hug it as if your life depends on it, because it does. And because a few years from now that cup will be as good as its great grandfather, the arrowroot leaf.
It is obvious that something better, more effective and more beautiful will step into the porcelain’s place.
But there is something else you should know. As much as your porcelain’s ancestors lived four decades ago, deep in another village, they still exist. So the future isn’t in future, the future is now.
And if the future is now, then the future is innovative, evidenced by the existence of the arrowroot leaf and the porcelain in your home within the same era. And for this to exist, the future is also free, because you get to choose your kind of cup depending on the circumstances.
While in this freedom neighborhood, I dare you to run wild with me into my imagination for an innovation escapade. Ready?
The Beauty of Freedom to Innovate
Imagine visiting a friend who offers you a cup of your favorite tea and halfway through your catching up, the cup in your hands announces that your tea is halfway gone. But the fun doesn’t end there. The same cup gives you an option to request the kettle in the kitchen to turn on and begin heating water for another cup of tea. Speak of freedom!
At your command, the kettle obeys. All you need to do is just walk across the kitchen and pour the hot water into the cup.
Again, the future is rainbow; not the LGBTQI rainbow, but colorful enough to respond to the temperature of your tea. Say you excused yourself to answer the call of nature amidst the tea date and got a little delayed in the process. By the time you return to continue chatting with your host, your tea is lukewarm. If the porcelain cup had some genes from the magic mug lineage, instead of showing the colorful self, it would show some plain color.
But since the future is rainbow, instead of the cup assuming the plain boring color, it transitions from flashing hot colors to cold colors, slowly. This way, you can tell from a far, without the cup going vocal, that your tea is no longer hot. Then you can microwave it back to the flashy hot color!
Innovators Take Away
Of course part of the cup’s evolution, or shall we say innovation journey hasn’t happened yet. That’s where you come in.
Young Innovators Magazine sees the future in 3D; the future is innovative, the future is freedom, and the future is rainbow!
Your part is to choose the part of that future you want to play in. Better still, embrace the three dimensional future and make the world a better, more effective and more beautiful place to live. Feel free to innovate and put some color to it. This life does get cold, black and ugly sometimes, some warm, pink joy or red hot happiness is needed. And maybe when you have concocted your innovation, you will have your story plastered here and in the next issue of the Young Innovators Magazine.
So why not start innovating around the choice-giving, colorful cup?