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Design: Always Be Innovating

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Your physical body wants to rest in a state of “homeostasis.” – a level of physiologic comfort that retains the biological status quo. The couch potato not only enjoys his own relaxed comfort; his body revels in that same state. Should the couch potato decide to get off that couch and exercise, the body goes through shocking moments of perturbations.

Once the moment of perturbation is completed, the physical body goes back to a state of homeostasis. But the new state of homeostasis is accelerated. The body now rests in a higher state than before it was perturbed.

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The goal in life, and in business, is to always be perturbing your body, or your business, so you are constantly engaged in the process of acceleration.

Why?

Because creativity cannot be automated; but it can eventually be plagiarized.

A few hours east of Nashville is a company that created its entire business model on copying the branding and product success of other, more established brands. Centering on the beauty/skin care space, the company takes a well-known cosmetic brand offering, copies much of their formula and packaging style and sells the new product to big box, lower-end retailers.

This company waits for the big cosmetic companies to “rest,” then captures the look of their most successful products for a while. How would you put the copycat company out of business? Always be innovating. Consistently improving your product and your brand forces the copycat to expend countless dollars to catch up. Eventually your continual innovation cripples the smaller copycat.

The moment you rest is the moment your competition can catch up and surpass you. Yahoo started as an Internet search engine. So did Google. Google is now about to revolutionize the business landscape in Nashville with “Google Fiber.” Think Yahoo can catch up? Have you even used Yahoo as a search engine in the past few years? Google transcended the search engine space, and a host of other domains, by consistently and continually innovating.

A good friend of mine worked for one of the most recognized office furniture companies in the world. Each year his team was sent off on a weekend retreat. The intent of the retreat was not just to strengthen the company. The assignment was to put the company out of business. They were charged with coming up with strategies that could take the company down, and then address the potential pitfalls. They didn’t think outside the box. They mused on how to make the box implode and then reversed engineered the strategies. They designed their next year of success by deconstructing and amending their potential failures.

Great designers never rest on their past successes, nor failures. The Right Brain thinker is always stepping out of the box, exploring new ideas, new creations, and new models. Never be content with the status quo. It doesn’t work well for the physical body, and it certainly doesn’t produce the accelerated success that comes from constantly and consistently innovating.