Article 021: Imagination is the key for innovation

When Star Trek first debuted, it gained a cult-following who were charmed by the innovative technology that took centre stage. Many Trekkies maintain that Star Trek predicted the future and they’re not entirely wrong. The characters used devices that resemble CD ROMs, tablets, flip mobile phones, voice activation commands that operate just like Siri or Alexa, 3D printers, video chat and virtual reality – all back in 1966.

Once an idea is expressed or visualised, like it was in Star Trek, the gears are set in motion to make that idea a reality. Decades after Star Trek’s premiere, entrepreneurs made incredible wealth off similar technology which essentially changed the way humans live. Whether these innovators were inspired by what they saw, or if Gene Roddenberry – the creator of Star Trek – was able to see the future is debatable. However, the future envisioned by Roddenberry and Star Trek became a reality demonstrating that if something is within the realms of imagination, then it’s within the realms of possibility. As W. Clement Stone stated “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

It was for this reason that years ago my company 3D4Medical launched Project Esper – a vision for the future of mixed reality. With Project Esper, students would be able to perform dissections in virtual and augmented reality, in real time without the need for a cadaver. Project Esper was viewed by more than 80 million people and what started as an impossible idea, eventually became a reality. Again, once the mind can imagine it, it can achieve it.

Einstein famously said “Imagination is everything” and it’s true. For a rebel entrepreneur, imagination is a vital source of innovation and, ultimately, proof that even the most outlandish ideas can become reality. If we can fathom creations it stands to reason that these ideas can be realised in the future. Knowing this, a rebel entrepreneur will capitalise on their own ideas before someone else does. They understand that once an idea is put out into the universe, the cogs start to churn to make that innovation a reality.




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