One thing about creativity and innovation is that it never seems like the next logical step.

True innovators rethink the entire concept, and more often than not, the idea is completely transformed.

Think about it the iPhone. It wasn’t anything like we’d seen with mobile phones before because it completely transformed the idea of what a mobile phone could look like, act like, and be like. It’s that way across all types of innovation.

For instance, there’s the legendary story of Henry Ford, inventor of the Model T. He said that had he asked the people what they wanted, they would have said, “Faster horses.”

They weren’t thinking beyond their experience.

Similarly, light bulbs weren’t invented by thinking about a better candle. Iron ships weren’t invented by considering what wooden boats could become. Ipods weren’t invented by trying to make a better turntable or CD player (that’s why the Sony Walkman tried, and that didn’t last.)

The point is, when it comes to creativity, get outside your normal experience. Dig deep. Make new connections.

It’s tough to get a new slant on something when looking at it head-on.

Don’t try to make the next big thing what everyone else expects.


This article originally appeared at Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a media producer and consultant to churches and ministries around the world. His latest book is “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking.” Find out more at


Get the Entrepreneur Daily newsletter delivered to your inbox