In innovation training sessions the message we deliver is pretty clear.
There is not a single product, process or service we do or use today that will be the same in 20 years’ time.
Without doubt today's items will have been either improved beyond recognition, have much better functionality or “utility”, such as the humble, old fashioned telephone or simply rendered obsolete by the march of technology, such as the typewriter or the Box Brownie camera.
Indeed a research report conducted by an MIT professor some years ago showed the startling fact that whereas in the 1920s the life expectancy of a public company in the USA was some 65 years, by the 1990s that had fallen to less than 10 years.
And today that time frame has contracted even further; courtesy of rapid prototyping and faster communications in general leading to much reduced time to market.
Innovate or perish, that's the message for all businesses today and it would seem anything is possible.
I think most readers would agree there is an innovation imperative.
Businesses need to innovate to survive but the areas in which entrepreneurs find to innovate and build businesses never ceases to amaze.
A company based in East Gippsland is now winning international sales with a technology we may have thought impossible, much less of any value.
Air-CTI, an acronym for Air Central Tyre Inflation has a technology mainly designed for trucks, four wheel drives and heavy vehicles that not only monitors tyre pressure in real time.
But believe it or not, this technology has the ability to inflate and deflate individual tyres as you drive, depending on road conditions, speed, temperature and load.
Frankly, it's hard to imagine how this works, but it does and there is clear evidence of the benefits including enhanced safety, reduced driver fatigue and tyre life increased by as much as 80 percent.
Though the technology seems amazing, the real “kicker” is the areas where people find opportunities for innovation.
It seems to me, the message is clear, look at your products, engage with your customers and innovate.
There is no place free from such opportunities.
There is not a single product, process or service we do or use today that will be the same in 20 years’ time