Innovation: A look at recent human history

Innovation is the very basis of any and every startup. However, like Uber or Apple, they are often not the first ones to bring about a new idea. The likes of Apple and Uber though, have proven that they are often the best at implementing innovation. That is the main difference between a good startup and technology company vs one that started with a bang and fizzled away.

The best way to succeed with your own innovative idea is to get some help. Companies like the Innovative Company specifically focus on this kind of behaviour, offering you everything from strategy and personnel management down to software solutions.

The best way to innovate and execute is to take inspiration from others around the world. Keeping this in mind, here are some of the most interesting innovations in recent human history:

There is an app for that!

Smartphones have existed a lot longer than the iPhone. In fact, Blackberries were already the go-to solution for most businessmen, and Windows had been offering ‘smart tiny pocket PCs’ for ages. What did Apple do that made it all different? A rather simple thing. They focused on the app. Yes, you could install apps on Windows devices, Palms and Blackberries too, but it was always an awkward (and often expensive) process. By offering apps to everyone through a simple and single market, Apple opened up a whole new world to their users. Needless to say, Android copied the same model, and others like Blackberry, Windows and Amazon have tried and failed.


When was the last time you read a news piece about a new startup which is being termed as the Uber of xyz? This is because Uber has shown the way when it comes to innovation with transportation. Human history is full of inventions around transport. From the humble boat and ship to rockets taking us to space, humans have tried and conquered everything around us. Yet the biggest niggle we have is that of going from home to work and back. While public transport has been a major influence, the ability to use a smartphone to bring a taxi to your very location, with the ability to know who your driver is, adds a personal touch to commuting and travel that wasn’t there before. While others have followed suit, Uber will always be the Uber of taxis and commute!


Like it or not, a physical shop just does not offer the same level of convenience as an online store. While online shopping has existed for as long as the world wide web, nothing beats the experience Amazon has to offer. By using a live review system, the ability to deliver the very next day, and keeping a close tab on its suppliers/shops, Amazon has given the users the ability to buy something with the same peace of mind as they would have in a regular store. More so, now with services such as Amazon Prime and Amazon Now, the sky is the limit when it comes to shopping.


Food, the very thing that dragged humans out of caves and turned us into farmers. It has been a major focus for innovation. Services such as Just Eat and Deliveroo have turned food and food delivery into a massive market. Food delivery has existed for as long as takeaways. By combining all the services into an easy to access app/website, and offering people convenience, the services have taken off like never before.


Once again, the concept of fitness is nothing new. In fact, they had gymnasiums in ancient Greece. However, from the humble pedometer to the Fitbits, technology has put fitness in the hands of anybody with a phone and a watch to wear. Now, you don’t need to join a gym to know what amount of exercise you need to do. All you need is a simple device and an associated device.

What is your favourite innovation?

What is your favourite innovation? What is the one technology you wouldn’t be able to live without? Do you have a great idea that you’d like to see turn into a product? Let us know in the comment section below.

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