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Every once in a while someone comes up with a brilliant idea. Well, brilliant ideas are abound, but every now and then synergy and opportunity meet. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know”, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. With the Twitter (TWTR) IPO harnessing significant market attention, we are gently reminded that the “Next Best Thing” is always on the horizon – as long as you keep that head of yours on a swivel!

I recently read an article regarding a relatively new technology company specializing in restaurant operation, management, inventory control and automation – The name of the company is Leapset. In short, they have a cloud-based platform that is reinventing the wheel in food service with what their CEO Mani Kulasooriya describes as “Disruptive Innovation”.

Take conventional thinking about improving operational efficiency and throw it out the window, because sometimes the adage “If it ‘aint’ broke, don’t fix it” does not apply. According to Mr. Kulasooriya “Disruptive innovation does not merely improve, but creates and replaces entirely new business models”.  

For example, “If you wanted to order food from a restaurant, all you have to do is take out your phone and Leapset will display a list of restaurants located in your area allowing you to navigate through the menus, select the items you wish and the delivery will be made to your doorstep. The restaurant receives the customer’s order and customer details on their POS device and the payment is processed automatically.  This is just a simple example of the different solutions that run on the Leapset platform”.

As social media continues to permeate our daily lives, this creative approach to technology and innovation is by no means limited to restaurateurs. There countless examples of “Disruptive Innovation” and a few have caught my attention as of late. Whether product or concept based, they leave you pondering the question “Why didn’t I think of that?”

How about 3-D printing? Reminiscent of the days when the only people who had computers were large companies or independently wealthy individuals, only to see the prices drop like a rock as technology improvements and cost effective production was finely tuned. Many scoffed at the legitimacy of 3-D printing, but those same individuals are picking their jaws up off the ground now. Take Solid Concepts for instance – they have now successfully produced a .45-caliber handgun. Not a ‘plastic’ handgun like the ones produced by Defense Distributed, that would not withstand the heat and pressure demands, but an all steel handgun that is all 3-D-printed. It’s both frightening and exhilarating to ponder the possibilities, as long as the technology remains in the right hands (I’m holding my virtual breath).

How about the GoPro camera that is taking the world by storm? What an amazing story here to be told, and it was told recently on 60-minutes. A simple idea based on a personal need to take high quality photos/video to document personal adventures and activities. A surfer from California simply wanted to take quality pictures of himself and his friends riding waves without hiring a professional film crew.

The result - a billionaire surfer is created by the name of Nick Woodman. The GoPro camera has opened the portal to forever change the face of how and when we can “capture the moment”. It has quickly become the camera of choice for action athletes, adventure seekers, and home video aficionados all over the globe.

In fact, it was a GoPro camera that was used to capture the infamous “Bikers vs. Range Rover” incident in NYC, among other very notable headlines. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the user, and that is what makes “Disruptive Innovation” such an amazing perspective for creative thought and development.

After all, sometimes things need fixing even if they aren’t broken, because there is always a better way out there… so keep burning the midnight oil on your billion dollar garage project! You just may be on the precipitous of the next best disruptive innovation that WILL reinvent the wheel.

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