How to Build a Better Mousetrap

I read a blog post recently on innovation called “Where To Look For The Next Big Thing” which was a great reminder for all of us in the technology field who specialize in any business vertical – whether it’s financial services, automotive or consumer packaged goods. All of us have an opportunity to bring new ideas to our day-to-day work, simply by applying an interesting approach we’ve used (or seen used) elsewhere.

While technology is certainly an “enabler” in financial services especially and can bring efficiency and productivity where a business problem is analyzed and automation introduced, I think innovation can often come from unlikely sources outside our immediate field of vision. Years ago we borrowed Apple’s cool “carousel” menu functionality from its iTunes store and created an innovative new online experience for a bank’s web site users to search through brochures. More recently, we’ve modified traditional shopping cart checkout functionality for sourcing and sending out Fund Facts documents to investors. The pragmatist may say “there’s nothing new under the sun” and truthfully, new ideas can come from almost anywhere, by shifting our attention to other fields and not necessarily by narrowing our focus solely to the business in question.

Where can you look to invent a better mousetrap?