The best designers cannot innovate alone. They must work together with others to create revolutionary ideas and products.
Better yet, they should work with those who have an entirely different world view, and who disagree with them on most issues. Groupthink is the death of innovation, stifling good ideas before they can fully develop.
An article in the Guardian explains several reasons why innovators should make an effort to collaborate with different people every time they work on a project.
"[I]nnovation, particularly radical innovation, happens when connecting previously unconnected bodies of knowledge," the article reads. It then cites strategies like open innovation and crowdsourcing, which have become more popular thanks to the rise of internet connectivity and social media.
With these strategies, the article argues that innovators can go so far as to look to their competition for new ideas. Sometimes, competitors create products with weaknesses or deficiencies that other developers can improve. Other times, the products are just fine, but provide inspiration for those looking to create something that works a little bit differently.
Finally, innovators should take care to stay grounded. "Rather than focusing on what is possible we should focus more on what is needed," the article reads. This means putting an emphasis on solving problems first, rather than pushing the limit on extraneous features.
At Sozo Design, we understand what innovators who work together and bring different ideas to the table will tend to succeed at new product design. For example, we put a remarkable team of designers and thinkers together to create the NE Series of notebook computers for Fujitsu limited. These notebooks include smart window touchpads and removable i-panels capable of playing MP3 files. At the time these products were released these features were first to market and amazingly innovative.