The innovation opportunity is to improve your technology literacy

This sixth grader, Thomas Suarez, gave a TED Talk. For me that alone stands out. How many 6th graders do you see doing TED Talks? He develops IPhone apps. His most popular one is called “Bustin Jieber.” He created it because a lot of his classmates disliked Justin Bieber. He knows how to develop ideas (from what your “people” or users suggest or want), and he knows how to name the apps he creates in sticky and catchy ways. Also, he is pretty good on stage public speaking! Sounds like he is putting himself on the fast track to tech entrepreneurship. Funny quote: “These days students usually know a little more than teachers.” Thomas is an example that there are opportunities for younger and younger students with the web/apps/social media, etc. Yes indeed, innovation and entrepreneurship isn’t just for college students anymore.

The real opportunity I feel is for, should I say, “older” people (especially those generations older than Gen Y) to increase what I call their technology innovation literacy. This means not only using widely adopted technology like IPhones, IPads, Apps, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Social Media, etc., but to also create some things with it yourself. It is much easier than you think. Search Youtube for a video about how to do what you want to do. If you want to innovate, technology has to be a key question and key idea generating tool for you to use. You have probably thought up most of the ideas already that don’t deal with technology. Most of the opportunities and new idea raw materials come from what is currently being developed and launched that is changing our world and how we live and communicate. This is technology…the web, mobile devices, social media. These are the opportunities. The first step is to improve your technology innovation literacy. Build a blog with WordPress. Add Google Analytics. Install a plugin. Add a widget. Create a Facebook business page. Embed a video. HootSuite in your status updates. So many opportunities are out there to innovate with new technology (or at least technology that has already been widely adopted). You can learn it, improve your literacy, and innovate with it. You don’t need to be a 6th grader like Thomas.

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