So you are an entrepreneur. How do you define innovation? Do you define it in terms of a new idea, a new method of doing something or a new product? Well, that is up to you. As an entrepreneur, you are always in search of the next big thing. You want to just implement this big thing no matter the uncertainties and high levels of risk involved. You see opportunity where others see obstacles and challenges. So this year, you try to find out which areas will offer opportunities for new inventions and you find out that innovation in 2016 was more vigorous than the previous years. From virtual reality to advanced health products, indeed 2016 has led to the birth of exciting products and ideas.
You do not want to be accused of reinventing the wheel, however, you believe that there is still a need to be innovative in areas that affect our lives directly or indirectly, be it in the economic sector, education, health, transport, agriculture or even in the way we communicate. So you decide to change the way you look at life. Despite the innovative spirit that 21st century life demands, you, however, feel that there are certain industries that desperately need innovation. Some of the industries that need to be viewed through a different lens in 2016 are discussed below.
Real Estate and Housing Industry
Take the following two cases into consideration. In the USA, rent prices have continued to be very high in Silicon Valley and areas bordering it basically due to the fact that San Francisco is the world’s largest technology hub. The other case is that of China, the world’s most populated nation, where city developers become bankrupt shortly after setting up homes due to people abandoning these expensive homes. Housing has become a challenge in the recent times due to the world’s ever-growing population. Innovation in the real estate sector is needed to meet the shortage of housing units. As an entrepreneur, you may probably try to find out new ways of building standard low-cost homes in order to address this issue. Moreover, you will be required to set up these buildings in places where they are needed the most to avoid instances of construction just for the sake of it.
The current healthcare industry is characterized by an unrealistically high cost of services. This is perhaps the reason why a large number of people fail to seek preventative care and assistance. To add salt to the injury, as the health condition of these people become worse, they become bombarded with very high treatment costs since it takes more money to treat the already deteriorating condition.
As an entrepreneur, you can seek to come up with low-cost ways of combating various ailments. You may, for example, decide to invest in researching the best available herbal medicine for these ailments. The focus will not only be in the provision of low cost healthcare but also in reducing the number of deaths resulting from a lack of timely treatment.
There has been widespread criticism of education systems in a majority of countries in the world. The curriculum has been criticized for only teaching students to memorize what they have learned rather than teaching them to be creative. Moreover, the syllabus for technical subjects such as engineering has been accused of emphasizing the theoretical aspect of the course rather than the practical aspect. Other courses on offer are producing students without marketable skills. Other universities and colleges have also been accused of churning out half-baked graduates. Even though the effort has been made to incorporate new technologies to engage the students in a better way, the curriculum in use is outdated.
As an entrepreneur, you may choose to rework the existing education system. You may partner with institutions to help them better prepare the learners for the classes ahead. Moreover, you may partner with institutions of higher learning to open an incubation center where students will present their innovative ideas and be guided by successful people in the industry in converting them to reality.
The constant traffic jams that are a common feature in big cities and urban areas pose a major hazard to our health and the environment. Something needs to be done to improve transport systems. Take the case of Tesla that is looking to revolutionize the transport sector by developing environmental-friendly automobiles. You may choose to start a bicycle assembling plant where you will assemble a large number of comfortable and affordable bicycles. In order to make this initiative successful, you may choose to offer incentives and tokens of appreciation to those who purchase your bicycles by maybe partnering with an insurance company to offer them accident cover. You may also offer them warranties and who knows, maybe this is just what the transport sector has been waiting for!
You may choose to open a manufacturing industry that uses new environment-friendly methods of processing raw materials. Currently, a large number of industries, especially those that deal with manufacturing and the assembling of electronics are rapidly destroying the earth as they seek to manufacture flashy gadgets. Your main aim should, therefore, be to safeguard the environment by use of new manufacturing methods so that future generations do not live in a polluted world.
There has been a growing tendency to use large portions of donations on non-aid expenses by many charitable organizations around the world. Recently, there has been the development of microloans which is another form of charity. Microloans, however, have resulted in making the poor poorer. This has happened because some of the microloan programs have deviated from their mandate of creating opportunities in the poor communities and have started pocketing much of the cash raised, thereby placing the borrowers in deeper debt.
The above are just six industries that can create opportunities which entrepreneurs can take up and create better deals for consumers. These areas are indeed facing a myriad of challenges and are in desperate need of innovation in 2016. Failure to do so will result in playing the catch-up game.