Serial Innovators – what type of person are they?

Rear Admiral "Amazing" Grace Hopper

Contrary to popular belief, genius innovators are not one particular type of personality. If you want a clear example of this, compare Thomas Alva Edison and Nickola Tesla!  In fact, innovative people come in all personality types. And I’ll even go one step further.

Innovation can happen within any environment. You don’t need to have a specific type of culture, space, support, management, local, proximity to, or anything outside of yourself to invent repeatedly.

You don’t need dreamy music, or open seating, or flexible schedules, and you don’t need to live in Silicon Valley. I’ll say it one more time, innovation can happen within any environment.

I know right-brained innovators and left-brained serial inventors. I am friends with a hyper A-type inventor and worked with a man who speaks as slow as molasses and moves even slower, but he has started successful companies and is not stopped when someone says “No.” I know dreamer-inventors. I know hands-on, down-to-earth practical problem-solvers. And I know one heyoke who asks difficult questions, and notices things others are too entrenched to see. This individual often lives in an “odd” way (as a foil) but is so charismatic it helps people examine their own doubts, fears, prejudices, and blindness.

I’ve lived in Silicon Valley, one of the most important innovative centers in the world. And I’ve also solved problems in the most constrained, risk-adverse, resistant to change environments. You see, innovators think beyond the borders of their situation. That’s the type of person serial innovators are!