The diversity of technology

Sometimes it’s easy to get focused on high technology and to forget that interesting things are happening everywhere. Clever people are constantly trying to figure out new and interesting ways to do things. This was brought home to me this weekend when I visited a friend on his farm in New Hampshire. He’s developing a system for converting sunflower seeds into biodiesel and has created processor for doing this. I won’t begin to try to explain it because it was pretty much Greek to me; but I could tell that this was an example of someone applying creativity and engineering to create a technically innovative solution to a problem.

One of the things I’ve learned recently in speaking with a pretty broad range of people is that the edges of innovation are creeping closer and closer to the individual. Thanks to greater availability to information and more accessible tools for creating applications, information technology is likely to see some major changes in the near future. Outside of high technology challenges, creativity and the ability for more people to make and do things that they couldn’t before may lead to innovations in a variety of areas.

Every time I come across someone doing something new and interesting, I’m inspired to look at the systems in my life to figure out ways to improve them. I can’t point to any great breakthroughs or successes but I am able to steadily refine and improve the ways I do things – and it’s really great when things actually work just the way you imagined.

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