As long as I can remember, I have always wondered how things work and how I could improve them. At ten years old, I came up with an electrical motor with magnets, only to discover a few years later that the damn thing already existed! This made me realize that an idea is seldom unique or even new.
For example, did you know the ancient Greeks already had a tiny steam engine called the Aeolipile, 2000 years before the Industrial Revolution?
The Aeolipile was probably merely a curiosity and it was just too soon to unlock its full capacity and value. Over the years, with innovation after innovation, it evolved into the machine we dedicate to the ‘esteamed’ Mister Watt.
It’s not only about technology
The steam engine is an interesting subject to show that every innovation is a combination of existing and new things and besides the technological capabilities, one needs factors like a general interest and purpose to make a product successful. This goes hand-in-hand with timing and momentum. If this is missing, your innovation will be condemned to the bench for a while.
Different factors determine success
Companies need to take different factors into account to make innovation successful. I believe we’ve come at this crossroads for asset management too. The problem Cellows solves with its CALM software (Collaborative Asset Lifecycle Management) has always existed, but it’s only now that we have both technology and timing on our side. Entrepreneurs should always improve on their innovations, but they should keep timing in mind, be critical about strategy and be ready to adapt when necessary.
Throughout his engineering career, Kris saw people struggle with managing assets. This planted the seed for Cellows in the back of his mind. It would take two decades to find the right partners at the right time for the idea to come to fruition.