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I love to read. Unfortunately, I always seem to have more reading material than time to read it! And everyday something new attracts my attention. So while I have been reading about innovation, I have also been thinking about innovations in reading.

There are two innovations that I use that I greatly appreciate. My Kindle and my iPod. I have been listening to books for some time. I started with books on tape, then graduated to CDs. Now that I have a little gadget to run the sound from the iPod through the speakers of my car, I listen through my iPod. I dislike headphones on my ears or earbuds in them so the iPod hadn’t really appealed to me. Plus I most frequently listen to books when I am in the car and anything on or in your ears there is not safe. In fact, after receiving it as a gift, my iPod sat unused until I came across that little car accessory. I had long been using Audible to download books but I had always burned the books to CDs and then listened to the CDs while driving. The iPod is significantly easier. Audible has a great selection of books and commuting has become substantially less boring. With this innovation, I can “read” during times that would not otherwise have been available for reading! It does however have its drawbacks. I tend to read non-fiction and when I come across an interesting point, I like to make notes. Very difficult to do, if not impossible, while driving. Thus I have learned that if a book is great on audio like Peter Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I need a hard copy as well. Especially useful (though not yet available for that book)  is a Kindle version so I can go back and search for the salient points I wanted to note and remember.

I LOVE my Kindle! The ability to search is a key feature that I find indispensable. Close behind are the variety of note making features. If you like to fold down page corners on a physical book (guilty!) then you can bookmark pages. If you write on pages, you can type notes. If you use a highlighting pen, you can highlight text. I find myself now doing all of these. And going back to review those notes is so simple. (Of course finding turned down pages isn’t very difficult!  🙂 ) While these innovative features are very important, perhaps the most important to me is the convenience and the weight (or lack thereof). When travelling I used to carry at least 3 books with me. No more. Now I have 60 (and counting) with less weight than one book! I am very happy with Amazon’s latest innovation!

These innovations have made it easier and more fun for me to read – about innovation, creativity, Space and a myriad of my other interests. What innovations for reading do you most appreciate?

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When I decided to create this blog, I chose the name because it accurately reflected what I am doing and because it hints at my strong interest in Space and exploration. “Exploring Innovation” felt exactly right and there was no problem with choosing this name on WordPress. So I was (oddly) surprised when I later typed the phrase into Google and got 11,600 hits (and over a million without the quotation marks)! So much for originality!   :s

Ah, well. This is but a small example of the vast volume of ideas out there. One may think one’s idea  is original and soon discover that it has been thought of by a great many other people. What differs is the execution. It is not usually the ideas themselves which are unusual but rather it is what one does with that idea that makes it unique to those of us taking action.

Or not. Most ideas die an early death. Napoleon Hill once wrote: “The time to nurse an idea is at the time of its birth. Every minute it lives gives it a better chance of living and surviving.”  That is the challenge – to keep that baby alive so it will survive, thrive and develop to its fullest.

What do you do to nurture your ideas? What are the best examples you know of for insuring an idea moves beyond its infancy to become more than an idea? So it grows into an innovation, invention or an actual product or service? What are the steps necessary to give it form and bring it to life? Do the steps differ for scientists, entrepreneurs and social innovators?

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