I’m sure you have head of the movie ‘Alien’. It’s particularly memorable for John Hurt’s Kane character and his gastro-intestinal distress caused by a face-hugging alien. It was pitched to the studios with one line as ‘Jaws in space’! The ‘Pirates’ movies – The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End were actually were just part of a Disneyland Theme Park Ride. The second movie, ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ was actually more successful than the first – even though it got worse reviews. It was really rubbish too, IMO.
It really is very rare that there is a breakthrough movie. Even Tarentino’s Pulp Fiction was openly claimed to draw from Quentin’s not stop viewing of Asian chop-socky movies when he worked in the video store. Closer to home, ‘X-Factor’ is ‘Opportunity knocks’ on steroids, with Simon Cowell instead of Hughie Green. Almost all formats on TV are drawn heavily from US TV ideas. The mantra appears to be rinse, repeat, recycle, not ‘new’ or ‘innovative’. In fact, there is a theory that there is really only seven basic plot lines.
Hollywood moguls don’t believe in innovation to make their millions, and neither should you. Much better to take an existing idea and refine it. Build a better mousetrap, if that’s what you want, but it’s a much better idea to try and market the existing one better if you want to make a living. Why be a pioneer? The saying is, you can recognise a pioneer because he has arrows in his back.
Innovation is the buzzword in most Western countries employment creation plans. Yet, how many real jobs are these actually creating? What is much more proven to create jobs and create wealth is to take an idea that is used elsewhere, and apply to a different category.
Take an old idea, or something you have robbed elsewhere and execute it better. Follow-up better. Wrap and pack the offering better. Do better advertising. Do something that differentiates in a commodity business. Don’t end up with arrows in your back. Old is the new ‘new’.