Column Judith Witte: Clean appearance
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Column Judith Witte: Keeping up appearances

  • 08 April 2024
  • By: Judith Witte

Innovation is something - a product, process, service, or mindset - that is both innovative and groundbreaking, pushing boundaries. This journey isn’t always smooth sailing.

Not every brilliant idea becomes an innovation. And not every innovation turns out to be groundbreaking. In the March 2024 issue of De Ingenieur magazine, I read about the startup Sponsh. Despite a dazzling start, hundreds of thousands in investments, and millions in commitments, they couldn’t make their conceived technology work. "How a startup dream burst like a bubble" is the candid account from one of the founders. At the end, he lists in five bullet points what he has learned from this journey. The fifth and final one states: 'With honest stories, you can go a long way'.

I was somewhat envious of the magazine. Not many people are willing to share the real story of their journey, including the search, the stumbling blocks, bottlenecks, and pitfalls encountered along the way. We are not getting any better at this: on social media, nearly everything is an illusion. Scrolling through FB, Insta, and LinkedIn, others’ worlds seem brilliantly flawless to me. And hey; if reality is less impressive, why not just throw a filter over it? Or gloss it up with a layer of AI. Who’s going to admit where and how they (or their company) failed and what they learned from it? No, that’s not something you do in public.

Yet, I recently discovered that some do. Ever heard of 'The Institute for Brilliant Failures'? This initiative embraces the educational value of failures, aiming to foster a culture of openness and learning from failures. They’ve even created an Award for it. What a breath of fresh air!

Innovation is inseparably linked with change; anyone with a bit of life experience knows how challenging that can be. Change is about learning; and learning involves trial and error. Not just once, but time and again. The next edition will focus on food safety. Who’s brave enough to share their honest story with us?

Judith Witte
[email protected]

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2024