Systematic Innovation

Systematic Innovation

By Mike Pulley

Henry Ford and Ray Croc are names synonymous with innovation and the biggest reasons are for the systems and efficiencies they created. Each year millions of innovators around the world are finding ways to overcome everyday problems and new ways to defy physics. Three years ago I was moving along in my construction development company with very little systems to speak of. I had a business model and a plan, but no true systematic approach; I was flying by the seat of my pants as they say. All of the sudden one hot summer afternoon in late June 2010 I had a rude awakening by outside factors (politicians). How I was paid and how I made my payroll was now illegal…Illegal? How can that be? With the ebbs and flow of the economy housing has been the focus of many politicians, so, they do what they do best, regulate.

At some point in our lives we hear the saying “It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up,” and in this instance it was a BIG fall and fail for my company. I had to lay off employees and close up shop, because I sure didn’t want to go to jail for doing something that was once legal that is now illegal. It took half a year to hit the reset button and really figure out what I needed to do. That decision was whether to follow my passion or go back in with the sea of lemming life and be a drone for the rest of my life.

Working in Real Estate and development for several years I started to survey all the good and pad parts and pluck the low hanging fruit that many looked over. Fast forward 6 months later I had created a monster that soon consumed my time and energies causing a strain on my family and social life as well as my health. My best friend Cameron, came in town for the 4th of July 2011 and asked how things were, before I answered he could see that things were great financially, but not in the other parts of my life, because my business had now consumed me. Cameron asked me if he could take what I had created and turn it into an App to which my first thought was “How Much?”, then my second thought was “Does it matter? If it will save me more time and be more productive I WANT IT”. The latter was the better question and one that is overlooked by many.

I started to review all the greats in business and technology who had created systems by creating their own innovations or enhancing others. Cameron and I ended up building an Application that has now reduced the time it once took to provide results by 90 percent. Was what we created new? No! Was what we created proprietary? No! What it is is something sleek, sexy, and easy to use not just for me but our users. Are the burgers Ray Croc sold different than others, or was it the system? Was Henry Ford’s car different from others built at the time, or was it the assembly line?

We took existing technologies and created a system that was easy to use and understand, because of that my own construction & development company grew 1,000 percent in ONE year, and it’s been fun watching other contractors who use the App grow their business from 25-70 percent in less than a year. My final thoughts to you are to look for opportunities or holes in the market and figure out ways to fill them and make them more efficient with new technologies or inventions.

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