Breakthrough ideas don’t happen overnight (how long do you have to wait?)

teaching material developed by maria montessori
teaching material developed by maria montessori (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ordered a shipment of products. The delivery time was two weeks. When the products arrived in the country the courier company called about two days later and told me they would deliver in three days time. My products didn’t arrive on the third day. After kicking up a fuss, my products arrived late on the fourth day.

This local courier company that claims they are so fast with their deliveries added almost an extra week to the delivery time. They are the weakest link in an otherwise professional shipment chain that delivers on the promised delivery dates.

Many years ago this local courier company grew from an idea to provide superior service. Perhaps they did once. Now they have lost that original vision. After being socially engineered over and over, they are no longer a hungry entrepreneurial business. They have become a pseudo-social hybrid riddled with flawed concepts, policies and muddle-headed tinkering.

This so-called business which is no longer connected to its entrepreneurial roots is a good example for start-up and entrepreneurial businesses to avoid turning into as they grow.

In its inevitable decline, perhaps terminal, someone will hopefully come along with a new business idea to radically transform this sham of a company. Or, an entrepreneur with a new idea will start a new form of fast delivery.

Yet breakthrough ideas can come from anyone and anywhere. Even from a public servant such as Ye Changhua. He gave up his job as a public servant to start his own business after he discovered his breakthrough idea.

“In today’s market, those who sell ideas and concepts will last much longer than those who merely sell products,” he told China Daily Africa Weekly.

Ye felt that the children’s pre-school education market had potential. The friend asked him to look for a wooden toy manufacturer that could make a 13-piece set of Montessori educational materials for a customer in South Korea. He checked factories in China but no one could manufacture the educational materials so he opened his own factory.

He manufactured many such sets to become the largest manufacturer of Montessori educational material in China. His breakthrough idea came after working with an R&D team and pre-school education expert. Now he sells whole teaching system packages instead of single sets of educational toys.

From the initial seed of an idea he has developed a multi-million business.

Yet his breakthroughs didn’t happen overnight.

How long do you have to wait for your breakthrough idea?

Will it come from seeing a fast failing local courier business or a Chinese former public servant who understands the power of concepts and ideas?

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