The shortcut to innovation is born by combining already existing, seemingly incongruous elements — rather than outright invention.
A great example of this Slingshot perspective can be seen in a recent article highlighting from the grocery industry. Via Fast Company:
Paul Lightfoot wants to help grocers eliminate distance. His company, BrightFarms, has deals with more than a half-dozen chains to build and manage hydroponic greenhouses on store rooftops, parking garages, and empty lots. There, farmers trained by BrightFarms will grow tomatoes, lettuce, and a mix of herbs--which can be delivered directly to shelves after harvesting....
Lightfoot's innovative arrangement allows grocery stores to pay nothing to build the farms. Instead, they sign a 10-year contract to purchase their lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs from BrightFarms, with a guarantee that prices will never exceed average inflation. According to BrightFarms's projections, if future price increases mimic historical patterns, its produce will cost a fraction of market rate by 2030. In an industry where margins average just 1% to 2% per year, those savings would have a significant impact on grocers' profits.
[Image via Cyclifier.]