“At the age of 6 to 9, I was responsible for my father's cows,” says Richard Turere, now 13, and having just spoken in front of about 1500 people at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. “And these lions were very annoying, because they were killing my father’s cows.”
Taking his responsibility seriously, Richard set out to find a solution....
This is the story of Richard Turere, a young innovation pioneer, who wanted to help reduce the number of cattle killed from lion attacks on his family’s farm in Africa. After what seems in hindsight a very simple observation — lions are seemingly scared away by the motion of flashlight in the night — he strung together a few wires and bulbs to create a series of deterring, flashing lights. Thanks to his clever innovation National Geographic reports that “Now households across Kenya use [Richard’s] lion lights and protect their livestock from predators and their crops from elephants.”
Brave Richard’s story runs in close parallel with one that I share in Slingshot. In this story, three tourists are on a safari in Africa when they are ambushed by a hungry lion. But only one of the tourists is able to successfully fend off the lion by using a very simple solution, one that — similar to Richard’s story — seems almost trivial in hindsight.
So what’s the commonality? Both of these examples emphasize the need for companies to defy conventional wisdom and look for creative and often simple alternatives so as to circumvent undesirable situations. If you don’t have your own copy of Slingshot you can read my entire story of the Three Tourists and a Hungry Lion courtesy of Google Books.