As formulation chemist, it can be fairly easy to spend your days executing projects your marketing & sales people think are worthwhile. This will usually involve taking a formula that already exists and tweaking it with color & fragrance changes or adding some “magic” ingredient to help make a better story.
It’s easy to do this because to the people on the business side of things, this is complicated work. They appreciate you and your brilliance for being able to get it done.
In fact, this kind of formulation can be challenging. But there will be times when you’ll find yourself wondering stuff like “I made it through P. Chem and Advanced Inorganic so I could change the dye in a formula?”
Innovation is up to You
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, you’ll have to work on a lot of less-than-meaningful projects but you should also be coming up with your own innovations/formulas. Your boss or marketing department are not going to give you great projects. You’ve got to make them yourself. Start doing a daily review of the following innovation resources to help you come up with the next big idea that will change the cosmetic industry.
Marketing people can come up with new stories. Only scientists and cosmetic chemists can come up with new products that will actually bring new benefits to consumers. Remember, you are the future of the cosmetic industry.
Favorite Innovation Online Resources
Blue Ocean Strategy – An extension of the excellent book Blue Ocean Strategy. Gives practical tips and techniques for generating & developing breakthrough ideas.
Innovation Tools – One of the best resources for all things innovation. The Innovation Blog keeps you connected with all the latest thinking in innovation & idea development.
Innovators Digest – Site that helps you learn innovation techniques and connect with other innovators.
Killer Innovations – The BEST innovation podcast anywhere. Phil McKinny provides practical advice about innovating at companies both big and small. He also re-blogs lots of the best innovation information being published.
Seth’s Blog – The blog of Seth Godin. He is one of the clearest innovation thinkers of our time. Author of bestselling marketing books The Purple Cow and The Dip. Speaks in a practical way that even chemists can understand. Extremely useful ideas.
The Heart of Innovation – Dedicated to inspiring and nurturing the spirit of innovation. You’ll find some useful information here.
Unusual Business Ideas that Work – A source for wacky inventions and stories about how they were developed. Great way to inspire yourself to think more creatively and get going on developing your own ideas.
Inventor Spot – Interesting inventions, innovations and weird/inspiring ideas. An excellent resource for inventors.
Ted Talks – You need inspiration to go change the world? Look no further than Ted Talks. Some of the best minds in the world talk about great ideas. You could get lost for days listening to these important talks.
Certainly, there are more but this is the list of innovation websites that are currently on my RSS feed.
Do you have a favorite that we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know.