Bad Power Point presentations have reached the same punch-line status as lawyer jokes, yet most of us still use this ubiquitous tool. Some have moved to Apple’s Keynote, which has cool transitions and flaming bullet-points, but it is still essentially the same thing – a linear presentation system.
A hot new company called Prezi finally broke the mold. Rather than step-by-step, sequential presentations, Prezi uses an entirely different approach. You begin with a giant canvas on which you can post all kinds of content (text, images, video, sound, design, graphs, designs, etc). Once the elements are on your canvas, you can easily transition to any piece of content at any time.
You can create a specific path if you want (or several different paths), or you can just flow and improvise the order of your presentation based on interaction with your audience. The tool also allows you to zoom in/out on any piece of content, and of course, make really cool visual transitions. As you can see from their gallery , this is the first truly revolutionary presentation tool to come out in the last 10 years.
So why did it come from a startup instead of Microsoft or Apple? Why do most breakthroughs come from nimble and hungry entrepreneurs instead of well-established incumbents with endless resources?
Why did the brilliant idea for Zip Car come from a startup instead of Hertz or Avis? How come Red Bull didn’t come from Coca-Cola or PepsI? Why didn’t simple and inexpensive genetic testing come from J&J instead of startup 23 and me ?
The answer is simple: most large organizations exist to protect the status quo. Innovation is about incremental improvements instead of reinvention. Many of us punch the clock at large bureaucracies that are more focused on compliance than creativity. Obedience over imagination.
The good news is that all of us are creative. Whether we work in a big company or startup, all humans have tremendous creative capacity. We all have the opportunity to develop our imagination, shatter boundaries, and invent a brighter future. Developing your creativity muscle is fun and easy with some purposeful focus and a willingness to get outside your comfort zone. In addition to the hundreds of tips, articles, and exercises on my site, check out these links for more tools to expand your creative genius.
This week, think about yourself as a fiery, renegade entrepreneur. Approach your business challenges (big and small) as a maverick looking to break the mold instead of a corporate leader trying to play it safe. Explore. Dream. Imagine. Take a risk and let your creativity shine.