As students, we’ve often heard our teachers tell us that concepts are important, and it is concepts that we must work upon in order to enhance our skill set – yet we, most of the times choose to mindlessly adsorb our study material, and convince ourselves to overlook the importance of actually ‘understanding’ what’s written there.
You ace your exams, alright. You get superb grades, alright. You also get a kickass job at the end of it all! But what next? Would you ever remember those answers that you so tediously mugged up during your junior years, later on in your life? Of course not! So, what do you actually do while you sit at your desk doing that tiresome 9 to 5 job? Everything apart from directly applying the things learnt in class, right?
So, if we won’t even apply most of the things we learnt back in school and college, what’s the entire point of spending all these resources on education? The reason as to why I am writing this article is to explain exactly that:
Most of us have this tendency to rote learn the concepts important for our exams, assignments etc. When we adsorb what’s only necessary, that’s what kills any seed of an idea we may develop. This happens to be the biggest killer of Innovation.
To understand this better, let’s take the example of the famous game “Super Mario”:
Ever thought about how Mario jumps, lands and collects those coins – all in such a realistic manner? How does Mario make an extended jump when you press the button for a longer time? You probably wouldn’t realize; but this is all the result of mathematics; just applied in a much more innovative manner.
If you check this image closely, it shows the exact trajectory that needs to be defined mathematically for Mario to make a successful, realistic jump. There would be millions of numbers, equations and variables for every step Mario moves in order to make the user-experience better and more realistic. Most definitely, any person studying such chapters in mathematics with examination questions revolving around his head would never be able to innovate such a game in such a manner.
Personally, when I first came across this image, I regretted the fact that I may have absorbed those equations mindlessly but never, ever gave a thought as to how they might be implemented in real-time.
This is where the idea of ‘Unconventional understanding of concepts’ comes in; it is all about looking at concepts in a different way – in a way that opens doors for innovation and invention and in a way that opens your mind to endless ideas.
No person, who didn’t study their Physics and Mathematics well, could have ever innovated game like Angry Birds, which is all about application of such things. The image below explains the rest.
Given the fact that Mario and Angry birds are very low-graphic games, it is left to our imaginations as to how FIFA, Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto involve the use of these concepts in a much better way to enhance their user-experience manifold. So, all in all, it’s all about understanding the concept well, and more importantly, in a different way so as to open avenues for more innovation in different fields.
‘Understanding a concept’ could be put as the concrete knowledge you build into yourself, that eventually becomes a part of your sub-conscious memory in a way that you can effortlessly apply it to innovate and constantly renovate your ideas, leading to innovations everyday.
Understanding something, and applying it to create something original, is precisely what separates an Entrepreneur from an Employee; one thinks out-of-the box and innovates something new whereas the other treads on the readily innovated path.