01996: Innovation Tools

My sister clued me in to a site called Death to the Stock Photo, which is both a service and a movement geared towards elevating the level of photography in use around the internet with higher quality photos. Free users get a pack of photos every month while premium users have greater access to the library. This month's pack of photos includes the quaint little camera image that you see here.

It's interesting how the internet gives us access to so many different solutions for just about any aspect of our lives. It's a truly open marketplace that opens the door to so many possibilities, mostly based on the theory that someone in the world has a need for what you have to offer - you just need to connect with your audience somehow. And this is one of the things that surprises me the most about how the internet has evolved.

As much as you have the big companies like Google and Facebook that typically dominate the conversation when it comes to key web properties and such. you'll also find a lot of niche services that are just trying to refine their business model, deliver a good product and make things better. I feel this way about little services that I've signed up for like my RSS reader Newsblur and my social media insights service ThinkUp. Some may argue that I'm wasting money since there are free alternatives that do decently well in the same areas, but I choose to support these services since they really make a different to how I work online. There are nuances to each service or product out there and it's nice when you find one that really speaks to you.

Bigger corporations don't typically innovate as quickly as the internet at large does. Thus whenever I find interesting services like these, I look back at my own company and wonder if we'll ever reach a point when we'll embrace such new technologies instead of sticking to the typical corporate-approved solutions that everyone and their neighbor tend to utilize when it comes to the workplace. Then again, the burden of processes and standardization can really slow a company down as it scales versus smaller, more nimble startups and other such companies that are still testing the limits of what can be done.

But who knows? Things might change in time - hopefully before it's too late.