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Inventing From Life Experiences

PEYTON AT THE NCAA INNOVATION SUMMIT: INVENTING FROM LIVE EXPERIENCES | Last Monday, I was flattered to have the opportunity to participate as a panelist in the Final Four Innovation Summit (  Every panelist expressed that their ideas and innovations had in one way or another emerged from their own unique life experiences. 

Kevin Plank, a panelist at the summit, is the perfect example.  While playing football at the University of Maryland, Kevin was the self-described “sweatiest guy on the football field”. Frustrated by his sweat-soaked cotton shirts, he started looking for fabric and materials that would wick the sweat from his body to make him lighter and faster.  He developed multiple prototypes before deciding on the one he wanted to us. As his friends moved on to play professionally, he sent them shirts, explained that his alternative to a basic cotton shirt would enhance their performance, and requested that they pass them out to other players in their locker rooms. That idea formed the first product for the company he founded--Under Armour.  Today, Under Armour produces more than 2 billion dollars in sales, is still run by Kevin Plank, and is still headquartered in Maryland. 

If you're chosen as a finalist this year, consider emphasizing how your personal experiences led to your idea. Everyone has a unique life path and so if you use your experiences odds are it will make for a unique and anomalistic idea that likely will have a broader impact.  Good luck to all who entered this year's compeition! 



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