Athletic Innovation…or Technology Innovation

by John

Fosbury Flop

Fosbury Flop

Mazda has been running an Appleseque commercial that recounts the high jump innovation of the fosbury flop–a technique where you jump over the bar backwards perfected by Dick Fosbury circa 1968 and still used today. But the Fosbury Flop is predated by another essential piece of innovation–the deep foam landing pad.

High Jump Pit

High Jump Pit

Sand pits were used prior to the foam landing pads which required jumpers to be much more cautious about their landings. The foam landing pads allowed for more adventuresome techniques.

Often high-profile technology achievements have deeper technology foundations–YouTube couldn’t have existed without Flash video support and devices that record digital video. Instagram depends on smartphone cameras.

Lots of start-ups are searching for successes based on location technology, near-field communication, or 3D printing. But I bet there is one technology, as unassuming as a foam pit, that will fuel a great startup.