Innovator or Adapter?

Which One are You?

Yesterday, I was sitting on my deck enjoying the sunrise.  It was a delightful morning.  Cool.  No Mosquitoes (If you know, you know).  Most mornings Manfred is out on the porch by 5:30.  I rumble out, most days, around 6:30 when I know the coffee is made, mugs are warmed and my cushion is on my chair.

We love our deck chairs and as I was sitting in one, contemplating life, I reflected on our chair maker “Mo”.  I discovered him a couple of years ago on Facebook.  He was advertising his modified Adirondack chairs.  We made an appointment to meet Mo to order some chairs.  Turns out Mo was and 80+ year-old retired cabinet maker.  Now, he was turning out these chairs that are common at lodges, beaches and fire pits.  However his chairs were a much-improved version.

After most of us have plopped down into the restful, leaned-back position of the Adirondack chair, we have to face the struggle to pull ourselves upright once the gathering is over.  Usually some pride remains stuck to the seat.  Mo eliminated this situation by creating a more upright and curved seat that retains the comfort and enhances your ability to stand up without the assistance of a crane.

Another Mo-inspired feature of these chairs is the high-quality central swivel on the base that allows you to swing around 360 degrees, enjoying all conversations, birds, deer and other treats of nature.

I tell you all this not as a sales pitch.  I don’t know if Mo still makes these chairs. (look for Mo-Cha in Belle River on Facebook or Marketplace)

I tell you this because I am impressed with the adaptations that Mo made to make this well-known chair, better than ever.

It got me thinking about the difference between an innovator and an adapter.  Which one are you?  I’m an adapter. I like to take things and change them to make them my own.  I don’t like to read manuals or follow procedures.  Give me a rough outline and I’m good.  I’ve spent a lifetime of taking one thing and making it into something else.  I guess the Crazy 8 Barn is the best example.  We took a decrepit barn and transformed it into a modern building that boasts many eco-friendly features.

I’m not an innovator.  While I have created many events and services that didn’t exist in my area, I’m not an Edison or Bell who experiments until they create an item that is patent-worthy.  And, of course, it could be argued that those gentlemen were adapters, developing the ideas of experimenters who had gone before them.

Maybe it is a fuzzy line between innovator and adapter.  I’m just glad that Mo spent his retirement creating a better Adirondack chair.