14 Sep 2006

10 Ways to Think about Innovation

Jason Pontin in TechnologyReview has noticed a few things about successful innovation:

  • Successful innovators are famously untroubled by the prospect of failure
  • Many innovators appreciate failure
  • Innovators commonly recognize that "problems and questions are the limiting resource in innovation"
  • Innovators find inspiration in disparate disciplines
  • Innovation flourishes when organizations allow third-party experimentation with their products
  • Fra­gility is the enemy of innovation: systems should boast broad applications and be unbreakable
  • Real innovators delight in giving us what we want: solutions to our difficulties and expansive alternatives to our established ways
  • They are, it is true, sometimes perplexed by our ignorance of our own needs
  • Successful innovators do not depend on what economists call "network externalities"
  • Many innovators become technologists because they want to better the world

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