Innovation as 'creative destruction'

creative distruction

Innovation as creative distruction

"Innovation by the entrepreneur, argued Joseph Schumpeter, led to gales of "creative destruction" as innovations caused old inventories, ideas, technologies, skills, and equipment to become obsolete. The question, as Schumpeter saw it, was not "how capitalism administers existing structures,... [but] how it creates and destroys them." This creative destruction, he believed, caused continuous progress and improved standards of living for everyone."

Business Week issue on Innovation

Business Week issue on Innovation October 11, 2004

There is lots of material in this issue on innovation! Steven Jobs of Apple has a great response to the question "How do you systematize innovation?"..."You don't. You hire good people who will challenge each other every day to make the best products possible. That's why you don't see any big posters on the walls around here, stating our mission statement. Our corporate culture is simple."

There are also several articles where 'innovation' is being associated to nanotechnology, transformational technologies, and brains+patents.

So innovation = brains, patents, and technology?

This is an idea I believe is innovative: the securitization or mutual-fund-izing of art as an idea to share the risk of creating art and making money on it. 250 young New York artists, chosen by an expert panel, pool some of their works in the Artist Pension Trust, which (ideally) would produce income over the course of 20 years or so. What makes this 'innovative' (to me) is re-applying a common idea (mutal funds) to an area not normally considered (art). The article is part of a photo essay, see photo titled "Risk A Scheme for Starving Artists to Hatch a Nourishing Nest Egg"

Does individual 'brilliance' belong on Innovation Matrix?

PopSci's Third Annual Brilliant 10

PopSci's Third Annual Brilliant 10

Brainy, offbeat, audacious: Meet the new generation of scientific innovators, and be awed.

Popular Science magazine just published their Third Annual Brilliant 10. In it are 10 people doing very interesting and amazing things. How does brilliance translate to innovation? How does it become part of the Innovation Matrix? Should it?

Side note: each person has their own icon that depicts their subject area. Very cool way of catching the readers attention.

Orders of magnitude savings resulting from innovation...

Orders of magnitude savings resulting from innovation...Is that something that defines innovative? The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport installed a 6 million-gallon thermal storage tank that lets the airport chill air conditioner coolant in the middle of the night, when energy is cheapest, for use during the day, when energy is more expensive. This has cut cooling costs by 91 percent during periods of peak electrical demand.

So could this be a part of the Innovation Matirx: Order of magnitude or better decrease or increase on some critical parameter?

The great white north has a vision on innovation?

What is innovation?

What is innovation? Great White North has an answer.

Western Canada has a straight forward definition of innovation. But it is the same stuff all the other web sites, experts, books, and articles state. It also mentions the things that one needs to have to have innovation flourish: closeness to universities, access to early stage capital, access to ready workforce, support firms, etc.

So why do some companies, areas, or people have more radical, breakthrough, faster, better, cheaper products? What is that missing "thing"?

If the missing "thing" is not identifiable directly, can there be an innov-marker (play on word biomarker) or innov-signal (biosignal) that can provide a direction toward "innovation"? Or, what would it take to put in place the environment that will increase the innov-marker/innov-signal?

Innovation on innovation

What about innovation can be spotted and taken advantage of? Can there be an "innovation gene" or "innovation pattern" that can be utilized? Think about 30 top tiered students from a top tiered school in the same top tiered major, all having taken the same top tiered classes from well know professors and all having had the same homework... Now ask them all to solve the same problem and you will get 30 different anwers!

Is innovation knowable before something becomes "Innovative"?

Quick question flash: Is innovation knowable before something becomes "Innovative"? Can you plan for something to be "innovative"? Or does it only become innovative after the fact?

Innovation is context sensitive

Amy Smith MIT Screenless Hammermill

Amy Smith MIT Screenless Hammermill

In chatting with several co-workers I find that the word "innovation" is very context sensitive. One person believed innovation was all about being new and unique. Another person thought innovation focused on providing unique value to a specific customer. And another talked about innovation as being lexically derived from the word "invention" (he took the etymological approach).

One person working on a spin out opportunity said that the product was innovative to a specific customer but not innovative in the open market place.

So innovation is time sensitive both ways: something "innovative" 30 years ago is taken for granted now (the internet as an example) and something invented in the 1920's was forgotten and re-discovered as innovative in the 1940's (midair refueling).

Innovation is customer sensitive: Innovation to one customer may not be "innovative" for another.

Innovation is new sensitive: things that are new are more likely to be innovative. Or are they; look at the midair re-fueling example on 13 Oct 2004 entry.

Innovation is location (geographical) sensitive: Milling grain in to flour is not a very prevalent need for most USA citizens but is a dire requirement for those in third world countries. Innovation on milling is focused on the local geographical needs.

Can quotes lead the way?

Innovation Tools

Innovation Tools quotes

Innovation Tools contains several quotes that might lead one to identify innovation when they see it... Again, sounds like some people's definition of porn. Hummm....

Innovation tied to information technology?

Interestesting speech by Everett Anstey, Sun Microsystems of Canada, on tying information technology to innovation. What specifically about information technology makes something "innovative"? Is there a specific type of innovation technology or is it the way it is used that makes something innovative?

In another speech by Adam Chowaniec, Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada, focuses on tying innovation and technology (information technology specifically).

Still working toward examples of everyday innovation.

How does innovation get going?

Here is a mix of people that will certainly get ideas flowing and provoke thought in new ways! Hang out with Ray Kurzweil, Jeff Hawkins, and Quincy Jones!

TEDMED3 is a conference focused on the business and communication of medical technology research and healthcare in the 21st Century

For those that want to see more about the creator of this conference, Richard Saul Wurman, see the Wired Feb 2000 article The Wurmanizer.

Failed innovation? Is it innovation if it failed?

Airship picture from Larry's U.S. Navy Airship Picture Book

If some thing fails, is there still a possibility it is innovative? False-Failed Innovation talks about the airships in the early 1900's that were thought to be innovative solutions to then pressing needs. Then came airplanes and the Hindenburg... Yet inflight refueling, originally pioneered in the 1920s and set aside by the Army Air Corp, was "rediscovered" in the 1940s and is now a standard practice to extend an aircraft's range.

Biopharmacutical Innovation Pipeline Index

A new study from the Milken Institute, Biopharmaceutical Industry Contributions to State and U.S. Economies, shows just how important to states the biopharmaceutical industry is for jobs and income.

Is this an example of innovation? This study measures innovation by the job impact, earnings, real output, and total tax receipts in the biopharmaceutical sector.

Interactive map of the study

Anonymity and idea creation

How much does being able to post anonymously enable ideas and discussion? Much more freely than if all discussions are traceable? Several of us at work chatted about the idea. In our current work environment there is certainly a culture of slight paranoia about open discussions. Many of the technology IT systems that support collaboration have discussion tools. But all of them have embedded in them who posted what and when.

There was a discussion that early on one major idea box (a sort of discussion list) on the work portal was anonymous. Unfortunately, someone posted a question (paraphrased) “I saw a gun at work; What is security going to do about those who bring guns to work?”…. That certainly got peoples’ attention and all anonymity was removed.

We have introduced the idea of blogs at work via an experimental service. This does provide the ability to remain anonymous…. However, someone in the group asked “Can you guarantee that no post could ever be linked back to me? “ Someone with a lot of time on their hands, good access to all the major IP logs and network traffic, plus the drive to do so could discover what traffic hit the blog server at the time a specofic post was placed…. So no I could not guarantee no link back.

Innovation in real life

Seeking innovation. Is it one of those things that when you see it you know that is it? Sounds like the definition that some people use about porn, bad societal behavior, bad movies, etc. :)

I have heard people define innovation as taking an idea and actually getting that idea implemented. Other define innovation as doing something new or unusual. Some have suggested innovation is seeing/recognizing the patterns, putting them together, and taking advantage of them.

The use of the word "innovation" is invoked by people in speeches but rarely do the people say what was "innovative".

Innovation reminds me of the use of AI (artificial intelligence) in the late 1980's. Everything that was cool was labeled AI. Hypertext systems were AI, high-end workstations were AI, AI was everywhere! Then there was the disillusionment of AI (the AI bubble burst) and things that were AI went covert. Companies went out of their way not to mention AI in their products. People had burned out on the term so the rest of us did not want to be associated with AI. (Editors note: AI is very prominent now in may applications; we just don't know it because the marketing types don't hype AI, instead use terms like "intelligent", "smart", and "software agents").

There is a desire to use the word innovation to sound better than things really are. So what is "true innovation"?

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