Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation

What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"What Nassim Taleb misses about technology and innovation is that its purpose is not to entertain the delicate tastes of the chattering classes, but to improve the lives of us all.  ...What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones."

Excerpts: The Usefulness Of Useless Things

What Mr. Taleb fails to understand is that technologists are supremely aware that most of their efforts will come to nothing


What, I wonder, would Mr. Taleb make of Edison’s 9,999th try?


...They are, in fact, searching out black swans (to use Mr. Taleb’s own parlance), in full knowledge that they will spend most of their time rushing up blind alleys.  

What, I wonder, would Mr. Taleb make of Edison’s 9,999th try?

The truth is that useless things often end up very useful indeed.  Modern information technology did not originate with engineers, but has its roots in an obscure academic crisis, whose major figures, such as Cantor, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Gödel and others never dreamed that their work would have important practical consequences.

...What Mr. Taleb seems to miss is that these are ...people dedicated to following their dreams and willing to put their own skin in the game to do so.

What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones. 

As [Greg Satell] recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Innovation is a particularly sticky problem because it so often remains undefined.”  You can’t simply focus on the technologies that are sure bets, but must take into account the entire matrix (pictured in the article, four quadrants.)


... the logical consequence of his argument) is that we should remain in the upper right quadrant, where both the problem and the domain are well defined and he would presumably assign the lowest value on basic research and disruptive innovation, which have no clear applicability.

Yet it is there that we break truly new ground.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I've shared news about Taleb's perspective on Change Leadership Watch. It's now paired with this innovation perspective about the place of failure! a compelling view.  ~ D

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 28, 2013 11:16 PM

This is a follow-up on the "Anti-Fragile" post below.  The author discusses failure is an important part of the process leading to success, as author Greg Satell explains via the nature of innovation.  

This seems to be a worthy new perspective and critique of Taleb's work, also listed in our Innovation and Institutions curation stream.  ~  Deb

Bill LeGray's comment, April 29, 2013 11:26 AM
Good thoughts verey deeply buried within the Social Media mileau. BUT not so deep I will not try to follow the Change Leadership Watch, and other excellent Forums provided by Scoop It. In fact, while quite broad, the entire Innovatioon and Institutions stream may be worth a look now and then. Deb; "Thanks for leading the way for creativity, process changes, and obtaining "better" innovations and institutions with more properly responsive institutional outcomes."
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, April 30, 2013 3:37 PM
Thanks for the comment Bill. Best to you.
Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually - Forbes

Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually - Forbes | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |
Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is doing everything wrong.

Yep, failure to innovate quickly enough in an age of rapid innovation.

Failure to know & implement HOW to innovation

The Wall Street Journal post on this curation site and this Forbes article make a good pair, a good mash-up of why Innovation and Institutions, Will it Blend is a continuing question on survivability.

Here's an excerpt:

....The company remains a ripe target for more nimble competitors.

...To discover the real reasons behind the company’s decline, just take this simple test. Walk into one of the company’s retail locations or shop online. And try, really try, not to lose your temper.

I admit. I can’t do it.

...According to the company’s website, it’s backordered but available for pickup at the store we visited. The item wasn’t there, however, and the sales staff had no information. friend decided to buy some other blu-ray discs. Or at least he tried to, until we were “assisted” by a young, poorly groomed sales clerk from the TV department, who wandered over to interrogate us. What kind of TV do you have? Do you have a cable service, or a satellite service? Do you have a triple play service plan?

My friend politely but firmly told him he was not interested in switching his service...The used car style questions continued.

We left the store, my friend having made his purchase but both of us fuming. 

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