10 Ways to think about Innovation

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A gem of an article found over at MIT’s Technology Review.

Each year, we choose the 35 innovators under the age of 35 whose new technologies seem most gloriously creative and most likely to expand human life. (Here are the 2006 winners.) In editing this year’s TR35–and rereading the profiles of last year’s winners, whom we introduced in the October 2005 issue–I’ve noticed a few things about successful innovation.

Here are the 10 ways they think about innovation :

  1. Successful innovators are famously untroubled by the prospect of failure.
  2. Many innovators appreciate failure.
  3. Innovators commonly recognize that “problems and questions are the limiting resource in innovation.”
  4. Innovators find inspiration in disparate disciplines.
  5. Innovation flourishes when organizations allow third-party experimentation with their products.
  6. Fraรƒโ€šร‚ยญgility is the enemy of innovation: systems should boast broad applications and be unbreakable.
  7. Real innovators delight in giving us what we want.
  8. They are, it is true, sometimes perplexed by our ignorance of our own needs.
  9. Successful innovators do not depend on what economists call “network externalities” (where a system, like a fax machine, has little use to its first user, but becomes increasingly รƒโ€šร‚ยญvaluable as more people use it).
  10. Many innovators become technologists because they want to better the world.

Well worth the read. Read 10 Ways to think about innovation.

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