Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Perils of Innovation Overdrive

[26 December 2007 - Harvard Business Online - Bill Taylor] I believe the big "innovation story" of 2008 won’t involve a cool product, a specific company, or a new creative hotspot. Rather, it will involve a general sense of anxiety about a phenomenon that I call Innovation Overdrive. And since 2008 is a presidential-election year, this general anxiety may influence the political conversation in the country. (If, that is, we can persuade the candidates to stop talking exclusively about religion and immigration, but that’s a topic for a different forum.) What is Innovation Overdrive? First, the gnawing sense that even though breakthrough advances in computing, communications, and consumer electronics are wonderful, anything in excess is a poison -- and it feels like we’re all chugging from a poisoned chalice. ... I fear that this same tension -- between creativity and responsibility -- is being resolved in the same irresponsible way in many other sectors of the economy, and that in 2008 we’ll see more fallout from an unalloyed infatuation with the new. More

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