Maybe you know the feeling.You’re out and about somewhere, doing something you either really need to do — like online banking or trying to catch a flight out of O’Hare — or something you really want to do — like trying to navigate the byzantine complexity of America’s private healthcare insurance system or figuring out how to actually use frequent flyer points for your benefit — and it suddenly hits you. Something or someone is making whatever you need/want to do harder instead of easier. For me, the feeling usually bubbles up pretty fast.Design rage.
OK, maybe ‘rage’ is a little strong, but you get the idea. I’ve noticed that when that rage-y feeling does arise it’s usually not symptomatic of something that’s missing from my life, but instead tends to be driven by the inadequacy of things that already exist…
Beginners or people who don’t think they are particularly creative often get frustrated at how slow they are at coming up with ideas.
This is often because they only start thinking of ideas once they have something to work on — this is way too late.
Let me explain.
Today while I was working at Starbucks writing this article, what do you think caught my eye?
Uber and Airbnb have undergone regulatory setbacks lately. But as regulators continue to crack the whip, there is little sign they will be able to stem the tide of popularity for these sharing services. Should the very idea of regulation evolve? It should not, at least, exist to protect entrenched industries and shut out competition. But companies like Uber, who have very strong Libertarian streaks, may have to make a move too. Will both sides learn to play together?
Innovation seems to be my new entity’s new motto, there is even a team dedicated to it. As I changed position in the course of this year I kept receiving, for a couple of months, news from my former entity where, what a coincidence, innovation is also emphasized.
I’m all for innovation being part of everyone’s scope of activity, I even wrote about purposely regularly dedicating a decent amount of time, to it . Making a common goal, a commitment that is shared by many, can only be more productive.
Of course, in order to achieve success, a bonus of … 500€ (maximum) was decided. That makes me cringe; excuse me but that’s a petty amount of money. It would be nice to have it in the pocket but hardly enough to make me seriously spend a reasonable amount of time for a good idea, if any thoughtful innovation is to be expected.
You give a little you get a little.
continue here …
The Wright brothers’ critical insight was the importance of “lateral stability” — that is, wingtip-to-wingtip stability — to flight. And their great innovation was something they called “wing warping,” in which they used a series of pulleys that caused the wingtips on one side of the airplane to go up when the wingtips on the other side were pulled down. That allowed the Wrights’ airplane to make banked turns and to correct itself when it flew into a gust of wind.
But when the Wrights applied for a patent, they didn’t seek one that just covered wing warping; their patent covered any means to achieve lateral stability. There is no question what the Wrights sought: nothing less than a monopoly on the airplane business — every airplane ever manufactured, they believed, owed them a royalty
There’s an argument commonly heard these days that open-source software is all very well for infrastructure or commodity software where the requirements are well-established, but that it can’t really innovate. I laugh when I hear this, because I remember when the common wisdom was exactly the opposite — that we hackers were great for exploratory, cutting-edge stuff but couldn’t deliver reliable product.
How quickly people forget. We built the World Wide Web, fer cripessakes! The original browser and the original webservers were built by a hacker at CERN, not in some closed-door corporate shop. Before that, years before we got Linux and our own T-shirts, people who would later identify their own behavior correctly as open-source hacking built the Internet.