"The most famous cognitive obstacle to innovation is functional fixedness — an idea first articulated in the 1930s by Karl Duncker — in which people tend to fixate on the common use of an object. For example, the people on the Titanic overlooked the possibility that the iceberg could have been their lifeboat. Newspapers from the time estimated the size of the iceberg to be between 50-100 feet high and 200-400 feet long. Titanic was navigable for awhile and could have pulled aside the iceberg. Many people could have climbed aboard it to find flat places to stay out of the water for the four hours before help arrived. Fixated on the fact that icebergs sink ships, people overlooked the size and shape of the iceberg (plus the fact that it would not sink)."
— Why We Can’t See What’s Right in Front of Us - Tony McCaffrey - Harvard Business Review
"Perhaps we’ve gotten a little too seduced by the quest for the Next Big Thing. While it’s certain there will be a (smallcaps) next big thing — 3D printing, personal genomics, etc, that will redraw the boundaries of productivity, efficiency, effectiveness — perhaps, the biggest thing we need to face next is us."
The Next Big Thing - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review
Elegant and brilliant. Some of my new thinking on tech is heading in this direction. I’m glad there are people sharing these sorts of ideas in “high places.”
Technology, media, and the creative economy are extremely disruptive right now; it’s easy to become fascinated by the future and/or consumed with the fear that we’re underestimating the next wave in consumer electronics. The tail end of the bell curve, where laggards and AOL users live, is the graveyard of innovation, but perhaps there are fates worse than missing the next wave. We fear this underestimation, when the real danger is under-empathizing.
"Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and the world’s most influential management guru according to the Thinkers50, lays out his landmark theory."
— Disruptive Innovation Explained - Video - Harvard Business Review
"Fast Company published its 50 most innovative companies, and there’s an intriguing entry in its top 10 media companies. Coming in at No. 2 is… Red Bull. Yes, the “It gives you wings” energy drink ranks ahead of the New York Times as an innovative media company. Weird, no?"
— Good Read: Red Bull as Media Company | Digiday
"Chinese policymakers are no longer satisfied with the country’s position as the world’s manufacturer. Their solution is to break Beijing’s dependence on foreign technology, moving from a model of “made in China” to one of “innovated in China.”"
— China’s Innovation Wall | Foreign Affairs
"They were trying to cut corners, and we were trying to make the corners smooth.” Graves admonished, “You have to work with people who get it, and who understand that you’re a humanist."