established business vs. innovation

Gary Lawrence Murphy
09 Jan 2002 21:01:01 -0500

>>>>> "J" == Jeff Bone <> writes:

    J> Yeah, but they were accidental.  I'm not sure accidents count
    J> as innovation, but it's an interesting question.

Maybe that's what I meant by "corporate culture" -- 3M is notorious as
a company culture which _allows_ mistakes to happen.  I recall a JPL
or NASA .sig from the 80's "Pure research means you don't know what
the hell you're doing."  

A long time ago, universities also had this sort of exploratory
culture :( but that's another thread.

A good share of all innovations are the result of not knowing what
else to do with that goop, or, like the Slinky, the result of
observing an accidental slip of a machine spring. While I'm sure some
arise in the course of doing other "work-for-hire", in my experience,
a lot of innovation is made possible by sugardaddies (or sugarmommas)
who pay the bills while the tinkerer stays up late gluing bits of

Perhaps the reason why my "business innovations" have been component
"integrations" -- often adapted from the products of bleeding edge
academic research -- is my nanocorp status (and debts/responsibilities
&c &c) leaves precious little overhead for pure R&D playtime. If
there's no one to pay for my time, I just can't afford to do it; I'm
more like the big corp who weighs everything time intensive with "does
it have a profit model?"  ... but that may also be why I'm still in
business after 19 years ;)

Gary Lawrence Murphy <> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems:
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)