Reputation Traps [...]

A reputation trap is protective device set around issues of sensitivity in a given profession. Reputation traps enforce epistemic closure: to express a certain view or engage in a certain type of work renders one untrustworthy, which in turn further invalidates the view. The term was coined by Hew Price in an article on cold fusion research: > Again, there’s a so...

 

From Toys [...]

From Jane Jacobs, on the way transformations come out of weird sectors. Even the most startling cultural and economic developments do not arise out of thin air. They are always built upon prior developments and upon a certain amount of serendipity and chance. And their consequences are unpredictable, even to their originators and the pioneers who believed in them and ...

 

Liebig’s barrel [...]

Liebig's barrel was initially a model to demonstrate how the efficacy of fertilizer mixes were constrained not by the overall element totals but by the single element out of proportion. Over time it has been used to demonstrate a more broadly applied Theory of the Minimum and the Theory of Constraints. [caption id="attachment_93" align="alignright" width="300"] (sourc...

 

Social Shaping [...]

The Social Shaping of Technology by Robin Williams and David Edge reviews the growing body of research that explores how the design and implementation of technology are patterned by a range of 'social' and 'economic' factors as well as narrowly 'technical' considerations. [http://www.soc.uoc.gr/socmedia/zambarloukou/A001K/Williams-Edge.pdf pdf]. Some quotes: Central t...

 

Innofusion [...]

From his research in the robotics industry that revealed close collaboration between supplier and user companies, James Fleck coined the concept of ‘innofusion’ - a conflation of innovation and diffusion. Fleck posed an alternative to the traditional linear model of technological development where invention, innovation and diffusion are shown as distinct stages th...

 

In the Long Run, Productivity Is Almost Everything [...]

Paul Krugman, in his classic (and somewhat prophetic) book Age of Diminished Expectations spends the first chapter of the book talking about the various metrics of economic success deficits, trade deficits, debt, market values, employment, quality of life. But he starts off by reminding the reader of the essential truth of economics almost any other metric, over tim...

 

Pencil Sharpening Innovation [...]

An analogy from Richard Culatta, Richard Culatta (Director of the Office of Education Technology, US Department of Education) on education and innovation: innovations giving the quickest improvements often top out quickly. So in education, we resort to what I call "pencil sharpening innovation." When you sharpen a pencil, it becomes easier to write. The easy and immed...

 

Incremental Innovation [...]

In a fall 2012 essay, Christian Seelos & Johanna Mair suggest that many current treatments of innovation fail to understand the relationship between innovations and organizations as synergistic, instead seeing adoption of an innovation as the only true metric of success. Such a view misses the important bi-directional nature of the relationship. In place of usual ...

 

10x Innovation [...]

The head of Google[x] explains how thinking bigger can often be easier than thinking small. Wired: Larry Page and Sergey Brin have often said that, rather than solving the fairly big problems, Google should go for the huge problems. How would you define that mindset? Astro Teller: There are tests that you can apply to see if you're thinking big enough. The easiest one...

 

Adoption of Handwashing [...]

Handwashing was identified as a practice that could improve health outcomes in the mid-1800s.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144018/ cite] Increases in the practice led to steep decreases in hospital mortality, yet even today obtaining the level of compliance desired is difficult. This page details the history of handwashing as a medical practice and the pattern...

 

The Growth of Innovation Ideology [...]

In 1962, Everett Rogers' book The Diffusion of Innovations was one of only 400+ writings on the topic of innovation systems theory.  As innovation is, to Rogers, an idea perceived as new to an individual, the book provided a touchstone for a shift in social science research at a time when governments were invested in social programs and commerce was looking for invol...

 

Technology as Synonym for Innovation [...]

Rogers tended to use "technology" and "innovation" as synonyms. From the The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology: Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory is the most appropriate for investigating the adoption of technology in higher education and educational environments (Medlin, 2001; Parisot, 1995). In fact, much diffusion research involves technologi...