Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Innovation and Preparation

While completing a recent writing assignment for work I ran across a New York Times article by Janet Rae-Dupree (February 2008) titled, Eureka! It Really Takes Years of Hard Work. Durpree's article is a readable reminder that the work of innovation is not always that innovative. In the article, Durpree provided a Scott Berkun quote that sums up innovation. According to Berkun, “Everything results from accretion" and he goes on to say, "I didn’t invent the English language. I have to use a language that someone else created in order to talk to you. So the process by which something is created is always incremental. It always involves using stuff that other people have made.”

So learning from others and building on the "stuff" of others is the way we all innovate. Dupre also quoted Louis Pasteur who wrote, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” I am always hoping to have a Eureka! moment. I also love to read authors who use the word balderdash to open a sentence. Janet Rae-Dupree writes about science and emerging technology in Silicon Valley for the New York Times after reading this article on innovation I found many other of her articles. I'll be reading her column regularly now.

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