NY Times On How Innovation Is A Process

from the this-theme-is-growing dept

For years, we've been among a group of folks pushing for more people to recognize that innovation is an ongoing process, rather than a burst of inspiration, as is often suggested. This may seem like a minor point, but it's actually quite an important one when it comes to things like public policy on encouraging innovation, including such things as patent laws. Patents actually do make some sense if innovation really is a burst of inspiration. But when that burst of inspiration is a lot less important than the ongoing process of trying, adjusting, trying, adjusting -- and when things like patents make it harder for people to try and adjust -- then it's important to understand the distinction. Last month, Business Week ran a nice article on how innovation was a process, and now it appears that the NY Times has its own, similar, article. You could say that the NY Times "stole" the idea from Business Week -- or you could just say that both are realizing something important that's quite fundamental, and are doing their best to innovatively get that message out to the world.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Bill W, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 10:59am

    Too bad ...

    Gee, that's really too bad that the NYT stole that idea from Business Week. That means, of course, that BW can no longer expand, amplify, explore, or further develop the idea. The reason, of course, is that ideas are just like real property and can be owned or even stolen from someone and, therefore, deprive the original possessor of the ability to further use that idea. Maybe they could agree that this is an Open Source idea?

    It's especiialy too bad because what if they BOTH could work on the idea? Maybe they would come to different conclusions or, perhaps, disagree and then we might see how two good minds might approach the idea. Why, we might even see if one could use the idea better than the other as they might even try to best each other on handling the idea. Then we'd get benefit from the competition itself!

    But, alas, it belongs to the NYT now .... sigh ...

     

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  2.  
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    Bill W, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Re: Too bad ...

    I just had another thought. What if one of them PATENTS the Business Process of "Innovation As An Ongoing Process?"

    WOW!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 11:08am

    Their lack of inspiration is why the New York Times is circling the drain.

    The Times is "processing" themselves into oblivion.

     

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  4.  
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    angry dude, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    F*** you all dudes

    A bunch of paid media clowns and worthless PR hacks talking nonsense and doing a lot of harm to the future of this country, instead of focusing public attention on real problems like fixing USPTO and making patent litigation cheaper and more predictable...

    Geesh, this country is really really f*****

     

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  5.  
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    monkeygrudge, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 11:18am

    a book, even!

    The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun http://tinyurl.com/2b4r7o

     

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  6.  
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    angry dude, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 11:36am

    Re: a book, even!

    "Scott Berkun knows innovation. A member of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft from 1994-1999..."

    yeah, innovation indeed

    they just shamlessly ripped off all essential features of then much superior Netscape browser and bundled IE with Windoze to kill the smaller competitor..
    Innovation my ass

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: a book, even!

    Where do you work angry dude? It seems you only make comments here during the work day between a certain amount of time. Must be nice to be paid to make uninformed, flamebait comments for a living.

     

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  8.  
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    Sal, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: a book, even!

    I'm not sure how much I can trust Angry Dude, but if that quote is true, he has a good point.

     

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  9.  
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    angry dude, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: a book, even!

    Sure you can trust me:)

    http://www.amazon.com/Myths-Innovation-Scott-Berkun/dp/0596527055

    from the book description:

    "Scott Berkun knows innovation. A member of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft from 1994-1999, he is a full-time author at www.scottberkun.com and wrote the 2005 bestseller, The Art of Project Management (O'Reilly). He also teaches creative thinking at the University of Washington"

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 2:02pm

    About angry dude

    Angry dude used to be in the military, but seems to have been..."discharged"...

     

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  11.  
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    steve, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Microsoft IE and Netscape

    It's too bad there wasn't some established legal mechanism by which Netscape (or Mozilla or U.Ill.) could have protected some of their innovations...

     

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  12.  
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    Dan, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: a book, even!

    "they just shamlessly ripped off all essential features of then much superior Netscape browser and bundled IE"

    Netscape was hardly a superior browser during that entire 5 year span. Navigator was superior to IE for the first half of that time span, and fell behind in the second half. Microsoft essentially caught up with IE 4, and beat out Navigator with version 5.

    I am a little confused as to what "essential features" you are referring to.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: a book, even!

    Viewing web based content

     

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  14.  
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    Brian Hayes, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 3:02pm

    Property is so confusing

    I found it odd when I read "You could say that the NY Times "stole" the idea from Business Week...". I'm certain that I could robe my works in copyright sprinkled with service and trademark claims and never protect an idea. I'm glad too that ideas are never private property.

    BTW, as time goes on the posts about IP are truly educational and always witty and well-written. Bravo.

     

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  15.  
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    Bill W, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Property is so confusing

    Sorry, I forgot the "sarcastic" flag there ... I thought it might be obvious. I, too, find the IP discussions very interesting. Although I don't think I thought much about the subject prior to becoming a TechDirt reader I certainly do take a closer look at what I read today. The strongest issue I have is with concept of ideas as actual Intellectual Property that are to be treated just as Real Property. If you take the concept to the not-so-extreme then you (or at least I) come up with "stolen property" is no longer accessible to the original owner. Of course that's ludicrous when you think of Ideas, Thoughts, Opinions, or any other mental activity. So how can you possibly try to apply the rules and law of the physical world to mental activity? And yet, as I understand it, that stretch is being attempted today in the IP courts.

     

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