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.