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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Comments on “NY Times On How Innovation Is A Process”

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Bill W says:

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 …

angry dude says:

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

angry dude says:

Re: Re: Re:2 a book, even!

Sure you can trust me:)


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 http://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”

Dan says:

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.

Brian Hayes (user link) says:

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.

Bill W says:

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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