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Preventing innovation erosion

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4/13/2011 10:20 PM EDT

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xiongxiongmx
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
xiongxiongmx   11/30/2011 7:07:40 AM
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???

Duane Benson
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
Duane Benson   4/20/2011 4:53:22 PM
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I've seen plenty of NIH from engineers. I've also seen plenty of management short-sidedness. Those two traits certainly stifle innovation. One other trait that I've seen, both in engineers and in corporate management, is failure to consider the whole picture. If you can make a new motor that's much more efficient than current models, but your manufacturing quantity will be severely limited by a limited supply of a key ingredient, is that a good business decision? If you can engineer a design, but it is not manufacturerable, is that a good business decision? I've seen a lot of products built that would be great, except fort "one little thing." That one little thing has a disproportionately large effect on the profitability, manufacturability or useability of the product but is left out because it can't be fit into the schedule or budget, or is just too hard to do.

Bob Lacovara
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
Bob Lacovara   4/20/2011 3:48:46 PM
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Hmm. Someone once said that there was no limit to the good a man could do if he didn't care who got the credit. I don't care too much who gets credit; my experience has been that people know where good ideas come from in a company. But of course, credit isn't the only consideration: there's paying the mortgage, and that definitely does require that the inventor get the credit and the financial kudos. Hence, most of us are careful to make sure that while we are modestly claiming the support and assistance of peers, and gushing about the giants whose dead shoulders we stand on, we are also leave a clear trace of responsibility. That, I'm afraid, is the way the world works, no?

Bob Lacovara
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
Bob Lacovara   4/20/2011 3:45:24 PM
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Selinz, I'm not sure that the resistance to a new technique is always arrogance. In many cases, engineers correctly recognize the "new" "great" methodology as what it is: merely another process to follow. And in the war of process vs. product, engineers rarely want more process. In the worst cases, the "process" people become veritable parasites on the system, producing nothing and even worse, slowing everything down. That may be part of what you saw in your experience.

DrQuine
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
DrQuine   4/16/2011 8:36:08 PM
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Hmm. Does this mean the solution is to license your most innovative inventions to the competition? The competition will take them to market, cover the costs of marketing and socializing the new concept, and allow your (now envious) employer to reap the financial benefits of being second to market for a product which is now in demand. I'd like to think there was a better approach...

prabhakar_deosthali
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
prabhakar_deosthali   4/14/2011 5:44:59 AM
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While converting an innovation to a commercial product , the implementation time frame is very important. The flavor of the innovation will be lost if the conversion to a commercial product takes too long. By that time either the rival company has got a better idea than yours and are already in the market or the idea itself becomes obsolete as a totally new and cheap technology may be available to supersede it.

selinz
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re: Preventing innovation erosion
selinz   4/13/2011 11:03:52 PM
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As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. In the 90's, Motorola invested substantially in "Invention Machine," a software based enstanciation of TRIZ. TRIZ is a acronym for a problem solving methodology attributed to Genrich Altshuller, a Soviet engineer and inventor from the 40's. The objective was to provide ideas to solve a problem from areas of technology from which you weren't familiar. Thus, if you knew it all, it was useless.. :-) I was involved in teaching the procedure to many of Motorola's "inventors" and found that most engineers were very skeptical of "aids" in inventing. Most would rather come up with a solution to the problem based on their own background and knowledge. So I think part of the problem is general engineering arrogance, which also manifests itself in the form of NIH. IMHO, arrogance is creativity's worst enemy. On the other hand, many cultures and companies operate on the mandate: "I'd rather copy a good idea than invent a bad one."

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