For the leading think tanks, labs and entrepreneurial innovators innovation is the key. An original thought can turn to gold with the correct team. Many thoughts fall by the way side, yet should be considered in more detail. Sometimes very good thoughts are moved forward without regard to the problems anticipated which will cause a future failure of the product, yet sometimes the human gut instinct says; “Let’s do it; we can figure out the details later!” A dangerous and risky proposition, yet many an invention was taken forward in this way and sometimes it takes risks to see it through.
One dilemma of the innovators is what will be the next invention needed? How can you follow the trends to figure it out? How can you predict the future? Indeed thinking ahead is not that hard if you watch all the trends simultaneously, actually it to me seems almost impossible not to do. And yet all the humans run around with turned off brains and think you are brilliant for merely pointing out the obvious. Some trends are so obvious that only a few people ever put them together. But the innovative groups must to survive. Unless they have money to burn and can simply better the efforts of the first innovative prototypes and buy up those companies.
Well, with Gates, he does not have to be “First to Market” he can be second and take all the new innovations and put them together and have the better consumer “Widget Mouse Trap,” hell that’s what everyone would do, if they had the funding. Risk reward is always an issue with Bureaucratic Large groups and labs, thus you need to keep is running within special teams of innovative talent in my opinion.
One of the groups, which does this well is DARPA, although some say they could do it better, they always seem to bring the right teams together. Indeed they are not the only superstars of innovation, as a few really smart companies which allow the creative geniuses their computers, drawing boards and brilliance that comes with baggage can often come up with an incredible break through very quickly. But the creative innovators need some slack and they have quirks and needs. So, if we want their minds then we must insure that they can whatever they need to move forward in a semi-structured path with limited boundaries. Then they do it simply because they love to do it, then every one wins. Plato talked of this in the Republic; allow everyman to do what he is best at and alleviate them from what they are not good at. Entrepreneurs should not be forced to fill out forms or do accounting or wear ties for instance you see? Think on this in 2006.