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When Innovation Fails

We are too quick to chase wild and crazy innovation and too slow to implement obvious, practical ideas

2 min read
When Innovation Fails
Photo-illustration: Sean McCabe

Modern societies are obsessed with innovation. In June 2015, Google searches returned 389 million hits for “innovation,” easily beating “terrorism” (92 million), “economic growth” (91 million), and “global warming” (58 million). We are to believe that innovation will open every conceivable door: to life expectancies far beyond 100 years, to the merging of human and machine consciousness, to essentially free solar energy.

This uncritical genuflection before the altar of innovation is wrong on two counts: It ignores those big, fundamental quests that have failed after spending huge sums on research. And it has little to say about why we so often stick to an inferior practice even when we know there’s a superior course of action.

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Greg Mably

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