Saturday, August 05, 2006

Innovations and predictions

Ramit Sethi endeavours to capture the importance of doing things now and not later. For people synonymous with procrastination and dillydallying, it might be an eye-opener. Good on you, dude!! I would rather hold back and keep my cards close to my chest for a wee bit longer. Enthusiasm is good, but coupled with incautiousness can create an atmosphere that smacks of indecision and confusion. What works for some, may work for others too, but in the opposite direction.

Rajesh Shetty points out 10 different approaches to innovation. The focus will be on merging different approaches into a single, flexible approach. Companies that evolve and figure out better ways of keeping the keys to the ulterior in their innovation pipelines will survive in a world where being second best will just not be good enough.

The real challenge is to be in a position to predict whats coming in the next 10 years in terms of technology and business. We can analyse the past, study the present but can we forecast future trends?? The toughest part of R&D would be keep track of the changing world and predict accurately what would be the rage 10 years from now on.

Some predictions that have gone horribly wrong -

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

“I think there’s a world market for about 5 computers.”
Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the Board, IBM (around 1948)

“The ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered a means of communication.”
Western Union Internal Memo, 1876

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk ?”
Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros, 1927

“There is no reason for any individuals to have a computer in their home.”
Ken Olsen, President, Chairman and Founder of DEC, 1977

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society 1895

“That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.”
Admiral William Leahy. (Advice to President Truman, when asked his opinion of the atomic bomb project.)

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles in 1962


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