Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scalable Innovation: Figures for Foreword and Prologue.

Our book Scalable Innovation: A Guide for Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and IP Professionals is now available for the general public, e.g. on Amazon. All figures in the text are printed in gray scale, which is not always optimal for our color originals. For those of you who enjoy reading the book, Max Shtein and I (Eugene Shteyn) would like to provide all figures in color, as originally intended (click to enlarge, if necessary).

Today, we upload figures for the introductory chapters of the book.



The figure below illustrates diminishing innovation-related growth. We should learn how to innovate better to address the problem!

Figure F.1 Growth in real GDP per capita, 1300-2100, with actual and hipothetical paths.
Source: Robert J. Gordon. Is U.S. economic growth over? Faltering innovation confronts the six headwinds. 2012. NBER Working Paper 18315. [5]


This is how a typical trade-off diagram looks like: an improvement in one aspect makes another worse.

FIGURE 0.1    Shipment ␣exibility versus fuel ef␣ciency trade-off diagram. Cargo shipping by sea is more fuel ef␣cient than by airplane, train, or truck, but the shipment may take longer to arrive, and possible destinations may be limited to major ports.

Often, people think about innovation as a one-dimensional process: Old vs New.

FIGURE 0.2  The general view of old versus new that conflates the concepts/meanings of the terms invention and innovation.

By contrast, we want to emphasize a more realistic — seesaw-like — nature of the process.

FIGURE 0.3. A more realistic, two-dimensional depiction of the difference (and path) between invention and innovation.

We see innovation as a space where new things or ways of getting them done become possible. From this perspective, companies choose to enter innovation spaces at different points.

FIGURE 0.4. A company entry point into an innovation space. Apple and Facebook entered their respective innovation spaces closer to the invention point than Microsoft and Google+.

The process of innovation requires contributions from different people, either as individuals or members of the community. Eventually, breakthrough ideas become routine. You can see some of origins for this diagram in my earlier blog posts.

FIGURE 0.5 (a, b) Diagrams illustrating in graphical form the main conclusions of a recent study by Greg Linden et al., Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy. The Case of Apple iPod, 2011, http://pcic.merage.uci.edu/papers/2009/ InnovationAndJobCreation.pdf. To earn good money, one must become involved in non-routine processes in generating new products or services. Routine jobs pay little and are the target of relentless outsourcing, off-shoring, and, ultimately, automation. (For a stark illustration, see a related article by The Week editorial staff, “A Day in the Life of a Warehouse Wage Slave,” http://theweek.com/article/index/228096/a- day-in-the-life-of-a-warehouse-wage-slave and the recent purchase by Amazon of a warehouse robotics system.)

We believe creativity is a process that requires the right match between skills and challenges.

FIGURE 0.6 An illustration of the concept of Flow proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. (Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/␣le:challenge_vs_skill. svg; Source: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life. New York: Basic Books. 1997, p. 31.)

( To be continued...)

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