Sunday, December 01, 2013

Creativity Quote of the Day: Invention vs Engineering

In 1905, Dr. Hammond V. Hayes took over AT&T's engineering department. Here's a quote from his 1906 letter where he describes his approach to innovation:

Every effort in the Department is being executed toward perfecting the engineering methods; no one is employed who as an inventor is capable of originating new apparatus of novel design. In consequence of this it will be necessary in many cases to depend on the acquisition of inventions of outside men.

Today, many leading technology companies follow this recipe for success by acquiring promising startups, rather than developing their own original ideas.

Source: Leonard S. Reich. Industrial Research and the Pursuit of Corporate Security: The Early Years of Bell Labs. The Business History Review, Vol. 54, No. 4, Business History and the History of Technology (Winter, 1980), pp. 504-529

tags: creativity, invention, innovation, book, business

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