Innovation Diffusion

Technology Review has a column by Michael Schrage:

Innovation isnt what innovators do; its what customers, clients, and people adopt. Innovation isnt about crafting brilliant ideas that change minds; its about the distribution of usable artifacts that change behavior. Innovatorstheir optimistic arrogance notwithstandingdont change the world; the users of their innovations do. Thats not a subtle distinction.

Thats also why I now believe that the dominant global issue of our time is the accelerating diffusion of innovation. Period. Full stop. The diffusion of innovationnot the spread of ideas or the clash of civilizations or even globalizationis the dynamic driving todays world and tomorrows. Whether you care about nuclear-weapons proliferation, the specter of bioterrorism, global warming, the digital divide, or the prospect that new sources of potable water and cheap energy will better the lives of billions, you arein the first and final analysisconcerned about the risk/reward rivalry that drives the diffusion of innovation.

Every significant issue of our timeenergy crises, environmental degradation, economic development, public health, HIV/AIDS, educational opportunity, child careis increasingly shaped by the ebb and flow of technical innovation. In fact, the quality of global life and the standard of local living have come to be defined by the diffusion of technology. Were not going to escape this essential truth; its dishonest to try.

Andersen’s Two Laws of the Internet

ACM Ubiquity has an interview with Espen Andersen, in which he mentions among other things, hiw two laws:

The first law says that communication and computing are now free resources, and if you remember that law when you think about the use of technology you’re going to do a lot better, especially if you are a CIO or other business executive thinking about how you should make use of it.

The second one I’ve never seen formulated anywhere, but I though about writing it out for Ubiquity. My second law is that every dot.com should have a dot.org to watch over it. A lot of companies are dot.coms, in the sense that they have an Internet presence with an address like companyname.com. I think their customers and other stakeholders in the company should organize and take command over the companyname.org, whatever it may be. So, let’s pick a company, let’s pick enron.com. If there had been an enron.org that watched over enron.com, perhaps Enron wouldn’t have been in the papers quite so much.

WSJ 2004 Tech Innovation Awards

WSJ announced the winners recently. Among the big winners:

Gold Winner: Sun Microsystems Laboratories, US
New method for chips to transmit data inside a computer up to 100 times faster than today’s top speed

Silver Winner: Given Imaging Ltd., Israel
Pill-shaped video camera screens the esophagus for disorders

Bronze Winner: InSightec Image Guided Treatment Ltd., Israel
Device destroys tumors using ultrasound waves together with magnetic resonance imaging