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jerryking : ideaviruses   9

Like great coffee, good ideas take time to percolate
Tim Harford FEBRUARY 2, 2018.

why do some obviously good idea take so long to spread?

Even if you don’t much care about London’s coffee scene, this is an important question. William Gibson, science fiction author, observed that the future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed....Researchers at the OECD have concluded that within most sectors (for example, coal mining or food retail) there is a large and rising gap in productivity between the typical business and the 100 leading companies in the sector. The leading businesses are nearly 15 times more productive per worker, and almost five times more productive even after adjusting for their use of capital such as buildings, computers and machinery......If there were some way to help good ideas to spread more quickly, more people would have good coffee and much else besides....good ideas can be slow to spread, even when they are straightforward to grasp. In his classic textbook, The Diffusion of Innovations, Everett Rogers points out that many inventions have to cross a cultural divide: the person preaching the good idea is often quite different to the person being preached to. Rogers would probably not have been surprised to see that “not invented here” was a barrier to good practice.....good advice can work, but even good advice wears off. And we can all be resistant to new ideas. The status quo is comfortable, especially for the people who get to call the shots.....An extreme example of resistance to change lies behind the quip that “science advances one funeral at a time”, based on an observation from the physicist Max Planck. A team of economists has studied the evidence from data on academic citations, and found that Planck seems to have been right: the premature death of a star scientist opens up his or her field to productive contributions from outsiders in other domains. People can be so slow to change their minds that we literally have to wait for them to die.

There is an analogy in the marketplace: sometimes old businesses have to die before productivity improves, although that can mean desperate hardship for the workers involved...there is evidence that US industry is becoming less dynamic: there are fewer shocks, and companies respond less to them. The OECD research, too, suggests that the productivity laggards tend to be further behind in markets that are over-regulated or otherwise shielded from competition.

All too often, we don’t pick up good ideas willingly. We grasp for them, in desperation, only when we have no choice (for example, when were facing a crisis, man-made or natural).
ideas  science_fiction  virality  Tim_Harford  coffee  productivity  William_Gibson  ideaviruses  not-invented-here  status_quo  inventions  books  cultural_divides  crisis  desperation  barriers_to_adoption  customer_adoption 
february 2018 by jerryking
How to Think Big,
April 11, 2013 | Businessweek | by 'Titanic' Replica Builder Clive Palmer.

There are no barriers to having great ideas and thinking big. Whether rich or poor, privileged or disadvantaged, everybody is capable of changing their lives and the lives of others by thinking big. It takes imagination, courage, and the will to work hard. Don’t listen to the knockers and the critics, the naysayers and the negativity. To my knowledge, nobody ever built a monument to a critic. They come and go, but big ideas last forever. The great John F. Kennedy said words to this effect: “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

I’ve had my share of failures along the way, but they’ve only made me stronger and smarter and the successes all the more sweet. The secret to thinking big is capturing the imagination of the people. That’s where the power lies. It’s like harnessing the tide. If you can cultivate the right idea that resonates on an individual level, it will surge through the population like a wave. The best ideas are highly contagious. They can cross borders and cultures.
ideas  thinking  howto  storytelling  persuasion  virality  idea_generation  chutzpah  failure  individual_initiative  ideaviruses  moonshots  negativity_bias  imagination  courage  hard_work  thinking_big  JFK 
july 2013 by jerryking
Irrational Act
02.14.05 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard.

Few can can explain why capitalism works. Economists, trapped in the closed loop of supply and demand, can only make a dismal pseudo-scientific hash of it. Out in the real world people are inspired by ideas. Some are even willing to suffer irrational odds in an effort to turn their ideas into innovations. Most fail, but even the failures add to our knowledge. The pursuit of innovation by entrepreneurs willing to give before they get creates discontinuities that shatter the predictable loop of supply and demand. Entropy and monopoly alike are defeated by innovation. That is how capitalism works. It starts with an irrational act of giving.

Why does tithing work? Nobody knows. Only that it does for many.
in_the_real_world  Rich_Karlgaard  capitalism  tithing  discontinuities  innovation  irrationality  leaps_of_faith  ideas  economic_dynamism  economists  ideaviruses 
august 2012 by jerryking
FT.com / Life & Arts - Lightning in a bottle
October 30 2010 | Financial Times | By Steven Johnson. The
physical density of the city also encourages innovation. Many start-ups,
both now and during the first, late-1990s internet boom, share offices.
This creates informal networks of influence, where ideas can pass from
one company to the other over casual conversation at the espresso
machine or water cooler....By crowding together, we increase the
likelihood of interesting ideas or talents crossing the companies’
borders. The proximity also helps to counter the natural volatility of
start-ups...Economists have a telling phrase for the kind of sharing
that happens in these densely populated environments: “information
spillover.” When you share a civic culture with millions of people, good
ideas have a tendency to flow from mind to mind, even when their
creators try to keep them secret....The musician and artist Brian Eno coined the odd but apt word “scenius” to describe the unusual pockets of group creativity and invention that emerge in certain intellectual or artistic scenes: philosophers in 18th-century Scotland; Parisian artists and intellectuals in the 1920s. In Eno’s words, scenius is “the communal form of the concept of the genius.” New York hasn’t yet reached those heights in terms of internet innovation, but clearly something powerful has happened. There is genuine digital-age scenius on its streets. This is good news for my city, of course, but it’s also an important case study for any city that wishes to encourage innovative business. How did New York pull it off?
ideas  creativity  innovation  cities  cross-pollination  urban  idea_generation  scenius  Steven_Johnson  proximity  information_spillover  unpredictability  serendipity  collaboration  densification  ideaviruses  volatility  network_density  start_ups 
october 2010 by jerryking
Chance Favors the Connected Mind
September 27, 2010 | Jam Side Down | by Marty Manley. This
weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a very insightful article by
Steve Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You, which argues
that video games and TV shows are actually making us smarter and The
Ghost Map, which chronicles the heroic efforts of John Snow to prove
that London's terrifying 19th century cholera epidemics were water
borne, not airborne as widely believed.

The article is condensed from Johnson's forthcoming Where Good Ideas
Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, which describes the
conditions under which "ideas have sex" and multiply. He has also
released a YouTube video that is both a captivating summary and a
brilliant piece of media.
book_reviews  books  cholera  innovation  YouTube  Steven_Johnson  interconnections  ideas  idea_generation  luck  chance  information_spillover  ideaviruses  connected_learning  collective_intelligence  contingency  19th_century  virality 
october 2010 by jerryking
The Protocol Society
Dec. 22, 2009 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. A protocol economy has
very different properties than a physical stuff economy. The success
of an economy depends on its ability to invent and embrace new
protocols, its' “adaptive efficiency,” -- how quickly a society can be
infected by new ideas. Protocols are intangible, so the traits needed to
invent and absorb them are intangible, too. First, a nation has to have
a good operating system: laws, regulations and property rights. Second,
a nation has to have a good economic culture: attitudes toward
uncertainty, the willingness to exert leadership, the willingness to
follow orders. A strong economy needs daring consumers (China lacks
this) and young researchers with money to play with (N.I.H. grants used
to go to 35-year-olds but now they go to 50-year-olds). See “From
Poverty to Prosperity,” by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz and Richard
Ogle’s 2007 book, “Smart World,” When the economy is about ideas,
economics comes to resemble psychology.
David_Brooks  innovation  books  culture  adaptability  ideaviruses  risk-taking  R&D  N.I.H.  property_rights  regulations  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  services  digital_economy  rules-based  intellectual_property  demand-driven  psychology  customer-driven  intangibles  behavioural_economics  protocols  poverty  prosperity 
december 2009 by jerryking
To fix the economy, tell the right stories
May 14, 2009 | Globe and Mail | by ROBERT SHILLER

World confidence can return if the population's thinking co-ordinates
around some inspiring story beyond that of the price increases
themselves. In Shiller's book with George Akerlof, Animal Spirits, they
describe the ups and downs of a macroeconomy as being substantially
driven by stories. Such narratives, especially those fuelled by
accessible human-interest stories, are the thought viruses whose
contagion drives the economy. The contagion rate of stories depends on
their relation to feedback, but plausible stories have to be there in
the first place. The narratives have substantial persistence in that
they affect our views.
storytelling  economic_downturn  ideas  Communicating_&_Connecting  jck  Robert_Shiller  economics  confidence  macroeconomics  inspiration  ideaviruses  contagions  narratives  economic_dynamism  leaps_of_faith 
may 2009 by jerryking
Rage against the routine
September 2007 | From PROFIT magazine | By Rick Spence

We could all use some creative renewal and time management makeover.
Take a different route to work each day. Take a night course in
marketing, design, art history, German, creative writing or the
Renaissance. Read Seth Godin’s blog (sethgodin.typepad.com) for a crash
course in the changing worlds of strategy and marketing, complete with
purple cows, big red fezzes and ideaviruses. Buy an iPod and ask friends
to share their music with you. Embrace quiet. Learn to see and listen
with heightened senses. Say “Tell me more” more often. And take time to
ask two questions: “Why?” and “Why not?”.
5_W’s  boredom  creative_renewal  conversations  creativity  ideaviruses  innovation  inspiration  questions  quizzes  Rick_Spence  routines  Seth_Godin  time-management  timeouts 
april 2009 by jerryking

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