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  • Posted by  $  mminnick 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Agree. Intelligent design occurs at the individual level. Synthesis occurs at the group/team level where ideas are discussed and explored.
    It is true that even in the team/group setting it is individuals that make the leaps of insight and concept, but without a group working togethere, some ideas and concepts would not become reality.
    The flow is something like:
    Individual --> Team ---> Society or in some cases:
    Individual ---> Society
    but in all cases it is the individual that has the original idea or improvement. It always starts with the individual.

    +1
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    One thing which is totally missing from the article, however, is the realization that incentives are everything and at the core of why capitalism works. Capitalism doesn't innovate just to innovate. Innovation and invention are expensive and time-consuming. Unless there is the likelihood of a payoff and profit in the end, "innovation" is just wasted energy. I can come up with a brand new, innovative design for a VCR - and it will go nowhere because there is no consumer demand!

    Second: it is the lack of consumer-oriented incentives which leads to government gone wrong. Because governments do not have to turn a profit - just win at the polls - they can easily chase non-productive processes and behaviors. Their only innovations are how to spend more money on pet projects. But comparing big companies to government really isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. One can certainly note the lack of agility of a big corporation, but it is not a product of a perverse incentive structure like government, but rather inertia and risk tolerance.

    Lastly, I caution against getting absorbed by the new norm of always and perpetual "updates" just for the sake of being new. I caution against this "perpetual beta" mentality that now pervades software development and has resulted in poor-quality products. I caution against the disposable lifestyle where we now throw away our printers because a new set of consumables is more expensive than just buying a new one! I caution against the trend to buy a new car on an eight-year payment schedule only to trade it in every third or fourth year (all the while remaining in perpetual debt).

    Value maximization to me is a product which lasts and provides extended functionality. Give me back an automobile which has a basic carburetor, manual transmission, and costs <$10,000 brand new yet will run for 20 years over the current cars which can easily top $60,000 and cost an arm and a leg every time you take them to a repair shop. Give me a basic operating system which runs on 1/2 gig of memory and DOESN'T update itself every Tuesday night breaking several of my existing programs! I'm not "anti-progress" - far from it. I just have a very different definition of progress than many in today's world.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Vivid memory: I was working for an aerospace giant firm, which was passionately anchored to processes. When I pointed out the flaws in things that consistently failed, I was asked if we had a process controlling the activity, and I said yes, but the process isn't working. Management then suggested I attend the process committee responsible for developing processes. When I sat through one of the committee meetings I realized the major flaw was in how the processes were developed. When I pointed this out to committee head, she suggested I go to the meeting that decides the process for developing processes. I then decided to screw it and solve the problems by ignoring the official processes. Wonderland does exist, in the heads of government and corporate bureaucrats.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I agree with this article and with mminnick's comment. I admire people who can build effective teams that can innovate. It's easy to say what Good to Great says about getting the right people on the bus and getting out of their way. It's very hard to execute.

    "The future points to the elevation of consumer sovereignty over managerialism, which can only be good for freedom and individualism."
    Yes. This is my view too.
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