Innovation and Creativity - A starting point.

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Welcome to our innovation and creativity page.

02-02-2000: starting new revision 11-16-2013

 This page will provide continuing monologs and dialogues regarding innovation in the hope of stimulating thought, creativity, and thinking about thinking.  [Note,  yes there are Amazon book links on the side, and on other pages on this site.  Like all other mere mortals, I do have to pay for this site and for internet access, so if there's something that appeals to you, by all means buy it through these links -- its for a good cause - as I hope you discover in this and future discussions]

What is this all about? Well the concept is pretty simple.  We all benefit from advances in human knowledge.  Yet we really do not fully appreciate the way knowledge is created and innovations occur. So I will bring out some thoughts that perhaps can help illuminate (some of) the way forward.   The method .. really pretty plain ... just asking questions.  Asking the RIGHT question is pretty much most of the job.

What are we looking for ? Overwhelming insight! 

Yes, we do have incredible universities and laboratories.

Yes, there are incredible bright and some brilliant people around.  And yes fantastic advances have been made and continue to be made.  So is there any need for more advances?

Sure there is.

Consider this, in 60 AD  - Roman Emperor, Nero,  uses emerald lenses to view gladiator games. Magnifying glasses only became common in fourteenth century, where craftsmen in Venice make small disks of glass, convex on both sides, that could be worn in a frame--spectacles. (The earliest illustrations of spectacles date from about 1350).

So between Nero's emerald lens and the spectacle there's a gulf of about 1300 years.  Pretty sad considering that many people could not contribute to their fullest potential because of   'vision' problems.

But this is not the end of the story.  In fact, the Lanyard Lens, discovered at Nimrod by Lanyard, is datable to 721-705 BC.  This lens is thought to be the first example of a plano-convex lens.  So now we are really talking about 2000 years between the possibility of corrective lenses and their first wide use.

Are we done? NO!

Consider this.

Around 1608, someone took two lenses and put them one in front of the other ... A miracle occurred!

Dateline: Netherlands, October 1608:  Hans Lipperhey applies for patent of a device for "seeing faraway things as though nearby." It consisted of a convex and concave lens in a tube, and the combination magnified three or four times.  This is the first time the optical  "Killer App" is spelled out.

(Earliest known illustration of a telescope. Giovanpattista della Porta included this sketch in a letter written in August 1609.)

 Galileo constructs  his first three-powered spyglass in June or July 1609.  Soon after he  presents  an eight-powered instrument to the Venetian Senate in August, and turns a twenty-powered instrument to the heavens in October or November.

At that moment the heavens are turned on the Catholic Church, and mankind takes its first truly giant step forward.  so now its approximately 2300 years between the first evidence of a lens and humanity's giant step forward. From Galileo's time (and the invention of the microscope soon after), to now its less than  400 years.  

Just think for a moment. WHAT IF  humanity had the telescope 2300 years ago?  What if Kepler had gotten Galileo letter 2300 years earlier? Where would we be today?

WHY were telescopes invented so late? WHY didn't that occur earlier?

HOW can we avoid repeating this kind of tragic waste?

by the way ... Kepler, upon seeing the details of he moon was instantly struck by the notion of getting to the moon.  (insight in hindsight: if you can see it, you can reach it - so it pays to look). You can read about it in  This New Ocean : The Story of the First Space Age by William E. Burrows.


future topics:
   More on Lenses
   The story of Scurvy
   Einstein's A&B Coefficients
   Computers - we haven't begun to scratch the surface.

below are some links to innovation related titles.  The first one is a must have!

This book got me started on the topic.    

 Diffusion of Innovations -- Everett M. Rogers  


this is now a classic!


nothing else

get this book.



other titles to consider.

New bibliographic additions are at our inlogosveritas site. 

Information Systems Innovation and Diffusion : Issues and Directions (Series in Information Technology Management)  
Eugene McGuire(Editor), Tor Jermud Larsen (Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1998
Accelerating Innovation : Improving the Process of Product Development 
Marvin L. Patterson, Sam Lightman / Hardcover / Published 1997
Achieving Planned Innovation : A Proven System for Creating Successful New Products and Services 
Frank R., Jr. Bacon, Thomas W., Jr. Butler / Hardcover / Published 1998
Action Research : From Practice to Writing in an International Action Research Development Program (Dialogues on Work and Innovation, V. 8) 
Davydd J. Greenwood(Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1999
An Anxious Pursuit : Agricultural Innovation and Modernity in the Lower South, 1730-1815 
Joyce E. Chaplin / Hardcover / Published 1993
Architecture, Industry and Innovation : The Early Work of Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners 
Colin Amery / Hardcover / Published 1995
Art and Innovation: The Xerox PARC Artist-In-Residence Program 
Craig Harris(Preface), John Seely Brown (Introduction) / Hardcover / Published 1999
The Art of Discovery : Fueling Innovation for Company Growth (Best Management Practices)
Wayne M. Bundy, et al / Paperback / Published 1997 
Art, Innovation, and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Benin 
Paula Girshick Ben-Amos, Paula Girshick / Hardcover / Published 1999 
Benchmarking for Best Practice : Continuous Learning Through Sustainable Innovation 
Mohamed Zairi / Paperback / Published 1998 
Best Practice : Process Innovation Management 
Mohamed Zairi(Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1999
Biomimicry : Innovation Inspired by Nature 
Janine M. Benyus / Hardcover / Published 1997
Broken Crayons: Break Your Crayons and Draw Outside the Lines
Robert Alan Black / Paperback / Published 1998
Cases in Financial Engineering: Applied Studies of Financial Innovation 
Scott P. Mason, et al / Hardcover / Published 1994
Century of Innovation : A History of European and American Theatre and Drama Since the Late Nineteenth Century 
Robert Findlay(Contributor), Oscar Gross Brockett / Hardcover / Published 1991
Challenging the State : Crisis and Innovation in Latin America and Africa (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)
Merilee Serrill Grindle / Paperback / Published 1996
The Change Masters : Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation 
Rosabeth Moss Kanter / Paperback / Published 1985
Changing by Design : A Practical Approach to Leading Innovation in Nonprofit Organizations (Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Sector Series) 
Douglas C. Eadie, Alan Shrader (Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1997
Changing by Design : Organizational Innovation at Hewlett-Packard 
Deone Zell / Hardcover / Published 1997
The Circle of Innovation : You Can't Shrink Your Way to Greatness
Thomas J. Peters, et al / Hardcover / Published 1997
The Circle of Innovation : You Can't Shrink Your Way to Greatness (Cassette) [ABRIDGED] 
Thomas J. Peters, Tom Peters (Reader) / Audio Cassette icon / Published 1997
Cooperative Learning in Context : An Educational Innovation in Everyday Classrooms (Suny Series, the Social Context of Education)
Corporate Creativity : How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen 
Alan G. Robinson, Sam Stern (Contributor) / Hardcover / Published 1997
Corporate Creativity : How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen [ABRIDGED] 
Alan G. Robinson, Sam Stern (Reader) / Audio Cassette icon / Published 1998


Creating the Digital Future : The Secrets of Consistent Innovation at Intel 
Albert Yu / Hardcover / Published 1998
Creating Value in the Digital Era : Achieving Success Through Insight, Imagination and Innovation
Alf Chattell / Hardcover / Published 1998
The Creative Priority : Driving Innovation in the Real World [ABRIDGED] 
Jerry Hirsberg, Jerry Hirshberg (Reader) / Audio Cassette icon / Published 1998
The Creative Priority : Putting Innovation to Work in Your Business 
Jerry Hirshberg / Paperback / Published 1999
Creative Technological Change : The Shaping of Technology and Organisations (Management of Technology and Innovation) 
Ian McLoughlin / Hardcover / Published 1999
Creativity and Innovation : The Astd Trainer's Sourcebook 
Elaine Biech, et al / Paperback / Published 1996 
Creativity and Innovation for Managers 
Brian Clegg / Paperback / Published 1999 
Creativity, Innovation, and Quality 
Paul E. Plsek / Hardcover / Published 1997 
Innovation Diffusion and Political Control of Energy Technologies : A Comparison of Combined Heat and Power Generation in the Uk and  
Karl Matthias Weber / Paperback / Published 1999 


Innovation, Investment and the Diffusion of Technology in Europe : German Direct Investment and Economic Growth in Postwar Europe (National Institute) 
Ray Barrell(Editor), Nigel Pain (Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1999
Owning the Future  
Seth Shulman / Hardcover / Published 1999 


Political Innovation in America : The Politics of Policy Initiation  
Nelson W. Polsby / Hardcover / Published 1984
40 Principles: TRIZ Keys to Technical Innovation 
Genrikh Altshuller, et al / Paperback / Published 1997

take a look also at these links:
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