Of all the passions of mankind, the love of novelty most rules the mind. In search of this, from realm to realm we roam. Our fleets come loaded with every folly home —Shelby Foote, American historian and novelist
In our most recent strategic plan, we highlighted the Japanese word kanji-ii-kurashi. It’s difficult to translate into English, but essentially it means living as part of a community, simply, conscientiously, and in harmony — Masaaki Kanai, President of Ryōhin Keikaku (Muji brand of products) in HBR Jan-Feb 2018
We are chasing novelty but not for novelty’s sake. Instead, technologies end up widening the gap between the wealthy and the underprivileged. Most technologies are commercialized by the for-profit sector. Venture Capital, which now has a new form in Initial Coin Offerings, essentially supports innovation from a returns perspective. If all new technologies are funded with the objective of creating more money than the initial investment, it is not hard to understand why we see the unintended consequences of the technologies first and the remedial measures soon follow. The debate around misuse of social media as well as abuse of social media resulting in anxiety and depression is a classic example. Rampant speculation of crypto currencies and the Fitbit episode are all manifestations of the unintended consequences of innovation. This article examines some solutions to change incentives to redirect innovation to the masses or the common man first. Innovation, in that sense, should be crowdsourced through an ecosystem built on public and private partnership. While this concept may not be new, the tools to build such an ecosystem are. If only, we chose to use them to chase nobler goals.
Missing The Human Connection
Macaulay Culkin, once remarked in the movie Home Alone “I am 8 years old, TV’s my life”. Growing up, the personal computer certainly wasn’t…