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SNS: The Covid-19 Innovation Abyss

SNS: The Covid-19 Innovation Abyss


In This Issue
Week of 3/16/2020
Vol. 25 Issue 10

The Covid-19 Innovation Abyss

  • Introduction: Going Remote
  • The Covid-19 Innovation Abyss
  • The Economic Outlook Necessitates Innovation
  • Employees Face Anti-Innovation Conditions
  • Creativity vs. Innovation
  • Understanding Creativity
  • Encouraging Remote Creativity
  • Encouraging Remote Innovation
  • Take a – Remote – Hike

The Viral Economy, Part 6

Quotes of the Week


  • The INVNT/IP Digest


Introduction: Going Remote

At our last FiRe conference, I announced what I consider to be a new idea, which I called Discovery Theory. It’s informed by experience with AI and other advanced math and statistical techniques. It will seem either natural or contrarian to our members, depending on their backgrounds.

This is Discovery Theory:

The magnitude of the discovery is directly related to the number of correlated data sets under study, and to the ability of the examiner’s tools to accommodate (benefit from) this complexity.

At the time, I added:

By following Discovery Theory, we’ll make major pattern discoveries, instead of the incremental discoveries we’ve become used to today.

And by honoring these intellectual pattern discoveries with our actions here at FiRe and beyond FiRe, we will convert their beauty and power into products, services, and policies that really will improve the world.

If this sounds to members suspiciously like our credo at Pattern Computer Inc., it should. It’s also directly derived from the pattern recognition work we’ve all been doing together at SNS for the last 25 years.

In other words, the wider you cast your information net, the greater the number of discoveries that will result. At a time when we are exhorted to focus, focus, focus, this may not be an obvious method for achieving great innovations. But it turns out that diving deep, with limited exposure to other sources, only gets you so far. Sure, you’ll make advances, but they’ll tend to be incremental.

For the really great leaps forward in innovation, or what we call Pattern Discoveries, you need to be widening your inputs to an increasing number of data sets.

What, you should now be asking, does this have to do with this week’s issue on going remote? Well, everything.

For a start, it’s well understood that people are more innovative when they collaborate, no doubt for exactly the same reasons: exposure to points of view that expand their own.

It’s a quick jump from this idea to realizing that sending your entire team home, to work alone, remotely, may lead to less innovation for both the team and the company.

Is it possible that one of the most important, but unexpected, effects of the current global lockdown will be a dramatic decline in innovation?

SNS has been virtual since 1995, so we’re used to combining innovation with this model. Pattern Computer Inc. also started as a virtual company, and ran that way in stealth mode for 2.5 years. Now in its fourth year, we’re a hybrid, with key members in San Diego; Boston; Washington, DC; Vancouver, BC; Phoenix; and Redmond. – mra

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