The 2 M’s: Method & Money – the Core Problem behind US Innovation performance

I was inspired by this week’s BusinessWeek article on Innovation, Interrupted ‘How America’s Failure to capitalize on innovation hurt the economy – and what happens next” by Michael Mandel. Inspired… to come up with some simple fundamental ‘rules’ – the 2M’s – that explain the lack of real, hard fact innovation success in the US. Now, between you and I, there is a 3rd M – and some people who know me, or follow me on Twitter (@mark_turrell), can guess what that M is. A glass of champagne to the first person who comments and gets it right (when I fly to the place where you are 🙂

So, my comment:

The two biggest problems in the US for innovation: Methods and Money. And that applies to innovation on a global scale too.

At Imaginatik, we have seen that innovation has become harder for several reasons, not the least of which is that many of the easiest challenges (aspirin, combustion engines) have been solved.

— The Methods used by major corporations – and start-ups – are ineffective or outright broken. We rely on BOGSAT to fix our problems (Bunch of Guys Sitting Around a Table) – when we should be tapping into the brainpower of all around us, inside and outside the firm. Call it enterprise crowdsourcing, call it the human cloud. We need to be smarter within companies and and at a global scale to address the world’s problems.

— And Money is making things worse. The version of US capitalism currently in use, means that companies and the individual scientists working on innovation are forced to hide information, and compete for winner takes all survival.

To fix innovation in the US we need to address both the Method and the Money aspect – urgently. We cannot afford to be this dumb anymore.

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