Wednesday, February 09, 2005

ACM: Ubiquity - Mark Stefik on Invention and Innovation

ACM: Ubiquity - Mark Stefik on Invention and Innovation: "UBIQUITY: What are the two questions?

STEFIK: This is very simple but also fundamental. The two questions are 'What is possible?' and 'What is needed?' When a workshop identifies a valuable problem, this is the 'what is needed' question. When it explores what could be done with emerging technologies, this is the 'what is possible' question. The magic is in the dance. The business and marketing people tend to have strong insights about what is needed, but they don't have a good grasp of what is possible, especially if it involves advanced technology. So they limit their search to familiar paths. The technology people have a better handle on what is possible, but less insight as to what is needed. When you bring these groups together productively, the marketing guys might say 'I didn't know that was possible' and the researchers might say 'I didn't know you needed that.'"