Fistful of beans 09/21/2011

Four of things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results:

1.  Why being wrong is good for you —

Most of us go through life assuming we are right, almost all the time, about pretty much everything:  our political, our values, our tastes, our religious beliefs, our view of other people, our memory, our version of facts.

We can not all be right, if someone is right, that implies someone is wrong, and how can so many feel so right when, in reality, so many are so wrong?  Our ability to reach a conclusion is essential for us to know we are right or to prove we are right.

But what do we go through when we are faced with being wrong?  When someone presents their clear-headed alternative to your conviction?  Being wrong is a sign of being a failure.  However, if we better embrace being wrong we better embrace how we learn, change, and develop.  Is it not an admirable trait to continually develop?

2.  On being wrong — Kathryn Schulz TED* Presentation

3.  Three Cheers for the Cheapeners and Cost-Cutters— Wall Street Journal

Innovation without thought for cost can keep great ideas from adoption.  Being cost effective or cheap is as much a driver for innovation adoption.  The greatest impact of a new idea comes when it is cheap enough for many people to use and this economy of scale may take decades.  So, cost cutters, are as important as the original idea and, at times, cheapening provides more innovation than the original innovation.

4.  Patently absurd — The Economist

Economist, Toby Elwin, US Patent BacklogThe U.S. Patent Office, founded in 1790 by Thomas Jefferson, grants patents only to innovations that are useful and genuinely novel.  This system of intellectual property is crucial to generate economic growth, as inventors and entrepreneurs, with patents, become ensured they can make money from their good ideas.

Last year the patent office granted 244,358 patents out of the applications examined, but left 700,000 not even reviewed.  An inventor can wait almost 3 years on a patent decision, 2 years for application consideration and 10 months or more to learn if successful.  If nothing else, we’ve learned that this global economy, connected via the World Wide Web, demands speed.  The U.S. Patent Office remains a bottleneck to economic growth.

*TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds:  Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

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