Friday, February 20, 2009

How to Keep Innovating

I hope you'll read this excellent article and take Buxton up on these ideas. I suppose I'm doing it, per the blog entry below. It never occurred to me to go out and try to be bad at something I love, but I'm about to do it.
How to Keep Innovating
BusinessWeek - Feruary 18, 2009
by Bill Buxton
The dogged pursuit of excellence might be the wrong strategy. Microsoft Research Principal Scientist Bill Buxton outlines some tips to keep innovating

I've recently been nagged by a somewhat peculiar thought: In a way, the dogged pursuit of excellence is the path to anything but. As you head down the road to mastery, you run a real risk that in fact you have nothing to distinguish yourself other than the depth of your expertise. That may sound like a good thing, but that expertise may not be either sufficient or satisfying.

To be clear, I am not suggesting for a moment that depth is not important. There are no shortcuts. One does have to put in the thousands of hours that are required to achieve mastery in pretty much anything worthwhile. But like anything else, there are limits beyond which the effort may well prove counter-productive.

In this vein, let me put forward a few balancing counter-propositions:

Always be bad at something that you are passionate about.

[Read more.]

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