NO MORE
LIGHTBULBS
Are you against innovation?
Against ideas?
Against creativity?
You must be evil…
… or at least dangerous.
Well, I am not…
Lightbulbs are dangerous…
… Because they create a
myth about innovation.
… Myths are dangerous – they
create false expectations and
         misguide us.
Everywhere we go
lightbulbs symbolise:
Ideas
Innovation
Creativity
The lightbulb analogy
suggests that good ideas and
  innovations occur in an
   instant flash of genius.
There are many historical examples used
  in order to illustrate the lightbulb…
Newton discovered gravity
when an apple fell on him…
So, the
equation goes:
One more
 famous
example:
In a flash of genius,
 Archimedes made
his discovery of the
  buoyancy force.
Eureka!
He shouted, and ran naked
through the streets of Syracuse
     in sheer excitement.
Many of these stories are
 probably just myths…
But anyway, were the
discoveries by Newton and
   Archimedes instant?
Or were they the consequence of
extensive experimentation and making
           many mistakes?
The lightbulb analogy
 suggests that ideas
and innovations just
   occur instantly.
Well…
They don’t.
It’s
  not
Instant
It’s
    an
iterative
process
Experimentation
It’s
Trial…
… And
Error.
Not just a Flash
”from nowhere”
“Without experimentation, we
 might all still be living in
 caves and using rocks as
 tools.”
                 Stefan Thom...
So, with
lightbulb
 thinking
Mankind
 would
still live
in caves
And still,
wherever
we go…
Innovation
and ideas are
 expressed
   with…
Lightbulbs.
See why lightbulbs are
     dangerous?
But there’s
more to it…
Let’s move on
Another myth
connected to the
lightbulb is that:
Innovation is easy.
That innovation is
   just like…
… You
   know,
turning on
a lightbulb.
Just a
PLING!
And then enjoying
The fruits of it.
Well…
How many
  companies
 or products
   did these
guys bring to
 the market?
……….
See my
point?
Newton and Archimedes
were brilliant scientists,
not brilliant innovators.
Innovation is not the
  same as making a
     discovery.
“He who innovates will have for
 his enemies all those who are
 well off under the existing
 order of things, and only
 lu...
“Every idea in history has the
fat red stamp of rejection on
its face. It’s hard to see today
because once ideas gain
acce...
”This ’telephone’ has too many shortcomings to
  be seriously considered as a means of
  communications. The device is inh...
In 1996, Losec
   was the best
selling drug in the
      world.
The project
started in 1966!
It was killed
 five times.
But the
 researchers
ignored this,
   and kept
   working.
The R&D manager who
 kept the project alive,
  Ivan Östholm once
   asked one of his
  researchers how a
    project went,...
”It’s too early to
  say, we’ve only
been working on it
 for three years.”
You see my point?
It’s probably
impossible to find a
  more inaccurate
 description of the
  development of
 Losec than the…
PLING!
So, now we know why
    Lightbulbs are
      dangerous.
Let’s move on
And take a
 look at how
the lightbulb
myth harms
  innovation
When managers
think lightbulb
  they think:
”Once we have
  ideas, we’ll
invest in them”
”There’s always money
   for good ideas!”
You need wood,
 matches, good
  climate and
patience to light
  a campfire
In the
same way…
You need money,
good climate and
patience in order
  to DEVELOP
   good ideas
The lightbulb is
  misleading us
about innovation
But it does not
 stop there…
The lightbulb
communicates that
the idea is the most
  important thing
This implies
   that…
Inventors get all
     the social
   gratitude, not
  those who put
ideas into practice
And Innovation is
  like biology
You need both to…
Well, you know…
… Create
something new…
… And bring it
to the world.
The lightbulb myth
  also encourages
inventors to chill out
”I just came up with
 a brilliant idea, so
      I’m done!”
When in fact the idea is just the start
         of a long journey.
Homer Simpson
agrees with me
He once said:
”Trying is always the
 first step to failure,
   so the lesson is
      never try.”
The lightbulb myth
 also discourages
 people who don’t
     have a…
PLING!
”I don’t have a good
 idea, so I’ll sit here
until I get a PLING!”
But ideas do not
”PLING!” up from
     nowhere
They are found by
 doing things…
And by connecting
   with others.
So, summing it up…
The lightbulb is a
dangerous myth
Ideas and
Innovations do not
   occur from an
 instant ”PLING!”
Human progress is
not about ”PLING!”
It’s about hard work
And It’s
 about
Trial and
 Error.
With
lightbulb
 thinking
Mankind
 would
still live
in caves
That’s why I say
NO MORE
LIGHTBULBS
Image attributions
Christian Sandström
www.christiansandstrom.org
No More Lightbulbs
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No More Lightbulbs

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The lightbulb is a myth, this slideshow explains why.

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No More Lightbulbs

  1. 1. NO MORE LIGHTBULBS
  2. 2. Are you against innovation?
  3. 3. Against ideas?
  4. 4. Against creativity?
  5. 5. You must be evil…
  6. 6. … or at least dangerous.
  7. 7. Well, I am not…
  8. 8. Lightbulbs are dangerous…
  9. 9. … Because they create a myth about innovation.
  10. 10. … Myths are dangerous – they create false expectations and misguide us.
  11. 11. Everywhere we go lightbulbs symbolise:
  12. 12. Ideas
  13. 13. Innovation
  14. 14. Creativity
  15. 15. The lightbulb analogy suggests that good ideas and innovations occur in an instant flash of genius.
  16. 16. There are many historical examples used in order to illustrate the lightbulb…
  17. 17. Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell on him…
  18. 18. So, the equation goes:
  19. 19. One more famous example:
  20. 20. In a flash of genius, Archimedes made his discovery of the buoyancy force.
  21. 21. Eureka!
  22. 22. He shouted, and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse in sheer excitement.
  23. 23. Many of these stories are probably just myths…
  24. 24. But anyway, were the discoveries by Newton and Archimedes instant?
  25. 25. Or were they the consequence of extensive experimentation and making many mistakes?
  26. 26. The lightbulb analogy suggests that ideas and innovations just occur instantly.
  27. 27. Well…
  28. 28. They don’t.
  29. 29. It’s not Instant
  30. 30. It’s an iterative process
  31. 31. Experimentation
  32. 32. It’s Trial…
  33. 33. … And Error.
  34. 34. Not just a Flash ”from nowhere”
  35. 35. “Without experimentation, we might all still be living in caves and using rocks as tools.” Stefan Thomke
  36. 36. So, with lightbulb thinking
  37. 37. Mankind would still live in caves
  38. 38. And still, wherever we go…
  39. 39. Innovation and ideas are expressed with…
  40. 40. Lightbulbs.
  41. 41. See why lightbulbs are dangerous?
  42. 42. But there’s more to it…
  43. 43. Let’s move on
  44. 44. Another myth connected to the lightbulb is that:
  45. 45. Innovation is easy.
  46. 46. That innovation is just like…
  47. 47. … You know, turning on a lightbulb.
  48. 48. Just a PLING!
  49. 49. And then enjoying
  50. 50. The fruits of it.
  51. 51. Well…
  52. 52. How many companies or products did these guys bring to the market?
  53. 53. ……….
  54. 54. See my point?
  55. 55. Newton and Archimedes were brilliant scientists, not brilliant innovators.
  56. 56. Innovation is not the same as making a discovery.
  57. 57. “He who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new.” // Machiavelli
  58. 58. “Every idea in history has the fat red stamp of rejection on its face. It’s hard to see today because once ideas gain acceptance, we gloss over the hard paths they took to get there.” // Scott Berkun, The myths of innovation
  59. 59. ”This ’telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communications. The device is inherently of no value to us.” //Western Union, 1876
  60. 60. In 1996, Losec was the best selling drug in the world.
  61. 61. The project started in 1966!
  62. 62. It was killed five times.
  63. 63. But the researchers ignored this, and kept working.
  64. 64. The R&D manager who kept the project alive, Ivan Östholm once asked one of his researchers how a project went, he answered:
  65. 65. ”It’s too early to say, we’ve only been working on it for three years.”
  66. 66. You see my point?
  67. 67. It’s probably impossible to find a more inaccurate description of the development of Losec than the…
  68. 68. PLING!
  69. 69. So, now we know why Lightbulbs are dangerous.
  70. 70. Let’s move on
  71. 71. And take a look at how the lightbulb myth harms innovation
  72. 72. When managers think lightbulb they think:
  73. 73. ”Once we have ideas, we’ll invest in them”
  74. 74. ”There’s always money for good ideas!”
  75. 75. You need wood, matches, good climate and patience to light a campfire
  76. 76. In the same way…
  77. 77. You need money, good climate and patience in order to DEVELOP good ideas
  78. 78. The lightbulb is misleading us about innovation
  79. 79. But it does not stop there…
  80. 80. The lightbulb communicates that the idea is the most important thing
  81. 81. This implies that…
  82. 82. Inventors get all the social gratitude, not those who put ideas into practice
  83. 83. And Innovation is like biology
  84. 84. You need both to…
  85. 85. Well, you know…
  86. 86. … Create something new…
  87. 87. … And bring it to the world.
  88. 88. The lightbulb myth also encourages inventors to chill out
  89. 89. ”I just came up with a brilliant idea, so I’m done!”
  90. 90. When in fact the idea is just the start of a long journey.
  91. 91. Homer Simpson agrees with me
  92. 92. He once said:
  93. 93. ”Trying is always the first step to failure, so the lesson is never try.”
  94. 94. The lightbulb myth also discourages people who don’t have a…
  95. 95. PLING!
  96. 96. ”I don’t have a good idea, so I’ll sit here until I get a PLING!”
  97. 97. But ideas do not ”PLING!” up from nowhere
  98. 98. They are found by doing things…
  99. 99. And by connecting with others.
  100. 100. So, summing it up…
  101. 101. The lightbulb is a dangerous myth
  102. 102. Ideas and Innovations do not occur from an instant ”PLING!”
  103. 103. Human progress is not about ”PLING!”
  104. 104. It’s about hard work
  105. 105. And It’s about Trial and Error.
  106. 106. With lightbulb thinking
  107. 107. Mankind would still live in caves
  108. 108. That’s why I say
  109. 109. NO MORE LIGHTBULBS
  110. 110. Image attributions
  111. 111. Christian Sandström www.christiansandstrom.org
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