No More Lightbulbs
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No More Lightbulbs



The lightbulb is a myth, this slideshow explains why.

The lightbulb is a myth, this slideshow explains why.



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No More Lightbulbs No More Lightbulbs Presentation Transcript

  • 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 Thomke
  • 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 lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new.” // Machiavelli
  • “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
  • ”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
  • 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, he answered:
  • ”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
  • Image attributions
  • Christian Sandström