Innovation: value vs. exercise

I've worked with Andy for quite a few years now – pretty creative and cool guy whose heart is in the right place.  Unfortunately, I think we find ourselves on opposite sides of the fence a lot.  Me, the IT guy – driven by questions like; are we on time and on budget?  How do we know we're creating value?  Is there a cheaper/better way – and what exactly is better?  While Andy's the creative guy – works strange hours and likes it.  Comes up with all kinds of cool and maybe just a few, not so cool ideas – whether you think you need them or not.  Sort of like the guy behind the curtain, he's the Wizard of our Internet Oz.

This time however I think I agree with his latest blog post, though for very different reasons (and maybe a bit off topic).  I've been around technology long enough to have watch many trends come and go.  Heck, some of them, like a bad penny, have come back from the dead more than a few times only to fail again and again.  Don't get me wrong recent innovations – blogs, pod-casting, RSS – they have potential to change many things, if not our lives; especially in the arena of television and radio. However, technology and trends come and go so fast, it's just not viable for business to adopt each "next big thing".  I know some of you may think I've lost it and crossed over to the dark side, but I disagree.  It does make sense to play, a little R&D if you will – I'll support that to my dieing day.  But, to invest huge chunks cash into emerging trends – well, I think I'll sit back and wait a bit for the bus.  If I can play but keep my cost to a minimum; that will enable me to write the big check when it's time to buy a ticket on the proverbial bus, maybe even buy a bus or two of my own – I'm o.k not inventing the bus.

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