Monday, March 13, 2006

Pirates and Innovation

It's been calculated that money spent on R&D is not correlated to innovation. Believe it or not. If you don't spend any money on R&D, you lose, but if you spend too much, the stockholders lose. Since most management plans are couched in terms of shareholder value, one can pretty much forget pleading for R&D money without a solid short term turnaround return on investment.

So you still need an innovative staff, you still have to manage to get them across technology chasms requiring lots of homework, and you want them to be happy about that?

Children won't learn arithmetic writing numbers on a board. They will count the numbers of toy pirates they have and how many they lost in a sea battle with a friend. Occasionally, they will fill a ship model with firecrackers and gas and blow it up just to watch together and tell their chums.

Keeping the little buggers entertained is 80% of teaching hard lessons. There is no agenda on a playground but the one in a child's heart just before recess.

We can't spend money, but we can have fun.


... and they wonder why the development staff is so silly.

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