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You can't engineer innovation, but you can increase the odds of it occurring.

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Tthoughtful piece in today's New York Times about Steve Jobs and the Rewards of Risk Taking:

My favorite paragraph is about what makes America different:

What other nations typically lack, Mr. Kao adds, is a social environment that encourages diversity, experimentation, risk-taking, and combining skills from many fields into products that he calls “recombinant mash-ups,” like the iPhone, which redefined the smartphone category.

Silicon Valley is leading America's social environment where such recombinations are encouraged. Now is a great time to be an entrepreneur.

Now is almost the best time to start a company. Always.

For kicks, here's my second favorite part of that NYT article:

Mr. Jobs suggested much the same thing during a commencement address to the graduating class at Stanford in 2005. “It turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” he told the students. Mr. Jobs also spoke of perseverance. “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick,” he said. “Don’t lose faith.”

Mr. Jobs ended his commencement talk with a call to innovation, in one’s choice of work and in life. Be curious, experiment, take risks, he said. His admonition was punctuated by the words on the back of the final edition of “The Whole Earth Catalog,” which he quoted: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

“And,” Mr. Jobs said, “I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't stop believin'.

Nothing in particular to this thread, but the subject reminds me of a birthday gift I got 5 or 6 years ago: Petroski's "Invention by Design".

Link please? What was the most important thing you learned from it?

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