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Should the Power of Corporate Innovation Shift Away From Executives? 149

Lucas123 writes "At the Consumerization of IT conference in San Francisco this week, several speakers agreed the next big shift in the corporate establishment will not be technological but social, away from top-down responsibility for innovation and change. Businesses are on the cusp of a leadership revolution because millennials moving into the workforce are 'the most authority-phobic' generation in history, according to Gary Hamel, a management educator at the London School of Business. Not only should low-level workers be incentivized for being creative, they should be given the power to spend corporate money on research and development, Hamel said. By doing that, companies will diversity their experimental capital. 'If you don't do that, you'll never change that innovation curve,' he said. Hamel was not alone. Kevin Jones, a consulting social & organizational strategist for NASA's Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Centers, agreed that traditional corporate culture needs a radical shakeup. 'The values of management today are different from the values of the social enterprise and different from the values of the consumerization of IT — and they're not mixing very well,' Jones said. 'That's where we're having the battle.'"
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Should the Power of Corporate Innovation Shift Away From Executives?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "I hate hippies!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:02PM (#43908913)

    Lord knows the upper management at all but one company I've worked at is a bunch of parasitic douchebags. Good riddance.

    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:25PM (#43909103)

      Indeed, I'm astonished that anyone would think upper management drives innovation. Usually they're obsessed with insuring conformity and making sure no one shows any initiative - especially if it involves risks.

      However, I'm delighted to learn that it is now possible to post articles from alternative universes...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Indeed, I'm astonished that anyone would think upper management drives innovation. Usually they're obsessed with insuring conformity and making sure no one shows any initiative - especially if it involves risks.

        However, I'm delighted to learn that it is now possible to post articles from alternative universes...

        So, "upper management" includes the people who run Apple, Google, Spotify, Nintendo, Amazon, Valve, etc. etc.. It is not synonymous with bad management and lack of innovation drive, even if that is the experience and/or caricature picture many have of how businesses are run. It too often is the case that corporations are run in an innovation-stifling manner, but that is bad management, nothing more, nothing less. And given how much bad management there is, and how important it is to have good management, it

      • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @07:12PM (#43909459)

        Exactly why is it that startups have greater R&D and innovation? because they lack stodgy upper management that slows down most innovation.

        Why do most startups fail? because they lack experience to properly capitalize on those innovations.

        If businesses were honest with themselves they would look at the total dollars spent on just management and trim the excess fat from the upper layers.

        I Have always found it amusing that a business would fire thousands of people to save a couple of million, instead of firing one or two upper managers to save the same amount. All Upper Management really does is deal with the personal issues of the lower employees(Herding cats is easier than herding programmers).

        Having been in a middle management position I spent most of my time dealing with people who got degrees but failed kindergarten. They never learned how to talk to others to deal with their issues, they never learned to not say anything when they don't have anything nice to say, and They never really learned that blaming the wrong person just because you don't like them doesn't solve anything.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I Have always found it amusing that a business would fire thousands of people to save a couple of million, instead of firing one or two upper managers to save the same amount. All Upper Management really does is deal with the personal issues of the lower employees(Herding cats is easier than herding programmers).

          Social scientists in fields like industrial psychology, economics, anthropology, and sociology have been studying organizational behaviour and executive decision making for more than 50 years. While there is a lot of disagreement over the causes of bad decision-making at this level, it is well established that this kind of thing happens very, very often.

          A pretty strong argument can be made that ANY layoff is ALWAYS the result of a failure, mistake, or screw up made by one or more people at the executive le

        • by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Wednesday June 05, 2013 @04:14AM (#43912303)

          I Have always found it amusing that a business would fire thousands of people to save a couple of million, instead of firing one or two upper managers to save the same amount.

          Biggest problem is that the people who make 7-figure salaries to to also be the same people that decide who gets punted. Very few of them choose themselves (they will however happily vote themselves a pay raise to offset the newly freed up funds.)

      • Upper management does take credit for it all though. Witness how the general public firmly believes that Steve Jobs personally designed and invented the ipod and iphone.

      • Generally your right that management stifles innovation, but its a balance.. If left unchecked you end up in a world of projects that have no marketability.. I have seen that experiment where we gave a group an almost limitless amount of money, and said "Go Create".. A few projects were marketable, but the overwhelming majority were not.. So love em or hate em.. it takes both sides of that coin to make a successful business.. BTW I have been on BOTH sides of this at different points in my career.
    • by t4ng* ( 1092951 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @08:01PM (#43909793)

      Corporate-speak bullshit keywords...

      • * incentivized
      • * diversity[sic] their experimental capital
      • * change that innovation curve
      • * social enterprise
      • * consumerization of IT

      I could hardly get through the summary without puking.

      • I could hardly get through the summary without puking.

        Maybe it's some weird attempt at trolling, but I'm not hopeful.

      • Yes, but can you use all five words and phrases in a new sentence? For example, how about this:

        "When people are properly incentivized to diversify their experimental capital it can change the innovation curve towards a more social enterprise in synergy with the consumerization of IT."


        • This site [] was the only thing that makes my dealings with repulsive MBA fucks bearable.

          I try them out in meetings and actually heard them repeated after. Seriously.

  • by whizbang77045 ( 1342005 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:06PM (#43908947)
    Who's in charge? Nobody!

    Who kills bad ideas, based on prior experience? Nobody!

    Who insures that everyone is working on something productive? You guessed it.

    • Saddam
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:22PM (#43909077)

      Hewlett-Packard invented the concept of Management By Walking Around which meant spending part of their day listening to the people involved in product development whereas now they have MBAs to tell them how the company is performing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's nice to have someone who can kill a bad idea. Even Steve Jobs got it wrong sometimes, though, and most "executives" I've dealt with barely know what their companys' products are. Who do you pick?

    • by d'baba ( 1134261 )
    • I find it interesting that this was scored as though it were humor. I wasn't joking; I was very serious.
  • The 60s? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:09PM (#43908975)
    The most authority phobic generation in history? Really? Anyone forget the 60's? Come on, folks. People have not fundamentally changed. Every generation thinks the younger generation is the most authority phobic generation in history.
    • I think you got the 60's part right, but I'm not sure the last statement is true. I'm a GenX-er and my Boomer college professors in the early 90s were always blown away by how NOT authority phobic we all were. I think they made the same assumptions you do and were surprised. Of course that might have been an outlier since I went to a big Ivy league school full of people who assumed that one day they would BE the authority. I took a medical ethics course that was obviously designed from the perspective o
      • That's because GenXers were considered the apathetic slacker generation. Of course the apathetic part was largely true but the slacker part turned out to be quite wrong.

    • You ever stop to think that they're right? The slide is continuing, when both sides say "things are going down" then they are merely making a correct observation. When one observes this at 85/100 and falling and another observes it at 55/100 and falling then both are right.
    • Oh please. That generation was going to legalize pot. It took till millennials starting voting in force for that to actually start to happen. The boomers rolled over and took the corporate dick up their ass immediately, and often.

      • Re:The 60s? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @11:24PM (#43911063)

        Yep. People forget the boomers went from hippie to yuppie, trading in their hand-painted VW camper buses and beads for BMWs and rolex watches.

        • Yep. People forget the boomers went from hippie to yuppie, trading in their hand-painted VW camper buses and beads for BMWs and rolex watches.

          Well, you know...ANY generation, once they get out and start having kids, raising a family, making enough money to OWN and do fun things above necessity, will naturally start moving towards behaviors that reward their efforts with $$$.

          Very few people ever stay as altruistic as they were in their youth.

          Just natural, as you age, your priorities change...they pretty m

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dcollins ( 135727 )

      I think the younger generation is shockingly conformist. They've been raised in an environment of constant phone contact, tracking, and surveillance. Head of security at the school where I teach proudly says, "We've instituted a policy of thousands of bag inspections, and only had 3 people dispute it, usually faculty." I have students come to me freaked out because I don't track their attendance daily every day in our college class. Etc., etc.

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        Lack of privacy (whether taken or given up) can definitely lead to conformity, I'll give you that.

        I don't see how that leads into accepting authority. If the going trend is to buck the man, then all the conformists out there are going to be having a problem with authority.

        In fact all of this communication I would say does more to promote lack of authority. Authority figures generally exist to organize and control things -- a self-organizing network of peers would therefore remove 50% of the purpose of hav

    • "The most authority phobic generation in history? Really? Anyone forget the 60's?"

      Besides, it isn't "authority phobia" at all. People keep using that word incorrectly. In this case, it's not phobia, it's disrespect and disdain.

      And while the 60s might have bred some of the most adamant protesters, it is not hard to argue that young people have more reason to be disdainful of authority than ever before. Authority has screwed them at every turn.

      Authority has ruined their economy. (Yes, they did.)

      Authority has gotten them involved in more wars than ever before, without ever having t

      • I agree about disrespect and disdain but I don't believe that (what I would call) the current 'youth' generation of 18-24 year olds, about to enter the workforce really have any conception of the possible reasons put forward by parent.

        I'm generalising wildly but my experience has been almost without exception that they are:

        • uninformed about current affairs
        • mostly uninterested in current affairs
        • have no reference point to judge whether or not their freedom has been 'stolen' and thus be angst-ridden about it
        • se
        • "I agree about disrespect and disdain but..."

          You make some good points but I don't agree with all of them.

          For one thing, several studies have shown young people today are more politically-aware, on average, than any past generation that was similarly studied.

          As for reference points, all they have to do is pick up a history book or look at the laws. They might not have experienced those days, but that's what books are for: communicating information and ideas that you did not experience yourself.

          And I agree about social skills, but not necessar

        • I would like to add a bit to my earlier comment.

          First, about reference points. I mentioned books and history but there is another factor: you don't have to know how things were a long time ago to see what direction things are going today. In order to do that, you only need a memory of a few short years. You can see where you were, and where things are headed, and have every right to not like it. Hell, the amount of freedom we have lost in just the last 10+ years is staggering... it compares unfavorably t
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Depending on the type of authority, I'd say we're going backwards. If management tried half the crap they pull now back in the '40s they would be told exactly where to put it and where to go. Then they'd get beaten up in the parking lot after work.

      If anyone got fired, they would be beaten again.

    • Sorry, the 60's didn't have xbox's, the Internet, and essentially unlimited free porn to pacify them......
    • Every generation thinks the younger generation is the most authority phobic generation in history.

      Usually because that older generation has become the authorities, and doesn't understand why the younger generation won't toe the line.

      In the 60's the phrase was never trust anyone over 40. Now all of those people are wealthy and in power, and everyone still says don't trust anyone over 40.

      How many ex-hippies and socialists are now accountants, CEOs and Republicans complaining about these young punks? The mor

  • Not really the best analogy, but give the best empolyees in the company the power to order distant fire and I am sure some additional breakthrough will happen.
  • According to this theory, the millenials are a "hero (civic)" type of generation and actually not really authority phobic. []
  • kids love authority (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:30PM (#43909139)

    These are the kids raised with "zero tolerance," were not allowed to walk to school or play outside alone, and received a trophy just for showing up. They think nothing of having their every move tracked by Facebook. They love authority!

  • Other than a startup, I think it's rare for any innovation to come from the executives.
    • Except for the top 0.1% of humans and those with nothing to lose, nobody innovates. Our entire race is built on greed and safety - and innovation is a danger to the establishment. The truly gifted do innovate, the rest plod along with marginally incremental improvements. Outside of the geniuses, there are those who either have everything or nothing - two conditions which offer the opportunity for idle time.

      Successful startups have the 0.1%. Many fail, many aren't really innovative, the rest are lauded as "t

  • *pfft* guffah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeff13 ( 255285 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:39PM (#43909193) Homepage

    rotfl! I mean really? Really? Sure, smaller companies thrive on this sort of socialized creative commons. It's how ANY creative enterprise is actually innovative. Steve Jobs and Woz didn't do it all themselves, the collective hobby culture they were plugged into stimulated everything that they created. But, once anyone creates something that sells, the corporate 'buy out' crowd shows up (I'm looking at you Bill Gates!) and the CEOs take control. Of course everyone here is aware just how corporations swallow everything, so they can own it. That's their reason for existing.

    The driving force of our consumer culture isn't innovation, it's markets. Corporations sometimes, in desperation, might spend some cash to fund innovative creation but why the fuck would creators just work-for-hire and give up their creations to their bosses? In the market place many are well aware that the creative, innovative business model functions for only as long till a corporation comes and buys it. That's the model! That's how most start-ups see their end game.

    Besides, corporations often just wait for the government funded research to innovate so they can get that for a song, if not free, and then create that market. That's how computers and the Internet came to us in the first place.

    imho, of course.

    • But, once anyone creates something that sells, the corporate 'buy out' crowd shows up (I'm looking at you Bill Gates!) and the CEOs take control.

      Corporate structure is almost inevitably what happens when a company grows.
      The informal structure of small companies rarely scales up along with sales.

      As a matter of fact, growing companies can die ugly deaths because they grow too fast.
      They literally implode under the weight of managing shipping, distributors, inventory, suppliers, and filling orders.

      I might scoff at the shoe company Crocs, but they successfully went from selling 1,000 shoes to selling $1 billion worth of shoes.
      You can't do that withou

    • The driving force of our consumer culture isn't innovation, it's markets.

      err no, the driving force of our consumer culture is me and you spending our money on all this shit. No one is forcing us to do it.

    • Um, jobs was much more corp then gates ever was.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...right up until they actually start getting some authority.

    Then, lo and behold, a miracle occurs! They suddenly realized that authority is just fine and dandy, as long as they're the ones wielding it! Then it will be "Respect my au-thor-i-tay!"

    See also: Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary. "A High Moral Principle met a Vested Interest crossing a bridge..."

  • Should it? Possibly.

    Will it? No. It's amazing how well people play along if the alternative is no paycheck at all.

  • by anthony_greer ( 2623521 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:53PM (#43909323)

    We all have had bad experience with managers but in my experience, good managers are needed. for every one terrific idea there are 5-10 terrible ideas...You cant just have new grads tossing money around without thinking thru how it will work, how much it will cost and how much money it will make and/or time it will save...

    If you can prove that your idea is a good one, any competent managment team will go for it, but too many young people just want to put things in because they are new and shiny, that doesn't work so well in business...

    I recall a few of my stupid ideas as a 22 year old, I had many outlandishly stupid ideas but I had a great manager who listened to all my goofy ideas and told me why they would not work, then one day I hit pay dirt and came up with an idea that would be able to automate so much of the IT operation that we would not need to hire some temps or interns for mundane tasks. That resulted in a nice bonus but more importantly a great lesson in how to think like a business when considering IT gear/platforms/initiatives.

    Good managers are not disposable

    • by Anonymous Coward

      An example of this would be JP Morgan converting General Electric to AC and reducing Edison's role even though Edison was staunchly DC and the company was originally named after him.

      Looking back, DC would never have been able to support the range of power stations and grid that AC supports. Edison, even though a genius, wasn't right on that one.

    • You got a piddling bonus for reducing costs worth several salaries per year. You stupid sheep.

      • You got a piddling bonus for reducing costs worth several salaries per year

        That's more or less what all programmers do......even Stallman.

        • Old ones maybe. IE, sheep.

        • Most of these ideas won't sell anyway. Sure you can automate a process in your own company but it's impossible to sell that automation to others. As soon as you say "we can automate your XYZ process" the other company will just think it's a good idea and make one of their own employees do the same thing. Not every idea is intended to be a marketable product, except that the current culture is so infatuated with the idea of the entrepreneur.

          There's no alternative here. You either do you damn job that you

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        That's what many engineers do for a living bonus or not. What do you expect us to do, set up our own power stations personally instead of saving on running costs with existing ones?
      • You touch an interesting point: an engineer that works well will automate work and destroy positions. A manager that works well will reduce costs by shrinking salaries, by outsourcing oversea, by finding tax loopholes to pay less and so on.

        While they do good work, we have a bad feeling because this good work shift wealth from workers to shareholders, increasing inequities, and pushing developed societies toward a situation where they cannot sustain themselves anymore: too many poor people, no tax money to m

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      This is all over the 70's, empowered spoiled children, going to work, expecting to get paid for doing nothing, expecting their lame ideas to be gushed over as they were the 'self-esteem' generation. Unfortunately so many of the ideas were simply a way to make one persons life easier, or increase personal power, and did not really take into account the firms overall best interest.

      There is this myth that management hate ideas from workers. This is not my experience. I have had many ideas used. I have ha

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @06:54PM (#43909337)

    Some companies have two track career paths. One, you move up as a techie into the management path, right up to executive. Two, you move up a techie path, where you go to Senior Engineer, right up to Distinguished Engineer, a position that has the same rank as an executive. Those Distinguished Engineers are the ones who advise the senior executives on innovation.

    Does really it work? I have no idea. Feel free to post your experience.

    Distinguished Engineer? I'd label myself as an Extinguished Can-of-Beer.

    • Some of those titles though were pretty unglamorous despite being extremely high up the promotion ladder. Ie, the "Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff" which was the title used in by Ma Bell.

  • the owners, boards, and upper management are mostly a bunch of old, stuffy, cigar-chomping, technology and change-fearing, pointy-haired bosses, just itching to "pull a blackberry" with their company.

    Does this surprise anyone? Good luck clearing them out. They're kings in their kingdom.

    The most common way to "reorganize" them we see today is when upper management drives the company into the ground like a telephone pole. Problem tends to be though that these companies have a large stash of money in the ba

    • I've worked in companies of all sizes in my 35 years in the workforce. I've seen 'old, stuffy, cigar-chomping, technology and change-fearing, pointy-haired bosses' in both small and large companies, worked for some medium-sized companies I loved, worked for some small companies where the innovator had no sense of IT at all even though he needed IT do run his ideas. Great idea saying that the 'little guy' like me should have more input, but when he pays my paycheck, he makes the rules.

      I've worked for CE
  • At my large fortune 100 company, the exec's don't innovate, they don't come up with ideas for the "next big thing", they rely on the propeller heads to come up with new products and solutions.

    Now, how we get that product can often land in the lap of the Execs. You can build it internally, you can partner with someone that already has it, or you can buy a company that has the product, services or intellectual property you want.

    Technically sharp people often don't want to be challenged in an area where they

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Why do they ask these questions?

      The question is "why do they ask techies these questions"? The techies don't ask the CFO to design the UPS for the new datacenter!

  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @07:45PM (#43909679) Journal
    Put a bunch of whiney, selfish, over-indulged, arrogant, ethically-challenged, over-grown children who never got over believing they are special and everyone is exactly equal because everyone gets a trophy and have a group history of disrespecting other people's work and money, "should be given the power to spend corporate money on research and development" which means no pre-spending oversight.

    What could possibly go wrong?
  • by john.r.strohm ( 586791 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @08:25PM (#43909933)

    I worked for Texas Instruments Defense Systems and Electronics Group from early 1988 through about mid-1999.

    TI DSEG had LOTS of R&D money available, and MANY different internal programs for handing it out. The most important one was called IDEA (I don't know if it was an acronym or not, or what it may have stood for). IDEA was designed to hand out small chunks of first-round funding, enough to keep one engineer with a crazy idea that just might work fed and working for a couple of months, while he threw together a detailed study proposal, saying how to do a pilot project to see if there might be something to the idea. IDEA money was EASY to get, and there were multiple paths to it. If you for whatever reason didn't want to go through your management, that was no problem at all: *ANY* IDEA coordinator ANYWHERE IN THE COMPANY could listen to an IDEA pitch from ANYONE, and, if it sounded AT ALL plausible, throw some funding at him.

    The whole idea behind IDEA was that most IDEA projects were EXPECTED to fail, but they'd generally fail quickly and cheaply. The ones that didn't fail got more funding, and more detailed investigation. Wash, rinse, and repeat, and every so often something REALLY good would pop up, that would make TI a huge chunk of money, enough to justify all those little failed efforts, and some not-so-little failures as well.

  • We all know how messed up much corporate planning, decision making, and management is. They have the stupidest mental shortcuts for evaluating people and projects, and the queerest ideas about what attributes a model employee possesses. How they think and even wish people should behave is wildly unrealistic. So many employees are just playing the game, trying to appear to have the "proper" attitudes, while keeping their real opinions and thoughts to themselves. Management picks loudmouths and hardasses

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      You've nailed why a lot of the rest of the world shakes their head and mumbles "American management" - the rebuilding of the feudal system where some idiot son called Edsel gets to run a company just because he has the right parent or the right friends. It tends to happen in places that are "too big to fail" so it's seen by smaller fish as being a success.
  • what are CEOs actually 'responsible' for? Responsible implies consequences. Last I heard the penalty for wreaking a company's net worth was a multimillion dollar bonus.
  • You can often turn a manager into 10-20 L of biodiesel without anyone noticing..
  • by Maltheus ( 248271 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:23PM (#43910335)

    I've found it shocking how well younger folk fit into corporate life and have always felt like this is the least rebellious generation ever.

    Typically, whenever management makes some absurd proposal (like some kind of odd way to track metrics), people sigh, roll their eyes, and figure out some way to comply with the letter of the mandate, while saving as much time as possible to focus on actually getting the product out the door.

    My younger co-workers not only show no signs of resistance (even behind closed doors), they embrace the absurdity and offer up more of it. They end up complicating the process, even more than the middle manager wanted (since they were also just going for the checkmark). Hell, I've never even seen anyone under the age of 30 (these days) drink a beer at a social outing (even when their managers and everyone else is). Youngin's seem so domesticated these days.

    Judging by all these articles, I guess my experience isn't quite the norm.

    • by mevets ( 322601 )

      What if these yoof do not give a rats ass? Rebellious passion is for defending something you value. If your only interest in an organization is a cheque, why get ruffled about idiotic bureaucrats? Disconnected is not the same thing as domesticated. They are the product of corporate culture; undifferentiated tissue for 7.5 hours, 5 days a week.

      There is a subversive sensibility in embracing the idiocy of untrustworthy management. At least it makes for a great laugh over beers with people you do not work

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This. Who cares how much stupid chehlines and bureucracy you have to bear, it's your jub. Golden rule and all. Yes, you can clearly see how stupid some things, are, but really, you are not going to get rewared for doing something about it. Just blame the things when someone from even upper management asks why nothing gets done. Untill then just do whatever you are told to and collect the check. Can't have responsibilities without power. If management hoards all the power they also get all the blame and resp

    • Maybe the are all high.

  • by kuhnto ( 1904624 )
    Yes please
  • But power and pay check they go to the top honchos no matter what. The raison d`etendre of a modern corporation is to squeeze as much profit as possible, dodge as much tax as possible and send it all as pay, bonus and stock options for the top executives.
  • Slow and steady innovation and improvement pretty well must come from the bottom up. The whole boots on the ground thing. Companies that are dictatorial about this are just leaving a huge amount of wasted potential untapped while annoying just about everybody. But often a company needs to make a big change. This sort of change is scary and can be painful. This is where a leader with "vision" is required. The later is where Steve Jobs and Apple seemed to have excelled. He had the vision and made it happen al
  • The corporate culture does need to be shaken up, as does the federal government, as do the big banks. They feel their control eroding by the day, which is why they're squeezing as hard as they can now. So good luck getting them to hand out startup capital to millenials. And the people making the decision where to allocate capital are MBAs who by definition defend the status quo; they want to stifle innovation if they can, or control it if they can't. The result is we all get a world that continues to Su

  • Man that was a funny write up. Giving the keys to the kingdom to young upstarts and relatively new employee is hilarious. Every work with these kids? They can't balance their own checkbooks without their mothers' helping. And they expect these same kids to spend millions of dollars on their pet projects. Sure, let it happen. We could always use all kinds of mods to World of Warcraft. The facebook and twitter models are not the norm in the world of business.
  • Apple with Steve Jobs vs Apple without Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs was one of the most hands on CEO's I've ever heard about. He was in the trenches, interfacing directly with developers and anyone else along the production chain that proved to be a critical path to deployment. He came up with seemingly impossible ideas that no one else would have the guts to suggest. And then he rode point on the entire organization to ensure that it happened. That's what a good CEO can do, and what will almost never happen
  • From the title of the conference and almost every sentence of the summary afterwards the verbification of nouns alone ensured I wouldn't read the article. The stopping point for me was "....will diversity their experimental capital."

    Yes, I figured it was a typo, but enough, already.

    If there is indeed a shift in responsibility for the ideas and questions which prompt research away from the executive floor (where I doubt many of those occur anyway) then it would to me also suggest paying the highers less. (

  • Unless you count all corporate douchebaggery and scams - especially those in financial services. There are very few examples of innovative corporations. Innovation tends to come from smaller players that are then bought by big corporation that then boast about those innovations (thay actually didn't create). Most of big corps prefer sitting on a bag of profit-generating assets, praying that no innovation wipes out their valuable assets and actively fighting any initiatives to outinnovate them and their 'pre
  • I don't think that non-word means what you think it means.

  • It's quite common for management to get fired over bad investments and wasting company time. Same should hold true then for the small fish.

  • Is it coincidence that this story is on slashdot only a few inches below a story about how 'agile' development is chaotic, undirected, and often results in version-chaos?

  • I've worked in companies which have grown by acquisition before, and sometimes you end up with the head of R&D being the person who was head of R&D at the last major acquisition.

    Those people frequently end up with a huge case of NIH, and any technologies they didn't oversee the creation of must be a waste of time.

    So all of a sudden, your focus is on a specific type of widget instead of the general problem, and they start redirecting everyone to that.

    And, for those of us who have had to listen to com

  • Yeah that will work out well for's not like anything bad can happen there....*eye roll*

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.