Better days for innovation ahead?

The economic news is gloomy — but some innovation-watchers are not.

Reading Time: 1 min 

It’s a fairly gloomy week on the world economic stage, with International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn declaring a number of leading economies in depression and U.S. President Obama warning of the possibility of financial catastrophe if a stimulus bill is not passed. As an antidote to the gloom, here are two more optimistic takes on the state of the economy — both on the future of innovation:

Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, wrote in the Financial Times last week that “global financial markets are in disarray but prospects for innovation in the real economy  have never been more robust.”

Schrage’s reasoning? He sees great potential for interoperability among technologies.  (Schrage has authored or coauthored several articles for MIT Sloan Management Review:  “The Innovation Subsidy”, “The Myth of Commoditization” and, most recently, “How Boards Can Be Better — A Manifesto.” )

Meanwhile, Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, recently urged readers of his column at  to “follow the excitement” to find innovation — by looking for areas where people are passionate about solving a problem, even before businesspeople spot ways to make money from a solution.

He sees such “alpha-geek innovation” happening in arenas ranging from open-source hardware and robotics to investigative journalism.

More Like This

Add a comment

You must to post a comment.

First time here? Sign up for a free account: Comment on articles and get access to many more articles.

Comment (1)
Jacob McNulty
I completely agree - those out there with an entrepreneurial/innovative lens will certainly see plenty of opportunities present themselves as a result of the changes coming to the economy.