Last week I wrote an article about Silicon Valley and what some seem to feel is a lack of innovation coming from the area. [See article here.] So over the long three day weekend, as I read about how Google was coming out with their own browser Chrome, I thought to myself is this innovating or not?
I think of innovation as not only something that is new, but also when products are improved or are being introduced for a specific purpose. Take the Apple iPhone. The cell phone itself has been around for a long time, the Internet also has been with us for quite some time and the touchscreen interface is nothing new. But when the three of these are put together into a small unit that offers so much, would this not be innovative?
Computers themselves are basically the same since 1985 incorporating a motherboard, CPU, RAM and video card. But would one not think that Intels new quad core processor is not innovative? Have the major improvements over the years with faster motherboards, faster CPU’s, faster RAM, bigger hard disks and so forth not be considered innovative?
Getting back to Google’s browser. Since browsers have been around since Mosiac was first introduced, do we discount the new Google browser as not being innovative just because we have other browsers to use?
Do we discount Microsoft’s Windows Vista as not innovative since Windows XP and previous versions have been around for awhile?
How would you describe innovation?
I was reading an article about Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, sharing some thoughts while at the “All Things Digital” conference. Bill Gates was asked about the high points in his career and he said:
“Windows 95 was a nice milestone.”
Which made me wonder. I wondered how many of the readers who stop by Lockergnome, remember Windows 95, or was it before their time?
Why was Microsoft’s Windows 95 a major milestone? In a nut shell it had a graphical user interface GUI and also incorporated DOS and Windows. It used what was called long file names, up to 255 characters. You could also multi-task, which at the time was a great feature.
But what else did Windows 95 have or do? Refresh my memory.
I just got finished reading an interesting article by a Dr. R. Keith Sawyer in which he concludes that Linux is not innovative. He based his conclusions in the fact that Linux is just a derivative of Unix. He also mentions to his delight that his thoughts have upset some in the Linux community. I wonder why?
How does one determine innovation in the first place? Using this man’s conclusions, one could say that Henry Ford was not innovative since he didn’t invent the automobile. Yet Ford was the first to mass produce the motor vehicle, thus he was, in fact, innovative in his own right.
One could also argue that Microsoft is not innovative. Microsoft didn’t invent DOS; it bought it from another company. Windows therefore is not innovative since it was Apple who originally introduced the GUI. Microsoft Word is not innovative because there was other word processing software before it became mainstream. Look at Internet Explorer, which is also not innovative, since there were Netscape and Mosaic before it.
How about Apple? Isn’t Apple a derivative of Unix as well? Why wasn’t this mentioned? One could also conclude that the iPhone is not innovative since Apple didn’t invent the phone. Nike didn’t invent the tennis shoe, the Wright brothers didn’t invent the idea of flying, Dell didn’t invent the computer, and anything I write is not innovative since I didn’t invent blogging. :-)
I guess my point is that it irritates me to no end when someone can twist the truth to justify his or her own existence on this planet. Everyone knows that the only REAL people who deserve Dr. in front of their names are those who have completed medical school, after all. Listening to anyone who has spent the majority of his or her adult life hiding in school, learning how to parrot the ideas of others, than passing this dribble on as truth is not innovative at all.
[tags]linux, microsoft, dell, apple, opinions, innovative[/tags]