Dec 3, 2007

Why Innovation Sucks

I think this is a must read post by Bob Sutton, for people who think innovation is always a great thing...

But before you rush ahead to build or join an innovative company, I feel obliged to warn you about the hazards. Working in an innovative place can be annoying and frustrating, or worse. Renowned authors including Stanford’s James Adams and The University of California’s Barry Staw assert that many people say they want a creative workplace, but few would be happy if they actually worked in one. 

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that innovative companies are horrible places or you are destined to lose all your money if you work in one. Many people love the mess and confusion. It is more satisfying to come with up new ideas than to repeat the same actions – and the same thoughts – again and again. It is exciting to work with people who are thrilled about some new idea. Even though many new ideas fail, these setbacks often occur where failure is tolerated, even rewarded. And there are large numbers of people who have become rich working in such places, even if the percentage is small. But you should know the hazards of innovation before devoting your days to it.

As the old saying goes, "Be careful about what you wish for, it might actually come true!" :D