- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.Douglas Adams (1952-2001) British author. Mostly Harmless (1992)
- The easiest way to predict the future is to invent it.Anonymous. Xerox Research Center, Palo Alto, California (1970)
- Think outside the box.Anonymous. Quoted in Goldfinger (Robert Heller; 1998)
- The perpetual idea machine.Anonymous. Referring to the research-led Thermo Electron Corporation. Research and Development (November 1989)
- If someone monopolizes the market for personal finance software, are oyu going to go after that company and dismantle it? I would contend no. Because these temporary monopolies are a prize for innovation. They’re the incentive for innovation.
6. Brain Arthur (b.1945) U.S. economist. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 1998)Science writers foreseethe inevitable and, although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.Isaac Asimov (1920-92) U.S. novelist, critic and scientist. Natural History (April 1975)
- Machinery for producing any commodity in great demand seldom actually wears out; new improvements, by which the same operations can be executed either more quickly or better, generally supercede it long before that period arrives.Charles Babbage (1792-1871) British mathematician and inventor. On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacture (1832)
- If I can make a deaf-mute talk, I can make metal talk.Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) U.S. inventor. Referring to the invention of the telephone. Quoted in Concise Dictionary of Great 20th Century Biographies (Kathryn Knox Soman, ed.; 1997)
- Suppose I could program my computer to create a space in which anything could be linked to anything. There would be a single global information space.Tim Berner-Lee (b.1955) British computer scientist and founder of the World Wide Web. Fortune (October 2000)
- Innovation, whether, in the form of improved product quality and variety or production efficiency that allows lower prices, is a powerful engine for enhancing consumer welfare. By prohibiting private restraints that impede entry or mute rivalry, antitrust seeks to create an economic environment in which the entrepreneurial initiative that is the hallmark of the U.S. economy can flourish.Anne K. Bingaman (b.1943) U.S. lawyer. Speech, University of Kansas Law School (September 19, 1996)
- Doing the things we do now and doing them better, cheaper and faster will take us so far. But it will not take us far enough. We’re going to have to do new things in new ways.Peter Bonfield (b.1944) British former C.E.O. of British Telecom. Said at a British Telecom annual general meeting (July 2000)
- What makes this business difficult is that grown ups have to solve children’s problems.Horst Brandstatter, German toy manufacturer and director of Playmobil. Quoted in Liberation Management (Tom Peters; 1992)
- The essence of science; ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.Jacob Bronowski (1908-74) Polish mathematician and philosopher. The Ascent of Man (1973)
- Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating I want to create classics.Coco Chanel (1883-1971) French couturier. Quoted in Coco Chanel: Her Life, Her Secrets (1971)
- The word “orthodoxy” not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) British novelist, poet, and critic. Heretics (1905)
- I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention-invention, in my opinion arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.Agatha Christie (1891-1976) British novelist. An Autobiography (1977)
- Innovation is not just technical; it is also organizational and managerial.Stewart Clegg (b.1947) Australian writer. “Business Values and Embryonic Industry: Lessons from Australia,” Whose Business Values? Some Asian and Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Sally Stewart and Gabriel Donleavy, eds.;1995)
- New markets open not only because of novel technologies; shifts in values and culture also are potent sources of innovation.Stewart Clegg (b.1947) Australian writer. “Business Values and Embryonic Industry: Lessons from Australia,” Whose Business Values? Some Asian and Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Sally Stewart and Gabriel Donleavy, eds.; 1995)
- The great discoveries are usually obvious.Philip B. Crosby (1926-2001) U.S. business executive and author. Quality Is Free (1979)
- In Science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.
Francis Darwin (1848-1925) British botanist. Eugenics Review (April 1914)
- One of the struggles many companies face is overcoming the desire to invent everything themselves. Even today, you see a lot of companies falling back on the idea that “my baby’s the most beautiful in the world and I’m not going to accept anybody else’s. “This can get in the way of logical business thinking.Michael Dell (b.1965) U.S. chairman and C.E.O. of Dell Computer Corporation. Speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Technology Conference, Dallas. “Maximum Speed: Lessons Learned from Managing Hypergrowth” (September 10, 1998)
22. Above all, innovation is not invention. It is a term of economics rather than of technology.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Speech (April 1992)
23. The measure of innovation is its impact on the environment.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Speech (April 1992)
24. Knowledge applied to existing processes, services and products is productivity; knowledge applied to the new is innovation.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Interview, Hot Wired (July/August 1993)
25. The most successful innovators are the creative imitators, the number two.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Interview, Hot Wired (August 1996)
26. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (1985)
27. Knowledge-based innovation has the longest lead time of all innovations.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (1985)
28. Businessmen will have to learn to build and manage innovative organizations.
Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. The Age of Discontinuity: Guidelines to Our Changing Society (1969)
29. Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell (1905-70) U.S. commissioner of the U.S. office of Patents. 1899. Quoted in Maxi Marketing (Stan Rapp and Thomas L. Collins; 1995)
30. The basic ideas is whether you have established structure and systems so that gadflies can challenge you.
Robert G. Eccles, U.S. academic and business author. Doing Deals: Investment Banking at work (co-written with Dwight B. Crane; 1988)
31. Revers funnel effect.
Robert G. Eccles, U.S. academic and business author. Referring to the flow of new idesa within an innovative company. Doing Deals: Investment Banking at work (co-written with Dwight B. Crane; 1988)
32. Science is an edged tool, with which men play like children and cut their own fingers.
Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) British scientist. Quoted in More Random Walks in Science (R.L. Weber; 1982)
33. To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) U.S. inventor. Quoted in “Building an Innovation Factory,” Harvard Business Review (Andrew Hargadon and Robert I. Sutton; 2000)
34. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) U.S. inventor. Life (1932)
35. The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.
Paul Ehrlich (b.1932) U.S. biologist. Saturday Review (June 1972)
36. It is easy to overlook the absence of appreciable in an industry. Inventions that are not made, like babies that are not born, are rarely missed.
- K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. The Affluent Society (1958), ch. 9
37. The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision.
Lou Gerstner (b.1942) U.S. chairman and C.E.O. of IBM. Fortune (1997)
38. No one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or “get rich” in business by being a conformist.
- Paul Getty (1892-1976) U.S. entrepreneur, oil industry executive and financier. International Herald Tribune (1961)
39. Only a real lazybones can produce labor-saving inventions.
Gunter Grass (b.1927) German novelist and winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Tin Drum (1959)
40. Science has lost its virgin purity, has become dogmatic instead of seeking for enlightenment, and has gradually fallen into the hands of traders.
Robert Graves (1895-1985) British poet, novelist and classical scholar. Quoted in Flawed Science, Damaged Human Life (Bruno Friedman; 1969)
41 .Innovation will always be a mixture of serendipity, genius and sheer bull-mindedness. But while you can’t bottle lightning, you can build lightning rods. Non-linear innovation can be legitimized, fostered, supported, and rewarded.
Gary Hamel (b.1954) U.S. academic, business writer and consultant. Interview, Barnes & Noble (September 2000)
42. If they started by saying you have to prove to me this has a 90 percent chance of success, they’d never invest in anything.
Gary Hamel (b.1954) U.S. academic, business writer and consultant. Referring to the attitude of investors to new product ideas. Digital Britain (January 2000)
43. A word beginning with X…the more we thought about it, the more we were ready to try it. And we got it into the dictionary.
John B. Hartnett (1903?-1982) U.S. chairman of Xerox. Referring to the trademark Xerox. Quoted in Obituary, New York Times (1982)
44. People are unlikely to know that they need a product which does not exist and the basis of market research in new and innovative products is limited in this regard.
John Harvey-Jones (b.1924) British management adviser, author and former chairman of ICI. All Together Now (1994)
45. I want to see an idea. I want to hold it and touch it.
Howard Head (1914-91) U.S. inventor of the metal ski. A Passion for Excellence (Tom Peters and Nancy Austin: 1985)
46. The Spark-gap is mightier than the pen. This is not the age of the pamphleteers, it is the age of engineers.
Lancelot Hogben (1895-1975) British scientist. Science for the Citizen (1938)
47. It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.
Thomas Huxley (1825-95) British biologist. Science and Culture (1887)
48. Apple’s the only company left in this industry that designs the whole widget. Hardware, software, developer relations, marketing. It turns out that…is Apple’s greatest strategic advantage…if you believe that there’s still room for innovation in this industry.Steve Jobs (b.1955) U.S. entrepreneur, cofounder and C.E.O. of Apple Computer Company, and C.E.O. of Pixar. Quoted in “Steve’s Two Jobs,” Time (Michael Krantz; October 18, 1999)
49. You’ve got to change to excite.Karl (Carl Williams) Kani (b.1968) U.S. fashion designer. “The Players,” Fortune (Eileen Gunn; April 1997)
50. You can innovate by not doing anything, if it’s a conscious decision.
Herb Kelleher (b.1931) U.S. businessman and founder of Southwest Airlines. International Organization and Dynamics (Autumn 1994)
51. Our essential concept was that the role of industry is to sense a deep human need, then bring science and technology to bear on filling that need.Edwin Land (1909-91) U.S. inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. Business Week (March 1981)
52. Very often the best way to find out whether something is worth making is to make it, distribute it and then to see, after the product has been around for a few years, whether it was worth the task.Edwin Land (1909-91) U.S. inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. Physics Today (June 1982)
53. Work only on problems that are manifestly important and seem to be nearly impossible to solve. That way you will have a natural market for your product and no competition.Edwin Land (1909-91) U.S. inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. Physics Today (January 1982)
54. A powerful new idea can kick around unused in a company for years, not because its merits are not recognized, but because nobody has assumed the responsibility for converting it from words to action.Theodore Levitt (b.1925) U.S. management theorist, writer and editor. “Ideas are Useless Unless Used,” Inc. (February 1981)
55. There is no shortage of creative people in American business. The shortage is of innovators. All too often people believe that creativity leads to innovation. It doesn’t.
Theodore Levitt (b.1925) U.S. management theorist, writer and editor. “Ideas are Useless Unless Used,” Inc. (February 1981)
56. The scarce people are the ones who have the know-how, energy, daring and staying power to implement ideas…Since business is a “get-things-done” institution, creativity without action-oriented follow-through is a barren form of behavior. In a sense it is irresponsible.Theodore Levitt (b.1925) U.S. management theorist, writer and editor. “Ideas are Useless Unless Used,” Inc. (February 1981)
57. It is a good exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypotheses every day before breakfast.
Konrad Lorenz (1903-89) Austrian zoologist. On Aggression (1966)
58. I had a compulsive desire to understand how things were made. Perhaps that’s why I took them apart.
John Makepeace (b.1939) British furniture designer and manufacturer. Quoted in Makepeace (Jeremy Myerson; 1995)
59. Business demands innovation. There is a constant need to feel around the edges, but business schools, out of necessity, are condemned to teach the past.Mark McCormack (1930-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and C.E.O. of the International Management Group. What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)
60. Dewey, in reacting against passive print culture, was surf-boarding along the new electronic wave.
Marshall McLuhan (1911-80) Canadian sociologist and author. The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962)
61. We were not the victims of ancestor worship. We had the benefits of a fresh start.
Matthew Meller, U.S. C.E.O. of General Instruments. New York Times (July 12, 1982)
62. I see true innovation to be made up of three elements which I call the three creativities. Creativity in technology of course, plus creativity in product planning and marketing as well.?Akio Morita (1921-99) Japanese business executive. Quoted in How to Manage (Ray Wild; 1995)
63. The public does not know what is possible, we do.Akio Morita (1921-99) Japanese business executive. Made in Japan (1986)
64. Incrementalism is innovation’s worst enemy. New concepts and big steps forward, in a very real sense, come from left field, from a mixture of people, ideas, backgrounds and cultures that normally are not mixed.Nicholas Negroponte (b.1943) U.S. academic, cofounder and director of MIT Media Laboratory. “The Balance of Trade of Ideas,” Wired Magazine (April 3, 1995)
65. The wild, the absurd, the seemingly crazy: this kind of thinking is where new ideas come from…The people capable of such playful thought carry forward their childish qualities and childhood dreams, applying them in areas where most of us get stuck, victims of our adult seriousness. Staying a child isn’t easy.Nicholas Negroponte (b.1943) U.S. academic, cofounder and director of MIT Media Laboratory. “Toys of Tomorrow,” Wired Magazine (March 6, 1998)
66. The best way to guarantee a steady stream of new ideas is to make sure tha each person in your organization is as different as possible from the others. Under these conditions, and only these conditions, will people maintain varied perspectives and demonstrate their knowledge in different ways.Nicholas Negroponte (b.1943) U.S. academic, cofounder and director of MIT Media Laboratory. “Where Do New Ideas Come From,” Wired Magazine (January 4, 1996)
67. Slack allows innovative projects to be pursued because it buffers organizations from the uncertain success of these projects, fostering a culture of experimentation.Nitin Nohria (b.1962) U.S. writer. The Differentiated Network (cowritten with Sumantra Ghoshal; 1997)
68. Innovation typically occurs at the interface, requiring multiple disciplines. Thus the flexible Japanese organization has, now especially, become an asset.Kenichi Ohmae (b.1943) Japanese management consultant and theorist. “The Myth and Reality of the Japanese Corporation,” Chief Executive (Summer 1981)
69. By observing California’s youngsters on roller skates, a Sony engineer came up with the concept of the Walkman.
Kenichi Ohmae (b.1943) Japanese management consultant and theorist. Industry Week (July 1985)
70. Fashion is more usually a gentle progression of revisited ideas.
Bruce Oldfield (b.1950) British fashion designer. Independent (London) (September 1989)
71. Not a single, substantial, commercially-successful project had come from an adequately-funded team. They’d always come from the scrounging, scrapping, underfunded teams.Ken Olsen (b.1926) U.S. computer designer and sounder of Digital Equipment Corporation. Quoted in A Passion for Excellence (Tom Peters and Nancy Austin; 1985)
72. The driving force for the development of new products is not technology, not money, but the imagination of people.David Packard (1912-96) U.S. entrepreneur and cofounder of Hewlett-Packard. The HP Way (1995)
73. A butterfly is not more caterpillar or a better caterpillar or improved caterpillar: a butterfly is a different creature.
Richard Pascale (b.1938) U.S. academic and author. Referring to the process of new product development. “The Reinvention Roller Coaster,” Harvard Business Review (co-written with A. Athos and T. Goss; November-December 1993)
74. There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science.Louis Pasteur (1822-95) French scientist. Address (September 1872)
75. In research, the horizon recedes as we advance, and is no nearer at sixty than it was at twenty.
Mark Pattison (1813-84) British author. Isaac Casaubon (1875)
76. Useful discoveries are best identified after the making of discoveries, rather than before.
John C. Polanyi (b.1929) German scientist and author. Speech (June 1996)
77. Science must begin with myths and the criticism of myths.
Karl Raimund Popper (1902-94) British philosopher of science. Quoted in British philosophy in the Mid-Century (C. A. Mace; 1957)
78. We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets.
Karl Raimund Popper (1902-94) British philosopher of science. The Open Society and its Enemies (1945)
79. It is the tension between the scientist’s laws and his own attempted breaking of them that powers the engines of science and makes it forge ahead.
- V. O. Quine (1908-2000) U.S. philosopher. Quiddities (1987)
80. In a small company, one person’s hunch can be enough to launch a new product. In a big company, the same concept is likely to be buried in committee for months.Al Ries (b.1926) U.S. advertising executive and chairman of Trout & Ries Advertising, Inc. Marketing Warfare (co-written with Jack Trout; 1986), ch. 10
81. We haven’t got the money, so we’ve got to think.Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) British physicist. Bulletin of the Institute of Physics (1962)
82. For an idea ever to be fashionable is ominous, since it must afterwards always be old-fashioned.George Santayana (1863-1952) U.S. philosopher, novelist and poet. Winds of Doctrine (1913)
83. Beyond a certain point, personal media such as telephones, computers and planners aren’t just functional objects anymore, they’re fashion accessories.Michael Schrage, U.S. commentator on innovation. Quoted in Liberation Management (Tom Peters; 1992)
84. Implementers aren’t considered bozos anymore.John Sculley (b.1939) U.S. partner of Sculley brothers, former president of Pepsi, and C.E.O. Apple Computers. Quoted in Thriving on Chaos (Tom Peters; 1987)
85. One possibility for difficulties innovating is that most people really don’t care about innovation.Peter Senge (b.1947) U.S. academic and author. “The Practice of Innovation,” Leader to Leader (1998)
86. Sometimes I think we’ll see the day when you introduce a product in the morning and announce the end of its life at the end of the day.Al Shugart (b.1930) U.S. entrepreneur and pioneer of disk drive technology. Quoted in Goldfinger (Robert Heller; 1998)
87. There are so many people involved and it requires such a tremendous effort to put something into effect that a new idea is likely to be considered insignificant in comparison with the effort that it takes to put it across.Alfred P. Sloan (1875-1966) U.S. president of General Motors. Quoted in The Bigness Complex (Walter Adams and James Brock; 1986)
88. Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Irish writer and satirist. Attrib.
89. Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893-1986) U.S. biochemist. 1925. Quoted in The Scientist Speculates (I. J. Good, ed.; 1962)
90 The artist brings something into the world that didn’t exist before, and…he does it without destroying something else.John Updike (b.1932) U.S. novelist and critic. Quoted in Writers at Work (George Plimpton. Ed.; 1977)
91. Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. The rest is literature.
Paul Valery (1871-1945) French poet and essayist. Moralites (1932)
92. Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing.
Wernher von Braun (1912-77) U.S. rocket engineer. Quoted in A Random Walk in Science (R. L. Webler; 1973)
93. Our best ideas come from clerks and schoolboys.
Sam M. Walton (1918-92) U.S. entrepreneur and founder of Wal-Mart, Inc. Wall Street Journal (April 1982)
94. The things I want to show are mechanical. Machines have less problems.
Andy Warhol (1928-87) U.S. artist and producer. Quoted in Andy Warhol: In His Own Words (Mike Wrenn; 1991)
95. Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
Harry M. Walker (1881-1958) U.S. movie producer and head of Warner Brothers. Referring to introduction of sound movies. Quoted in Maxi Marketing (Stan Rapp and Thomas L. Collins; 1995)
96. The job for big companies, the challenge that we all face as bureaucracies, is to create an environment where people can reach their dreams-and they don’t have to do it in a garage.Jack Welch (b.1935) U.S. former chairman and C.E.O. of General Electric. Fortune (May 1995)
97. Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places it arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created.Meg Wheatley (b.1941) U.S. academic, management theorist, and president of the Berkana Institute. Leadership and the New Science (1992)
98. Everyone likes innovation until it affects himself, and then it’s bad.Walter Wriston (b.1919) U.S. banker. Quoted in “Sayings of the Year,” Observer (London) (December 29, 1974)