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April 28, 2005

Darwinian innovation

My book isn't even out yet (the US publication date is on Friday; UK/Europe is at the end of May) and already someone has raised a sneaky question about its basic argument.Fast Company have a section in their book reviews called "Things We Didn''t Like" and they say: "Many a garage inventor would argue that poorly designed, superfluous products are necessary by-products of the innovation process, not fundamental flaws in our design philosophy. Thackara deems it foolhardy, but maybe it's Darwinian". This is a fair point: it won't be easy to combine trial-and-error innovation, on the one hand, with consideration of the consequences of design actions before we take them, on the other. My short answer to this dilemma right now? a) life wasn't meant to be easy; and b) yes this is a hard question, but we can't go on treating the planet, our only home, as a glorified crash-test rig.

Posted by John Thackara at April 28, 2005 08:35 AM


Not out yet? I got my copy from Amazon US about two weeks ago. I'm halfway through and enjoying every page. You've managed to solidify the mess of topics that have been swirling around my head for the last year or so.

Posted by: Simon King at April 28, 2005 03:38 PM

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