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Tag Archives: inovação

A Índia mostra que o Brasil perdeu o bonde da história.

Engineer RA Mashelkar shares three stories of ultra-low-cost design from India that use bottom-up rethinking, and some clever engineering, to bring expensive products (cars, prosthetics) into the realm of the possible for everyone.

Os dois cabeçudos trocaram uma idéia sobre inovação nas páginas da Wired:

Steven Johnson: We share a fascination with the long history of simultaneous invention: cases where several people come up with the same idea at almost exactly the same time. Calculus, the electrical battery, the telephone, the steam engine, the radio—all these groundbreaking innovations were hit upon by multiple inventors working in parallel with no knowledge of one another.

Kelly: It’s amazing that the myth of the lone genius has persisted for so long, since simultaneous invention has always been the norm, not the exception. Anthropologists have shown that the same inventions tended to crop up in prehistory at roughly similar times, in roughly the same order, among cultures on different continents that couldn’t possibly have contacted one another.

Johnson: Also, there’s a related myth—that innovation comes primarily from the profit motive, from the competitive pressures of a market society. If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.

Kelly: Really, we should think of ideas as connections,in our brains and among people. Ideas aren’t self-contained things; they’re more like ecologies and networks. They travel in clusters.

Kelly: In part, that’s because ideas that leap too far ahead are almost never implemented—they aren’t even valuable. People can absorb only one advance, one small hop, at a time. Gregor Mendel’s ideas about genetics, for example: He formulated them in 1865, but they were ignored for 35 years because they were too advanced. Nobody could incorporate them. Then, when the collective mind was ready and his idea was only one hop away, three different scientists independently rediscovered his work within roughly a year of one another.

Johnson: Charles Babbage is another great case study. His “analytical engine,” which he started designing in the 1830s, was an incredibly detailed vision of what would become the modern computer, with a CPU, RAM, and so on. But it couldn’t possibly have been built at the time, and his ideas had to be rediscovered a hundred years later.

Kelly: I think there are a lot of ideas today that are ahead of their time. Human cloning, autopilot cars, patent-free law—all are close technically but too many steps ahead culturally. Innovating is about more than just having the idea yourself; you also have to bring everyone else to where your idea is. And that becomes really difficult if you’re too many steps ahead.

Johnson: The scientist Stuart Kauffman calls this the “adjacent possible.” At any given moment in evolution—of life, of natural systems, or of cultural systems—there’s a space of possibility that surrounds any current configuration of things. Change happens when you take that configuration and arrange it in a new way. But there are limits to how much you can change in a single move.

Kelly: Both of us have written books on this idea, on the primacy of the evolutionary model for understanding the world. But in What Technology Wants, I’ve actually gone a bit further and come to see technology as an alternative great story, as a different source for understanding where we are in the cosmos. I think technology is something that can give meaning to our lives, particularly in a secular world.

Johnson: I was particularly taken with your idea that technology wants increasing diversity—which is what I think also happens in biological systems, as the adjacent possible becomes larger with each innovation. As tech critics, I think we have to keep this in mind, because when you expand the diversity of a system, that leads to an increase in great things and an increase in crap.

Kelly: Right. This is a big theme in your book, too—the idea that the most creative environments allow for repeated failure.

Johnson: And for wastes of time and resources. If you knew nothing about the Internet and were trying to figure it out from the data, you would reasonably conclude that it was designed for the transmission of spam and porn. And yet at the same time, there’s more amazing stuff available to us than ever before, thanks to the Internet.

Kelly: Ten years ago, I was arguing that the problem with TV was that there wasn’t enough bad TV. Making TV was so expensive that accountants prevented it from becoming really crappy—or really great. It was all mediocre. But that was before YouTube. Now there is great TV!

Johnson: This is another idea with a clear evolutionary parallel, right? If we didn’t have genetic mutations, we wouldn’t have us. You need error to open the door to the adjacent possible.

Johnson: Life seems to gravitate toward these complex states where there’s just enough disorder to create new things. There’s a rate of mutation just high enough to let interesting new innovations happen, but not so many mutations that every new generation dies off immediately.

Kelly: In this way and many others, technology is an extension of life. Both life and technology are faces of the same larger system.

PARC significa Palo Alto Research Center, Centro de Pesquisa da Xerox. Pelo final dos anos 70, o Steve Jobs visitou o PARC e, segundo relatos, anotava freneticamente em seu caderninho enquanto via as invenções do pessoal da Xerox que lhe ajudariam na Apple. Nas palavras do prório Steve:

When I went to Xerox PARC in 1979, I saw a very rudimentary graphical user interface. It wasn’t complete. It wasn’t quite right. But within 10 minutes, it was obvious that every computer in the world would work this way someday.

Quase tudo de revolucionários dos últimos 30 anos saiu das mentes que tarabalhavam no PARC, e a Xerox, incrivelmente, não se aproveitou de nada:

PARC’s ground-breaking inventions like the graphical user interface, ethernet, and postscript as inventions had a large impact on the world but didn’t contribute enough to Xerox’s bottom line.

Tudo isso por que as invenções extrapolavam a atuação da empresa na época. Hoje em dia parece que a lucidez iluminou os manda-chuvas da Xerox e agora eles alugam o R&D da PARC para outras empresas.

Apresentação de Jeffrey Bussgang, sócio de um VC com 560 milhões de dólares aplicados em empresas de tecnologia. Interessante.

“Our society has an instant- gratification thing. We admire instant brilliance, effortless brilliance. I think quite the reverse. You should admire the person who perseveres and slogs through and gets there in the end.”

Via Neil Perkin, em um bom post sobre inovação. Tem muito a ver com a visão do Noah Brier sobre o assunto.


Can capitalism survive? No. I do not think it can.” Thus opens Schumpeter’s prologue to a section of his 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. One might think, on the basis of the quote, that Schumpeter was a Marxist. But the analysis that led Schumpeter to his conclusion differed totally from Karl Marx’s. Marx believed that capitalism would be destroyed by its enemies (the proletariat), whom capitalism had purportedly exploited, and he relished the prospect. Schumpeter believed that capitalism would be destroyed by its successes, that it would spawn a large intellectual class that made its living by attacking the very bourgeois system of private property and freedom so necessary for the intellectual class’s existence. And unlike Marx, Schumpeter did not relish the destruction of capitalism. “If a doctor predicts that his patient will die presently,” he wrote, “this does not mean that he desires it.”

Innovation by the entrepreneur, argued Schumpeter, leads to gales of “creative destruction” as innovations cause old inventories, ideas, technologies, skills, and equipment to become obsolete. The question is not “how capitalism administers existing structures, … [but] how it creates and destroys them.” This creative destruction, he believed, causes continuous progress and improves the standards of living for everyone.

Over time, all innovation gets commoditized. In this regard, business models are not different than products and services. So business model innovation must be a perpetual quest for renewal.

Trecho tirada de uma excelente reportagem da Business Week sobre as estratégias e fracassos da Kodak.

Antes do coroa esculachar com sua lucidez, um trechinho de um artigo da Harvard Business Review sobre os bancos entrarem na onda do micro-crédito:

A NYT front-page article explored how the much-celebrated phenomenon of micro-lending, offering small loans to individuals and entrepreneurs in the poorest countries as a way to lift them from poverty, is facing a global backlash. Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work in the field, was watching in horror as powerful, hungry, often-reckless banks were rushing in to generate big profits from an idea they either didn’t understand or didn’t care about. “We created microcredit to fight the loan sharks; we didn’t create microcredit to encourage new loan sharks,” Professor Yunus fumed. “Microcredit should be seen as an opportunity to help people get out of poverty in a business way, but not as an opportunity to make money out of people.”

I love innovation as much as the next person–probably more so. But this makes me crazy! The story of finance over the last 25 years has been the story of innovation run amok–and of our systematic failure, as a society, as companies, as individual leaders, to learn from mistakes we seem determined to keep making. It might be condo loans in Miami, synthetic derivatives in London, or credits to yak herders in Mongolia, but it’s déjà vu all over again: good ideas gone disastrously wrong, genuine steps forward that ultimately bring markets crashing down.

É aí que entra o Warren Buffet, com uma fala tirada de uma entrevista que você deveria assistir:

As I fumed once more, I thought back to some words of wisdom from Warren Buffet, who continues to amaze with his common-sense brilliance. Buffet gave the best explanation of this phenomenon I’ve ever heard in an interview with Charlie Rose. The PBS host, talking to the billionaire about the same disaster Michael Lewis writes about, asked the obvious question: “Should wise people have known better?” Of course, they should have, Buffett replied, but there’s a “natural progression” to how good ideas go wrong. He called this progression the “three I’s.” First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich.

O coroa esculacha ou não esculacha??

O Brasil, como sempre, no retrovisor da história.

A China avança mais rápido do que os demais países do Bric tanto nos investimentos em ciência e tecnologia quanto no envolvimento do setor produtivo nos esforços de inovação, segundo estudo apresentado nesta quinta-feira (15/04) em seminário paralelo à cúpula do grupo, organizado pelo Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea).

Dados compilados pelo pesquisador Luiz Ricardo Cavalcante, da Divisão de Estudos Setoriais do Ipea, mostram que os investimentos chineses em pesquisa e desenvolvimento tecnológico passaram de cerca de 0,8% do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) em 2000 para 1,44% em 2008, último dado disponível. No período, o Brasil foi de 1% para 1,09%, recuperando-se de queda para 0,8% em 2004. Os investimentos russos subiram no início da década, mas voltaram a cair. A Índia ficou estagnada até 2006.

No parágrafo abaixo, vê-se que a iniciativa privada brasileira não é lá tão privada assim:

Ele mostrou ainda que a China chegou ao padrão dos países ricos quando se mede a participação das empresas -privadas, públicas ou mistas- nos investimentos em pesquisa. Enquanto no Brasil 52% deles ainda são bancados diretamente pelo Governo, entre os chineses essa proporção caiu para 25%.

Nós reclamamos tanto que os políticos mamam na teta do estado e, cegos, não vemos que o empresariado brasileiro também se alimenta das finanças públicas.

What if, globally speaking, the iPad is not the next big thing? What if the next big thing is small, cheap and not American?

From Brazil to India to South Korea and even Afghanistan, people are seeking work via text message; borrowing, lending, and receiving salaries on cellphones; employing their phones as flashlights, televisions and radios.

And many do all this for peanuts. In India, Reliance Communications sells handsets for less than $25, with one-cent-a-minute phone calls across India and one-cent text messages and no monthly charge — while earning fat profits.

Um parágrafo interessantíssimo:

Not for the first time, America and much of the world are moving in different ways. America’s innovators, building for an ever-expanding bandwidth network, are spiraling toward fancier, costlier, more network-hungry and status-giving devices; meanwhile, their counterparts in developing nations are innovating to find ever more uses for cheap, basic cellphones.

And because it reaches so many people, because it is always with you, because it is cheap and sharable and easily repaired, the cellphone has opened a new frontier of global innovation.

Babajob, in Bangalore, India, and Souktel, in the Palestinian territories, offer job-hunting services via text message. Souktel allows users without Internet or fancy phones to register by texting information about themselves. A user who then texts in “match me” will receive a listing of jobs suitable to her, including phone numbers to dial.

In Africa, the cellphone is giving birth to a new paradigm in money. Plastic cards have become the reigning instruments of payment in the West, but projects like PesaPal and M-Pesa in Kenya are working to make the cellphone the hub of personal finance. M-Pesa lets you convert cash into cellphone money at your local grocer, and this money can instantly be wired to anyone with a phone.

All of which suggests the presence of an innovation gap between the world’s richest societies and the poorest — not in device design so much as in usage. And there is a question about whether the United States, which gained so much from the Internet revolution, will similarly profit from the entry of billions more people from the developing world into a massive worldwide middle class — consumers now but not yet rich, with a simple cellphone and a less-is-more sensibility.