In play, we are enabled to do in pretend time what is either impossible, unthinkable, or dangerous to do in real time. Then, it sometimes occurs that the line between "pretend" and "real" is removed, and somehow the impossible, unthinkable, and dangerous become common practice. This is called innovation and creativity.
Wealth flows directly from innovation, not optimization; that is, wealth is not gained from perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.
You see things; and you say, Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say, Why not?
Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
It isn't that they can't see the solution.
It is that they can't see the problem.
Again and again some people in the crowd wake up.
They have no ground in the crowd
And they emerge according to much broader laws.
They carry strange customs with them
And demand room for bold gestures.
The future speaks ruthlessly through them.
Individuals who break through by inventing a new paradigm are almost always either very young or very new to the field whose paradigm they change ... These are the men who, being little committed by prior practice to the traditional rules of normal science, are particularly likely to see that those rules no longer define a playable game and to conceive another set that can replace them.
Think of the sequence.
You create something.
You grow it.
You look for a competitive advantage.
Then you really tie it down tight,
making it as efficient as possible.
Those are very different jobs.
Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
A new idea or invention of new technologies or products is not innovation. The innovation process spans all the actions needed to convert an original concept into a useful product which is profitably taken to market.
Today the business of business is becoming the constant invention of new business.
The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.
In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.
And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
Any solution to a problem changes the problem.
An adaptive system must trade off between exploiting a known path of success (optimizing a current strategy), or diverting resources to exploring new paths (thereby wasting energy trying less efficient methods).
Never, ever rest on your laurels. Today's laurels are tomorrow's compost.
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
After the final no there comes a yes. And on that yes the future of the world depends.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.
Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent transpiration.
In light of knowledge attained, the happy achievement seems almost a matter of course, and any intelligent student can grasp it without too much trouble. But the years of anxious searching in the dark, with their intense longing, their alterations of confidence and exhaustion and the final emergence into the light — only those who have experienced it can understand it.
A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.