From a recent New Yorker issue on Innovation, Adam Gopnik writes a lyrical piece about evolution and innovation, comparing the animal kingdom to the creative and business processes of making things. He starts off looking at the multi-bladed shaver, but the most evocative portion was about book lights, highly condensed for excerpting here:
I have tried them all, without much success...Some hang around your neck, some sit on your stomach; some clip onto the edge of the book, where they shake and waver, and some bend around the book's binding to shine creepliy on the pages. None of them quite do the trick...Failure, it seems, generates variety, too, but it is is the variety of futility, the small changes made in a lost cause. It takes the eye of God to see, in the acts of man, which are the children of delight and which the dead ends of despair.
Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting. In the past 15 years Steve has interviewed families eating breakfast, rock musicians, credit-default swap traders, and radiologists. His work has informed the development of music gear, wine packaging, medical information systems, corporate intranets, videoconferencing systems, and iPod accessories. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies like eBay, Adobe, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, and Dolby Laboratories. He has a graduate degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Guelph and is an avid photographer who has a Museum of Foreign Groceries in his home.
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