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innovation is a byproduct of an unfettered pursuit of excellence.

innovation is a byproduct of an unfettered pursuit of excellence.


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  1. 1
    Benjamin Gundgaard

    I’m a bit puzzled about your thought, even though I like it.

    In the pursuit of excellence, what is your goal, and what defines your goal? To build a new product, website, or?

    Doesn’t innovation define the goal, rather than excellence in itself? If then, shouldn’t your thought rather be: “excellence is a byproduct of an unfettered pursuit of innovation”?

    There is a saying: “if you do not know your destination, you do not know which road to follow”. When you innovate, you sometimes innovate based on very broad “destinations” such as: changing the way people think, or: going to Mars. This defines a goal or a destination. Excellence couldn’t set this goal in itself?

  2. 2

    that is exactly the opposite of my point: innovation is a bad goal, a non-useful goal. rather if you unfetter yourself as you pursue excellence in what ever you do (the ultimate mail delivery, the ultimate people connector) then innovation should occur as a natural outcome/byproduct. It’s when the pursuit is fettered– limited– innovation becomes less likely.

  3. 3

    yes! I totally agree with Christina, and that idea reminds me of the great musician Robert Fripp, who wrote:

    “discipline is an end in itself, not a means to an end”

    (in the sleeve of King Crimon’s wonderful album discipline)

  4. 4
    Benjamin Gundgaard

    I don’t think we disagree in general terms, as both points relate to that fact that you need to set a goal, in order both to innovate and pursue excellence.

    However, I believe you can pursue excellence in many ways, without being innovative. It is difficult though, to innovate and break beyond existing grounds without proving high levels of excellence – in whatever you do.

    Best, Benjamin

  5. 5

    It is an aphorism: a well affirmed and intellectually burden with a longstanding legacy to transmit ideas. In the 18th century it was the most used form of intellectual communication in books: Diderot, Voltaire, Vauvenargues, La Bruyere. Inthe 19th century too it was polular: Nietzsche included sections of aphorisms in nearly every book he wrote.

    I have an idea: since this blog is so good, why not arranging a section for aphorisms provided by your audience on web design or scripting or programming? I mean original aphorisms.

    I provide here two of mine, for what they can be worth of:

    1] When everything else fails, sleep.

    2] Never speculate. And if you can’t avoid it, be sure you do it only in order to INCLUDE, never to EXCLUDE possibilities or options.

    As for [1], everybody who made a webpage or had to devise an algorithm, knows what that thought means. The stress anyway is this: in order for that “subliminal” technique to work, you _must_ first have truly gone through the fact that truly “everything else” failed.
    Then sleep. Next morining, you’ll have the solution.

    As for [2], it leads to endlessly long validations in your functions, which many would complain about. And do you guess what? You will ultimately discover that you STILL forgot to include a possibility. Your users are going to do any sort of nasty things to your interfaces, and you will just never guess how they’re going to hammer it next morning.
    So never speculate to guess “this is not going to happen”, only speculate to guess “what if this would happen”?

    I’ll write an essay on it one time. I call it “computational approach”, which leads to my thrid contribution for aphorisms online:

    3] If a combination of the [1,2,3,4] elements is possible, it will eventually occur no matter how unlikely it may seem today.

    A la sherlock holmes: “exclude the impossible, what remains must be the truth”. I modify it: do not exclude anything, what remains will one day be a truth.

    ciao Alberto

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