May 27, 2012

Timothy B. Lee on Innovation

I can across this article on my Twitter feed and thought I would pass it along.

  • Two Views of Innovation. Timothy B. Lee gives a nice overview of Schumpeterian and Hayekian innovation. I might be oversimplifying here, but my understanding is that Schumpeter advocated for induced innovation, meaning that macroeconomic factors, such as the prices of core inputs (oil, steel, etc.) "induce" innovation in certain sectors. Hayek's view is much evolutionary; firms use trial-and-error to eventually specialize in something. Lee then goes into an example using intellectual property rights, Apple, and Microsoft.

Lee, writing a blog called "Disruptive Economics" for Forbes, has some interesting thoughts on innovation and technology, so here are a few recent pieces:

Finally, on the topic of adoption of innovations, this article on what technologies get adopted in pro cycling is pretty interesting: "If it's so good, why don't the pros use it?" And then read the comments for a whole bunch of bicycle-related technical arguments :)

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