REMEMBER THE INNOVATION-INTOXICATED years of 1999-2000? New ideas for Internet applications were so thick in the air that MBA students fled school mid-year to stake claims in cyberspace. Gray-haired executives packed up their mahogany-paneled Midwest offices and squeezed into tiny cubicles housing company startups. Wags said at the time that anyone who could power up a computer to present a new business idea could get funding from venture capitalists. After the euphoria of the boom and the depression of the bust passed, we had all received some painful reminders about the nature of innovation. Innovation is a balancing act: between expertise and beginner’s mind; respect for immutable laws of human behavior and irreverence for historical ...

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