My article on the Peter Drucker Forum blog: “The 5 principles on which we can create an entrepreneurial society”

I have just published an article on the Global Peter Drucker Forum‘s blog, at  which I will be a panel member, titled: “The 5 principles on which we can create an entrepreneurial society”. It can be accessed here.

The Forum’s program is available here.

How We Underestimate the Disruptive Potential of a New Technology

In a previous article, I discussed how we miss the potential of a new technology by holding it to a standard of perfection. I continue on the same topic by discussing how the initial low performance of a new technology explains why it is dismissed by incumbent players by taking the example of 3D Printing.

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Organizational exhaustion… and internal exile

I wrote earlier about the loss of creative ability of the firm. This loss and the growing reliance on a command and control management style are obviously not without impact for an organization. In his political essay “The Power of the Powerless”, Vàclav Havel writes about a simple everyday experience he had in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s. In the window of a local grocery store, he observed a poster of the Communist party that read: “Workers of the world, unite!” Havel asked himself,  “Why does the grocery manager do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world?” Obviously, the greengrocer was not a communist militant (in that era there were not so many around).

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The Pregnancy Test: An Example of Democratization through Technological Evolution

The pregnancy test is a good example of how technology democratize problem solving.

Being able to tell if a woman is pregnant has always been a quest for mankind (and womankind!) and man has developed many techniques to address this.

Ancient Egyptians had a technique in which they watered bags of wheat and barley with the urine of a possibly pregnant woman. Germination indicated pregnancy.

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Disruption Is Not a Question of Technology, but of Business Model

We hear a lot about “disruptive technologies”, but what makes an innovation disruptive is not usually its technical dimension, and the distinction often made between radical innovation and incremental innovation is not so pertinent. Indeed, we can observe two examples to illustrate this point.

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New Product Adoption Is the Art of Incentives: The Example of Photoelectric Kits in Africa

In the 1970s, the French government decided to help Africa develop. The lack of lighting had long been identified as an obstacle to development: without lighting, for instance, children could not do their homework at night. Thus the French government decided to subsidize the design and manufacturing of light kits. A small solar panel charged its battery in the day in order to be used at night. The tender was launched, a company that designed robust kits won the contract and the kits were sent to Africa to be distributed. But just a few weeks after the operation was launched, it failed. The kits were not used. Why?

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Why Holding a Disruptive Technology to a Standard of Perfection is a Mistake

Recently, Erik Brynjolfsson remarked, about artificial intelligence (AI), that we tend to hold it to a standard of perfection, and therefore can be pessimistic about its prospects. It is a very common mistake in the case of a disruptive technology. In fact it is not so much that we hold disruptive technologies to a standard of perfection as we judge their performance based on the existing technology’s dominant criteria. Let’s explore this and see why it matters, and how it leads to disasters.

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