Over the past month or so, I’ve been working up a list of projects for the next year to pitch as innovation prototypes that Noel and I would design and build, the ultimate goal being release into core product.
You know, that illusive goal that this team has never really been able to achieve, i.e. getting our stuff out into your hands.
Over the past five-plus years, we’ve built some cool stuff, maybe nudged the ship and influenced a few people, but if you’re keeping score at home, very few of our “innovations” have ever made it into public hands. Oracle Mix is really the only one.
This makes me have a sad.
Anyway, during a trip to the mothership recently, I had coffee with my dear old friend and former ‘Labber, Anthony (@anthonyslai), who jumped to Taleo not long ago and has recently been reacquired (cough, acquihired), and the subject of what we were each working on came up, natch.
Anthony politely listened to my list of projects and then said something like, but those are all just integrations. Indeed. My list of ten projects included no new development really, nothing snazzy and new, like Connect once was or some of our other secret projects were.
Cue the sad again.
This is actually a larger problem that has bothered me lately. Looking around at hot new startups, all I see is incremental stuff, very little new and disruptive innovation. Gamified mobile social analytics in the cloud.
Not to say those are bad, but we’ve entered a period of malaise for innovation, as the good ideas coalesce, gain adoption and are refined. I remember this from the late nineties, early aughties (h/t Mythbusters) as the intertubes matured into models like B2C and B2B. Boring, yes. Necessary, also yes.
Let’s hope this go-round doesn’t require burning everything to the ground first to let the new ideas sprout.
So, lately, it’s been tough to get really excited about this or that new startup or tool because we’ve seen them already.
What’s an early adopter to do?
For inspiration, I looked back at my post about topics that interest me for 2012, and that list reminded me of the stuff I like, internet of things and the evolution of interfaces.
I guess I’ll need to learn some new skills to dabble in those areas.
Anyway, do you feel the same way about technology? What do you care about now that recently innovative stuff has begun to mature, assuming you cared at all?
Let me know in the comments. I need to expand my list.