Rage against the fundamentals

We all have computer models – economic models, buying models, voting models, thermal, stress, and vibration. A strange thing happens when our models reside in the computer: their output becomes gospel, unchallengeable. And to set the hook, computerized output is bolstered by slick graphics, auto-generated graphs, and pretty colors.

Model fundamentals are usually well defined, proven, and grounded – not the problem. The problem is applicability. Do the fundamentals apply? Do they apply in the same way? Do different fundamentals apply? We never ask those questions. That’s the problem.

New folks don’t have the context to courageously challenge fundamentals and more experienced folks have had the imagination flogged out of them. So who’s left to challenge applicability of fundamentals? You know who’s left.

It’s smart folks with courage that challenge fundamentals; it’s people willing to contradict previous success (even theirs) that challenge fundamentals; it’s people willing to extend beyond that challenge fundamentals; it’s people willing to risk their career that challenge fundamentals.

Want to challenge fundamentals? Hire, engage, and support smart folks with courage.

3 Responses to “Rage against the fundamentals”

  • Peter Santaw:

    Very gutsy proposition – Unfortunately it seems that in a time when we need extreme innovation most organizations are actually pulling back instead of pushing forward.
    Peter Santaw

  • Mike:

    Gutsy, but on-the-mark.

  • Mike…
    I’ve been of the belief that design axioms (if I can use that word) can lead to very limited thinking. In reality, it’s applying constraints on creativity. I have used suggested standards (or models) for designers within product development, but I’m even hesitant to do that any longer. Telling a designer that there shall be limitations on hardware types and process types can put you where you don’t want to go. It was (and probably still is) once thought that standardizing hardware will lead to large cost savings. It can, but it can also do more harm than good. Especially if your goal is to achieve something your competition hasn’t. In the right hands, computer-aided design and manufacturing can be a really powerful tool…if creativity is allowed at the same time.

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