Monday, June 21, 2010

Freshness and Inspiration

Dedicated to my friend, MCShola, who is visiting Crazy Lagos from Sane Seattle.

It is inspiring to see how asking simple questions, then seriously thinking about the answers, making simple decisions to honestly implement solutions is how progress has been made, and may still be how progress will be made, even in the most frustrating, seemingly intractable of situations.

MSC Software: They make software, but they must ask questions like "Where is the bleeding edge?" to know that they are oriented in the right direction, not for the past, which is gone, but for tomorrow. The blogger writes: Without these guys to disrupt the status quo, where will the real innovation come from?
Some responses suggest that solver-independent pre-processing is going to be important, or that the next development is in wiki-like features, run over the web without any old fashion client/server architecture...real-time collaboration; revision/version control will be handled automatically, or that the big thing is diffusion, creating larger markets "outside of large firms."
From the same blog, read an account of how a publicist/marketer views the technology she sells, coloured by her experience promoting hip-hop back in the day before hip-hop was recognized. Or how even the slowing economy must be milked for innovation.

It is repeated often that the establishment of IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) was an important first step in making India an economic force today...It started with an idea: The concept of the IITs originated even before India gained independence 1947. After the end of the Second World War and before India got independence, Sir Ardeshir Dalal from the Viceroy's Executive Council foresaw that the future prosperity of India would depend not so much on capital as on technology. He, therefore, proposed the setting up of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. To man those laboratories, he persuaded the US government to offer hundreds of doctoral fellowships under the Technology Cooperation Mission (TCM) program. However realizing that such steps can not help in the long run for the development of India after it gains independence, he conceptualized institutes that would train such work forces in the country itself. This is believed to be the first conceptualization of IITs. Source: Wikipedia - History of IITs

From our chat the other day, ideas...

for instance about planning the city of Lagos so that people's work and home could be near each other. Quality of life goes up, Productivity would have a chance (productivity is very low if you spend four or more hours on the road stuck in traffic every day, trust me) , Cost (of fuel, of transport ) goes down. Back to productivity, those stolen hours are literally life - one's creative juices - flowing out like tick-tock tick-tock. What would it take to make Ikeja residents work in Ikeja and Lekki residents work in Lekki? After all, the current designations are not set in stone.

for instance about collective ownership of businesses. Is communism really a bad thing just because America and Capitalism won the Cold War? After all, the Technology boom of California (and Seattle) was fueled by stock options, also known as collective ownership, the workers partly own the company. So even America is somewhat Communist/Socialist? In Nigeria, with the worker owning nothing, and the owner knowing nothing...isn't it about time we tried incentives that work? Maybe instead of looking for a job (waaay more people than jobs), form an association of mai-shai's , help them move their tea business upmarket, work on their supply chains, make money etc etc. Mai Shai is the new Starbucks :)

Note to self: More core science and math and tech work in future. It's cool.
Note to Shola: Thanks for trying. Du courage!

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