Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

Disrupt or be disrupted: the original article + the response

SMW, June 16, 2014 10:59 PM

SparksBetweenWorlds.jpg



"His job appears to be to convince a generation of people
who want to do good and do well
to learn, instead, remorselessness.
Forget rules, obligations, your conscience, loyalty, a sense of the commonweal.
"
- Jill Lepore

Join Us

by C.J. Westerberg

A big sprawling wowapalooza article about innovation and disruption; even Clayton Christensen gets toppled off his throne. It's a necessary piece - one that I expect will get much traction - because the worship of disruption has been myopic, often driven by fear of being left out in the cold as opposed to considered choices.  Journalist Jill Lepore nails this sentiment via The New Yorker in The Disruption Machine.

While I think that most institutions need re-inventing of some sort (and I'm not playing semantics here), all change is not equal. Learning and the education business (two different things) are now front and center in the  innovation conversation. Sadly, many truly needed inventions may be lost by the hype machine wanting only what can be networked and scaled fast and furiously, as opposed to what may be valuable and worthwhile.

There are some great thoughts in Lepore's piece.  Here are two notable excerpts :

Most big ideas have loud critics. Not disruption.
Disruptive innovation as the explanation for how change happens has been subject to little serious criticism, partly because it's headlong,
while critical inquiry is unhurried;
partly because disrupters ridicule doubters by charging them with fogyism,
as if to criticize a theory of change were identical to decrying change;
and partly because, in its modern usage,
innovation is the idea of progress jammed into a criticism-proof jack-in-the-box.

And here is the social/cultural connection:

Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail.
It's not more than that.
 It doesn't explain change. It's not a law of nature. It's an artifact of history, an idea,
forged in time; it's the manufacture of a moment of upsetting and edgy uncertainty.
Transfixed by change, it's blind to continuity.
It makes a very poor prophet.

The upstarts who work at startups don't often stay at any one place for very long.
(Three out of four startups fail. More than nine out of ten never earn a return.)
They work a year here, a few months there - zany hours everywhere.
They wear jeans and sneakers and ride scooters and share offices and
sprawl on couches like Great Danes.
Their coffee machines look like dollhouse-size factories.

They are told that they should be reckless and ruthless.

Their investors, if they're like Josh Linkner, tell them that the world is a terrifying place,
moving at a devastating pace."Today I run a venture capital firm and back the next generation of innovators who are, as I was throughout my earlier career,
dead-focused on eating your lunch," Linkner writes.

His job appears to be to convince a generation of people who want to do good and
do well to learn, instead, remorselessness.
Forget rules, obligations, your conscience, loyalty, a sense of the commonweal.
If you start a business and it succeeds, Linkner advises, sell it and take the cash.
Don't look back. Never pause.
Disrupt or be disrupted.

But they do pause and they do look back, and they wonder.
Meanwhile, they tweet, they post, they tumble in and out of love, they ponder.
They send one another sly messages, touching the screens of sleek, soundless machines
with a worshipful tenderness.



blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook

scoreboard.learning.jpg

Is Learning a Sport?

CJ Westerberg, 06.25.2014

Maybe . . . Why Kids Care More About Achievement than Helping Others

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories

SparksBetweenWorlds.jpg

Disrupt or be disrupted: the original article + the response

SMW, 06.16.2014

"His job appears to be to convince a generation of people who want to do good and do well to learn, instead, remorselessness. Forget rules, obligations, your conscience, loyalty, a sense of the commonweal. " - Jill Lepore

Read Post | Comments
cats-and-dogs.jpg

Parenting Cats and Dogs

SMW, 06.16.2014

Adolescents, on the other hand, respond more like cats - aloof, unpredictable, hard to locate, not always coming when they are called, rubbing up against you or jumping into your lap on their terms.

Read Post | Comments
university.college.students.study.jpg

Ivory Tower: The Movie

SMW, 06.11.2014

A documentary about higher education that "questions its cost and value" . . .

Read Post | Comments
74.2png.png

# of School Shootings Since Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012

SMW, 06.10.2014

The New Normal?  Unless . . . Today, another school shooting.  This time in Oregon.  One student dead.  One teacher injured."All told, there has been nearly one shooting per week in the year and a half since Newtown."...

Read Post | Comments
JohnGreen_LargeWide.jpg

Author John Green: Teenagers Think the Big Questions in Life Matter

SMW, 06.02.2014

Why Do We Give Them Short-Shrift? The Teen Whisperer: How the author of "The Fault in Our Stars" built an ardent army of fans

Read Post | Comments
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for The-Power-of-mathematical-thinking.jpg
12.technology.Horizon.report.jpg

THE LIST: 12 Top Technologies in Education

CJ Westerberg, 05.31.2014

Breakthroughs, Disruptions and Spin

Read Post | Comments
stop.college.debt.jpg

College Debt and Banks: It's called "Skim"

SMW, 05.28.2014

aka. No-brainer money for bankers; debt for students for brain-credentials

Read Post | Comments

More Featured Posts