The Punishment For Innovation Is Having Your Ears Chopped Off

These will NOT help you do innovation better, or deliver more innovative solutions, or prevent your innovation from being, well, just simply boring!


In my recent series of posts The Experts Talk Innovation (Pa rt 1, Part 2, Pa rt 3), I began researching other views and opinions on disruptive innovation. Some of the things I found were startling, and I thought worth sharing.

Maybe on the lighter side of Innovation...

These will NOT help you do innovation better, or deliver more innovative solutions, or prevent your innovation from being, well, just simply boring, but might be worth sharing with your network!

TIME Magazine published a list of the 50 Worst Innovations, from the zany to the dangerous to just the plain dumb. Published in 2010 the list included: Segway, Farmville (which cruised past 80 Million players by the end of 2010), and Crocs ...since its inception in 2002, have sold over 300 million pairs .

A search of annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2011, shows companies mentioned some form of the word 'innovation' 33,528 times, which was a 64% increase from five years before that.

"Most companies say they're innovative in the hope they can somehow con investors into thinking there is growth when there isn't"
Clayton Christensen - Professor at Harvard Business School

Read how others define and use innovation in this Wall Street Journa l post. Or my post: Not all brands seek innovation, but if they seek growth they should...


In 2012 the China’s State Intellectual Property Office, granted more patents than any other country. In 2013 patent applications also ranked higher than anywhere else: China - 734,147, USA - 501,903, Japan - 473,259, UK - 51,424. In March 2013, Apple appeared in a Shanghai court to defend charges that Siri (the built-in 'intelligent assistant' that enables users of Apple iPhone 4S and later and newer iPad and iPod Touch devices to speak natural language voice commands in order to operate the mobile device and its apps.), allegedly infringed a Chinese patent. The plaintiff and owner of the patent, Zhizhen Internet Technology Co., claimed its version of the software had over 100 million users in China and requested the court to ban all manufacturing or sales of Apple’s product in China. In April 2015, Apple won this long-running intellectual property fight


The irony behind the king of buzzwords is that, originally, 'innovation' wasn't a compliment. It was an accusation. In fact, shouts of 'Innovator!' used to be akin to charges of heresy. Canadian historian Benoît Godin has done extensive research on the topic. In the 1600’s being a true 'innovator' would see you being sentenced to a life in prison, and worse, having your ears chopped off!

What other interesting facts can you share about innovation?

Thanks for reading! Please SHARE, LIKE & COMMENT.


Anthony J James is LinkedIn Agency Publish of the Year for Asia Pacific.

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