Innovation vs Revolution

Technology has a revolutionary force on our lives. But how to tell what parts are truly revolutionary isn't easy to sort out. Technology has become a vague classification for new gadgets and services that are available at this time.

Identifying which creations are truly revolutionary, and those that are simply innovations is important for anyone who's in it for the long haul. Praising whole for the individual is just as easy as throwing away the baby with the bathwater, and just as damaging too.

Destructive nature of the hype

A DDoS attack is different from other attacks like viruses. Viruses require a vulnerability in order to infiltrate and cause damage. DDoS works by simply overusing a public service in a way that the service cannot sort out which requests are legitimate, so the service must stop servicing requests entirely.

Similarly, when a certain technology is elevated and worshiped, the sheer magnitude of individuals and corporations trying to get on board creates a space so diluted, it invalidates the technology in a shroud of misdirection.

True revolutions

Innovation is an art. Combining existing components together to create something new. Anyone can innovate, and the right innovations change how we think about technology.

Confusing innovations for revolutions is where we run into trouble. Revolutions don't just change the way we think, they change the way we act and behave in society. Revolutions are inevitable, triggered and fueled by the newfound greater local maximum. It's like the spreading of a invasive species, it can't be stopped. Revolutions aren't manufactured, they're discovered. No one company can sell it, no individual can patent it. Anyone can either choose to try to fight it or just flow with it.


So if revolutions aren't owned, how can one flow with it? It's all about tools. Never has a revolution occurred with some product at the forefront, it has always been cheaply accessible resources that anyone can take advantage of.

Cheap coal for the industrial revolution fueled the laying of railways, and eventually personal cars and the highway. Cheap microchips for the technological revolution fueled the creation of personal computers and the internet.

Revolutions have always played out with individuals at the forefront. I find this comforting to keep in mind, if the innovation feels intangible, it's probably not all that important.

Real ideas come in the day to day, in the slow drip of inspiration and in the quiet moments of pondering. Revolutions happen when an idea is to strong to be contained and bursts into the public scene despite general consensus.

Fake revolutions feed on fear of missing out and impostor syndrome. Don't follow the craze.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it

– Alan Kay