Im Karla Phlypo-Price a PhD (C) and this blog is dedicated to my exploration into open innovation, social media, creativity, intrinsic motivation, collaborative creativity, and knowledge management 3.0.
I will be using this venue to articulate and discuss my findings as I journey toward the completion of my dissertation.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Within the creation of a new paradigm, there is a moment of tension between what has been - and what is becoming. An innovator’s job, is to move into this moment -the ’in-between’ - and begin to imagine new processes and ways to enable the emerging paradigm. It is a given that humankind is ever changing. So too, must our beliefs and understandings keep pace. At some point we must ‘grow-up’ (emotionally-speaking) and leave behind all the inherited inequities of our ancestors and even our own past experiences, to finally say “ENOUGH! IT STOPS WITH ME!” At that moment, the paradigm has a foothold and we can then create anew.
- Joan of Arc
Are you born to do what you are doing, creating, imagining? - Karla
~Antoine De Saint Exupery
Its time for us to yearn for the open sky, deep blue sea, the stars, floating vehicle, a gentle foot print upon the earth. What are you yearning to create? Karla
Rosen, P. (1993). The social construction of mountain bikes: Technology and postmodernity in the cycle industry. Social Studies of Science, 23(3), 479.
Social Construction of Technology (SCOT)
Relevant Social Groups (RSG)
Is innovation exclusive to larger organizations? With the advent of social media and Web 2.0, a new wave of collaboration began. Enthusiasts (also called ProAm’s by Leadbeater & Miller, 2004) have started to come together around passion-driven activities. Rosen (1993) suggested that most studies of socially constructed technology focus too much on the internal workings of the technology and too little on addressing the impact to society. According to Rosen, there are three stages to social construction (a.k.a. peer production) of technology, they are:
For those who are not aware - the mountain bike was socially constructed. It was an effort of a RSG who got together to rethink the bicycle. Leadbeater and Miller’s study shows that traditionally, a bike was developed primarily by the inventor or business, sometimes using a focus group for input. The bike was stabilized with as many inputs into the design as possible and then mass produced.
Whereas socially constructed bike design, has far less stabilization (standardization). The focus was performance, customization and diversity, then mass produced for a niche. One can still observe see the ever changing features on the mountain bike if they analyze the design of the frame and components.
Those who fair well with socially constructed products, tend toward a post-Fordism/neo-Fordism model with a decentralized structure, where manufacturing is a service, opting for greater flexibility and being less concerned with a stable product.
The transition from the mountain and rugged terrain domain was easily made by city dwellers who found that there were many attributes they favored over a conventionally designed street bike. Rosen (1983) stated “that although they had been riding in cities for a century, the sturdiness of mountain bikes provides a new, and supposedly better means of negotiating over-congested and badly-repaired city streets. By bringing the tension between the modern and the counter-modern, between technology and the wilderness onto city streets… “ (p. 501).
Some practical conclusions:
Socially constructed products tap into a collective community’s passion - by which new concepts are born. Businesses that are able to leverage and continually communicate with RSG’s are the organizations that will thrive. The enthusiast discovers the ‘needs’ - businesses to let go of control and engage the path to invention in a new way. We are at the doorstep of the neo-Fordism paradigm where the centralized, mass produced, stable product is a diminishing bastion.
Please don’t confuse the passionate enthusiast with a consumer. The enthusiast is very well versed on the topic of their passion and provide a completely different perspective - and without the constraints of a bureaucratic system. They are Pros Amateurs, with a clear understanding of what they would like to achieve.
Current example of technology socially constructed technology
Thank you Jonathan Fields for collecting such poignant quotes
Wilkinson, D. M. (2008). Strong regularities in online peer production. Proceedings of the 9th ACM conference on Electronic commerce (pp. 302–309).
Wilkinson (2008) looks at peer production, which is groups of enthusiasts that get together to solve problems or participate in crowdsourced projects. Wilkinson described peer production as; systems that enable people, passionate and enthusiastic about a topic, to “ coactively create, share, classify and rate content on an unprecedented scale” (p. ). The paper studies how people contribute to these endeavors. Wilkinsion analyzed online data (electronic activity records) for this study. The four sites Wilkinson looked at were Wikipedia (online encyclopedia), Digg (a vote aggregator of news stories), Bugzilla (a system that reports bugs and enables collaboration to fix code errors) and Essembly, where people chime in on political subjects and allows voting on topics.
Wilkinson (2008) has two points of inquiry: 1) What is the distribution level of user participation according to the power law? And 2), is the distribution of activity per topic log-normal?
First, what is the power law? The power law distribution is conceived in the following manner. If you consider a large number of websites, and look at how many links to other sites are present, for the large number of websites you would see few to none. If you have a moderate set of websites and look at the number of links you will find a moderate amount of links, and if there are a small proportion of websites, you will find that they have a great many links into the web site. The distribution is generally expressed large to small and small to large. (for more information on the power law see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_law)
Wilkinson shows that this law also applies to peer production projects. He suggests that there is a law of diminishing returns after the group of peers gets to a certain size, and that there is a strong relationship between when participants in peer production stop participating and the number of contributions. To sum up, there are usually a small number of people that contribute consistently. They found that after a certain number of contributions, these contributors tended to quit providing input.
Some practical conclusions:
What is the your website’s/community’s strategy to keep people engaged?
Have you considered your strategy? What are you doing to keep the community engaged and participating? Quirky, a product design crowdsourcing website, sends out periodic email updates on projects that I’ve contributed to in the past, which keep me informed of any progress. I also participate in several forums, and find that the forums that have an active monitor who poses questions periodically tend to have greater participation from the group.
How do you show that the input has been used and implemented in your peer produced service, product or project?
In a recent study I conducted, participants shared that when participating in crowdsourced or peer produced projects, one needs feedback on where their input was used or why it was not. Contributions can drop off because those who have taken the time do not see how they are helping or how they could improve there input. Having a strategy that enables this could improve site contributions.
How difficult is it - to vote or make contributions?
Wilkinson’s study demonstrated that Digger and Essembly had very simple ways of voting, thereby showing a low level barrier. But, adding a story or editing an entry in Digger and Wikipedia ended up consuming more time. I would expect that this is true. It takes more time for one to put thoughts into coherent prose then it does to vote yea or nay. So consider how entries are made (perhaps having a strategy that also leverages video as opposed to text only). If we consider the processing styles (for more info on processing styles http://www.iopt.com/index.php) of individuals, not all users use text as an easy way to express a story, and this choice of input modes would enable a richer level of participation.
Question: Have we stopped real advanced science because we don’t want to challenge our dogmas and beliefs?
“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”
— Albert Einstein
The Sky is the Limit!!
Well, this week I am in a virtual residency at my university. For those of you not familiar with non-traditional modes of education, our university (Walden University) has mostly a virtual structure, but once a year you are required to attend a residency. Most of residencies are in person and are really wonderful.
You get a chance to meet your cohort and others pursuing their Doctorate degrees. I am in my last residency and in the process of writing my dissertation proposal so I thought I would take the virtual residency so that I could save some time. Its an ok format, audio, chat, some video. Unfortunately the technology, or perhaps it is the bandwidth and quality have not improved enough to make this a valuable way to interact with others.
So I thought perhaps, second life might be a way to more fully experience being there with others actually talking to those around you asking questions by raising hands instead of chatting. Its a very intense format (second life is) and if one could make it work well for education I think the sky’s the limit!
A Rhetorical discussion and analysis
Baily, M., Katz, B., & West, D. (2011). Growth Through Innovation (Case Study). Growth through innovation (p. 20). Washington D.C.: Brookings.
This piece was an interesting attempt at outlining steps to be taken, given the usual conventional perspective of institutions. The paper discusses ways to address innovation competitiveness within the United States. While the recommendations make good sense from a conventional perspective, they do not provide enough detail on the topic, nor consider the importance of having a national innovation strategy. The authors also avoid suggesting any policies which might support entrepreneurial innovation (only that of universities and conventional industrial innovation). The plan proposed here does not do any comparative analysis with other national innovation policies and how some of those policies could be modeled by the US. The policies suggested are supportive of only Keynesian economic theory and not Schumpeterian economic theory.
There is, in the article, a whole list that comprehends the need for fiscal wholeness and the need for sustainability, which I have left out since I am focusing on innovation, creativity, job creation, and strategies that will move us forward as a country.
Here are the recommendations I have focused on which were made by Baily, Katz, and West (2011).
— short term: Support basic scientific research by extending the R&D tax credit
— long term: Create a better system for commercializing research from universities
— long term: Streamline the process for approving patents
— long term: Step up the enforcement of intellectual property protection, especially overseas
— short term: Double the number of H-1B Visas — long term: establish national postsecondary goals and create a performance measurement system to support the effective use of federal resources
— long term: Double federal support for community colleges, using metrics to award additional money… (p. 4).
The discussion on innovation as the driving force considers continuing innovation through academic research universities and improving the number of graduates with math and science degrees. This is nothing new; the Committee for Economic Development (2011) discuss job creation and also suggest that innovation is a key aspect to getting the economy going. Many of the recommendations of Baily, Katz, and West (2011) are echoed in the report. The rate of new business creation has dropped 23% since 2008 (Mckinsey report , 2011). Yet It seems that no one has a implementation plan. I understand the political/policy issues of proposing anything radical. But radical innovation requires impetus and a clear vision.
Some practical Conclusions:
My personal example on learning
I was interested in designing my own skin creams, because so much of what was on the shelves had so many chemicals that I felt there was a way to make a better product. There was a lot o information online about the various ingredients and how and why they were used. I learned a lot about the behaviors of fluids - mixing the proverbial oil and water (which, by the way can be done). After a time, I researched many sources, I was ready. My new found knowledge plus a willingness to experiment, helped me to actually create some pretty wonderful skin products. I wrote down my newly created recipes and made my creams. To this day, I still create my body butters and meringues, but only for myself and my friends. Marketing and large scale manufacturing is a whole other beast - as well as the meeting of FDA rules & regs. The lesson here, is although I am not a scientist, I was self taught through a motivation to create something special. There are other ways to learn than through the traditional methods. This is a time to get creative and intrinsically motivated.
Some of the statistics were captured from the economic summit sponsored by CED and McKinsey & Company. November 2011
Nov 12, 2011
Panel Discussion at the 2011 CED Economic Summit in New York City, Oct. 25, 2011, wiht Byron G. Auguste, Director, Social Sector Office, McKinsey & Company. Mark N. Greene, Chief Executive Officer, FICO„ Todd E. Petzel, Chief Investment Officer, Offit Capital Advisors LLC, and Edouard Tetreau, Partner, Mediafin. Panel discussion moderated by journalist Jonathan Alter. Oct. 25, 2011, New York City.
Here is a Youtube link:http://youtu.be/piUtkSQ1C3Q