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Something that Rory Lowe said in one of his talks was that software developers are renovators and not innovators. This does make you start to think, what was he classing as an innovator. Yes quite often developers are asked to re-invent the wheel, but where does "renovation" stop and innovation start?

I have a different idea on this one. Innovators are people who see an opportunity, or a market and have the skills and ambition to create a product or service to fulfil that market. I would love to dare to really go ahead and do this… Unfortunately lack of funding for my venture has stopped me doing this at the moment. That and a full time job. If an investor suddenly came about however I would probably think very seriously about giving it a go.

I have to say I do look up to some of the innovators of today. The person who originally came up with the idea of RSS for example. It is such a simple thing, but so very powerful and useful. And what about instant messaging, also very useful - but also distracting.

Where are the innovations going to go next. Any ideas… I reckon a lot of GPS related data stores will come about soon enough. But that is my thought. You can add your own. Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2005 11:42 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Software Renovators or Innovators?

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Hmm.. I keep hearing this phrase "reusable code", so I tend to try and reuse stuff I've previously written to base new applications on: that I think is renovation. If the same code's used in "imaginative new ways" though, I'd claim it's innovation. I've already used this to good effect and it can reduce time to market, or even if it doesn't make it that far at least you can have a working demo pretty quickly.

As regards the funding issue, your comment on my blog made me think, and I believe that part of the problem is that many UK companies aren't prepared to take a gamble on might be seen as a high-risk project, so good ideas can get shelved early on. American companies often look too closely at the bottom line and if the idea isn't going to turn a profit within (say) a year it's seen as "not economically viable". Unfortunately if your company's an American owned/run British company you get the worst of both worlds, and consequently innovation suffers. Trust me on this one. I often wonder what the Victorians would make of today's "management" - would the railways have been built ? Would Rolls Royce have got off the ground ? Frank Whittle's jet engine ? I doubt it !

So what next for innovation ? Well, I'd *dearly* like to own a pair of ear buds that didn't take 10 minutes to untangle when I'm on the train. That would be a best seller !
Left by peterg on Aug 01, 2005 4:50 PM

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