November 15, 2005
@ 04:03 PM

I rarely repost comments I made in other blogs but this is one of those times. In his post I gave Douglas Englebart a mouse and a book Robert Scoble writes

It all started earlier this afternoon when Buzz Bruggeman asked me in an email “want to have dinner with Douglas Englebart?”

First of all, if you don’t know who Douglas Englebart is you better do some reading. He invented the mouse and many of the concepts that you are now using to read my words. And he did that 40 years ago. Yes, he was that far ahead.
Some key things stuck with me.

1) Doug is a frustrated inventor. He was frustrated over and over again during his career by people who just didn’t get his ideas. 2) He says he has many ideas that he hasn’t shared yet. We talked about the way the system could change from how it sees what you’re paying attention to, for instance. 3) He repeated for us the creation of the mouse. Said they still don’t know who came up with the name “mouse.” That was the part of the dinner I filmed. 4) He challenged the business people at the table (specifically looking at Andy and me) to come up with a way to increase the speed that innovations get used. He didn’t say it, but his eyes told me that taking 25 years for the world to get the mouse was too long and his career would have been a lot more interesting if people could have gotten his ideas quicker. I told him that ideas move around the world a lot faster now due to blogs and video (imagine trying to explain what Halo 2 was going to look like if all you had to describe it was ASCII text).

The most interesting writing I have seen on the adoption of ideas is Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point. I read it this summer as part of my excercise in figuring out why MySpace was so successful and the book was full of insight and interesting examples of idea propagation. If  Doug hasn't read it, I'd suggest that he read it.

I agree that it takes too long for innovations to make it into the mainstream. Ethernet, SQL databases, and object oriented languages running on garbage collected VMs, are all two or three decades old but only started really affecting the mainstream in the last decade. AJAX which is all the rage this year was invented last century. Dave Winer first started talking about payloads for RSS in 2001 but podcasting only took off over the last year.

We are closing the gap from innovation to adoption but it definitely could be better. I agree with Robert that blogs and other forms of mass communication being available to the general public will only accelerate this trend.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:54:35 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Hi Dare.
I sent a mail to ur kpako @ yahoo box.
Please help out.
By the way, nice blog topics u got.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:18:25 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Surprisingly, the subject of the rate at which innovations are adopted -- or not -- or at least the critical factors influencing the rate of adoption is well understood. Check out a book by Everett Rogers (now in its fifth edition) called Diffusion of Innovations.
Sunday, April 16, 2006 12:54:25 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

Would you please send me papers about the diffusion/adoption/adaption of innovations

best regards
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