Tag Archives: Alexis Madrigal

Is innovation really going to save the economy?

First of all, I’m not even sure what we want out of innovation. If we take what we see out there as a signal, then we sure aren’t innovating anything.

It’s gotten to that point where the word innovation is anything but meaningful. Were in the ‘over-innovation’ economy. Yes, over-innovation. As in, we’re over innovation. And this is because we are over-innovating? Or are we?

Alexis Madrigal makes a great point that we are indeed over-innovating:

Innovators innovate innovations, no? That word is everywhere these days. It’s a stand-in for: THAT THING THAT WILL SAVE THE ECONOMY FROM EVERLASTING DOOM. It’s seen as an unmitigated good.

At the same time, when you’re walking down a grocery store aisle staring at 40 brands of tortilla chips, you want to say, “Actually, maybe there’s been enough innovation in the corn chip industry. Time to move on guys. Barring the ability to innovate to the apotheosis of the tortilla chip, we have reached the pinnacle for this salty snack.” It’s times like that when you realize, there is such a thing as over-innovation.

Similarly, Just-Drinks columnist Richard Woodward makes a hilarious case for over-innovation in the spirits industry.

I call that insignificant innovation. Under-innovation.