Thursday, January 29, 2009

Same stones. Different cathedrals

The transition from Renaissance to the Baroque period was a time of crisis. Art went through a deep transformation, let alone spirituality and culture in general. Mannerism, one step beyond Renaissance but not Baroque yet, questioned the function of the main ingredients of architecture. For example, columns and arches, traditionally utilized to support other elements, were used as mere decorative components in the grand scheme of a facade. Nevertheless architects used the same old stones, combined differently to produce a completely innovative result.

Nothing new under the sun. Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google and my Technology Strategy professor, in an interview for McKinsey Quarterly refers to “combinatorial innovation”. Nowadays innovators can combine different and unlimited components made of bits - Internet, software, etc - to achieve stunning results. In his opinion this flexible innovation will keep on providing significant productivity gains in the coming years.
Hal Varian, Professor at Haas and Google's Chief Economist

Interestingly, in the interview he also points at what he considers the future of education. In a world with unlimited information the most valuable skills will be those related with extracting value from data. Understanding information, drawing conclusions and being able to present them in a compelling way so knowledge can be successfully applied.

No comments: