Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups
By Danielle Hall
Malcolm Gladwell's essay “Creation Myth: Xerox Parc, Apple, and the Truth about Innovation” chronicles the ways that leading technology companies took different approaches to innovation and creating products that would advance technology and prove profitable and marketable for mass consumption.
One notable concept that Gladwell discusses is the necessity of threat and constraint for innovation. Here, Gladwell illustrates how Xerox Parc’s “imaginative poverty” in many ways thrust Steve Jobs and Gary Starkweather into more creative ventures that fostered the development of the mouse and the laser printer, respectively. Gladwell states “For an actual product, you need threat and constraint—and the improvisation and creativity necessary to turn a gold-plated three-hundred-dollar mouse into something that works…and costs fifteen dollars.”
Gladwell’s essay demonstrates how the culture of a creative environment can help determine the nature of what is produced. What new or useful idea did you pick up or consider regarding creativity, environment, technology, innovation, or results after reading the essay?Why was that idea notable to you?