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Innovation Isn't Centrally Planned

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Innovation doesn’t come out of a factory. It isn’t something that you just build and sell on the street. In the aftermath of Steve Jobs untimely death, some are asking, “Who’s next?”. I get the gnawing sense that there is desperation in that question.


I say, “Who cares?”.

Innovation is part of being human. Cavemen split rocks and developed tools. Modern man engages in science and develops products. Jobs saw a computer at age 12 and thought it was cool. Then he tinkered.

Why? Because he loved what he did. However, there were tangible benefits to his love. Innovators innovate and make the daily living of our lives easier. If they tap into something really groundbreaking, they make a lot of money doing it. There is value in innovation, and the innovators shouldn’t give it away for free.

When Gutenberg passed away, I don’t think the people of the middle ages stood around and moaned “Who’s next?”. They kept innovating and perfecting. One idea led to another and the printing press gave way to the modern computer desktop publishing system and this blog.

It’s not a question of “Who?”, it’s a question of “How many?”.

Because of Jobs, and his contemporaries inventions and creativity, how many more Steve Jobs have they created?
How do we encourage them?

It’s a complicated answer that is beyond the scope of one blogpost. But the answer lies in free markets. Ideas are a free market. No one has it cornered.


We need to unencumber them. The current policies of government shackle them. Taxes, regulations, rules, preferences, “fairness“, “social justice“, and the keeping score the left does curbs innovation.

Computers didn’t come about because of a government agency dictating to the marketplace what it needed. They came about to raise the standard of living for all mankind.

When you think of Steve Jobs, don’t think about “Who’s next?”. Think about how we can make the road straight so we can accomodate millions of Steve Jobs. The road doesn’t start in Washington DC.


John Ransom | Create Your Badge

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