Scott Adams says boredom is the key to innovation


Is Dilbert still relevant?  I stopped subscribing to my newspaper a couple years ago and thus got completely out of my former habit of reading the daily comics, so I admit, my knowledge of Dilbert is stale – I am unaware of how he has adapted his strip to the modern age.  I would normally think that, well, all comic strips have an end of lifecycle, but I thought Dilbert would be able to transition from his TQM world to today’s iPad reality without too much fuss.  But there have been several pieces of evidence that Dilbert’s creator, Scott Adams, may have expired his 15 minutes or jumped the shark or whatever the appropriate hip aphorism is that should be applied.

Dilbert likes to make fun of bosses and the hypocrisy of business management, but in 2007, Scott Adams opened a restaurant and did not fare so well himself as a boss and business owner.  And just a couple months ago, Adams admitted to posting on some forums under a pseudonym to answer people critical of himself.  That’s about the biggest Internet no-no that there is.

Now, in a recent column in the Wall Street Journal, Adams claims that the world lacks innovation and the thing to blame is a lack of boredom.   Citing results such as the proliferation of movie sequels and reality television programming, lack of gamechanging new products and an intolerance for new ideas, Adams blames the numerous devices and new entertainment options that fill up all of our previously idle time like standing in line and going to the bathroom….time that used to be used coming up with clever new ideas.

Wait a sec…couldn’t these devices be considered innovations?  So innovation is at the root of a lack of innovation?

Again, I’m not sure how relevant Dilbert is anymore, do today’s new hot shot business kids still work in cubes?  I heard the newbies demand oval shaped workspaces, roman divans instead of chairs and helper monkeys, lots and lots of helper monkeys…

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