Obvious technologies are unseen
The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.
By disappear we mean a process of integration so thorough and insidious that the technology in question becomes naturalized as a 'commonsensical' truth. Take the mechanical clock, for instance. We live using a 24-hour day, marked using the 365-day Gregorian calendar, and yet the inventiveness of the clock as a fairly recent phenomenon in human history and its foundational contribution to industrial capitalism (9 to 5 workdays!) is subsumed by its 'natural' ubiquity. As essential as breathing, and also as automatic in our exercise of it.
Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.
Progress without planning is called evolution.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
The project plateau is littered with the carcases of dead ideas that have never happened. What do we do? We just generate a new idea. We do it again and again and again. What we continue to do is we escape this project plateau with a new idea, and instantaneously we return to this high of excitement, this willingness to execute. And this is why there are more half-written novels in the world than there are novels.
(...) In brief, the history of man's first technological revolution (irrigation - Ed. ) indicates the following:
1 .Technological revolutions create an objective need for social and political innovations. They create a need also for identifying the areas in which new institutions are needed and old ones are becoming obsolete.
2. The new institutions have to be appropriate to specific new needs There are right social and political responses to technology and wrong social and political responses. To the extent that only a right institutional response will do, society and government are largely circumscribed by new technology.
3. But the values these institutions attempt to realize, the human and social purposes to which they are applied, and, perhaps most important, the emphasis and stress laid on one purpose as against another, are largely within human control. The bony structure, the hard stuff of a society, is prescribed by the tasks it has to accomplish. But the ethos of the society is in man's hands and is largely a matter of the "how" rather than of the "what."