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Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: The hierarchy of innovation

Nicholas Carr explains why we have been in an “innovation stagnation” since the 1950’s. He has a “rough”, but very interesting idea. Like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, he sees “innovation” going through five stages.

The focus, or emphasis, of innovation moves up through five stages, propelled by shifts in the needs we seek to fulfill. In the beginning come Technologies of Survival (think fire), then Technologies of Social Organization (think cathedral), then Technologies of Prosperity (think steam engine), then technologies of leisure (think TV), and finally Technologies of the Self (think Facebook, or Prozac).