Great stuff from Neal Stephenson (I quite liked REAMDE, not his finest work, though) on certainty and failure-intolerance.

Today’s belief in ineluctable certainty is the true innovation-killer of our age. In this environment, the best an audacious manager can do is to develop small improvements to existing systems—climbing the hill, as it were, toward a local maximum, trimming fat, eking out the occasional tiny innovation—like city planners painting bicycle lanes on the streets as a gesture toward solving our energy problems. Any strategy that involves crossing a valley—accepting short-term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance—will soon be brought to a halt by the demands of a system that celebrates short-term gains and tolerates stagnation, but condemns anything else as failure. In short, a world where big stuff can never get done.

Also The Innovator’s Cookbook has some interesting looking essays on innovation from a varied group of contributors. Great video of Makerbot making the front cover letters. (PS I got my eBook from Books on Board: it was cheaper. You have to do one extra step to get it on your Kindle, but not the end of the world.)