I find this intriguing:

From Rough Type:

If progress is shaped by human needs, then general shifts in needs would also bring shifts in the nature of technological innovation. The tools we invent would move through the hierarchy of needs, from tools that help safeguard our bodies on up to tools that allow us to modify our internal states, from tools of survival to tools of the self.

Source: Rough Type

Category: Technology, Venture Capital

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

3 Responses to “The Hierarchy of Innovation”

  1. Crocodile Chuck says:

    “As with Maslow’s hierarchy, you shouldn’t look at my hierarchy as a rigid one. Innovation today continues at all five levels. But the rewards, both monetary and reputational, are greatest at the highest level (Technologies of the Self), which has the effect of shunting investment, attention, and activity in that direction” (snip)


    Here’s a 2nd opinion: the greatest benefits societies have realised flow from building out clean water and sewerage (late 19th C) to their populations. Nothing else (go ahead-try) even comes close.

    Oh, and I note that clean water doesn’t even rate a mention in his crudely mocked up model.

    • mudcat says:

      Good point — it seems to me that individual/family/tribe water would fit best on the Survival level, whereas wider community water defaults to the Social Organization level.

      If the model creator had incorporated water in these categories as examples, instead of or in addition to the examples given, would you still consider the model laughable?

      I posit here that, while the examples could use some refinement, the overall model itself seems quite useful, and I plan on incorporating it into the material I use for an introductory management skills course.

  2. jshayinma says:

    Please add the railroad and the cargo ship [sail and/or steam] enabling [relatively] good quality, cheap, year round nutrition for the 99% to the honor plaque with clean public water supplies and the sanitary sewer. “Modern medicine” [except to the extent that it contributed to the above] doesn’t deserve half the credit it is usually accorded for the extension of the life-span and “health-span” over the last 150 years. Remember that in the post-repeal-of-the-Corn-Laws in Gt. Britain [roughly the last half of the 19th C] food availability and affordability soared before the age of steam fully took hold.

    Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD