To Break Road Blocks to Innovation? Discover, Identify & Negate, “Cognitive Dissonance”

Discovering new ideas & products, through innovation, and turning them into successful commercial enterprise is often a difficult and a mystery. However, innovation is basically a “Discovery Process” and in the discovery process, being open minded is critical to success, and being closed-mindedness, should be limited and discouraged.

In psychology, there has long been a concept called, “Cognitive Dissonance” where, basically, this concept is about human’s capability to be “open-minded vs being closed-minded.”


From the Wikipedia: Innovation

In business and economics, innovation is the catalyst to growth. With rapid advancements in transportation and communications over the past few decades, the old world concepts of factor endowments and comparative advantage which focused on an area’s unique inputs are outmoded for today’s global economy. Economist Joseph Schumpeter, who contributed greatly to the study of innovation economics, argued that industries must incessantly revolutionize the economic structure from within, that is innovate with better or more effective processes and products, as well as market distribution, such as the connection from the craft shop to factory. He famously asserted that “creative destruction is the essential fact about capitalism”.[4] In addition, entrepreneurs continuously look for better ways to satisfy their consumer base with improved quality, durability, service, and price which come to fruition in innovation with advanced technologies and organizational strategies.[5]


From Innovation Files:

We live in a global economy and society built on our investments in computer and network technology. Our connectedness—our ability to work and communicate easily with those outside of our borders–is the foundation of our digital economy. Policymakers are increasingly recognizing that the free flow of information online is important both for promoting democratic values (see Secretary Clinton’s remarks last year on Internet Freedom) and for promoting commerce (see the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force examination of this issue). Yet barriers, both new and old, impair our connectivity and limit the potential of free trade. Especially from the commercial perspective, restrictions on the flow of information impact innovation, collaboration, trade, investment and economic activity.

Examples of barriers to the free flow of information include local data storage requirements for cloud computing, outdated regulations for voice-over-IP (VoIP) services, inadequate protect of digital copyrights, overlapping and conflicting data privacy regulations, restrictions on content and speech and liability for intermediaries, such as user-generated content sites. While these barriers and their origins have been explored in other contexts, I would like to address some of the potential solutions available to improve the free flow of information by looking at three specific issues: cloud computing, online copyrights, and electronic identities (See more at:


Business are People:

So what type of people character, does a person who embrace disruptive innovation, risk taking & skillful manager should have? Perhaps, one answer is a character “Openness.”

On the other hand, what type of character, does a person who rejects disruptive innovation and risk taking have? Perhaps “Cognitive Dissonance.”

Leon Festinger‘s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency (dissonance) tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance—as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it.


Welcoming Discovery vs Cognitive Dissonance

Today I saw something interesting in the news, a successful, Thai entrepreneur & iconic .com start-up, says, e-commerce in Thailand, is so fraught with completion, the market cannot support new players, as they are all going to get killed, with new entrants. And I was surprised, as I suspect, the entrepreneur is just protecting the market that he is in, & is this what a successful Thai .com start-up & entrepreneur think of disruptive innovation?

So what is wrong with this successful Thai .com entrepreneur? Perhaps, this entrepreneur is different from other in Thailand and a poor example. However, for most of the past 80 years in Thailand, Thailand was ruled mostly by some form of military tyrant junta or far extreme right governments with now and then, a liberal democratic in existence.

So Thailand’s political system, is mostly, far extreme right, laying a conservative & tradition, based societal setting for Thailand to exists. Therefore, perhaps, entrepreneurs in Thailand, are not mature, with it comes to their beliefs is disruptive inovation and risk taking, meaning, Thailand’s overall culture supports autocratic rule and values, and this impacts Thailand entrepreneurs values. So in sum, perhaps there are cognitive dissonance issued in Thailand.

Then, on top of the fundamentals of autocratic cultures, many such as Thailand, comes with it, limited free flow of information, and full of Orwell 1984 type of propaganda. Again clearly, related to cognitive dissonance issues.


Mr. Xi Jinping, Tear Down This (Fire) Wall:


Examining the effects of ever-stronger Chinese internet censorship

March 30, 2015 by Dahlia Peterson

While protecting domestic Internet service providers, China’s Great Firewall may dash hopes for further innovation

In Beijing, signs throughout the city read: “Patriotism, Innovation, Inclusiveness, Virtue.” Like most political slogans, this particular one relies heavily on wishful thinking and an element of deception. China ranks 22 out of 50 OECD economies in innovation, a surprisingly low number given the prowess of the Chinese economy. Innovation itself is synonymous with taking risks and breaking rules to create revolutionary, practical new markets. As Berkeley professor Ross Levine and London School of Economics professor Yona Rubinstein put it, entrepreneurs possess the perfect combination of being “smart and illicit.” It is often necessary to experiment and push acceptable boundaries to ensure that societal progress does not remain idle.
The most direct reason for the lack of Chinese innovation is the CCP’s ongoing decision to strengthen its digital barrier with the outside world, a move that inhibits creativity. Beijing has demonstrated a solid commitment to economic growth; however, in 2014 growth hit a 24 year low. A healthy amount of innovation would allow the Chinese economy to benefit in the long run by breaking into competitive, high-tech industries. China would do well to follow the example of South Korea, Japan, and Germany, countries that are pouring resources into R&D and forming private corporations with government support.
However, the number one hindrance to innovation in China is censorship, a field in which Beijing undoubtedly excels. Censorship dramatically cuts off the flow of ideas both within China and the international community. When Deng Xiaoping began his systematic implementation of the “birdcage economy” in 1979, China’s closed-door policy was still in effect. This system was a Faustian deal of sorts: the party loosened economic restrictions, but did not tolerate individualist democracy.

The sole exception to this was permitting Chinese students to study abroad, which exposed them to Western, liberal ideals. Economic reforms allowed the birth of a new commercial class, but not a new political order nor a multi-party state. The CCP holds power through two key strategies: first by arguing that the Chinese people’s standard of living and GDP per capita have increased substantially since it came into power, and second, by relying on coercion and the widespread criminalization of dissent.


September 21, 2015

China’s Web Censorship Curbs the Innovation of Startups


There is a saying that innovation in the Chinese IT industry stopped after 2005. When you compare the market value of Chinese and US IT companies, it’s clear that IT companies in the US continuously emerge over time. These companies serve consumer needs and wants in a variety of niche markets and segments, even after giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook entered the marketplace. In China, however, the market is dominated by a few big players – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, also known as BAT giants – and no significant new companies have entered since 2005.
What happened in 2005?

By now you’ve probably heard of the Great Firewall (GFW), a barrier that keeps Chinese Internet users from interacting easily with the outside world. Unfortunately, the Great Firewall is just part of the Chinese government’s overall control strategy. The official name for the entire, complex infrastructure of monitoring and censorship is called the “Golden Shield Project,” which is ostensibly a way to keep hackers and other rogue elements from harming Chinese Internet users. The Golden Shield Project aims to monitor all levels of information flow within the country and across China’s boarders. It was in 2005 that the Great Firewall finished its first-term building and began full operation, which is identical with the timing when new companies stopped entering the market.

So how does the Great Firewall influence the Chinese IT industry?

Web censorship fends off competition from powerful international players and gives local firms some breathing room, but an alarming result of censorship is that domestic IT giants form monopolies. These monopolies control the market and acquire startups as soon as they spot a good idea, making it very difficult for new companies to enter. For example, Baidu now dominates 80% of the search engine market since Google left China due to censorship. Youku is prevailing since YouTube is blocked. And it’s the same situation with Weibo, because Twitter is blocked. Dropbox’s Internet connection has been throttled so no one uses it, and as a result Seasun has become the leader in online storage service providers. Thus, every startup company has to ask themselves one question: What could I do if one of the BAT giants comes after my ideas and copies my product?


September 23, 2015

General Happiness orders Great Firewall of Thailand


Thailand’s military government has ordered the creation of a great firewall of Thailand to control the flow of information on the Internet. General Prayuth’s cabinet ordered the ICT and Justice Ministries and the National Police Department to set up a single internet gateway in order to control inappropriate websites and to control the flow of information into the country from overseas via the internet.

A subsequent cabinet resolution ordered the agencies to report back with any laws that would need to be enacted or amended prior to setting up the single gateway. The order was quietly given by the Cabinet on 30 June and the follow-up order for the agencies to report back with any laws that needed amending was given by the cabinet on 4 September.
The cabinet resolution was just unearthed on social media by someone browsing the official government cabinet resolution repository. Prem Sichanugrist or @sikachu on Twitter said, “Yes. Thailand is about to have The Great Firewall just like China, except it will be s****ier and corrupted as hell”.

He also tweeted that politics aside, from a systems point of view, having a single gateway and a single point of failure is a bad idea. Back in the old days, only CAT Telecom ran a commercial gateway alongside a handful of tiny academic connections. Deregulating this sector and creating competition is arguably the only success the Thai telecom regulator has had since it came into existence, speeding up internet access and enhancing reliability.

CAT has always acted more as a rent collector rather than a telco. It’s 2G era CDMA network was an unmitigated disaster and in the 3G era things are not that much better despite all the free spectrum and public money. From an internet connectivity point of view, one sees Thailand at the center of the region, yet it seems like all the major cable systems skirt around Thailand, coming up through Malaysia then jumping into the sea before surfacing again in Vietnam.
Some say it was CAT’s fault as it tried to charge exorbitant fees, so much so that everyone decided to go submarine instead of overland.

The continued existence of the single gateway project makes a total mockery of everything new ICT Minister Uttama Savanayana said about turning Thailand into a data center hub for the region and building better connectivity. Would anyone in their right mind host a regional operation in Thailand under these circumstances?

A return to the gold old days of a CAT monopoly would be disastrous. The people of Thailand can kiss a fast internet goodbye purely from technical incompetence, not to mention all the monitoring, censoring and deep packet inspection the military want. Would VPN and encryption be outlawed? That would be a logical next step. The cabinet resolution was for a way to censor and to control the flow of information and that cannot be done with strong encryption. The cabinet resolution said to report back on any laws that needed to be changed to make this possible. Banning encryption would be a logical law to pass to make the original cabinet resolution implementable.

Good bye privacy. It was nice to have known you.


Nadella: Our industry respects innovation, not tradition


He wears jeans with a T-shirt and suit coat. Sometimes he wears a hoodie like Mark Zuckerberg. He is a decade younger than his predecessor Steve Ballmer. He grew up in India, but has spent more than half his life in the US. He likes cricket and poetry. He has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, most recently as head of the company’s $20 billion cloud and enterprise group. This is Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO.


American Innovation

“The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation. None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do — what America does better than anyone else — is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. ”

-President Barack Obama, January 25, 2011

America’s economic growth and competitiveness depend on its people’s capacity to innovate. We can create the jobs and industries of the future by doing what America does best – investing in the creativity and imagination of our people. To win the future, the U.S. must out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.

President Obama’s Strategy for American Innovation seeks to harness the ingenuity of the American people to ensure economic growth that is rapid, broad-based, and sustained. This economic growth will bring greater income, higher quality jobs, and improved quality of life to all Americans.


What efforts has President Obama made while in office to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation?


I’m looking for specific examples of things the Administration has done to foster innovation in the US.

7 Answers

President Obama’s efforts to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship are wide-ranging and unprecedented. As Chief Technology Officer of the United States (a position created for the first time by President Obama), I see these efforts first-hand throughout the Administration—and as an entrepreneur who co-founded a company at age 24 and took it public ten years later, I have a special appreciation for how startups and innovation create jobs and prosperity across the country
Let’s focus on three areas where the President’s leadership is making a huge impact: promoting high-growth entrepreneurship, helping accelerate technology breakthroughs, and investing in the “building blocks” of innovation. This is by no means a comprehensive list of every Administration effort to foster innovation across the United States, but every example below is specific, impactful, and well underway.


Inside Obama’s Stealth Startup


President Obama has quietly recruited top tech talent from the likes of Google and Facebook. Their mission: to reboot how government works.

By Jon Gertner

For Eric Maland, the whole thing goes back to that San Francisco wedding. Mikey wasn’t there—well, wait, actually, Mikey was there. But Eric didn’t meet him at that point. Eric met some other folks at the wedding who told him they were doing some fix-it stuff in Washington, and it sounded kind of interesting.

And now we’re chatting about it in front of the White House security gate, where we’re waiting to talk with the leaders inside about why guys like Eric are now wandering around this neighborhood with MacBooks in their shoulder bags and code in their heads. These are the “new techies,” as longtime Washingtonians tend to say, but that’s somewhat imprecise. These are people whose pedigree in Silicon Valley gives them the whispered reputations of gods and goddesses. I look at Eric. He’s wearing a faded T-shirt; his sparse hair is seriously matted down. Did he sleep lately? Exercise? Shave? All debatable. “Ever wonder what you’re doing here?” I ask him. He was the 13th engineer hired at Amazon, the first operations director at Twitter. Like everyone else on the stealth team that President Barack Obama is amassing and deploying inside the government, he never imagined he would live and work in D.C. “I guess I just like to fix things that are broken,” he says, shrugging.

Meet the Geeks

Then there’s Lisa Gelobter. “Oh, you’ve gotta hear my story,” she says. It’s later that day, and we’re walking near the Washington Monument under a searing midday sun. There was this call she got out of the blue last summer in New York, inviting her to some kind of roundtable discussion in Washington for tech leaders. Lisa had just spent time on the upper management teams at Hulu and BET. She decides, reluctantly, that she’ll go take the meeting, which includes this guy named Mikey as well as this other guy named Todd, and turns out to be in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing. Then President Obama opens the door and surprises everyone, and over the course of 45 minutes gives the sales pitch to beat all sales pitches. They need to come work for him. They will need to take a pay cut, the president announces. But he doesn’t care what it takes—he will personally call their bosses, their spouses, their kids to convince them. The crowd laughs. But he gravely responds: I am completely serious. He needs them to overhaul the government’s digital infrastructure now. “What are you going to say to that?” asks Lisa.

Lisa Gelobter, Chief digital service officer, U.S. Dept. of Education; Previously: Hulu, BET

Oh, and the stories about Weaver. “First name is Matthew,” Weaver says, sitting on a cheap couch in a makeshift office near the White House. But no one calls him Matthew, he explains, since there are too many Matthews in any given room at any given moment. Even among D.C.’s new technorati, people view Weaver as someone separate from the fray. Maybe it’s because he once lived in a camper in the Google parking lot without going home for an entire year. Maybe it’s because he was the one guy who, if he didn’t answer an emergency call, the whole search engine might go down. Or maybe it’s because in a group of brilliant engineers, Weaver, as one of his new colleagues puts it, stands out as “someone who is, like, superhero-fucking-brilliant.” Recruited from California last year by these guys Mikey and Todd to work on the broken website, Weaver decided this year to stay in D.C. and leave behind the comfort of Google and a big pile of stock options. He recalls it in terms that suggest the transfixing power of a holy pilgrimage. “That”—he says, meaning the fix-it work—”changed my life in a profound way. It made it feel like all my accomplishments in my professional life meant very little compared to getting millions of people through the hospital doors for the first time. And that made me see that I could never do any other work without a public impact.” Weaver now spends his days in the guts of the Veterans Administration, helping the agency’s digital team upgrade their systems and website—and trying to reboot the way government works. As an early test to see if he could challenge the VA’s protocol, he insisted, successfully, that his official government title be Rogue Leader. And so he is: Rogue Leader Weaver.


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