The Prince on Innovation

Am reading Larry Lessig’s delightful book The Future of Ideas.  In it he provides a nice quote from Machiavelli on the topic of innovative ideas and how they are treated by the environment around you:

Innovation make enemies of all those who prospered under the old regime, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new.  Their support is indifferent partly from fear and partly because they are generally incredulous, never really trusting new things unless they have tested them by experience.

This notion of limited capacity to accept the new really rings true for me — further proof that the organizational dynamics of the modern technology firms that I’ve worked in aren’t so far removed from the Italian political scene of 1513.

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