Saturday, January 9, 2021

innovation and invention redux

In reading Bezos' book 'invent and wander' he mentioned a couple of different problem solving techniques. The first includes a skills-forward problem solving approach where a team leverages what it knows to create products. This is more common in the industry and represents an amortization of an established set of capabilities and perhaps a given moat.' This is in contrast with a customer-problem first approach where you may need to invent a solution or build a competency. Bezos cited the Amazon Kindle which represented an approach to a customer problem, namely handling their library. And in pursuing solution of this problem, Amazon had to acquire skills in hardware development, create new models of cellular downloads, and evolve screen technologies..

Reading this passage coincided with the recent update of my patent list, namely hitting the 450 milestone of issued US patents, viz.,$

As always with invention, I am as excited by the problem being addressed as my collaborators and co-inventors, including the following parties:

Yao, Chaganty, Ma, Rangarajan, Poornachandran, Aggarwal, Mudusuru, Zimmer, Yarlagadda, Chan, Das, "Enhanced Secure Boot," Issued 1/5/2021, US Patent #10,885,199

This small incremental increase cannot stem the tide of getting pushed further outside of the top 100

I fear, but the absolute number of patents was never the figure of interest. It has always been about supporting business-driven innovation

Speaking of numbers, passed 300k downloads, too, during this same week.

The downloads on this book are probably 10x those of, which speaks to the power of the open access model. I see similar diminutive numbers on other pay-walled publications, such as the Simics fuzzing paper with small double and single digit downloads, respectively.

Beyond downloads, another interesting statistic is citations. has the broadest collection of citations, whereas,, and find differing subsets.

2020 was quite an interesting year. Let's see if 2021 offers the same vicissitudes. Hopefully these ramblings about invention and numbers auger well for 2021. As I heard once, put a number next to someones name on the internet and they will obsess or do what they can to increase it. Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, video views...... Hopefully I don't subscribe to that numeric obsession.

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