Innovation as a Culprit of Economic Troubles

It is well known that inovation in securities, lending practices, accounting etc. were the culprits of the recent crisises (both in 2000/2001 and now). It is less obvious that technological innovation also dooms economy (at least in its present form).

Indeed innovation shortens the time required to produce goods and reduces the number of people required for their production. As a result to keep people employed the ever increasing amount of new goods and services has to be invented, demand for them cultivated, and the longevity of products shortened (either by making them to outdate quickly, as is the case with electronics, or last less, as is the case with shoes, or making them not reusable, as is the case with syringe).

This bubble cannot continue to inflate indefinitely. There are limits to how many things people might need and how often they may need to be replaced. There are also limits to decreasing the longevity of products, beyond which they become simply junk.

Innovation increases productivity so fast that inventing new goods and services does not keep pace with it. As a result, to not increase the number of unemployed the only option remains is tolerate the ever increasing number of redundant people at any workplace. These people clogg arteries of organizations and make them to age and collapse.

Thus, innovation turns out to be disruptive (do not confuse it with "disruptive innovation", though). It is because the pace of innovation is not synchronized with the pace of eliminating its unwanted side effects. The former well outpaces the latter.

TRIZ is purported to increase the pace of innovation and thereby the degree of disruption. But not this which is needed. The bottleneck is not in innovation but in healing its unwanted consequences Thus, TRIZ misses the point.