InfoWorld: Fostering Creativity

[ Thanks to Douglas
D. Darnold
for this link. ]

“The ability to improvise with whatever tools you have available
was dubbed bricolage by French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss,
but the concept could have just as easily originated from a CTO
watching his staffers improvise their way out of obtuse technical
jams on a daily basis. Many of the best solutions to technical
problems have originated from bricoleurs trying to solve a nagging
problem with no obvious solution in hand. Often, the issue is less
of a technological problem than a financial one. Sometimes you have
to make do with what you have.

“Take Linux, for example. In a 1997 interview, Linus Torvalds
noted his frustration with Minix, the OS he was using in school at
the time he created Linux. ‘Minix was meant to be a teaching
operating system, but it had been too limited and, in my opinion,
too expensive for that. It was also hard to get hold of,’ Torvalds

“Torvalds took what limited resources he had available
(relatively inexpensive Intel-based hardware and his own raw
talent), went to work creating one of the key disruptive
technologies of our time, and Minix became irrelevant next to
Linux. As Linux matured, bricoleurs within corporations began using
Linux to solve technical problems for which funding (or even
permission from management) was unavailable. Putting Linux on
available low-end hardware obviated the need to go through the
purchase order process, get approvals, and buy expensive
hardware–corporate bricolage at its finest…”

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