Is reliability better than innovation?

Technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, but are the newest innovations, the newest technology, the newest ideas always best?

I think that there can sometimes be a tendency to think that ideas to make life easier are moving us forward, but what is the best thing since sliced bread? Are the old reliables, like the wheel, difficult to beat?

The process of innovation is one of improvement, of efficiency and of making life easier, but at what point does the cost of innovation outweigh the benefits? Innovation costs time and money and has no guarantee of success, though someone had to innovate and succeed for processes to have come to be in the first place. So where do we draw the line?

With the Nokia 3310 coming back to market by popular demand, are we done with all the gadgets and apps we never knew we needed? Reliability becomes an important factor to consider alongside functionality here. When you think about it, a mobile phone’s main function is to be able to make and receive calls on the go, with lesser functions being texting and avoiding eye contact with other passengers on the underground, both the new-fangled iPhone/Android models and the old 3310, achieve this. So if, in terms of functionality they are equal, have we just created something more fragile, more expensive, more complicated to use, with less battery life and bought it because we were told it was innovation?

Similar considerations have to be made when employing staff or applying for jobs.

Are you someone who enjoys going in and making everything run like a well oiled machine? Or are you someone who wants to go in, take a look at what’s going on and implement changes that could make things better? These are two entirely different mindsets, the former sees someone working with already set processes and optimising the process via staff management and other environmental or people-based factors. The latter is a visionary, someone who sees (in theory) a better way, is passionate about change and is willing to undergo the implementation of these changes (i.e training, templates and teething problems), as well as the possibility that it may fail altogether. Both valuable mindsets in their own right.

Undeniably, the obvious answer would be to have both, sadly they are mutually exclusive. I guess the fundamental paradox is the conflict of these ideas.

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