From Ethan Zuckerman‘s post ‘Innovating from constraint‘:
- Innovation (often) comes from constraint (If you’ve got very few resources, you’re forced to be very creative in using and reusing them.)
This is my favorite secret because it reflects something that I always say. I come from a developing country where you have to be very creative in order to get things accomplished. You don't always have all the tools you need in order to create something. Growing up in the carpentry shop and working alongside my father, inventing ways to do something without the tools you needed was a skill you developed fast. We had a lathe made out of railroad tracks, a used electrical motor and scrap metal from the junkyard. The tool we used to smooth the wood was a hand-made tool. We made a fire inside a barrel, heated up the metal, used another piece of metal in place of an anvil, and hammered it until it got to the right place. We used animal fat to temper it and a file to sharpen it. In the first world, a machine does all of this work today and if an American or European were faced with the challenge of trying to create one from scratch, they might lack the creative skills or experience to do it. I see many examples in developing countries where people have to be creative in order to complete tasks.