Bureaucrats and innovators

There are always tensions between these two types of folks.  There are a couple main sources of this tension.

The first source comes from how they view the world.  Bureaucrats focus on intentions and inputs, on how you do things.  Did you do them they way the bureaucrat liked?  Were your intentions good?  Did you put in maximum effort?

Innovators see all that stuff as nonsense.  They’re more interested in what resulted.  Did customers like that product?  Did it increase sales?  Did it make a significant impact? They care less about how it was done.  They don’t care if the person tried hard or not, as long as it was done right.

The second source of tension between bureaucrats and innovators comes from the bureaucrats’ inability to understand that they rely on innovators.  They don’t realize that their livelihoods depend on the results that innovators have produced, past or present (and sometimes, dangerously, future).

Bureaucrats don’t start successful companies.  They come after the company has been established.  They rarely add value to the company.  They live off the income that’s produced by the innovators who started the business.

Bureaucrats in government tax individuals of the income they generate in innovative activities and spend it on government programs (after taking their cut).

All wealth and income was generated by innovators.  As the previous two paragraphs demonstrate, usually that wealth is generated by the innovator first and then consumed by the bureaucrat at some later date.

Bureaucrats who don’t realize they are living off the wealth of past innovations may make the mistake of borrowing from potential future innovations.  That’s when things go bankrupt.

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One thought on “Bureaucrats and innovators

  1. Pingback: Bureaucrats and innovators, part two | Our Dinner Table

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