As part of our profiles of TIM people, let us introduce Nathan Furr of INSEAD, Fontainebleau which is apparently close to Paris, France. Nathan, so…
What are your research interests right now?
I’m very curious about two topics. First, how do new innovation ecosystems emerge and second, a behavioral view of innovation, or more taking a more integrated view of the intersection of cognitive sciences and innovation processes.
What do you think is your most exciting contribution to academia?
It’s difficult to say if you have made a contribution. I personally love the idea that firms can use intergenerational hybrids—hybrid technologies that integrate elements of old and new technology generations—to learn about and adapt to new technologies. I see them everywhere, and not just hybrid technologies, but hybrid business models and hybrid strategies. But when I look at my cites for that article (with Dan Snow), it doesn’t have nearly as many cites as my articles about the “dangers of expertise” when adapting to an evolving technology competition.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
Although I look young, I’m very happily married (22 years) and have four children (ages 13-20). A dream would be to teach a course on frame-breaking, or how to see the world in completely new ways. I would integrate work by photographers, artists, writers, and of course a few innovators. If I could assign my students one book to read, as part of the course, it wouldn’t be a technology strategy book. I would assign them Steinbeck’s East of Eden to help them realize that we all live in a world of possibilities, no matter what the context.
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