A recent episode of the new PBS series Wired Science featured an awesomely cool little toy that we Baby Boomers may recall, but which is now just about extinct… the chemistry set!

The show segment reminded me that as we have become a more risk-averse society, the unintended consequences have included huge new legal potholes in the path of innovation. Trouble is, there really is no gain without pain, and no progress without risk.

Now, I’m not advocating foolish risk-taking. All human activity contains lesser or greater degrees of risk, whether crossing the street or starting a new company. What we can do is minimize the risk, and even put it into perspective by considering the risk vs. the benefit of a new enterprise or research program.

In order for America to shake off our Innovation Stagnation, we have got to take some risks. Healthy, well-considered risks. Not drunken-monkey-with-a-chainsaw type risks, but risks that have a solid chance of paying off with real improvements in our world.

That’s why we’re in this business. We figure we’re taking a risk to make a positive difference.

David Lockman
Product Specialist
ThoughtOffice Corporation

P.S. Yes, my fellow nerds and tinfoil-hat-wearing UFO-nuts, it was that Bob Lazar in that video. The same Bob Lazar that outed Area 51. Talk about a risk taker! I kind of wondered what he was doing these days. Looks like a lot of fun. Except for the part with the armed federal agents. I don’t think I’d care much for that. Now, where did I leave my tinfoil hat?

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