Interesting post from the Harvard Business Review, arguing that the presence of constraints is what really determines quality innovation. For example, the author argues that the rising cost of 30 second advertising spots prompted innovation in different forms of advertising. On one level, this may sound like economic theory, but it’s a does suggest a counter intuitive idea.
If you really want to come up with breakthrough idea, perhaps you will do better with less resources, not more?
And fans of Fred Brooks and Mythical Man Month will recall the same argument being made for different reasons – if the team gets too large, then communications get too complex. Also, Fred Brooks also has an interesting point about how scarcity changes depending on the project in question.