--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Matthew Manos The Templatization of Innovation

In the 18th Century, just 3 decades prior to the birth of Leland Stanford, Adam Smith defined “entrepreneur” as a person who acts as an agent in transforming demand into supply. This specific definition, the concept of an entrepreneur as a supplier of what the customer wants, is in agreement to many definitions that preceded Smith. However, this was not a philosophy that remained a static definition of the practice. In his book, The Design of Business, Roger Martin speaks of entrepreneurship and innovation as a way of seeing the world “not as it is, but as it could be.” The book goes on to argue that true innovation stems from the exploration of problems that can not actually be found in history, or proven by data. Perhaps in a more extreme use of language, Erik Reis offers up another take on the practice defining entrepreneurship as the act of creating something new under “extreme uncertainty.” From juxtaposing the 21st Century definition of the field with the 18th and and early 19th century definitions, it might seem as though entrepreneurship has evolved from a practice that supplies a demand to a profession that creates demands – from a field of regurgitation to a practice of innovation. However, I argue, these theories are not honest representations of the true landscape of contemporary American innovation.

I believe we are headed towards an era of sameness – an era in which innovation by mankind is impossible because all "newness" has halted. As a result, society will be hurled into a static existence in which progress will cease to prevail. The Templatization of Innovation identifies 4 signals that point toward an impending Era of Sameness: Design-Thinking, Knock-Off Products, Feature Companies, and Product-Enhancing Products. I argue that the current landscape of innovation is driven by enhancing that which has already been innovated, as opposed to creating that which is new. These tendencies amongst innovators is a sign that the practice of entrepreneurship is on itʼs last leg. My thesis offers a speculative alternative to human innovation through an extensive study on the necessity of algorithmically dehumanizing entrepreneurship. My projects subvert corporate brainstorm activities by stripping human creativity and intuition out of the process of entrepreneurial creation. The project invents a kit of parts that creates a space for critical discourse around the “templatization of innovation” in order to define a new kind of malpractice.

Alternative Titles: Dehumanizing Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship Machines Automating Automation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Matthew Manos The Templatization of Innovation Projects

Newness Accountability is a pack of stickers that empowers citizens to hold entrepreneurs and innovators accountable for their contributions by labeling in-store products as "knock-offs," "productenhancers," or "feature companies." The project aims to attack sameness by making malpractice transparent. Era of Sameness is a video piece that aims to hyperbolize the "templatization of innovation" in entrepreneurial methodologies. Through the course of the video, 25 companies are generated by leveraging a systematic process that relies upon the temporal quality of the internet. For Your Consideration, 94025 is a workshop and toolkit that uses writing restriction to foster the development of business plans that lack human intuition and creativity. The activity creates a space for conversation around the “sameness” that plaques 21st century innovation, and moves that dialogue out of the workshop by shipping the plans to a selection of venture capital firms. Glorification of the Template is a framed portrait that features an eternal family of Snuggie owners. The piece suggests a naive worship of these malpractices amongst entrepreneurs, but also speaks to the static existence that serves as a side-effect of methodologies that favor short-term implications. Entrepreneurial Bridges is a diagram that defines entrepreneurship, and subsequently illustrates an impending Era of Sameness. The diagram represents the context in which my thesis is designing for, and provides grounding for the speculation and conspiracy as a whole.

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