The research and development of both the human-centered workshops, and the machine-centered prototypes, shed insight into my own personal strengths and interests to inform the ultimate direction and strategy for the The Dehumanization of Entrepreneurship.
”The facilitator is usually someone who gets something done, the lubricant in a process to achieve a goal. But, I think it can be more like a dirty lubricant. It can fuck up a process a little bit, make it self-reflective, inefficient, awkward, etc.” – Sean Dockray in conversation with David Elliot
Dockray frames facilitation as an art form that flips the corporate strategy on its head to yield interesting results. As an entrepreneurial practice, The Public School is an interesting model that provides nothing more than a space, and a framework, relying on the audience to define the rest. Both the system and the user rely on each other’s participation and existence for something new to be created. Without the framework, mankind’s output can not exist. Without mankind, the system’s framework is useless. While the resulting image of generative art can be beautiful and provocative, the piece is not actually the artwork itself, but instead the by-product of the piece, which is the code or process that generated it.
In the Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen argues that, to truly innovate, the entrepreneur has to partner with the consumer to create a space for collaborative discovery. This relatively modern theory (dating back to the late 80s / early 90s) recognizes success not as the result of one individual, but instead as a collaborative effort.
“Markets that do not exist cannot be analyzed: Suppliers and customers must discover them together. Not only are the market applications for disruptive technologies unknown at the time of their development, they are unknowable.”
This collaborative approach to innovation that takes place between the supplier and the customer allows for a voyage into unknown spaces, where communal exploration, dissemination, and discovery can emerge. If collaboration between the entrepreneur and the consumer, as Christensen explains, is the true seed of progress, perhaps automation and the complete dehumanization of entrepreneurial practice is not a strategy that matches the aspirations of this system. Instead of automation, then, the final system aspires to lay the groundwork for innovation by making visible our present condition, and inventing our past experience to give us (mankind) the tools to innovate on our own. The Dehumanized Entrepreneur, then, is not a system for autonomously generating business. It is an entrepreneurial seeing machine.
Fig 09. Compilation of on-going design research. These graphics aim to visualize the plan for a system that operates with two key functions – Function 01: Problem identification – the illustration of our existing condition. Function 02: Past Experience generation – the authorship of a knowledge that can inform mankind’s reaction to the discovered problem.
- David Elliot, The Public School, http://spd.e-rat.org/writing/david-elliott-interview.html (May 2008).
- Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma (New York: Harper, 1997), 165.