Ken Orr lists the following misconceptions about new technologies:
Myth: “Best possible” determines the choice of technology.
Reality: “Good enough” is the basis for choice.
Myth: Choice of technology results from rational analysis.
Reality: Choice is strongly influenced by convention and past practice.
Myth: Technology advances or discoveries usually are adopted eventually.
Reality: Most don’t succeed – and shouldn’t.
Myth: The biggest hurdle is making the original discovery – the downstream development is just a matter of applying the necessary effort.
Reality: Most of what is not yet known about a new discovery is probably bad and requires creativity to overcome.
Myth: Technological advances have intrinsic value.
Reality: The customer determines value.
Myth: Radically new advances will win.
Reality: New is not necessarily better.
Myth: The power of a new technology determines its success.
Reality: The infrastructure required to support it is often the determining factor.
Myth: Progress in technology comes principally from continuing to improve performance.
Reality: Progress requires establishing standards, imposing constraints, and achieving routine.
Myth: A new technology can be grafted onto an existing business.
Reality: The new product and the business system developed to produce it should be created together.