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May 14, 2013

The Mother of Invention

Posted by Carol McCarthy (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:51 AM

mothers-day.jpg

Mater artium necessitas. Or in English: Necessity is the mother of invention. We, in the technology world, certainly owe a lot to necessity. You can look at necessity a number of ways:, such as drive or ambition or determination. These qualities are all part of the culture of a great technology-based organization. But while we're analyzing old phrases, what's also noteworthy about the one I've just shared is that it links invention (or innovation, if you'd like) to a mother. Because the U.S and urban India celebrated Mother's Day this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to look at what influence our moms have had on the world of technology and human progress in general.

I came across a wonderful essay in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week from a technologist who likens her experience with raising her four children to creating a more efficient organization. At first she admits that she knows she might offend some readers with her premise - how "arrogant" she might come across for recommending that a good leader parents her employees. Instead, what she is saying is that her parenting helped her understand the different styles and personalities of people around her. And, more importantly, how to motivate and challenge them against the background of a technology company.

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