Ep.6.1 - What is a structural innovation

By GordonBen | Blockchain superpowers | 12 Apr 2021


Welcome back to a new episode of Cryptoworld, the article-based series about blockchain implementations in the current world 🌎

*Imagine me singing in binary*

Today we'll talk about the science of innovation and what we mean using the words "architectural innovation". It is a topic that came up to my mind while reading about Eth 2.0 and confirming my initial impressions about the potential of the network: there is a lot to build and a lot of knowledge to be shared. Let's begin with a small step.

While building systems, we have to take a lot of decisions about the structure of the system itself and usually, this is based on a lot of factors like the purpose, the use, the possibility for scaling and the conditions of the environment where it will be placed. We could go on for a while, but you got what I mean. Based on the context where it will be used, the system can be or not flexible and this will determine how much of the system will be available for changes over time, knowing that engineers (mostly) will add new structures to the preexisting work and things will get more complex over time.

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This leads to the creation of the philosophy of the structure and how to deal with it over time, a topic that before the year 2000 (more or less) was not discussed much outside the industrial production. 

Why? 
The industry was usually selling material goods and most of them could not be considered systems so none needed to think about this concept. Now it's different because the digital age brought the possibility to buy an object (physical or not) and also his connection to the system, that today can be easily considered the most important aspect following the functionality of the object. Because now we want to use it and also be sure to improve its usability over time, not diminish it.

What is this "architectural innovation"?
It's the innovation related to the infrastructure of the systems and is usually done very carefully because it will affect the past and the future of the system with a lot of unpredictable outcomes. Not everything can be simulated. Let me include also a formal definition for being extremely clear:

An innovation that creates an improvement in the ways in which components, at least some of which may not in themselves be innovative, are put together.

Source

And is one of the four type of innovation we deal with while improving a product, you can see the matrix below to understand better how we think about the change:

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With crypto, it's all about it 
With cryptocurrency, we mainly discuss the basic principles behind the projects and the IT structure that will adopt, one of the most important predictors of the projects (for now) because we want to know how things could develop into the future since at the beginning we can't predict a lot. It's a new micro-universe and a lot of things are not so predetermined and we can't believe the claims coming from founders or IT teams. None before has checked them multiple times, so for sure there is risk and also the estimation of the risk is risky.

In this context we want to know how things are going to work and also over time, how we can modify an entire branch of the system (so renovating the architecture) to improve the overall performance and fix things left behind while building other pieces.

 

 

Thanks for the attention and the time taken to read this article 😇

Please feel free to comment with your opinions, thoughts and whatever comes up to your mind. If you need more info don't hesitate to reach me for additional info or just a good conversation about the topic.

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GordonBen
GordonBen

Cryptocat for books.


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