Wired has a thought-proving article out which talks about prevailing startup culture and how many of the current touchstones of this culture actually get in the way of real R&D and innovation in the marketplace.
The article centers around a couple of key premises. First, that many businesses fail to engage in real “research”, and then proceeds to define the term. As used int he article, they are not talking about “hard science” research vs. other types of research. Rather, the article defines applied research as the systematic process of gathering information to achieve a particular goal, and along the way using that information to test fundamental assumptions (and either validate or disprove them).
The article goes on to discuss why organizations often shy away from such applied research. The most common reasons being fear: fear of waisting time, fear of being a “follower”, fear of losing control, and fear of having to share credit.
If you are an entrepreneur, this is well worth a read and little considered thought.