[MUSIC]. Welcome to Week 7 of the Leading Strategic Innovation class. This week, we're going to talk about technological constraints. So, just to recount where we've been, we started with the individual. We looked at individual and what happens for individuals. So, individuals, they have a larger tool sets. We started with perception constraints, that is the problem with getting everything in. We went to intellection constraints, ways of thinking and strategies for thinking that we have. We've then talked about expression constraints or our ability to get our ideas out, so that other people could understand them. We took those individuals and we moved them into groups. And we talked about what happens at the group level. We looked at emotion,[UNKNOWN] sounds. We talked about culture, environment, the environment within in which a group works and also the process it reviews. What do we do first, what do we second, what do we do third, and so on, in order to get our innovation happening. Recall that ideas are not the most important thing, or not always the most important thing, they certainly are important. But we need individuals and groups as well. From the group level, we went to organizations. So, we took those groups, we put them inside organizations and we talked about what happens for organizations. Things like strategy, if the organizations strategy is not consistent with the organization, how the organization is likely to kill it. We talked about organizational structures that has to do with moving information around inside of an organization. And the kinds of divergent interest that different parts of the organization would have and how that slows down or stops innovation. We also talk about resources. And organization's willingness to give resources or put resources toward the use of innovation or even to have the resources that are needed to pursue a certain kind of innovation. We looked at organizations in the context of industries, so lots of organizations competing with each other. We talked about competition, that is the rivalries that happen among the organizations. We talked about suppliers, the kinds of people, resources inside of an industry that are put to use by organizations in that industry. And then, we talked about the markets. That is the people that would use the production, the productive output inside of that industry. And we talked about the needs that those people have. And how those people have needs around using our legacy systems around wanting faster, better, cheaper as ways of testing whether an adopt, an innovation is something willing, that they're willing to adopt. And then, we moved to societal constraints, and that was last week, where we talked about values and identity. We talked about social control how we guide behaviors, and how we hold members accountable. And also, we talked about history, and how the obligations, how the actions of the past, and the beliefs of the past create obligations for what goes forward. And how it is that those past actions contrain us and that sort of requires us to take certain actions going forward, if we want our innovations to succeed. So now, we're at the sixth of the six constraints, the last one. This one, I'm calling it technological constraints. And so, here is about development, about the thing, you know, it sort of has to work. How does it, if the thing doesn't work, in the end, work in a physical sense, then you don't have innovation. What we're going to talk about are these three kinds of constraints here. I'm going to talk about physical constraints, that is within the action of the world. We're going to talk about time constraints. And then, ecology constraints, so let me describe these a little bit more detail. Physical constraints would be the laws of physics, chemistry, biology. You know, our ability to control the physical all around us. I call it making matter behave. Can we make matter behave? And to extent that we can or know that we can. Then, we may have a a constraint or have a constraint towards innovation. The second one is time constraints. And so, here it's about how much time do we have available, knowing do we have the time to complete the important task? We may have windows of opportunity. We may have, and we'll go in these in a little more detail, but sort of, you get the idea. And also, time lags, about feedback, how do we get feedback from about the innovations we would have. And then, finally I want to talk about the ecology constraints. Ecology constraints have to do with the, the distribution of natural resources and also the ability for the system, the context within which our innovation occurs. And you know, to sustain life. You know, human life and otherwise. That is to be an environment that is then, habitable afterward. Because if your innovation kills the environment and kills the people in the environment, it really is not a useful innovation for a society. Our agenda for this week it has these, these four parts. We're going to start with the story of the Lockheed A12, the A12 was an aircraft, and I'll get into the story in a few moments. We're then going to cover physical constraints and what the issues are around physical constraints, ultimately how we, we might overcome those physical constraints. We're going to talk about time constraints. What is the, what are the problems with time and how is that we can think about time in a way that is productive from an innovation perspective. And then, finally, the ecology constraints and how it is that we might live within those constraints as a way to succeed in pushing our innovations forward. I think of the, the sort of the punchline or the, the tagline for this session is, you know, how do we take something hard and, and make it completely impossible? And sometimes, it is our own behaviors and our own ways of thinking about things that makes the problem harder than it actually has to be. To talk about technological constraints, I want to start with the story of this aircraft. This was the U-2 actually the A12, but it starts with the U-2 aircraft. So, in 1960 a CIA aircraft, it was a U-2 was shot down over the Soviet Union. And the problem that this pointed out was that we needed an airplane that would fly higher and faster and be less visible to radar. So, so think of it, at the time, in the 60s there's this Cold War going on, the United States and Soviet Union were constantly spying one each other. they're constantly fighting these proxy battles. not out loud, but sort of through these kind of secretive things. And so, again, the CIA really felt this high need to be able to spy on the Soviet Union, and if their planes were being shot down, the U-2 spy craft, which was the most technologically advanced craft up to that point, then they needed to come up with something better. And so, the replacement. What's the replacement for it? Well, they needed something that would be high, would be able to fly higher faster, that would be less visible to radar, right? Makes sense. So, when the specs came down, the specs were basically, it had to be able to fly at more than 2000 miles per hour, four times faster than the U-2. It fly at over 90,000 feet. This was 20,000 feet higher than the U-2 up to this point. And despite the fact that this thing was 100 feet long and weighed over, like, I think it was like 62 tons or something like that. It would have to have a far smaller radar cross section, so that way people wouldn't be able to see it. Even if they saw it, they would go so fast, they wouldn't be able to shoot it down. Think about this they would fly four times faster not 20,000 feet higher, and have a much smaller radar cross section. Like how is this even possible? How could this happen? Well, if innovation was going to be tested, this was certainly a situation to test it. For the designers in Lockheed, this was their famed skunk works. And so, basically what they did was they had this organization that was outside of headquarters. It was sort of off by itself. And in this organization, they had very few constraints, if you think about it. So, first of all, by being separate from the organization, they didn't have the kind of organizational structure constraints we've talked about. They had tons of money. I think at this point, they had over $130 million, that's a lot of money in 1960. to work on this way. They had very few organizational barriers. They had people running interference for them. They had, not the kind of social barriers that we talked about social constraints. We talked about last time because what was, this was viewed as a positive thing, at least we, you know, in the US society, as a positive thing. And so, none of these constraints were in place in the way that we had could had talked about up to this point. And so, the question is, you know, they, they had been planned a launch in May 1961. And so, what happened, the schedule was slipping and costs were rising. Why was this thing not getting done, what was a barrier to innovation here? Well, let me go into a little bit of detail on some of these barriers. Among the most significant problems that the designers faced, and this is where I'm basically going to talk about the constraints. Was that he, he was a big one. The aircraft moving this fast, mach 3.2, is likely to reach temperatures about 500 degrees or about an average on the skin, and up to 1,000 degrees in places. There was no metal that was used in aircraft design, up to this point, that was able to do that. they considered using stainless steel, but stainless steel is way too heavy. and, and so it could not do it, it could not withstand the stress. Eventually, they chose titanium. And titanium was a material that could withstand the heat and was thought to, it has half the weight of stainless steel. So, it was actually a good material. However, titanium is impossible to work with, nearly impossible anyway. You can't drill, it's excruciating to rivit it and to weld it. And also they had settled upon one supplier of titanium. Interestingly, but that company could not supply the quantity and the quality in, in the levels of quality that were needed for this aircraft. And so, as a result, they actually had, they actually had the secret deal and they were buying titanium from the Soviet Union. Isn't that ironic? They're buying titanium from the Soviet Union to build this aircraft. That's the only place they could get this high quality metal that they needed. So, here's a picture of the A11 which became the A12 and this was a sketch on which they were. So, what are some more issues they had? Well, there's an issue with the camera. So, this is a spy plane. And so, obviously it's gotta have a spy camera on board. It's not a person looking out, but a spy camera. And so, they had a big problem of the camera was that the, it had to have a resolution higher than any camera had been, had made up to that point. Remember, we have companies like Kodak and, and the ones that we talked about before, working on this problem. And then, as they as they come up the expertise curve they're super expertness. And so, they were working this problem and they even found it hard. Now, the problem was the difference, the temperature difference between the outside of the aircraft and the inside of the aircraft was so high that you have this distortion. This thermal distortion that would happen. And so, this actually required to invent a new kind of quartz, a new kind of material that they could use to withstand the temperature differences. And, and use it as a lens. Unfortunately, that material was really difficult to attach to the fuselage, so they couldn't figure out how to attach the quarts to the fuselage. So again, all these, the tremendous problems, the pilot inside the aircraft, the cockpit would be about 400 degrees. The cockpit was not insulated, how did they make that suitable for life? How could they sustain you know, pilot's life inside of that thing? engines, let's talk about the engines for a second. The engines, each engine, there were two, had over 320,000 horsepower. That's more per engine, more than the queen Elizabeth 2 has in her engines. And so, this would be the most powerful aircraft engine ever made. the problem was, is a huge materials problem. So, they were going to have these turn bits, we're going to have to, you know, withstand these temperatures of 2000 degrees that had not been done before. lubricating oils, hydrolic fluids fuel. They needed, they needed 11,000 gallons of fuel, and the fuel was going to get hot, right? Because we got this hot, high temperatures inside. so in every way that you could think about this thing was problematic. The engines, for example, also had a problem with testing. They had to test the engines. They needed massive amounts of electricity to test the engines. They would drive them up, and to run the test equipment. And so, they had to do that at night because the local grid in the city where they were developing this thing, did not supply enough power during the daytime to be able to run the test for this. And so, again, these were all these kinds of technological problems they had. When they finally got the airplane designed and built, they actually built it in one place. They were going to test it in another, so they had to get it there. So, what they did was they dismantled the plane. They put it in big parts, and they put it on these big trucks that drove through down, down the interstates and freeways and roads to get to the place where the test field was. Well, it turns out that those roads, some of them were too tippy, so they had to re-level the roads. They had to cut down massive numbers of trees just to get this thing through. They had to close off the highways because, again, this was a secret, recall. And so, they had to get this thing somehow to the test site without being, people being able to see it. it started, it got there. They got it put back together, it started flying, first thing was it started shaking uncontrollably. They had to land it, it turned out that they had hooked up the systems wrong. So, when they took it apart and they put it back together, their flight control systems were hooked up wrong. They brought it up again when they brought it up at the air at this point. it got up to about 300 feet. And a bunch of tiles started falling off. So, these titanium tiles start falling off the aircraft. They had to land it quickly. It took them four days to find all the tiles and put them back in place. Talk about a, a, a project gone bad. Finally, they had the test flight and it was, you know, in one of the words of the Lockheed people, this was the smoothest test flight ever. I can't imagine what one of the hardest ones would, would be. But it didn't fly as high or as fast or as long as they had hoped. They got it up, they got it flying, they got to about 400 miles per hour and about 30,000 feet. And so, this is very short. Now, we're just going to go 2000 miles an hour and 90,00 feet, but it didn't fly in the one at the specification, but nonetheless, it flew. And so, the A12 was born. This is an Air Force version of the A12. there's a trainer for it. And ultimately, the A12 with mothball. The plane that actually ended up being serving this in this role was the, for those of you who knows, the SR71 the Blackbird. So, these are the kind of constraints, we're going to call it technological constraints. They have to do with the physical world. And so, here there's lots of issues around getting the parts to, to behave, getting the matter to behave the way they want it. These high temperatures, these high speeds, the friction, the, the thermal problems they had getting power to the thing. They also had problems with time, they're trying to get it done in a certain amount of time and get, getting those things done in order are problematic in that way. And then, we've also talked about issues of the ecology. Like keeping up a personal life inside of that thing. Like how do you do that, and what is the effect of the environment on a big innovation like this. And so, these are the three sort of lenses that we're going to use to look at this problem of technological constraints. So, first we're going to start with physical constraints.