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But I can think of a dozen innovations that weren't the result of a "failing process."

I'd say all your examples are examples of what mauser96 meant...not to speak for mauser, but that's what I took away from it. Maybe "broken, failing" is an overstatement, but "frustrating"? Definitely. Sure, things worked. If they didn't work at all, nobody would buy them. And maybe there were the best they could be at the time, but there were definitely frustrations.

Cassette tapes worked just fine.

And were bulky, prone to damage, deterioration, and you had to clean your tape heads regularly. If you didn't, and had a crappy player, you could end up with a cassette deck full of loose ribbon.

Sure, flat screens were thinner.

Yeah, exactly. I mean...hell YEAH! I sprung for a pretty big CRT back in the took 2 people to move it to where it needed to be. And I was shocked to realize I had to sit further back to not noticed the relatively poor resolution. Did the CRT work? Sure. Did I wish it was smaller and could be moved easily and ... yes indeed.

My wired keyboard is another example.

Lack of wires has definitely improved my daily experience and removed an irritant.

The end result is innovation is usually the result of a broken, failing process, or at least a very frustrating one.
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