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Embracing Friction: The Unlikely Spark of Innovation

Picture of the stage at EPIC 2023, the word 'friction' is displayed
EPIC 2023 Theme | Friction


In a world that often seeks the path of least resistance, it's easy to view friction as an adversary to progress. However, the recent Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) shed light on a counterintuitive truth: friction can be a powerful catalyst for innovation. At Precog, we've taken these insights to heart, recognising that the moments of resistance we encounter can be the very sparks that ignite transformative ideas.

The Nature of Friction

Friction in innovation is multifaceted. It can arise from technological constraints, cultural differences, or even within the process of ideation itself. The EPIC conference presented a compelling narrative around the concept of friction, not as a force to be eliminated, but as a phenomenon to be understood and harnessed.

The Case of Bonecoin

Bonecoin promotion on social media
Bonecoin promotion on social media

One of the more intriguing examples of friction leading to innovation discussed at EPIC was the creation of Bonecoin, a cryptocurrency earned by photographing chicken bones. This bizarre yet fascinating concept emerged from the friction between waste generation and economic value, challenging us to think about how we can turn overlooked resources into opportunities.

Friction as a Creative Force

At Precog, we believe that embracing friction means engaging with the challenges that come our way, using them as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks. By analysing and understanding the points of resistance, we can uncover hidden needs, untapped markets, and pathways to differentiation that might otherwise remain obscured.

Applying Friction to Business Strategy

For businesses, the lessons from EPIC on friction are invaluable. In a landscape that's constantly evolving, the ability to pivot and adapt is critical. Friction points can reveal where a business needs to innovate, whether it's updating legacy systems or rethinking customer engagement. By embracing these challenges, companies can develop more resilient and agile strategies that stand the test of time.


Friction doesn't have to be the enemy of progress. As we've learned from EPIC and seen in practice at Precog, it can be the very thing that propels us forward. By embracing friction, businesses can unlock a world of innovation that leads to growth, differentiation, and long-term success. Let's not shy away from the challenges; let's use them to fuel our creative engines and drive towards a brighter, more innovative future.


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