As I sit here writing in pencil by candlelight, I’m thinking about constraints. Constraints and contrasts.

I want to write about Innovation. It has been a subject of some hard core professional discussion recently, and I’ve been working with some of the smartest people I know to identify, develop and capitalize on it. Innovation, it’s actually something I love to talk about, but I’m stuck on constraints.

Givi Topchishvili, President and Co-Founder of the 9.8 group, is on his way back from Europe, having spoken both briefly and at length on the topic to some of the world’s most interesting men and women. He is likely traveling, maybe checking the news streaming on his tablet and giving his thoughts over to what is going on here.

Here the business is being done by cell phone conference call and dropbox, then Skype, then by whatever you’ve got going on your phone, then Facebook when you need to find that iOS 6 developer with power and internet that’s available to code on a Sunday. That you can’t call because for some reason cell service is out but data is still kind of working.

words jumping out of a phone

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Then by candlelight and generator – no problem. We get it done. And when the portfolio company’s app launches on time for their client’s big event, it’s all worth it.

There the business is being done by conversation and discussion, then examination. It is being done by the exchange of ideas and by the meeting of new partners – and competitors. By the exploration of opportunities, and the definition of obstacles. The charting of boundaries – and of ways to somehow get beyond them.

So, I am thinking about constraints and contrasts instead of innovation. But the more I write about it – which takes a little longer than typing, and makes me think – the more I’m thinking about the dozens of legal, regulatory, business and technological hurdles we faced down when we looked to launch our medical ‘flash deal’ venture.

I’m thinking about the patent cliffs that gave us the opportunity to unlock ROI for Big Pharma. I’m thinking about the fact that somebody will be able to add a few links to this later, if I can get it to them. I suppose I’m thinking about the way that constraints and needs drive innovation. You work with what you’ve got, and you create.

And while I’m looking forward to getting the power and the heat back on, I’m thinking this isn’t so bad, really.