But there’s a falseness to setting innovation as a goal. Newness does not closely correspond to fitness for purpose, and the latter is far more important in mission organizations. Newness in a technical sense may place a government or civic interface out of reach of many of the participants it is required to serve. The assumption that everything requires brand-new thought leads to ignoring many opportunities. Further, if our networks and knowledge of history are weak (and that applies to very many of us in civic tech at present), we may be completely mistaken about whether an idea is actually new.

Cyd Harrell, A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide