Fake&Succeed strategy in R&D. What about CF?
In another thread, JedRothwell posted a very interesting comment:
Of course they can! Edison and Steve Jobs were famous for putting on premeditated fake demonstrations. They exaggerated to the point of deceiving people about their inventions. They claimed they had things working long before they actually did. But they also actually did develop working products. They were fakers at times and real inventors at other times.
In his post, JR describes an approach to R&D, which could be followed by scientists, researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, etc. convinced of the reality and feasibility of their invention and which consists of three main steps:
1 – "putting on premeditated fake demonstrations", "exaggerate[ing the results] to the point of deceiving people about their inventions" and "claim[ing] they had things working long before they actually did";
2 – receiving funds and credits to develop their inventions on the basis of the above claims;
3 – eventually succeeding, thanks to these funds and credits, in " actually develop[ing] working products".
This approach to R&D, which can be called "Fake and Succeed" (or FaS) strategy, is a sort of scientific implementation of the Machiavellian motto "the ends justify the means", where the achievment of the third step justifies the subterfuges adopted in the previous ones.
JR mentioned two very famous "fakers at times and real inventors at other times", who applied successfully the FaS strategy reaching the third step, by eventually realizing working products which we use every day. Probably many other important R&D initiatives have adopted this strategy, including the ITER project (1), which is still at the second step.
I think that there are many important implications in the cited JR's post, which deserve to be discussed more deeply in a separate and specific thread. It would be interesting, for example, to know to what extent the FaS strategy was used in past and present R&D initiatives in various scientific fields, or if it is legitimate to adopt such a strategy for convincing the public about the opportunity of pursuing researches hypothetically capable of providing enormous benefits to the humankind.
Obviously, it's logical to ask ourselves whether the same FaS strategy was applied in CF too, also because it would provide an easy and suitable explanation to many controversial episodes, while preserving the substantial good faith of most protagonists.