Negative Innovation?

This is a term that I found in the cover story of the Jan-15 issue of the Wilmott magazine. It's title is Beyond the Barricades and it's about the recruitment outlook for quants in 2015…advocating for the ability to work and communicate well across disciplines.

Compliance or innovation?

In its beginning hook the article writer states
Some might argue, convincingly, that finance as a business never felt the need to capitalize on the early access to quant skills…When an industry can be defined as one that develops on the basis of negative innovation, by which we mean innovation brought about by regulatory requirements alone…where compliance defines the deployment of resources...
In this context quants have two choices: working through constrained tasks that are defined by somebody else or figure out what the new opportunities are.

A climax in progressive problems of quant work

As I've recommended in an earlier post the best bad choice is surfing on the regulatory waves.

But quants may find ways to combine regulation-compliant programming with business-oriented responsibilities, creating new products for new clients…to become hybrid quants doing the industrial and lab work simultaneously.

It's a climax, a moment, when a quant needs to act on her crisis choice. And the choices and actions will tell us a lot about the quant.

And the technologies they use will influence that crisis choice. Does it support the industrial (regulation-compliant) part of the tasks and help developing new things simultaneously?