I find fun and research inexorably intertwined. Research is fun! Like a team sport, the hunt for new knowledge brings purpose, comradeship, conversation, competition, and appreciation. Finding new knowledge brings the joys of novelty, beauty, simplicity, understanding, and sometimes even utility. Just as team spirit wins games, so team spirit speeds research. Team spirit lets us risk exposing our half-baked fledgling ideas so others can carry them further; team spirit lets ideas reverberate between people, growing better with each passs.
Remembering that research is fun offers strategies for both researchers and managers. One who seeks to do good research must play in a field he likes, with trusted colleagues and friends. Seek what you like to do in a place you like and with people you like and respect.
One who seeks to manage research must, like a good coach, create something more than the sum of the players. Good research management seeks the reverberation of ideas that produces results. Good research management builds pride in the environment, pride in the support and understanding researchers feel, and pride in the team. Remember that research is a human endeavor fraught with technical and emotional risks and frustrations. Reduce drudgery, stamp out frustration, encourage spirit, provide support, and recognize achievement to get both loyalty and results.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043