As I write this, I'm reminded that 10 years have passed since the NASDAQ index was at an all-time high and we were at the pinnacle of the dot-com bubble. In recollecting those heady days, it seems to me there was a spirit that still haunts us today. It is coolness, and in honor of the anniversary, it is worth a little analysis.

Innovation is a constant feature of information technology, yet the way innovation is presented varies widely. Sometimes innovation is marketed from an engineering perspective, as is often the case in hardware that appeals to macho interests in speed and power. Other forms of innovation are cerebral or intellectual, such as new methodologies. But a good number of innovations are simply presented as being "cool." Just what are the essential characteristics of coolness?

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