We have just run a very enjoyable workshop on benchmarking rural innovation. What I found interesting was that the country reports on innovation illustrated, very clearly, that innovation is often invisible (at least at an early stage) and is much more concerned with process and innovation trajectories than specific skills or artifacts. Also the main gap is between lessons from innovation practice and policies to promote innovation. And there was broad agreement about this. But when we came to discuss how to benchmark rural innovation capacity many of us felt that benchmarking for measuring capacity was still at least as if not more important than benchmarking for sharing lessons. I wonder if we really need the security blanket of measuring and why we fear learning so much?