jerryking + breakthroughs   57

Inside View: Innovate From Your Couch
30 Mar 2020 | Wall Street Journal | by Andy Kessler.

By now you may have read about how Isaac Newton, while sheltering in place during the 1665 closure of the University of Cambridge for the bubon...
Andy_Kessler  breakthroughs  COVID-19  creativity  downtime  gaming_the_system  innovation  Isaac_Newton  jury-rigged  lockdown  origin_story  plagues  productivity  problem_solving  slack_time  timeouts  wealth_creation  William_Shakespeare  worthwhile_problems  from notes
9 days ago by jerryking
Why moonshots elude the timid of heart
February 14, 2020 | Financial Times | by Tim Harford.

* Loonshots — by Safi Bahcall.
* Major innovations tend to result from investment that is high-risk, high-pay-off.
* Executives at the Cambridge, UK outpost of an admired Japanese company fret that success rate of their research and development, at 70%, was far too high. It signals that research teams had been risk-averse, pursuing easy wins at the expense of more radical and risky long-shots.
* Disney, the belief is that Disney if you weren't failing at half of your endeavours, you weren’t being brave or creative enough.
* The problem is a societal/systematic preference for marginal gains over long shots---It is much more pleasant to experience a steady trickle of small successes than a long drought while waiting for a flood that may never come.
* marginal gains do add up, but need to be bolstered by the occasional long-shot breakthrough.....Major innovations such as the electric motor, the photo­voltaic cell or the mobile phone open up new territories that the marginal-gains innovators & tinkerers can further exploit.[JCK: from Simon Johnson, "public investments in research and development contribute to what the authors call the “spillover effect.” When the product of the research is not a private firm’s intellectual property, its impact flows across the economy."]
* the UK Conservative party’s promise to establish “a new agency for high-risk, high-pay-off research, at arm’s length from government” — a British version of the much-admired US Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency.
* DARPA's failure rate is often said to be around 85%.
* a low failure rate may indeed signal a lack of originality and ambition.
* Arpa hires high-quality scientists for short stints — often two or three years — and giving them control over a programme budget to commission research from any source they wish.
* the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a foundation, deliberately looks for projects with an unusual or untried approach, but a large potential pay-off.....HHMI gets what it pays for — more failures, but larger successes, compared with other grant-makers funding researchers of a similar calibre.
* how long will UK politicians tolerate failure as a sign of boldness and originality? Eventually, they will simply call it failure.
* the trilemma: Be cautious, or fund lots of risky but tiny projects, or fund a few big, risky projects from a modest budget and accept that every single one may flop.
audacity  big_bets  boldness  books  breakthroughs  Cambridge  DARPA  failure  game_changers  high-reward  high-risk  incrementalism  industrial_policies  innovation  jump-start  marginal_improvements  moonshots  originality  politicians  public_investments  publicly_funded  quick_wins  R&D  risk-aversion  science  small_wins  spillover  success_rates  thinking_big  Tim_Harford  timidity  United_Kingdom 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
Venture capital investors should harpoon more whales
February 3, 2020 | Financial Times | by John Thornhill.

*VC: An American History by Tom Nicholas.
* The worry for Silicon Valley is that the impulse for creative destruction is now fading
* It is easy to be rude about the venture capital industry. So here goes. The criticism runs that the VC sector is full of too many over-funded, ill-disciplined chancers who pass off hype for reality, groupthink for insight and luck for good judgment.....What’s more, a staggering 95 per cent of VC firms fail to make a decent enough return to justify the risks their investors run......the current mindset of the VC industry is responsible for the slowdown in new business formation and lack of economic dynamism in the US. All too often, addicted to capital-light, metric-heavy software businesses, VCs are failing to bet big enough on the breakthrough technologies that tackle our biggest challenges, such as climate change or cancer.........Katie Rae, chief executive and managing partner of The Engine, a Boston-based “tough tech” venture fund, says that many VCs have lost sight of their original purpose......VCs were all about funding tech breakthroughs but that has got lost,” ...... “A lot of VCs look more like private equity companies that do not want to lose any money so they end up backing dog-walking apps rather than quantum computing.”......Historically, the best venture capitalists have performed a vital capitalistic function: turning seemingly outlandish ideas and transformative technologies into everyday realities. Semiconductors, recombinant insulin and internet search engines have all come to market largely thanks to VC backing........“The VC industry is cut-throat. .....It provides the capital and expertise for start-ups to succeed.”.......In VC: An American History, Tom Nicholas traces VC’s high-risk, high-reward mentality back to the 19th-century whaling industry, which developed a novel form of venture financing. The idea was to back an expert captain who could fit out a robust ship, hire the best crew and endure an average of 3.6 years at sea. On landing a whale, the captain would return investors’ money several times over. But many ships returned empty-handed or sunk.........the pattern of financial returns made by Gideon Allen & Sons, the smartest backers of whaling ventures, were almost identical to those achieved by Sequoia Capital, one of the best VC firms operating today..........one of the striking features of the subsequent evolution of the VC industry.......was how contingent it was on time, circumstance and people. The west coast model of VC investing, owed an enormous amount to massive government investments in technology during the cold war, the expansion of world-beating universities in California and the emergence of some remarkable entrepreneurs and visionary investors, such as Arthur Rock, Tom Perkins and Don Valentine.......The worry for Silicon Valley is that some of that Schumpeterian impulse for creative destruction is now fading. One argument has it that Silicon Valley is becoming increasingly “corporatised” with Big Tech firms, such as Google, Facebook and Apple, championing the mantra that “big is beautiful” in the face of emerging competition from China.

The benign view is that Big Tech may be internalising much of the innovation once carried out by start-ups; the malign interpretation is that Cupertino, California [JCK: that is, "Big Tech"] is snuffing out smaller rivals.......

“Silicon Valley is overdue a disruption. It is not a hotbed of start-ups any more,” ..........Metaphorically, at least, the VC industry needs to get back in the business of funding wildly ambitious entrepreneurs intent on harpooning some more whales.
19th_century  Arthur_Rock  big_bets  Big_Tech  books  breakthroughs  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  cancers  climate_change  creative_destruction  disruption  Don_Valentine  entrepreneur  finance  financing  fundamental_discoveries  funding  HBS  high-risk  high-reward  innovation  investors  Joseph_Schumpeter  moonshots  public_investments  semiconductors  Sequoia  Silicon_Valley  thinking_big  Tom_Perkins  tough_tech  unimaginative  vc  venture_capital  visionaries  whaling 
9 weeks ago by jerryking
Two MIT Economists Share A Bold Plan To Jump-Start The Economy In New Book
April 9, 2019 | Boston Public Radio | By Arjun Singh

On paper, America’s economy seems to be excelling. In March, the economy added 196,000 new jobs while the unemployment rate sat at 3.8 percent. Meanwhile, American startups like Uber and Pinterest are expected to go public with multi-million or higher valuations. But MIT economists Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson believe this hides a darker truth about the American economy: It’s slowly falling behind the rest of the world.

In their new book, “Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream,” Gruber and Johnson lay out their plan for how the United States can reclaim its mantle as a leader in not just gross domestic product, but also innovation and science. The key, they say, is government investment and encouragement in the scientific sector.......The economists are optimistic, however, that the United States can regain its lead and eventually develop a robust economy that sees economic growth and investment in the sciences. And not just in places like Boston or San Francisco, but throughout the rest of the country, where Johnson says there is a wealth of untapped talent and potential. They estimate there are at least 102 potential scientific hubs scattered across the U.S.

“The coastal superstar cities have become extremely expensive, but there’s a tremendous amount of talent spread across the U.S.,” Johnson said. “Good living conditions also matter. People also want to live in a place [with a] good climate, much better commute times than you have in the megacities, and low crime rates. Those are our very simple, transparent criteria.”..... public investments in research and development contribute to what the authors call the “spillover effect.” When the product of the research is not a private firm’s intellectual property, its impact flows across the economy.
books  breakthroughs  coastal  competitiveness_of_nations  economists  industrial_policies  innovation  jump-start  MIT  moonshots  NSF  public_investments  R&D  science  Simon_Johnson  spillover  superstars  U.S. 
august 2019 by jerryking
What will Apple do without Jony Ive?
June 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Bradshaw, Global Technology Correspondent.

Sir Jonathan prepares to move on from Apple to launch his own new venture, LoveFrom, after more than two decades at the Silicon Valley giant.....As a company worth nearly $1tn, Apple today is financially secure. But Sir Jonathan's looming departure will once again raise questions about its future. 

This is not the first time that Sir Jonathan’s role has evolved. In recent years, his design expertise has extended beyond crafting Apple’s pocketable devices. He helped retail chief Angela Ahrendts overhaul its stores, from fixtures such as its tree-lined “Genius Groves”, down to simplifying product packaging. 

More significantly, he oversaw the company’s long-planned move to its new headquarters, Apple Park, which was first conceived with Jobs back in 2004 and designed in partnership with British architects Foster + Partners.....Speaking at a Wired magazine event in 2018, he appeared to suggest that he was back for the long haul, saying: “There’s an awful lot to do and an awful lot of opportunity.” ....Apple Park...brought Apple’s entire design team together for the first time into one purpose-built studio, with industrial designers sitting side by side with font and interface designers......Perhaps the most important legacy that Jon Ive leaves . . . is the team.”.......By Apple’s outsized standards, the tight-knit group of people who work on product design is small. It runs to just a few dozen people out of an organisation that employs some 132,000 staff.....
Yet the team wields a disproportionate influence inside the Cupertino-based company. With an extensive array of tooling and fabrication equipment that is rarely found outside a manufacturing plant, the studio explores new product categories and the materials that might build them, from unique blends of aluminium to ceramics. 

They define not only a product’s appearance but how its software looks and feels, how it responds to gestures, even how an iPhone or Watch gently vibrates to give a user “haptic feedback”. 

“No group within Apple has more power than the industrial designers,” ......Jonathan Ive has thousands of patents to his name, encompassing the original iPod and iPhone to more obscure innovations, including the iPad’s magnetic cover, the Apple Store’s wooden tables and a lanyard used to attach an iPod to a wrist......Jonathan’s departure is likely to reopen a debate that has been simmering for several years — namely how will Apple come up with a new hit product that can match the unprecedented success of the iPhone, whose record-breaking profits propelled Apple to become the first trillion-dollar company last year........it may be that no single product ever will top the iPhone — for any tech company, not just Apple. It is a question that hangs over Silicon Valley as the industry casts around for a new platform, be it virtual reality or smart speakers, that might become as ubiquitous and essential as the smartphone.........Apple is also putting greater attention on an expanding portfolio of online services, including games, news and video........Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive have both pointed to healthcare as a potential new market for Apple, building on the Watch’s new capabilities for detecting heart irregularities.....Healthcare is just one example of how the battleground has changed for Apple in recent years. Despite pioneering virtual assistants with Siri, Apple found itself outflanked by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant in both sales of smart speakers and artificial intelligence capabilities.

New blood at Apple

Some analysts believe that new blood could invigorate Apple’s response to these challenges. Alongside the high-profile departures of Ms Ahrendts and Sir Jonathan, Apple poached John Giannandrea from Google to become its head of machine learning and AI strategy, as well as Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amberg from Sony Pictures Television to run its push into original video. 

“The apparent acceleration in the pace of change within Apple at the executive level reflects the paradigm shift the company is undergoing from a hardware-driven story to ‘Apple as a service’,....... the most significant concern for investors will be that Sir Jonathan’s departure will take away another arbiter of focus and product direction that Apple had already lost with the death of Jobs.....Jonathan’s focus is growing beyond the steel and glass borders of Apple Park, saying he wants to “solve some complicated problems”. .....“One defining characteristics is almost a fanatical curiosity,” he said. “But if you don’t have the space, if you don’t have the tools and the infrastructure, that curiosity can often not have the opportunity to be pursued.”

LoveFrom itself defies traditional categorisation. “I have no interest in creating yet another design agency,” he said firmly. “What’s important is the values and what motivates that collection of people …Small groups of people, I think as Apple has demonstrated over the years, can do some extraordinary things.”

 

 

 
Alexa  Apple  Apple_IDs  Apple_Park  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  curiosity  design  departures  exits  Google_Assistant  haptics  healthcare  Jonathan_Ive  LoveFrom  new_categories  new_products  patents  services  Silicon_Valley  Siri  smart_speakers  subscriptions  teams  Tim_Cook  virtual_assistants 
june 2019 by jerryking
The 6 Best Lifts for NEW Muscle Growth (GUARANTEED!) - YouTube
(1) Deadlifts >>> (a) chest-supported row (T-Bar row); (b) Reverse dumbbell lunge or forward dumbbell lunge. Teaches you how to push hard through that forward leg to get all momentum of your body back up to a standing position. How to push with great force through your legs, one at a time, into the ground. Then go back to deadlifting with both feet.

(2) Squats >>> (value of the glutes when it comes to performing the squat. Don't half rep it. Activate the glutes to help with the bottom of the lift, but you have to get deep enough. A variation of the glute hamstring raise. Initiate the contraction by squeezing your butt cheeks together. Hip flextion.

(3) Overhead Press. Z press. Sit down on the ground, and overhead press from that position.

(4) Weighted Pull-ups. Work on stability of the shoulder blade.
AthleanX  breakthroughs  deadlifts  fitness  glutes  military_press  pull-ups  squats  strength_training 
may 2019 by jerryking
Be a Potentiator - Mike Lipkin
April 25, 2019 | @ #CAIF2019 | Presentation and speech By Mike Lipkin.

1. Be Self-Savvy: Define your principles. Discern your impact. Play your role. Know what drives you. Know how you’re occurring to others. Know their expectations of you. Know thyself and thy relationship with others.
2. Develop Situational Sensibility: Get out there. Know the trends. Connect the dots. Context is decisive. Whoever understands their environment best wins. So expand your footprint. Study the data until it tells the truth. Anticipate the future by getting there first. Become your peers’ scout. Discover the new world for yourself and other will want to join you.
3. Make a Powerful Promise: Declare your purpose. Express your value proposition. Focus your execution. Know your personal mission. Know the unique benefit you give to others. Act accordingly. So my mission is to turn people into potentiators. My unique benefit is to excite people into remarkable action. I’m executing my promise through motivational messages like this one in any way I can. What are you doing?
4. Become Sublimely Skilled: Practice for real. Become the authority. Make it a pleasure. Whatever your level, be the best at that level. Learn from every experience. Communicate your knowledge with conviction. Light others up with your joie de vivre.
5. Build Robust Resilience: Interpret to win. Be prolific. Train like an athlete. We’re only as good as the stories that we tell ourselves. Make whatever happens meaningful. Do more things. Put the odds on your side. And train, train, train. Stamina is the rocket fuel of champions.
6. Grow Courageous Creativity: Unleash your imagination. Experiment like Edison. Talk, listen, learn. Dare to dream then declare your dream. Turn it into reality by trying something new. Fail fast until you fly high. Get in front of people and give them great conversation. Enrich their perspective while you expand yours.
7. Be Fanatically Faithworthy: Commit to your commitments. Come through in the crunch. Be the best you can be, every day. If you say it, do it. Make your word the one thing that others can always depend on. Become the go-to-person in a crisis. And, whatever happens, bring your A-Game every time. You can’t always be the best, but you can always be the best you can be that day.
8. Create Close Connections: Give First. Open yourself up. Become an insider. Generosity pays big dividends. Show what you can give them and others will show you the money. Get up, close and personal. Become integral to others’ wellbeing. If you build their trust, they will pay it forward all the way back to you.
9. Communicate Like a Champion: Say it like you mean it. Talk their language. Connect them to their purpose. How you say what you say is as important as what you say. Let your authenticity shine through but inject it with your passion. Be the reason why other people rediscover why they make a difference.
10. Cause Bold Breakthroughs: Own it. Celebrate the struggle. Finish like a professional. It’s not about the title. It’s about your skin in the game. It’s about taking on the responsibility for everyone else’s success, no matter what. You can’t always win, but you can always play to win. It’s meant to be hard. The pain is the price you pay to be a potentiator. Close strong and the force will be with you.
breakthroughs  CAIF  code_switching  commitments  Communicating_&_Connecting  connecting_the_dots  execution  inspiration  It's_up_to_me  Mike_Lipkin  motivations  purpose  self-awareness  self-knowledge  self-made  serving_others  situational_awareness  skin_in_the_game  torchbearers  value_propositions 
april 2019 by jerryking
How to keep creative geniuses in check and in profit
March 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Andrew Hill.

The story of how Eastman Kodak invented a digital camera in 1975 but failed to develop it is one of the most notorious misses in the annals of innovation. (It’s more complicated than that, but never mind.)

Polaroid, the instant-photo pioneer, took a slower path to the technology: its first digital camera appeared only in 1996. It filed for bankruptcy in 2001, 11 years before Kodak.
Polaroid’s founding genius, Edwin Land, could, though, have been first to the digital party. In 1971, as part of a secret panel advising the US president, he advocated digital photography, which the US eventually adopted for its spy satellites.
But Land was blind to the promise of digital cameras for the consumer.

This tale of failures of leadership, innovation and organisation is well told by Safi Bahcall, a physicist, former consultant and biotech entrepreneur, in Loonshots. There are four types of failure:
(1) Leadership failure. Edwin Land was guilty of leading his company into a common trap: only ideas approved by an all-powerful leader advance until at last a costly mis-step trips up the whole company.
(2) Innovation failure. Bahcall distinguishes between product-type and strategy-type innovation. Classic P-type innovators are the folks at innovation conferences conversing about new gadgets with less attention being paid to the analysis of innovative business models. Indeed, at some forums, P-type innovations also crowd the lobby. Delegates line up to try the latest shiny robot, electric car, or 3D printer.

(3) Organizational failure. Loonshots is based, refreshingly, on the idea culture does not necessarily eat strategy for breakfast. In fact, bad structure eats culture. Bahcall gives this a scientific foundation, explaining that successful teams and companies stagnate in the same way water turns to ice. A perfectly balanced innovative company must try to keep the temperature at the point where free-flowing bright ideas are not suddenly frozen by bureaucracy. How? Since the success of Bell Labs, companies have been told they should set up “a department of loonshots run by loons, free to explore the bizarre” separately from the parent. The key, though, is to ensure chief executives and their managers encourage the transfer of ideas between the mad creatives in the lab and the people in the field, and (the culture part) ensure both groups feel equally loved.

As for the assumption companies always ossify as they get larger, that risk can be mitigated by adjusting incentives, curbing office politics, and matching skills to projects, for which Loonshots offers a detailed formula.

Success also requires a special type of leader — not a visionary innovator but a “careful gardener”, who nurtures the existing franchise and the new projects. Though not himself an inventor, Steve Jobs, in his second phase at Apple, arguably achieved the right balance. He also spotted the S-type potential of iTunes. Even if Tesla’s Elon Musk is not losing that balance, in his headlong, top-down pursuit of loonshot after loonshot, he does not strike me as a born gardener.

Persuading charismatic geniuses to give up their role as leaders of organisations built on their inventions is hard. Typically, such people figure out themselves how to garden, as Jobs did; or they are coached by the board, which may install veteran executives to help; or they may be handed the title of “chief innovator” or “chief scientist” and nudged aside for a new CEO.

(4) They may find themselves peddling a fatally flawed product.
Bell_Labs  books  breakthroughs  business_models  creativity  digital_cameras  Edwin_Land  Elobooks  Elon_Musk  failure  genius  howto  incentives  innovation  inventors  Kodak  leaders  moonshots  office_politics  organizational_failure  organizational_innovation  Polaroid  product-orientated  Steve_Jobs 
march 2019 by jerryking
Grand follies and the art of thinking big
February 22, 2019 |Financial Times| by Janan Ganesh.

Who would rather that Airbus had never made the bet at all? Who would live in a world that never risks over-reach?

A defender of grand follies is spoilt for examples that turned out well........Today’s vainglorious travesty is tomorrow’s untouchable fixture of the landscape. We are lousy judges of future tastes, including our own....Even if an audacious project fails, and fails lastingly, it can still trigger success stories of other kinds. Some of this happens through the sheer technical example set: the A380, like Concorde before it, forced engineers to innovate in ways that will cascade down the decades in unpredictable ways. Some of the most banal givens of daily life — dust busters, wireless headsets — can be traced back to that messianic project we know as the space programme.

Then there is the inspiring spectacle of just trying to do something big. Progress through tinkering counts no less than progress through great leaps, but only the second kind is likely to electrify people into venturing their own efforts. Without the grand gesture — and the risk of humiliation — any field of endeavour is liable to stagnate.....Perhaps an exhausted west now prefers to tinker all the same. Big ideas are often paid for out of idle wealth (think of Elon Musk’s fortune, or Alphabet’s cash pile) and the existence of this can seem almost distasteful in a culture that is newly sensitive to inequality. As for largeness of vision, there was plenty of the stuff in the forever wars and pre-crash banking. It would be strange if people who lived through those events did not now flinch at the sight of excitable visionaries brandishing schemes.
Airbus  audacity  big_bets  breakthroughs  Elon_Musk  fallacies_follies  game_changers  humiliation  incrementalism  inspiration  Janan_Ganesh  Jeff_Bezos  marginal_improvements  moonshots  overreach  risks  thinking_big  tinkerers  visionaries 
february 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Useless Knowledge Begets New Horizons
Jan. 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Bret Stephens, Opinion Columnist.

Fundamental discoveries don’t always have practical uses, but they have soul-saving applications......In October 1939, as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were plunging the world into war, an American educational reformer named Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper’s magazine under the marvelous title, “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge.”

Noting the way in which the concerns of modern education increasingly turned toward worldly problems and practical vocations, Flexner made a plea for “the cultivation of curiosity” for its own sake.....The marriage of disinterested science and technological wizardry on the farthest-flung adventures of the human race is what John Adams had in mind when he wrote that he had to “study Politicks and War that my sons may have the liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy.” It is among the greatest fulfillments of the American dream.....Typically, we think of the American dream in materialistic terms — a well-paid job; a half-acre lot; children with better opportunities than our own. Or we think of it in political terms, as an ever-expanding domain of ever-greater freedom and equality.

But prosperity, freedom, equality for what? The deep critique of the liberal society is that it refuses on principle to supply an answer: Each of us lives in pursuit of a notion of happiness that is utterly subjective, generally acquisitive and almost inevitably out of reach — what psychologists call the “hedonic treadmill.” Religious cults and authoritarian systems work differently: Purposes are given, answers supplied, questions discouraged or forbidden, and the burdens of individual choice and moral agency are largely lifted. They are dictatorships of meaning.....Flexner’s case for such untrammeled freedom isn’t that it’s a good unto itself. Freedom also produces a lot of garbage. His case is that freedom is the license the roving mind requires to go down any path it chooses and go as far as the paths may lead. This is how fundamental discoveries — a.k.a., “useless knowledge” — are usually made: not so much by hunting for something specific, but by wandering with an interested eye amid the unknown. It’s also how countries attract and cultivate genius — by protecting a space of unlimited intellectual permission, regardless of outcome....All of this, of course, has its ultimate uses — hence the “usefulness” of Flexner’s title. Newton’s third law of motion begets, after 250 years, the age of the rocket; the discovery of the double helix delivers, several decades later, Crispr. It’s also how nations gain or lose greatness. The “reorganized” universities of fascist Italy and Germany had no place for Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi or Albert Einstein. They became the Allies’ ultimate weapon in World War II.

Which brings us back to New Horizons, Osiris-Rex, InSight and every other piece of gear flying through the heavens at taxpayer expense and piling up data atop our already vast stores of useless knowledge. What are they doing to reduce poverty? Nothing. Environmental degradation? Zippo. The opioid crisis? Still less.

And yet, in being the kind of society that does this kind of thing — that is, the kind that sends probes to the edge of the solar system; underwrites the scientific establishment that knows how to design and deploy these probes; believes in the value of knowledge for its own sake; cultivates habits of truthfulness, openness, collaboration and risk-taking; enlists the public in the experience, and shares the findings with the rest of the world — we also discover the highest use for useless knowledge: Not that it may someday have some life-saving application on earth, though it might, but that it has a soul-saving application in the here and now, reminding us that the human race is not a slave to questions of utility alone.
breakthroughs  Bret_Stephens  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  Colleges_&_Universities  Crispr  curiosity  exploration  expeditions  free_speech  free_will  freedom  fundamental_discoveries  human_race  Joseph_Stalin  knowledge  op-ed  serendipity  soul-enriching  space_exploration  the_American_dream 
january 2019 by jerryking
Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea - The New York Times
By David Streitfeld
Sept. 7, 2018

....... Ms. Khan wrote, that once-robust monopoly laws have been marginalized, Amazon is consequently able to amass so much structural power that let it exert increasing control over many parts of the economy. Amazon has so much data on so many customers, it is so willing to forgo profits, it is so aggressive and has so many advantages from its shipping and warehouse infrastructure that it exerts an influence much broader than its market share. It resembles the all-powerful railroads of the Progressive Era, .......The F.T.C. is holding a series of hearings this fall, the first of their type since 1995, on whether a changing economy requires changing enforcement attitudes.

The hearings will begin on Sept. 13 at Georgetown University Law Center. Two panels will debate whether antitrust should keep its narrow focus or, as Ms. Khan urges, expand its range.

“Ideas and assumptions that it was heretical to question are now openly being contested,” she said. “We’re finally beginning to examine how antitrust laws, which were rooted in deep suspicion of concentrated private power, now often promote it.”........Her Yale Law Journal paper argued that monopoly regulators who focus on consumer prices are thinking too short-term. In Ms. Khan’s view, a company like Amazon — one that sells things, competes against others selling things, and owns the platform where the deals are done — has an inherent advantage that undermines fair competition. “The long-term interests of consumers include product quality, variety and innovation — factors best promoted through both a robust competitive process and open markets,” she wrote.

The issue Ms. Khan’s article really brought to the fore is this: Do we trust Amazon, or any large company, to create our future?........ “It’s so much easier to teach public policy to people who already know how to write than teach writing to public policy experts,” said Mr. Lynn, a former journalist.

Ms. Khan wrote about industry consolidation and monopolistic practices for Washington publications that specialize in policy, went to Yale Law School, published her Amazon paper and then came back to Washington last year, just as interest was starting to swell in her work.... the F.T.C. needs to bring back a tool buried in its toolbox: its ability to make rules......“Amazon is not the problem — the state of the law is the problem, and Amazon depicts that in an elegant way,” she said......“could make sense” to treat Amazon’s e-commerce operation like a bridge, highway, port, power grid or telephone network — all of which are required to allow access to their infrastructure on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Amazon  antitrust  breakthroughs  FTC  heretical  ideas  lawyers  Lina_Khan  monopolies  platforms  retailers  regulators  reframing  Yale 
september 2018 by jerryking
The Chip That Changed the World
Aug. 26, 2018 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.

Integrated circuits are the greatest invention since fire—or maybe indoor plumbing. The world would be unrecognizable without them. They have bent the curve of history, influencing the economy, government and general human flourishing. The productivity unleashed from silicon computing power disrupted or destroyed everything in its path: retail, music, finance, advertising, travel, manufacturing, health care, energy. It’s hard to find anything Kilby’s invention hasn’t changed.

Now what? Despite the routine media funeral for Moore’s Law, it’s not dead yet. But it is old.......Brace yourself. When Moore’s Law finally gives up the ghost, productivity and economic growth will roll over too—unless. The world needs another Great Bend, another Kilbyesque warp in the cosmos, to drive the economy.

One hope is quantum computing, which isn’t limited by binary 1s and 0s, but instead uses qubits (quantum bits) based on Schrödinger’s quantum mechanics. .......Maybe architecture will keep the growth alive. Twenty years ago, Google created giant parallel computer systems to solve the search problem. The same may be seen for artificial intelligence, which is in its infancy. ......Energy is being disrupted but not fast enough. Where is that battery breakthrough? .........Biocomputing is another fascinating area. We already have gene editing in the form of Crispr. New food supplies and drugs may change how humans live and not die and bend the curve. But.... anything involving biology is painfully slow. ....Computing takes nanoseconds; biology takes days, weeks, even years. Breakthroughs may still come, but experiments take so long that progress lags behind. Still, I’d watch this space closely.
Andy_Kessler  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  Crispr  game_changers  gene_editing  Gordon_Moore  hard_to_find  history  inventions  miniaturization  molecular_biology  Moore's_Law  Nobel_Prizes  quantum_computing  semiconductors 
august 2018 by jerryking
Support more thinkers, not only the tinkerers
NOVEMBER 4, 2017 | FT | Dr Simon Roberts, Stripe Partners, London SE1, UK

In my experience this is not just a decision based on the economics of innovation — it’s a shift informed by the changing temporal rhythms of modern organisations. The mantra “move fast and break things” appears to motivate the leadership and delivery teams of even the most slothful companies far beyond Silicon Valley. When research becomes a tool for rapid, iterative, continual improvement, not an activity committed to open-ended exploration and unconstrained thinking, it is unlikely to lead to the sort of breakthroughs in technology, products or strategic outlook that successful companies (and productive economies) depend on.
Tim_Harford  letters_to_the_editor  R&D  innovation  thinking  tinkerers  breakthroughs 
november 2017 by jerryking
Among the iPhone’s Biggest Transformations: Apple Itself - WSJ
By Tripp Mickle
June 20, 2017

The iPhone was so revolutionary it raised expectations that the company would introduce radical new products regularly, said Patrick Moorhead, a technology analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “That’s what I call the leadership burden,” Mr. Moorhead said.

That has made innovation more difficult in some ways, former employees said. Apple developed products that were linked to the iPhone, such as the Apple Watch and AirPod headphones, but was late to pursue hot internet-connected home devices like Nest’s thermostat and an intelligent speaker like Amazon’s Echo.

“There was a real opportunity missed there,” said Mr. Cannistraro. Still, he said, Apple recognizes and supports innovative ideas internally and executes better than competitors. “The right ideas tend to be the ones that get through.”
iPhone  Apple  transformational  Amazon  breakthroughs  Echo  expectations  innovation  Nest  new_products  smart_speakers 
june 2017 by jerryking
Marginal gains matter but gamechangers transform
25 March/26 March 2017 | FT | by Tim Harford.

In the hunt for productivity, the revolutionary long shot is worth the cost and risk.

.............................As Olympic athletes have shown, marginal improvements accumulated over time can deliver world-beating performance,” said Andrew Haldane in a speech on Monday, which is quite true. Mr Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist
........The marginal gains philosophy tries to turn innovation into a predictable process: tweak your activities, gather data, embrace what works and repeat.......As Mr Haldane says, marginal improvements can add up.

But can they add up to productivity gains for the economy as a whole? The question matters. There is no economic topic more important than productivity, which in the long run determines whether living standards surge or stagnate.
........
The idea that developed economies can A/B test their way back to brisk productivity growth is a seductive one.

An alternative view is that what’s really lacking is a different kind of innovation: the long shot. Unlike marginal gains, long shots usually fail, but can pay off spectacularly enough to overlook 100 failures.
.....
These two types of innovation complement each other. Long shot innovations open up new territories; marginal improvements colonise them. The 1870s saw revolutionary breakthroughs in electricity generation and distribution but the dynamo didn’t make much impact on productivity until the 1920s. To take advantage of electric motors, manufacturers needed to rework production lines, redesign factories and retrain workers. Without these marginal improvements the technological breakthrough was of little use.
....Yet two questions remain. One is why so many businesses lag far behind the frontier. .......The culprit may be a lack of competition: vigorous competition tends to raise management quality by spurring improvements and by punishing incompetents with bankruptcy. ....
But the second question is why productivity growth has been so disappointing. A/B testing has never been easier or more fashionable, after all. The obvious answer is that the long shots matter, too.
.....In a data-driven world, it’s easy to fall back on a strategy of looking for marginal gains alone, avoiding the risky, unquantifiable research (jk: leaps of faith). Over time, the marginal gains will surely materialise. I’m not so sure that the long shots will take care of themselves.
adaptability  breakthroughs  compounded  economics  game_changers  incrementalism  innovation  leaps_of_faith  marginal_improvements  moonshots  nudge  organizational_change  organizational_improvements  organizational_structure  power_generation  production_lines  productivity  productivity_payoffs  slight_edge  taxonomy  thinking_big  Tim_Harford 
march 2017 by jerryking
The path to enlightenment and profit starts inside the office
(Feb. 2, 2016): The Financial Times | John Thornhill.

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.

One of the starkest - and scariest - declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: "Kill Caterpillar!". Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.

But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.

WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies' consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.

Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing "apps on wheels". Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.

As the driving force of capitalism , competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.

Gavin Patterson , chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. "As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger."

To that end, BT has opened innovation "scouting teams" in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company's game.

The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards (e.g. opposing actions). Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders' Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. "This . . . leads to irrelevance over time," he wrote.

Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?

Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. "The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves," he says.

Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: "Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot." He adds: "Every company has to find its own unique wisdom." [This wisdom reference is reminiscent of Paul Graham's advice to do things that don't scale].

john.thornhill@ft.com
ambitions  brands  breakthroughs  BT  bureaucracies  competition  complacency  constraints  Fortune_500  incentives  incrementalism  Infosys  innovation  introspection  irrelevance  large_companies  LBMA  messaging  mission-driven  Mondelez  moonshots  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  outward_looking  Paul_Graham  peripheral_vision  radical  risk-avoidance  scouting  smart_people  start_ups  staying_hungry  tacit_knowledge  technological_change  threats  uniqueness  unscalability  weaknesses  WhatsApp  wisdom  digital_cameras  digital_revolution  historical_data  from notes
april 2016 by jerryking
How to Avoid the Innovation Death Spiral | Innovation Management
By: Wouter Koetzier

Consider this all too familiar scenario: Company X’s new products developed and launched with great expectations, yield disappointing results. Yet, these products continue to languish in the market, draining management attention, advertising budgets, manufacturing capacity, warehouse space and back office systems. Wouter Koetzier explores how to avoid the innovation death spiral....
Incremental innovations play a role in defending a company’s baseline against competition, rather than offering customers superior benefits or creating additional demand for its products.
Platform innovations drive some market growth (often due to premium pricing rather than expanded volume), but their main function is to increase the innovator’s market share by giving customers a reason to switch from a competitor’s brand.
Breakthrough innovations create a new market that the innovator can dominate for some time by delivering new benefits to customers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, breakthrough innovations typically aren’t based upon major technological inventions; rather, they often harness existing technology in novel ways, such as Apple’s iPad.......A recent Accenture analysis of 10 large players in the global foods industry over a three-year period demonstrates the strategic costs of failure to innovate successfully. Notably, the study found little correlation between R&D spending and revenue growth. For instance, a company launching more products than their competitors actually saw less organic revenue growth. That’s because the company made only incremental innovations, while its competitors launched a balanced portfolio of incremental, platform and breakthrough innovations that were perceived by the market as adding value.
Accenture  attrition_rates  baselines  breakthroughs  correlations  disappointment  downward_spirals  howto  incrementalism  innovation  kill_rates  life_cycle  portfolios  portfolio_management  platforms  LBMA  marginal_improvements  Mondelez  moonshots  new_products  novel  product_development  product_launches  R&D  taxonomy 
march 2016 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Mariana Mazzucato - FT.com
August 14, 2015 12:07 pm
Lunch with the FT: Mariana Mazzucato
John Thornhill

* Mazzucato’s book The Entrepreneurial State

As Mazzucato explains it, the traditional way of framing the debate about wealth creation is to picture the private sector as a magnificent lion caged by the public sector. Remove the bars, and the lion roams and roars. In fact, she argues, private sector companies are rarely lions; far more often they are kittens. Managers tend to be more concerned with cutting costs, buying back their shares and maximising their share prices (and stock options) than they are in investing in research and development and boosting long-term growth.
“As soon as I started looking at these issues, I started realising how much language matters. If you just talk about the state as a facilitator, as a de-risker, as an incentiviser, as a fixer of market failures, it ends up structuring what you do,” she says. But the state plays a far more creative role, she insists, in terms of declaring grand missions (the US ambition to go to the moon, or the German goal of creating nuclear-free energy), and investing in the early-stage development of many industries, including semiconductors, the internet and fracking. “You always require the state to roar.”
... Some tech and pharmaceuticals companies are going to extravagant lengths to reduce their taxes, one of the ways in which they pay back the state. The more libertarian wing of Silicon Valley is even talking of secession from California so they can pay no tax at all. “Won’t it be nice when there’s the next tsunami and these guys call the coastguard,” she says....
One criticism of Mazzucato’s work is that she fetishises the public sector in much the same way that rightwing commentators idolise the private sector. She appears stung by the suggestion: “I’m from Italy, believe me, I don’t romanticise the state.” The challenge, she says, is to rebalance the relationship between the private sector, which is all too often overly financialised and parasitic, and the public sector, which is frequently unimaginative and fearful. “When you have a courageous, mission-oriented public sector, it affects not just investment but the relationships and the deals it does with the private sector,” she says. Europe’s left-wing parties could have run with this agenda. Instead, she says, they have “absolutely failed” to change the political discourse by obsessing about value extraction rather than value creation, by focusing more on taxing big business than fostering innovation.

====================================================
The Chinese get the state to do that risky and costly, research and the development to keep them ahead.

The US does the same, but just keeps quiet about it so it doesn’t spoil the narrative.
“The parts of the smart phone that make it smart—GPS, touch screens, the Internet—were advanced by the Defense Department. Tesla’s battery technologies and solar panels came out of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Google’s search engine algorithm was boosted by a National Science Foundation innovation. Many innovative new drugs have come out of NIH research.!” http://time.com/4089171/mariana-mazzucato/
activism  books  breakthroughs  DARPA  de-risking  Department_of_Energy  early-stage  economists  fracking  free-riding  innovation  Mariana_Mazzucato  mission-driven  moonshots  NIH  NSF  private_sector  public_sector  semiconductors  Silicon_Valley  sovereign-risk  state-as-facilitator  value_creation  value_extraction  women 
august 2015 by jerryking
Brands Get Creative with Holiday Pop Up Stores - CMO Today - WSJ
December 3, 2014 | WSJ | By NATHALIE TADENA.

SC Johnson’s Glade, the maker of air fresheners and home scents, is using its first-ever pop-up boutique in New York City’s Meatpacking District to “sell feelings” that are inspired by the brand’s fragrances. Visitors to the pop-up, which opened last month and runs through Dec. 23, can lounge in one of five interactive areas that are designed to embody feelings associated with Glade scents – the red honeysuckle nectar-scent inspired “Energized” room, for example, features an Oculus Rift virtual thrill ride. There’s also a “Scent Lab,” decorated with a mosaic wall made up of 1,500 scented candles, for visitors to sample scents up close.

“We’re continuing to transform Glade into a lifestyle brand, in part by appealing to a new generation of Glade customers with memorable experiences like the Glade Boutique and unexpected partnerships,” said Kelly Semrau, SC Johnson Senior Vice President Global Corporate Affairs.

Pop-up shops give brands that may not have its own year-round storefront the physical space to “really do something extraordinary and breakthrough,” noted Dan Katz-Golden, strategy director at branding firm Siegel+Gale. Many marketers are turning to pop-up shops for brand-building purposes rather than to boost sales, giving brands the luxury to create a unique in-store experience without having to worry so much about the nuts and bolts of selling products, he said.
pop-ups  brands  Christmas  retailers  customer_experience  kiosks  uniqueness  lifestyles  in-store  breakthroughs 
december 2014 by jerryking
Humanity’s Last Great Hope: Venture Capitalists - WSJ - WSJ
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS
Oct. 20, 2014

as government has pulled back from spending on basic R&D, in general so too has big business. Long gone are the days when large corporate research campuses like Bell Labs came up with fundamental breakthroughs like the transistor.

This is where venture capitalists could step up—if they choose to fund the right startups.

Much of the basic research that used to be conducted within companies is now resident in startups, which technology companies gobble up at every opportunity. Acquisitions are the new R&D, and “acqui-hires” are the new staff development. Successful venture capitalism is about managing risk, so partners at most VC firms invest in businesses they think will become viable, or at least worthy of an acquisition, in the shortest time possible.
acquihires  Bell_Labs  breakthroughs  Christopher_Mims  fundamental_discoveries  hiring  innovation  mergers_&_acquisitions  risk-management  R&D  start_ups  vc  venture_capital 
october 2014 by jerryking
Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving
FEB. 15, 2014 | NYT | By N. GREGORY MANKIW.

Actors, authors, and athletes do not make up the entire ranks of the rich. Most top earners make their fortunes in ways that are less transparent to the public.... the most natural explanation of high C.E.O. pay is that the value of a good C.E.O. is extraordinarily high.

That is hardly a surprise. A typical chief executive is overseeing billions of dollars of shareholder wealth as well as thousands of employees. The value of making the right decisions is tremendous. Just consider the role of Steve Jobs in the rise of Apple and its path-breaking products....A similar case is the finance industry, where many hefty compensation packages can be found. There is no doubt that this sector plays a crucial economic role. Those who work in banking, venture capital and other financial firms are in charge of allocating the economy’s investment resources. They decide, in a decentralized and competitive way, which companies and industries will shrink and which will grow. It makes sense that a nation would allocate many of its most talented and thus highly compensated individuals to the task.
high_net_worth  income_distribution  winner-take-all  the_one_percent  CEOs  compensation  private_equity  income_inequality  talent  breakthroughs  Steve_Jobs  finance  capital_allocation  decision_making 
february 2014 by jerryking
If I was...setting out to be an entrepreneur - FT.com
January 15, 2014 | FT | By Daniel Isenberg.

“Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value”.

...If I were setting out as an entrepreneur today, I would buy an existing company to scale up rather than build a start-up from scratch. I would make incremental tweaks of improvement rather than innovate, exercise cool judgment rather than hot passion and build my departure plan from day one...a lot of great businesses, such as PayPal [the online payments system] and Kaspersky [the internet security company] are carved out of, or combined from, existing assets, or are family businesses taken sky-high by the second or third generation...Rather than start a new company, I would buy a rusty old business to fix up and grow as fast as I could. I want a discarded company that is undervalued but can be dusted off, refurbished with vision and talent, and scaled up. I would be talking to venture capitalists....I know that proprietary technology is not a market maker by itself. Great marketing and management almost always trump big innovation.

Minnovation – small tweaks on existing products – is what moves the ball of economic growth forward. Neither Facebook nor Google, for example, were technology pioneers.

Big innovations are few and far between and are often the stuff of large companies with long patience and deep pockets....Next, I would drain my venture of passion and replace it with commitment, hard work and realistic and relentless self-assessment....start with a stark test of harsh neon lights, exposing every flaw and crack long before the market does so that I can fix them before the customers vote with their feet....plan one's passionless departure from the start, creating a platform to allow the talented people and partners I hire to outperform me very soon.
entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  rules_of_the_game  unglamorous  books  Daniel_Isenberg  advice  howto  passions  exits  lessons_learned  turnarounds  contrarians  scaling  minnovation  undervalued  under-performing  carveouts  family_business  proprietary  incrementalism  self-assessment  customer_risk  breakthroughs  large_companies  vision  refurbished  spin-offs  hard_work  dispassion  marketing  management  commitments  marginal_improvements  unsentimental  outperformance 
january 2014 by jerryking
If BlackBerry is sold, Canada faces an innovation vacuum - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 17 2013 | The Globe and Mail | KONRAD YAKABUSKI.

The sale and breakup of a flagship technology company is a reoccurring theme in Canadian business. But this time is different. If BlackBerry Ltd. goes, there is no ready replacement. That’s a telling switch from the situation Canada faced with the sale of Newbridge Networks in 2000 and the demise of Nortel Networks in 2009....Canada has an innovation bottleneck. An abundance of science is generated in university labs and start-up firms but most of it never finds its way into commercial applications. Risk-averse banks and too many businesses of the bird-in-the-hand variety remain the weak links in Canada’s innovation system.

“We punch above our weight in idea generation,” observes Michael Bloom, who leads the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Business Innovation. “But the further you move towards commercialization, the weaker we get as a country.”....Innovation can be driven by any sector, even the old-economy resource extraction business of the oil sands. But tech firms remain by far the most R&D-intensive players in any economy.

Hence, the tech sector is a key barometer of a country’s innovation strength. And innovation matters because it has a profound influence on our living standards – it is “the key long-run driver of productivity and income growth,” ...Canadian businesses remain oddly complacent.

“We tend in this county not to look at the true market opportunity of innovation,” Mr. Bloom adds. “If you only see a market of 35 million people, you’re going to see more risk than if you see the market as Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Americans see risk, but also great opportunity.”

It’s no coincidence that many of Canada’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators have been immigrants. Unlike his American counterpart, the average Canadian business graduate does not dream of becoming the next Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs or, for that matter, Peter Munk.

Mr. Lazaridis and ex-BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie notwithstanding, how many Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators have truly changed the world, or aspire? By all accounts, not that many. A Conference Board study released last month found that only 10 per cent of Canadian firms (almost all of them small ones) pursue “radical or revolutionary” innovations. Large firms focus at best on “incremental” innovations.
Blackberry  bottlenecks  commercialization  competitiveness_of_nations  complacency  hollowing_out  Konrad_Yakabuski  Newbridge  Nortel  innovation  idea_generation  ecosystems  breakthroughs  incrementalism  large_companies  sellout_culture  Jim_Balsillie  moonshots  immigrants  Canada  Peter_Munk  market_opportunities  weak_links  thinking_big  oil_sands  resource_extraction  marginal_improvements  innovation_vacuum  punch-above-its-weight  This_Time_is_Different 
august 2013 by jerryking
Canada gets good and bad news from a new measure of innovation
Jul. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

how does Canada fare? Among major industrialized economies, it’s a middle-of-the-pack innovator – nestled in between France and Sweden, a discernible notch or two below the traditional innovative leaders such as the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. (Among all countries globally, Canada ranks 11th.)

But the details of Canada’s ranking by this measure are more telling. By the university education measure, Canada’s top three schools rank higher than every other country except the U.S. and Britain. Canada’s citations of scientific research are in the top five in the world.

Where Canada’s innovation falls down, however, is in international patents. Canada ranks a weak 19th in the world by this measure, well behind the likes of Denmark, Israel and even Barbados.

In short, we have great schools and world-class thinkers, but for some reason that’s not translating into a lot of global-scale breakthroughs. This finding suggests a need to address our policy approach to research and development; we’re stumbling on a critical step needed to convert big brains and great ideas into vehicles for economic growth and global leadership.
Canada  Canadian  innovation  metrics  competitiveness_of_nations  breakthroughs  patents  commercialization  mediocrity  industrial_economy  bad_news  R&D 
august 2013 by jerryking
The Problem With Too Many Millionaires - NYTimes.com
June 20, 2013 | REUTERS | By CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The rich are getting richer....the very, very rich are doing best of all. The ranks of the ultrarich, whom the report defines as people with investable assets of at least $30 million, surged 11 percent, an even greater rate than the mere millionaires....“We are increasingly becoming a ‘winner-take-all’ economy, a phenomenon that the music industry has long experienced,”...The lucky and the talented — and it is often hard to tell the difference — have been doing better and better, while the vast majority has struggled to keep up.”... the problem is that the rise of the ultrarich isn’t occurring in isolation--it takes place in lock step with a darker phenomenon — the hollowing out of the global middle class. What is worrying is that: (a) labor productivity — which used to be the secret sauce for making everyone better off — has a diminished impact on wages.
(b) declining social mobility. The 1 percent is very good at passing on its privilege, and those born at the bottom are finding it harder to climb up.

That is the great paradox of today’s winner-take-all economy. At its best, it is driven by adopted dropouts like Steve Jobs or struggling single mothers like J.K. Rowling, who come up with something amazing and manage to prosper — and to enrich us all. But the winner-take-all economy will make such breakthroughs for anyone who didn’t make the wise choice of being born into the 1 percent harder and harder in the future, which is why we urgently need to come up with ways to soften its impact.
breakthroughs  Chrystia_Freeland  compounded  elitism  high_net_worth  hollowing_out  income_inequality  Matthew_effect  middle_class  paradoxes  productivity  self-perpetuation  social_mobility  special_sauce  The_One_Percent  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
june 2013 by jerryking
Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism | Wired Business | Wired.com
By Jeff Howe
02.12.13

Howe: You’re working on a new book now, right? The Capitalist’s Dilemma. How is that related to the Innovator’s Dilemma?

Christensen: I wrote a piece for The New York Times just before the election. I was wrestling with a paradox. If you look at the financial measures of prosperity in the economy, things seem to be going just great, especially company balance sheets. They haven’t been so strong in decades.

Howe: High market caps all around.

Christensen: It looks like the economy is emerging from the recession in an exciting way, but we’re not creating more jobs or income for the average person. And in all humility, I think I articulated a simple model that explains why. The bad actors are business school professors like me who have been teaching people what I call the Doctrine of New Finance. We’ve encouraged managers to measure profitability based on a return on net assets, or return on capital employed. That encourages companies to liberate their capital, so they invest in efficiency innovations, which means they can make more money with fewer resources. But what the economy ultimately needs are empowering innovations—like the Model T, the transistor radio. Empowering innovations require long-term investments, which tie up capital for years and years. So companies are using capital to create more capital, and consequently the world is awash in capital but the innovations we need to advance aren’t there.

Howe: What’s the solution?

Christensen: I don’t know the solution, but I believe solutions exist. The government can’t dictate, “Oh, that’s an empowering innovation and that’s not.” But what government can do is create tax rates that transform what I call migratory capital into productive capital. Migratory capital flows to investments that will maximize the speed with which it can then be withdrawn, which plays to the doctrine of new finance. Productive capital wants to stay on the job and not go truant after 366 days.

Howe: Can we structure a tax code that encourages that?

Christensen: Absolutely. The idea would be to peg a tax rate to the length of time the capital is deployed. The longer the capital is invested, the lower rate it’s taxed at, until it gradually approaches zero and maybe goes negative
disruption  Clayton_Christensen  capitalism  innovation  books  ROCE  management  capital_flows  sweating_the_assets  moonshots  breakthroughs  tax_codes 
february 2013 by jerryking
H.P.’s Misstep Shows Risk in the Push for Big Ideas - NYTimes.com
November 21, 2012 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

The ill-fated marriage of the companies is a lesson for H.P. and other older technology giants as they throw billions at supposedly game-changing acquisitions, trying to gain a foothold in the future.

In that future, smartphones and tablets, connected to cloud-computing data centers, are the essential tools of work and play. Companies rent software over the air, rather than buying it with expensive maintenance contracts.

And vast streams of data are continually analyzed to find new patterns and make predictions about consumer behavior and product design. Autonomy, for instance, makes software that can analyze marketing patterns and advise a company on matters like where it should increase marketing resources.

These forces threaten older businesses, like H.P.’s traditional personal computer and data storage products. Other companies, like Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco, also face pressure. They are all trying to buy the future — and have the cash to do it..... But identifying the next big thing can be difficult, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of management at Yale University. Likely as not, he said, deals like the one for Autonomy have “maybe a 40 percent success, 60 percent failure rate.”

He added, “The odds are against you succeeding, but the odds are also worth taking.”

The real hazard, he said, is in the way companies describe these acquisitions as “natural, inevitable victories.” They should be seen, he said, as “an investment, like in research and development.”
Autonomy  big_bets  breakthroughs  cloud_computing  cultural_clash  failure  game_changers  HP  ideas  M&A  Meg_Whitman  mergers_&_acquisitions  mistakes  missteps  moonshots  Quentin_Hardy  risks  SaaS  subscriptions  success_rates 
november 2012 by jerryking
Big Science Breakthroughs on Canadian Campuses
Spring 2007 | Western Alumni Gazette | Paul Wells.

Ottawa is a great place to be in February if you want to meet university presidents eager to brag about their pet projects. February is the home stretch of the federal budget-writing cycle, and administrators responsible for big research programs like to make sure they’re not forgotten. But these days I’m tempted to look at some of the big science going on in Canada, not as budgetary politics, but as a demonstration of the scale of Canadian ambition and ingenuity. I’ll be happy to argue another time about the economic benefits or the competitive edge we get from big science in a world where dozens of countries are constantly courting the brightest minds [JCK: war for talent] . For now, let’s just consider how cool all these projects are.........There’s a bit of a funhouse quality to Canada’s university campuses since federal and provincial governments started taking research seriously again in the late 1990s after long doldrums. At the University of Waterloo, Research in Motion founder Mike Lazaridis has funded a few years’ research into quantum computing, which offers the promise of computers hundreds of times smaller and faster than today’s best. Now he’s decided to mix quantum computing with nanotechnology in a new Quantum-Nano Centre, the country’s — perhaps the world’s? — headquarters of investigation into impossibly small and speedy machines. Over at McGill they’ve built a new music building whose central feature is a huge, eerily quiet performance studio floating on neoprene pads, the better to filter out unwanted noise and to study musical sounds — and the human brain’s response to them — with the most sophisticated diagnostic instruments. As a kind of bonus, it’s also a fantastic place to record movie soundtracks. I could go on, but hopefully you’re starting to glimpse the scale of what’s going on in this country. Researchers, with plenty of help from taxpayers [JCK: public_funding, public_investments] and philanthropists, are bringing the big investigative guns to bear on questions as fundamental as the shape of our oceans; the transformative power of a beam of light; the transformative potential of the incredibly small and quick; and the magic of a song. It is a tremendously exciting story, one Canadians never get enough chances to hear.
alumni  ambitions  breakthroughs  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  budgets  Canada  Canadian  Colleges_&_Universities  fundamental_discoveries  ingenuity  Mike_Lazaridis  nanotechnology  Paul_Wells  philanthropy  public_funding  public_investments  quantum_computing  R&D  RIM  science  uWaterloo  UWO  war_for_talent 
november 2012 by jerryking
Thinking Small
Aug 1, 2004 | Inc.com | John Grossmann.

Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder "Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations".
Her six-show-room chain thrives on new ideas. Fishbein collects them in three-ring binders. Since 1995, she's filled four such binders -- at 10 to 20 ideas per page and 200-plus pages per binder, that's more than 10,000 ideas. And the best ones, she says, often turn out to be those that at first appeared simple, even mundane. "The point," she says, "is not the big hit but incremental improvements all the time."

What about the killer app, the bold, outside-the-box brainstorm that is supposed to transform organizations? If you really care about making ideas work for you, forget such ambitious notions, say Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder in their new book Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations. Rather than big, competition-leapfrogging advances, the authors argue that one of the keys to business success is the constant implementation of small ideas -- just like the steady stream of employee suggestions Fishbein collects in her binders. Why singles instead of home runs? The competition inevitably copies or counters your home runs, rendering those gains ephemeral. But after studying idea-generation tactics at 150 companies in 17 countries, Robinson and Schroeder concluded that small ideas, especially those particular to processes or systems, improve companies in almost Darwinian fashion with ongoing small adaptations that are often impossible to copy.
business  innovation  idea_generation  execution  small_business  slight_edge  ideas  process_improvements  books  minnovation  breakthroughs  incrementalism  marginal_improvements  adaptability  leapfrogging  Darwinian 
july 2012 by jerryking
Why Modern Innovation Traffics in Trifles
July 6, 2012| WSJ | By NICHOLAS CARR.
Why Our Innovators Traffic in Trifles
An app for making vintage photos isn't exactly a moonshot. Are we too obsessed with 'tools of the self'?

What's behind innovation's turn toward the trifling? Declinists point to several possible culprits: America's schools are broken, investors and executives have become shortsighted, taxes are too high (sapping the entrepreneurial spirit), taxes are too low (preventing the government from funding basic research). Or maybe America has just lost its mojo.

But none of these explanations is particularly compelling. In all sorts of ways, the conditions for ingenuity and enterprise have never been better, and more patents were granted last year than ever before in American history. In the past few years, companies have decoded the human genome, shrunk multipurpose computers to the size of sardine tins and built cars that can drive themselves. The Internet itself, a global computer network of mind-blowing speed, size and utility, testifies to the ability of today's engineers to perform miracles....... What we are seeing is not a slowdown in the pace of innovation but a shift in its focus. Americans are as creative as ever, but today's buzz and big-money speculation are devoted to smaller-scale, less far-reaching, less conspicuous advances. We are getting precisely the kind of innovation that we desire—and deserve..........Knowing that the cause of our innovators' faltering ambitions lies in our own nature does not make it any less of a concern. But it does suggest that, if we want to see a resurgence in big thinking and grand invention, if we want to promote breakthroughs that will improve not only our own lives but those of our grandchildren, we need to enlarge our aspirations. We need to look outward again. If our own dreams are small and self-centered, we can hardly blame inventors for producing trifles.
America_in_Decline?  breakthroughs  Facebook  incrementalism  ingenuity  innovation  Instagram  Mark_Zuckerberg  moonshots  Nicholas_Carr  short-sightedness  thinking_big 
july 2012 by jerryking
Look to Giants, Not Start-Ups, for Innovation
From the Wall Street Journal
Informed Reader
November 20, 2007; Page B8

When people think of radical innovations, they usually think of start-ups that shake an industry from the ground up. Some sectors are hobbled with "intractable, industry-wide problems" that only a large company can solve, says Mr. Grove, the co-founder of Intel. Mr. Grove, who has been researching the phenomenon with Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Robert Burgelman, calls this "cross-boundary disruption." Crucially, the industry on the other side of the boundary is "stagnant and populated with companies that cling to doing business the way they always have."
Andy_Grove  Apple  brands  breakthroughs  cross-boundary  disruption  industry_boundaries  innovation  large_companies  moonshots  Fortune_500  GE  stagnation  start_ups  Wal-Mart 
june 2012 by jerryking
How outsiders solve problems that stump experts
May. 02, 2012 | The Globe and Mail| by ERIN MILLAR Special to Globe and Mail Update.

“Radical innovations often happen at the intersections of disciplines,” write Dr. Karim Lakhani and Dr. Lars Bo Jeppesen, of Harvard Business School and Copenhagen Business School respectively, in the Harvard Business Review. “The more diverse the problem-solving population, the more likely a problem is to be solved. People tend to link problems that are distant from their fields with solutions that they've encountered in their own work.”....“We assume that technical problems can be solved only by people with technical expertise,” writes Jonah Lehrer, who discusses InnoCentive in his new book Imagine: How Creativity Works. “But that assumption is wrong. The people deep inside a domain – the chemists trying to solve a chemistry problem – often suffer from a type of intellectual handicap. It's not until the challenge is shared with motivated outsiders that the solution can be found.
creativity  heterogeneity  innovation  polymaths  problem_solving  InnoCentive  books  Jonah_Lehrer  cross-pollination  interdisciplinary  outsiders  intellectual_diversity  moonshots  breakthroughs  industry_expertise 
may 2012 by jerryking
How to have a creative breakthrough
Apr. 08, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Courtney Shea.

Review of Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
book_reviews  breakthroughs  creativity  howto  Jonah_Lehrer 
april 2012 by jerryking
Innovation and the Bell Labs Miracle
By JON GERTNER
February 25, 2012

Why study Bell Labs? It offers a number of lessons about how our country’s technology companies — and our country’s longstanding innovative edge — actually came about. Yet Bell Labs also presents a more encompassing and ambitious approach to innovation than what prevails today. Its staff worked on the incremental improvements necessary for a complex national communications network while simultaneously thinking far ahead, toward the most revolutionary inventions imaginable.

Indeed, in the search for innovative models to address seemingly intractable problems like climate change, we would do well to consider Bell Labs’ example — an effort that rivals the Apollo program and the Manhattan Project in size, scope and expense. Its mission, and its great triumph, was to connect all of us, and all of our new machines, together....Consider what Bell Labs achieved. For a long stretch of the 20th century, it was the most innovative scientific organization in the world. On any list of its inventions, the most notable is probably the transistor, invented in 1947, which is now the building block of all digital products and contemporary life. These tiny devices can accomplish a multitude of tasks. The most basic is the amplification of an electric signal. But with small bursts of electricity, transistors can be switched on and off, and effectively be made to represent a “bit” of information, which is digitally expressed as a 1 or 0. Billions of transistors now reside on the chips that power our phones and computers.

Bell Labs produced a startling array of other innovations, too. The silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was invented there. Two of its researchers were awarded the first patent for a laser, and colleagues built a host of early prototypes. (Every DVD player has a laser, about the size of a grain of rice, akin to the kind invented at Bell Labs.)

Bell Labs created and developed the first communications satellites; the theory and development of digital communications; and the first cellular telephone systems. What’s known as the charge-coupled device, or CCD, was created there and now forms the basis for digital photography.

Bell Labs also built the first fiber optic cable systems and subsequently created inventions to enable gigabytes of data to zip around the globe. It was no slouch in programming, either. Its computer scientists developed Unix and C, which form the basis for today’s most essential operating systems and computer languages.

And these are just a few of the practical technologies. Some Bell Labs researchers composed papers that significantly extended the boundaries of physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics. Other Bell Labs engineers focused on creating extraordinary new processes (rather than new products) for Ma Bell’s industrial plants. In fact, “quality control” — the statistical analysis now used around the world as a method to ensure high-quality manufactured products — was first applied by Bell Labs mathematicians.
innovation  history  AT&T  Bell_Labs  R&D  lessons_learned  incrementalism  breakthroughs  quality_control  inventions  moonshots  trailblazers  digitalization  high-quality 
february 2012 by jerryking
Mark Mills and Julio Ottino: The Coming Tech-led Boom - WSJ.com
JANUARY 30, 2012

The Coming Tech-led Boom
Three breakthroughs are poised to transform this century as much as telephony and electricity did the last....

By MARK P. MILLS AND JULIO M. OTTINO

In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution.
massive_data_sets  manufacturers  3-D  wireless  breakthroughs  epicenters  smartphones  mobile_applications  demographic_changes  Colleges_&_Universities 
february 2012 by jerryking
Jobs's Legacy: Changing How We Live - WSJ.com
AUGUST 25, 2011 | WSJ | By WALT MOSSBERG. Jobs changed the
way people live by being willing to take big risks on new ideas, and not
be satisfied with small innovations fed by market research. He insisted
on high quality and had the guts to leave out features others found
essential and to kill technologies, e.g. the floppy drive & the
removable battery. [JCK: An example of "culling"?] And he has been a brilliant marketer, personally
passionate about his products.. he introduced the dominant digital music
player, the iPod, & created the most successful digital media
service, iTunes. He introduced the first super-smartphone, the iPhone,
the only truly successful tablet computer, the iPad, which is in the
process of replacing the laptop, at least in part. He built the world's
largest app store and he built a phenomenally successful chain of retail
stores, too.

Jobs has dramatically changed the mobile phone industry, the music
industry, the film and TV industries, the publishing industry and
others.
Apple  breakthroughs  CEOs  culling  dissatisfaction  gut_feelings  high-quality  imagination  legacies  marginal_improvements  moonshots  resignations  risk-taking  Steve_Jobs  Walter_Mossberg 
august 2011 by jerryking
Schumpeter: Bamboo innovation | The Economist
May 5, 2011 | The Economist | Anonymous. China’s lack of
originality matters less than you may think, believe Dan Breznitz &
Michael Murphree of the Georgia Institute of Technology. In a new book,
“Run of the Red Queen”, they argue that it is wrong to equate innovation
solely with the invention of breakthrough products. In an emerging
economy, other forms of innovation can yield bigger dividends. One is
“process innovation”: the relentless improvement of factories and
distribn. sys. Another is “product innovation”: the adaptation of
existing goods to China’s unique requirements.

The biggest threat to the Chinese model comes from India.
innovation  China  industrial_policies  strategies  books  patents  breakthroughs  portfolios  process_improvements  product-orientated  taxonomy  moonshots  marginal_improvements 
may 2011 by jerryking
Ask, and you shall succeed |
Nov. 1, 2004 |PROFIT|Rick Spence. What are the breakthrough
questions that create clarity? Asking abstract, personal questions ("What's your org.'s reason for being? Why would you be missed if you were gone?") helps focus on a clients' real issues...VCs are probably the best at questioning.Their job is to wade through heady optimism, technical jargon, obscuring fluff & self-serving #'s to get to the truth. They ask a series of questions, starting with the predictable & straightforward and moving inexorably toward more oblique,
penetrating questions.Eg. "Who're your existing customers? Target customers? What constitutes an 'ideal' customer?" & "Who actually writes the cheque?" Tom Stoyan's breakthrough question when talking with a prospect (or a supplier, or anyone else), never overwhelm them with details they don't want. Before rushing into a spiel, ask prospects if they want the 30-sec. or the 3-min. version. Their response will help
you gauge their interest and calibrate your msg.

WHAT'S ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE BUT UNDERUSED BUSINESS TOOLS? THE QUESTION! Before rushing into your spiel, ask prospects if they want the 30-second version or the 3-minute version. Their response will help you gauge their interest, and then tailor your message to fit. The right question can also save you time and effort when dealing with people who want things from you. Rebuff oral propositions. "Can you send me a proposal on paper?" Besides detectives and priests, VCs are probably the best at asking questions. "Who are your existing customers? Who are your target customers? What constitutes an 'ideal' customer?" And, finally, "Who actually writes the cheque?" Some questions diffuse complexity and create consensus. "What is your organization's reason for being? Whywould you be missed if you were gone?"
Rick_Spence  JCK  management_consulting  vapourware  decision_making  entrepreneur  skills  hiring  sales_presentations  questions  UpSark  venture_capital  VC  clarity  breakthroughs  calibration  jargon  follow-up_questions  overoptimism 
april 2011 by jerryking
The Montessori Mafia - Ideas Market - WSJ
April 5, 2011 | WSJ | By Peter Sims (the author of Little
Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries). We can
change the way we’ve been trained to think. That begins in small,
achievable ways, with increased experimentation and inquisitiveness.
Those who work with Mr. Bezos, for example, find his ability to ask “why
not?” or “what if?” as much as “why?” to be one of his most
advantageous qualities. Questions are the new answers.
education  creativity  creative_thinking  learning  parenting  experimentation  innovation  schools  teaching  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  google  books  Montessori  questions  thinking  breakthroughs  inquisitiveness  curiosity 
april 2011 by jerryking
Science Teamwork Needed - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 5, 2011 | WSJ | Jonah Lehrer. Sunset of the Solo Scientist
teams  science_&_technology  solo  breakthroughs  genius  collaboration 
february 2011 by jerryking
Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything - Tony Schwartz - The Conversation
August 24, 2010 | Harvard Business Review | by Tony Schwartz.
Here are 6 keys to achieving excellence: 1. Pursue what you love.
Passion is an incredible motivator. 2. Do the hardest work first.
3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no
longer than 90 minutes and then take a break.
4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more
precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too
much feedback, too continuously, however, can create cognitive
overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
5. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not
only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and
embed learning. It's also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes
more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs. 6. Ritualize
practice
hbr  tips  self-improvement  JCK  intensity  focus  feedback  Tony_Schwartz  passions  metabolism  excellence  practice  rituals  intermittency  creative_renewal  breakthroughs  disconnecting 
september 2010 by jerryking
Why focus groups tell you the obvious
Mar 24, 2010. | Financial Times. pg. 14 | Luke Johnson. Great
breakthroughs in fields such as new product development are frequently
achieved by avoiding surveys and committees altogether. Constant testing
can lead to blandness and safety-first choices. In creative affairs,
corporate brainstorming sessions usually end up with groupthink
dullness, all originality squeezed out because of the fear of failure or
through the influence of office politics. As Steve Jobs said: "It's
really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people
don't know what they want until you show it to them."
ProQuest  Luke_Johnson  research_methods  product_development  surveys  market_research  breakthroughs  moonshots  Steve_Jobs  unarticulated_desires 
april 2010 by jerryking
How to Be a Smart Innovator - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by Nicholas Carr,
who talks about the right way to be creative --and the wrong way. Mr.
Carr says, companies need to be prudent --even conservative --in where
and how much they encourage innovation. He reminds us that innovation
isn't free, that it's quite expensive and quite risky. Managers need to
bring the same kind of discipline to deciding where to innovate as they
would normally bring to any other kind of management question.
Innovation initiatives and innovation investments should be connected to
a firm's broader business strategy and its areas of competitive
advantage: mfg. processes or its supply chain or its products themselves
or branding and marketing areas. You don't need to always shoot for
home runs in innovation. Further, innovations can be useful if, instead
of causing disruptions, mend those disruptions or help regular customers
(late majority) adapt to new technologies or new innovations--bridging.
adaptability  breakthroughs  bridging  competitive_advantage  contrarians  Daniel_Pink  disruption  Freshbooks  howto  incrementalism  innovation  innovators  Nicholas_Carr  smart_people  strategy  taxonomy 
february 2010 by jerryking
Think Small - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 14, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by RAJAN
VARADARAJAN. Article touting the merits of incremental--versus
radical-- approaches to innovation. Incremental innovations can: help
support radical innovations; play a major role in helping companies
enter new markets, by modifying existing products to suit new customers;
help take charge of fragmented industries -- those with lots of small,
regional competitors; help companies on their home turf (i.e. line
extensions); help a company increase the price premium on its products;
help companies neutralize the impact of competitors' innovations; help
companies respond to big changes in their industry.
innovation  radical  P&G  incrementalism  breakthroughs  fragmented_markets  small_wins  structural_change  taxonomy  new_markets  marginal_improvements  quick_wins 
january 2010 by jerryking
Smart World: Breakthrough Creativity and the New Science of Ideas - Harvard Business Review
HBS Press Book
Smart World: Breakthrough Creativity and the New Science of Ideas

by Richard Ogle
352 pages. Publication date: Apr 19, 2007
creativity  breakthroughs 
january 2010 by jerryking
Recession Strategies: Companies Need to Focus on Future as Well as Present - WSJ.com
JUNE 22, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | Executive Briefing:

In Dr. Govindarajan’s three-box framework, Box One involves managing the present—for example, improving the efficiency of today’s businesses. Box Two involves selectively forgetting the past. And Box Three? That’s about creating the future. Often, Dr. Govindarajan maintains, companies spend too much of their time managing Box One—the present—and think that’s strategy. Instead, he argues, companies need to spend more time and energy on thinking about Box Two and Box Three.

Preparing for the Recovery
Despite the recession, companies must do more than just play defense.
When thinking about innovation, companies need to go beyond cost cutting
and spend more time thinking about what (Vijay Govindarajan) terms as
"Box Two and Box Three—selectively forgetting the past and creating the
future".

----
BUSINESS INSIGHT:Can companies really plan today for the year 2025?

DR. GOVINDARAJAN: You cannot plan for the year 2025, but you can prepare for it. There’s a big difference in my mind between planning for the future and preparing for it. Preparing for the future simply involves asking what the broad trends are. If people in your organization can at least have a shared perspective on some of the big, nonlinear shifts that may happen, you can begin to think about actions that may be relevant if such shifts occur—if say, technology in your business changes in certain ways. You want to do your current plan in a way that prepares your organization for the future.

The future is full of surprises; you know that. What you want is to be able to prepare to respond and adapt and benefit from surprises. And that’s what happens when you explicitly think about 2025 in 2009.
breakthroughs  contingency_planning  cost-cutting  economic_downturn  far-sightedness  foresight  forward_looking  high-risk  innovation  large_payoffs  nonlinear  offensive_tactics  recessions  scenario-planning  strategy  surprises  Vijay_Govindarajan 
june 2009 by jerryking
How to Ask Better Questions
May 6, 2009 | Management Essentials - HarvardBusiness.org | by Judith Ross.

The most effective and empowering questions create value in one or more of the following ways:

They create clarity: “Can you explain more about this situation?”
They construct better working relations: Instead of “Did you make your sales goal?” ask, “How have sales been going?”
They help people think analytically and critically: “What are the consequences of going this route?”
They inspire people to reflect and see things in fresh, unpredictable ways: “Why did this work?”
They encourage breakthrough thinking: “Can that be done in any other way?”
They challenge assumptions: “What do you think you will lose if you start sharing responsibility for the implementation process?
They create ownership of solutions: “Based on your experience, what do you suggest we do here?”
assumptions  breakthroughs  clarity  critical_thinking  fresh_eyes  Harvard  HBR  howto  indispensable  inspiration  JCK  owners  questions  reflections  relationships  value_creation 
june 2009 by jerryking
Brave New Board -
June 2003 | ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT | By Joe Connolly

Hovering at a plateau of performance in the 1990s, Big Brothers Big
Sisters of America realized it was time to think big. See how the
national board's self-assessment led to a dramatic overhaul of its
meeting format, a search for new skills, and a dramatic goal of making 1
million mentoring matches by 2010.
CARP  plateauing  breakthroughs  boards_&_directors_&_governance  thinking_big  overhaul 
may 2009 by jerryking
In search of the black swans
Apr 1, 2009 | - physicsworld.com | Mark Buchanan
In search of the black swans

The publish-or-perish ethic too often favours a narrow and conservative
approach to scientific innovation. Mark Buchanan asks whether we are
pushing revolutionary ideas to the margins.
black_swan  Nassim_Taleb  human_innovation  discoveries  risk-taking  ideas  moonshots  breakthroughs 
april 2009 by jerryking
Six Deadly Orthodoxies of Recessions | Articles | Homepage
Jan./Feb. 2009, article in CEO Magazine by Pierre Loewe and
Dave Jones
* Reduce costs selectively, not indiscriminately, monitor carefully the
impact of cost cuts on staff.
* Don't stop investing - seek undervalued assets and opportunities to
upend rivals who only think of retrenching.
* De-risk and lower the costs of innovation efforts by reaching outside
company and by conducting well-designed experiments.
*If your company has developed a new product or business that
significantly enhances the customer value proposition, a recession is
the time to introduce it and get a lasting advantage over more timid
competitors.
*A recession is the time to bypass incremental cost reduction efforts
and to focus employees' energy on innovation aimed at dramatic cost
reduction.
*Even if you have to curtail innovation efforts to conserve cash,
maintain a sufficient level of activity so you can ramp-up efforts
quickly, retain your key innovators, and tap the pulse of the changing
dynamics of the mkt.
innovation  rethinking  lessons_learned  recessions  Michael_McDerment  counterintuitive  CEOs  Daniel_Pink  Freshbooks  economic_downturn  orthodoxy  conventional_wisdom  breakthroughs  new_products  de-risking  cost-cutting  new_categories  undervalued  incrementalism  marginal_improvements  experimentation  moonshots 
february 2009 by jerryking

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