Failures and breakthroughs – exposed, reflected, considered

Posts Tagged ‘innovation

best buy micro-innovation and fidel castro

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One manager of a Best Buy store, who resembles Fidel Castro, leveraged this “asset” turning his store into the best performer. How? Revolutionary mode (called his store “La Revolucion,” posted “Declaracion de Revolucion” in the break room, made store supervisors wear army fatigues,…) and encouragement to whistle when employees do good things.

In Cuba, considered “Internet enemy” by Freedom House, Internet has only 14% penetration,  served much like rationned food.

In 2010, Castro admitted he admired Internet and WikiLeaks’ influence on American government and agreed to have a Cuba-Jamaica-Venezuela fiber-optic line, increasing its connectivity 3000 times, but not for ordinary citizens.

Written by Hayk

September 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

professionals vs amateurs – who innovates better in 21st century

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Pro-Ams – term coined by Charles Leadbeater – are people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards.

Since the industrial age of 18th century, there was a steady rise of professionals and narrow specialization in medicine/science/education/etc.. Amateurism was driven out.

Pro-Am Revolution argues that in 21st century this historic trend is reversing.

Passionate amateurs who have vast knowledge/skills in a certain domain(s), often driven by confusion/lack of sought solutions, come up with new inventions gradually improving their quality, eventually ushering into high-quality products/services.

Written by Hayk

September 19, 2011 at 7:06 am

what breeds ideas and innovations

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Where good ideas come from claims innovation originates in seven realms:

  1. Adjacent possibilities.Use existing components. Gutenberg used wine press for his printing press.
  2. Liquid networks. 21st-century cities and the Internet make it possible for informal networks to form, enabling idea cross-pollination/inventions.
  3. Slow hunch. It takes years for a hunch to evolve into an invention.
  4. Serendipity. LSDTeflonViagra.
  5. (Unplanned/unexpected) errors. de Forest‘s development of audion diode/triode resulted from erroneous thinking.
  6. ExaptionVacuum tubes were developed for long-distance telephone/radio transmission and later used in computers.
  7. Platforms. Development of TRANSIT, a precursor of GPS by Applied Physics Laboratory.

Written by Hayk

September 11, 2011 at 8:51 am

(tech) innovation stalls – what’s next?

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There’s growing realization that value-added technology innovation stalls. How did ancients invent/innovate?

New York Times started its own Google-Labs-style innovation-driving initiative called beta620. A response to stalling news industry?

Recently, Google’s CFO acknowledged that every single day 15% of the queries Google handles are completely new/never seen before.

Also, many modern financial tools (cheques, stock-certificates, bills-of-exchange) have ancient roots.

Even Roman dictator’s post was an innovative response to demands/aspirations of the time, namely overcoming inter-fighting of magistrates. List of Roman inventions are must serve as examples for modern leaders aspiring to innovate.

Isn’t it time for 21st-century value-based innovations?

Written by Hayk

September 2, 2011 at 6:57 am

Schumpeter, R2 and innovation via hacking

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There are about (cheers to taxonomic Carl Linnaeus) 8.7 million species (only 14% identified) on earth. There are only one species that could tweet: humans. And robots.

The first human-like astronaut robot R2 awakened at the ISS and already tweets/facebooks.

NASA apparently innovates, disruptively. Does it complement its existing ”high-end” (humans) with “low-end” (robot astronauts), by mimicking Apple’s famed ipod/iphone business model?

It was Schumpeter whose acute insights about disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship are still present with us in works of Christensen, Drucker, …

Less known is that hackers are essential for innovation. Pentagon agrees. Educators too.

Written by Hayk

August 26, 2011 at 4:38 am

how capitalism relates to shminovation and bible

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Innovation, shminovation. We’re obsessed with innovation. But why care about innovation? Perhaps because it’s comfortable to think innovation is panacea for our social stagnation or economic graveyard called capitalism? Indeed, if capitalism, it must be  messy to drive innovation.

Ask yourself, how many Fortune-500 firms breathe innovation? Only few. In them “innovation initiatives face their stiffest resistance after they show hints of success.

But, not all lost: creative capitalism + social  innovation = new social enterprise. Sure, capitalism. Even Bible indirectly condones value-based, compassionate capitalism, for which we need to be deliberate and motivated.

Oh, capitalism inspires poetry too.

Written by Hayk

August 24, 2011 at 7:04 am

Common treats of crazy and geniuses

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Beethoven. Michaleangelo. Dickens. Common treats?

Mentally ill/psychotic.

Brahe. Morse. Tesla.

Crazy habits and behavioral patterns.

According to Hans Eysenck, psychotic tendencies translate well into creative endeavors via overinclusiveness (drawing upon many ideas/connections/treats no one else sees and formulating original/effective approaches/solutions), a basis for divergent thinking, in itself a hallmark of all geniuses.

Geniuses are in most cases successful innovators; they question, observe, network, experiment and think associatively.

Modern/fresh tentatives? Reliable energy VS. poverty = EnergyInCommon. Charity VS. social change VS. fair-trade = LemonAid.

P.S. To prove he was a god, Empedocles jumped into a volcano…

Written by Hayk

August 19, 2011 at 8:58 am