The startup Thumbtack hired a full-time chef a few years ago, and it transformed their business. It’s a great story of unintended business model innovation that we can learn from.
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A medical emergency for my cat Wallace leads to surprising discoveries about a common household product, which teach some useful innovation lessons.
What tools do you need to use to be successful in the social era? The fact is that the tools don’t matter. The two keys to success are: do awesome work, and connect with people.
The Bing It One challenge would have been a great tool in 1998. Unfortunately, now that Google dominates search, an improved algorithm isn’t enough to get people to switch. This is the Attacker’s Dilemma: unless you bring a major performance improvement, there is no point in directly attacking a strong incumbent in their area of strength.
What are the implications of the new ways that technology allows people to connect and interact? Nilofer Merchant explores this in her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra – it’s a good book with some important lessons.
How can you learn what you need to know to become an expert? It requires deep knowledge of a field, but it also requires broad knowledge of related fields. Our current technologies support deep, but not broad. We need to figure out a way to find t-shaped knowledge.
Here’s my candidate for the worst innovation quote ever: Now, to be fair, it’s actually a paraphrasing of Emerson. Or, to be more accurate, a misquote. Nevertheless, it reflects a very common innovation misconception – that it’s all about the idea. Andrew Hargadon has written a terrific post on this topic, which I encourage you [...]
What is the most important innovation ever? I’ve argued before that it is hand-washing in hospitals. This innovation was a major driver in the improved health outcomes that have increased our life expectancies from less than 60 years at birth to nearly 80 in most developed countries. It’s such a simple idea, and so easy [...]
Here are three posts that caught my eye recently that I think you should read: Ten Rules for Maker Businesses What kind of business model do you need if you are building things? Chris Anderson from Wired addresses this question with some excellent advice on issues from pricing building good relationships with your shipper. Check [...]
You probably heard about the contest that Netflix started in 2006 to crowdsource improvements in their recommendation algorithm. They offered a $1 million prize to anyone that could improve the accuracy of the recommendation algorithm by at least 10%. In 2009, a team of people hit the target, and won the prize. Awesome, right? The [...]
Andrew Gelman wrote a post today that includes a great graph that shows how the innovation diffusion curve has played out for a number of major inventions over the past century. His post includes a discussion of how the graphic developed, an interesting story in itself. Here it is (click here to see it full-size): [...]
You are responsible for getting your ideas to spread. How can you do this more effectively? The first step is to connect ideas creatively – this is the fundamental creative act in innovation. Here are some thoughts on this from Noam Chomsky, discussing the role of education in an excellent post from Maria Popova: You [...]
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