Recently I’ve been running into a bunch of things that say what I want to say so clearly themselves that I don’t really need to add much. The most recent is this essay by Don Norman on systems thinking in product/service design, which includes: No product is an island. A product is more than the […]
The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. -Jacob Bronowski via the outstanding book The Social Atom by Mark Buchanan My secret to success in innovation – try something (anything!). See if it works. If it does, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, figure out why and learn from it. […]
Do things always get better as they evolve? I touched on this idea recently, and I think the answer is definitely ‘No’. Now Wired has made the point for me again with an interesting article on innovations that are not big jumps forward technologically, but rather simply good enough. The idea is that some products […]
Here’s a video from the people that made the iPhone app Convert, showing all of the different versions that they tried: Convert Design Evolution from tap tap tap on Vimeo. There are a couple of things worth noting in this. First, they experimented a lot. They generated a ton of variety, all of which would […]
Atul Gawande from his most recent book, Better: The third requirement for success is ingenuity – thinking anew. Ingenuity is often misunderstood. It is not a matter of superior intelligence but of character. It demands more than anything a willingness to recognize failure, to not paper over the cracks, and to change. It arises from […]
I read Why Stock Markets Crash by Didier Sornette last year, and I thought it was a pretty good book. Sornette builds on the quantitative work of Benoit Mandelbrot to make models of market bubbles using non-linear dynamics. The basic idea is that bubbles are created when the expectations of people in a market become […]
One of the key ideas in the business models research is that once a firm develops a successful business model, they tend to replicate it with all of their future innovations. This is Henry Chesbrough’s explanation for why Xerox was unable to successfully launch all the great inventions that came out of their Palo Alto […]
That’s me wearing my new iPod headphones. Strangely, I caught a fair bit of stick for wearing them today – including a relatively sarcastic ‘nice retro look’. I thought this was particularly interesting in light of a nice post I read this morning called The Myth of Evolutionary Ascent (found via John Wilkins’ blog). The […]
Jeffrey Pfeffer has written an interesting post summarising research by Boris Groysberg of Harvard (found via Felix Salmon). The research looks at the impact of banks hiring away star performers from competitors. Here is the description of the research: Grosyberg studied 1,052 stock analysts who worked for 28 U.S. investment banks over the period 1988 […]
I just want to pick up on a couple of ideas that I raised over the past week. The first was that of scheduling time so that you can pursue innovative activities, and the second talked about intersections between science fiction writing and economics. I thought of both of these things again when I ran […]
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