Shattering our Customer Relationship Management delusions
Ever wondered what would happen if anyone actually bothered to check out those incessant claims everyone makes that ‘customer service standards are constantly improving’?
Educational reform as we know it will die
Renowned educational critic Steve Peha is unconvinced that any of the current or proposed major educational reform initiatives will change anything. Ever.
Source code of human vision recently cracked
The more you think about what she’s saying, the more shockingly unthinkable it seems: can we now really see what an eye sees without us needing its brain in order to see it?
Dragging small traditional businesses into the startup innovation ecosystem
Small traditional businesses? They’re already ‘inside’ the startup world, aren’t they? No. They typically know nothing about such things as Lean Startup, Startup Weekend or Y Combinator, and even when they do, they think it has nothing to do with them. Are they right?
Ironic descendant of massive iron rod-through-brain accident survivor
One irony is that Fred Gage is one of the world’s leading figures in neuroscience, a discipline which was largely spurred by Phineas Gage’s miraculous survival. Another relevant irony (noted in the Wikipedia article about Fred) is that Phineas (1823 – 1860) had no children
Where is the computational juggernaut driving open science?
Science is ‘going virtual’ in a big way: rapidly escalating computing horsepower is turning lots of real-world research into simulation-based experimentation. Is this helping or hindering the latest open science initiatives?
Self-help 2.0 is self-gamification
Disappointingly, behaviour change through ‘just gamifying your own health tracking’ doesn’t always work very well. Why not? It just might turn out that, for most of us, personal health tracking is not really a single player game.
iij top 20 upcoming innovation books for 2012
There’s a growing interest in introducing an entrepreneurial approach to innovation, whether its happening inside or outside the established organisation
Are so-called ‘clone startups’ (those hoping to be acquired by the mothership after creating a successful, ‘local language lookalike’) too easily dismissed as ‘non-innovators’?
Toys as inspiration: Shrinky-Dink startup epiphanies
At 12 am one night in 2007, a revolutionary engineering idea popped into Michelle Khine’s head. The rest is history (and chemistry, physics, biotech, nanotech, solar: she seems unstoppable)
Startups: what happens when an economy completely collapses?
In places where prosperity has seemingly reigned forever, sometimes all the big employers and retailers can suddenly disappear: welcome to the startup-only economy. We probably need to start looking at places where this already exists
A scary amount of amazing innovation: Street Medicine
They often seriously hate each other, administration and street folks. But some people out there just don’t care who hates them: they help these seemingly implacable haters help each other, they save lives and they save everyone money
Need to recover from ‘startup overreach’?
Ty Danco’s ludicrously improbable but riveting tale definitely belongs in the history books, alongside AirBnB’s legendary ‘survive by literally eating your own marketing material’ yarn
Tragic inspirational hero Randy Pausch’s muse? CMU’s drama professor
It all begins with an existential crisis: Professor Marinelli tries to Google himself (just before Google exists) and learns of the man who, in 1909, founded the futurism movement, Filippo Marinetti
Yes folks, it’s artificial artificial artificial intelligence
This is about using what The Economist calls artificial artificial intelligence (like Mechanical Turk, which uses people as artificial computers) to enhance (artificially intelligent) machine vision
And so then you just reduce the scale by fifteen orders of magnitude…what?
No, you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to find this fascinating: bio-integrated electronics is full of unimaginably weird but useful things you can do with things like, you know, live brains. It’s all about making electronic things rubbery
Should the UK government convert student debt into startup equity?
If much higher-than-expected numbers of students join the ranks of the long-term unemployed, most student loans are going to remain unpaid indefinitely. Is the risk of student unemployment higher than the risk of failure for a startup accelerator-boosted founder?
Post-exit startups: the friendly ghost in the job-creation machine
A new report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is being mistakenly interpreted as showing that startups are creating fewer jobs. This view somehow manages to completely ignore those odd things investors call ‘exits’.
Online display ads that hardly anyone hates: just a dream?
Even if you don’t know what on earth a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) is, this panel video offers fascinating insights into the latest things that are keeping people in the online display ad world awake at night
Accelerators vs. incubators: an alumni panel debate video
Startups from Y Combinator, TechStars, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups and Idealab tell us what life feels like, including being rejected by Y Combinator and successfully reapplying!
Metagamification in Minecraft
Just trying to describe why over two million viewers think this frivolous-looking video is jaw-dropping will inevitably come out sounding like gobbledygook to all but those who already fully appreciate the sensational breakthrough it represents
Congratulations! you’re eating the world’s first human(e) hamburger!
No dead cows, just real, sustainable beef, made with nothing but yummy stem cells and a touch of magic! All yours for a sizzling €250,000 each. And they’ll get cheaper and cheaper with every passing year (can we call that Moo’s law?)
What do we really know about startup acceleration mentoring?
Investors treat ‘startup founders entrepreneurial inexperience’ as an occupational hazard. Accelerators ‘parachute-in’ entrepreneurial experience in the form of ‘startup acceleration mentors’. Isn’t it time to ask some big questions about this?
Khan Academy 2.0?
After my initial TED-talk-inspired enthusiasm, I became seriously disheartened by the seemingly unanswerable criticisms of Khan Academy’s fairly unadventurous ‘talk and chalk’ style tutorial videos as not really representing a genuine step forward in education. But…
iij Post-conference report on PitchLive London 2011
Overall verdict: a bit of a ‘best kept secret’, offering more than enough insight into less-widely covered sectors of the startup investment scene to justify watching out for next year’s event
Innovation competitions: why we need more of them
We’d all be forgiven for imagining that TechCrunch Disrupt and the DEMO Conference were the only regularly held innovation competition events worth talking about, as far as the tech media were concerned. So imagine my surprise…
Lean Startup, but without Eric Ries?
“There are venture firms here in The Valley that won’t even fund a company unless they employ lean startup methodologies”
The new iij top 20 upcoming lean books
At least five of these forthcoming titles major on a healthcare or safety aspect, illustrating just how far this particular management approach has come from its original niche
Calacanis: I’ve never filed any patents
Jason ‘Mr. Startups’ Calacanis may not do patents, but he has just done an episode of his weekly TV show where he brought in a seasoned patent attorney and a prolific inventor to take us through the latest developments on the US patent scene
What’s it like when outside the box is inside the box?
Intrapreneurship is not for the fainthearted. Inside established organisations, officially-sanctioned bastions of executive dragon slaying can sometimes be found, filled with fearless risk-takers discretely licensed to systematically shred the company rulebook in their tireless search for innovation
Should government turn everything it doesn’t want to do into a startup?
Government is understandably fed up with being blamed by society when it doesn’t handle things perfectly, so it wants to be seen to be handing at least some of the responsibility for doing things back to society, but…
Can you get sustainable power stations for nothing?
Industrial energy waste turns out to be the most surprisingly overlooked opportunity to make outrageous returns on investment. Energy efficiency in industry is a shockingly untapped market. Modernisation at a single large industrial plant can free up an entire power station
Computation: digital today, analog tomorrow?
Nature chuckles at our feeble, stumbling efforts at computation. Its analog computing resources effortlessly deliver dazzling practical intelligence at microscopic scale with zero tolerance for wasted power
The iij Top 20 upcoming startup books, fall 2011
The range of startup titles has expanded dramatically this year, and whatever economic surprises may be in store for us in 2012, this particular sector is looking unstoppable.
Are Silicon Valley VCs really in decline?
The move away from traditional VCs to Angels features strongly in talk about startup investment. So this seemingly contrary view from the very heart of Silicon Valley is intriguing
Biomimetic business modelling?
If McKinsey’s believe in it, then even if you are unsure, you’d better get the best briefing you can: these videos may raise just as many questions as answers, but they’re a good starting point
Just before the Mac is born, a strange request from Steve Jobs
He asked some industrial designers to come up with something that was “Bob Dylan songs”. His cryptic demands have been described as ‘intentionally unreasonable’. But maybe that’s why they worked
What can you see at a trillion frames per second?
At that speed, you can see things that you shouldn’t be able to see at all, things that the camera isn’t actually pointing at. Wherever light has been, as it bounces around our world, it can tell us a story about its journey, letting us ‘see around corners’
Has the last fence fallen? Outperforming human emotional sensitivity
Computers understand us if we talk to them as if they were stupid. But when humans talk to each other, we talk in complex social riddles that have always left computers utterly confused about our intentions. Until now.
Non-startups doomed by The Innovator’s Dilemma? This particular Moore’s Law says NO
What do you do when your own disruptive new ideas bump into The Innovator’s Dilemma in the large organisation that you work in? Geoffrey ‘Crossing The Chasm’ Moore thinks that this is not necessarily ‘game over’ after all
Steve Blank feels immigration can build Silicon Valleys everywhere
“What do you want to do here?” Get a job. “Sorry, but you’ll need to go straight back home right now, next please. So, what do you want to do here?” Start a business, employ people “Great! please sit over there with the others”
Student loans: why only for colleges and not for startup accelerators?
Startup mentoring is education. Why can’t existing government-backed student loan schemes be extended to include startup founders attending accredited startup accelerator programmes?
Is the right to found a startup a basic human right?
Is prohibiting this pursuit an infringement upon the freedom of the individual? Should we make this something that anyone should be able to do, wherever they are in the world?
How to survive disruption by being your own worst enemy
Why not create an independent fund with a mission to found startups which are exclusively aimed at disrupting your core business?
Failure to prepare users: why is this still happening?
From the ‘this shouldn’t be innovation, but unfortunately…’ department. You need to be able to answer all of these questions. Don’t wait for the users to ask them
Gimmicks: innovation gone wrong, or just critics being rude and short-sighted?
When we call something a gimmick, we’re describing a feature which seems unimportant to us. But we can be so very wrong
What if startup ideas didn’t matter to investors?
Would you invest in founders pitching a project that you didn’t really believe in, for reasons you didn’t tell them about?