For women computer scientists, Mudd sticks

For women computer scientists, Mudd sticks

Paltry numbers of computer scientists are women. Christine Alvarado helped QUADRUPLE those numbers at Harvey Mudd College, whose reputation for excellence rivals MIT: this video offers insight into how she did it more…
He’s a NASA legend, acclaimed songwriter and science marketing guru

He’s a NASA legend, acclaimed songwriter and science marketing guru

If it's a tough time to be a scientist, maybe that's more than just a branding issue. Nonetheless, scientists would probably be unwise to ignore thoughtful advice about presentation from someone highly regarded in both the arts and sciences more…
Reverse gamification’s next big test? Windows 8 Metro

Reverse gamification’s next big test? Windows 8 Metro

Here’s concrete proof that Windows 8 is a puzzle that its intended users cannot solve unaided. Reverse gamification suggests that ultimately, this fact probably won’t make the slightest difference to its prospects for success more…
Why do startup accelerators get into trouble?

Why do startup accelerators get into trouble?

Although the ways that an accelerator can get itself into trouble seem to be almost limitless, the reasons why things go wrong can typically be narrowed down to just a few simple causes more…
What if you made startups exempt from ALL corporate regulation?

What if you made startups exempt from ALL corporate regulation?

Health and safety rules? Hiring and firing legislation? Tax? more…
Scientists, so impractical? The results are in: Commercial Targets: 0, Freedom: 1

Scientists, so impractical? The results are in: Commercial Targets: 0, Freedom: 1

Scientific creativity. An engine of growth and innovation, held back by a lack of market focus and managerial discipline? So a stricter commercial regime should turn science into a lean, mean, innovation machine, right? Well... more…
It self-tunes, it’s not a $4,000 Firebird X and it costs $495

It self-tunes, it’s not a $4,000 Firebird X and it costs $495

Am I the only one in the world who thinks the motor-tuned $4,000 Firebird has the best guitar shape ever? more…
Reverse gamification

Reverse gamification

Puzzles are (deliberately) bad user interfaces. We're told to love the look of things which have 'invisible' interfaces, because designers love simplicity. Hide those countless features, make it look simple. But this turns things into games with hidden rules. Not everyone wants to play. more…
Double your (dole) money?

Double your (dole) money?

Startup founders, while their venture is still revenue-free, are not really self-employed. Unless they’ve also got a day job, they’re technically unemployed. This fact opens up opportunities for some really imaginative startup incentives more…
Industry downloaded

Industry downloaded

Today’s dark satanic mills may soon turn darker still, once we start printing everything in three dimensions. Far less satanic, tomorrow’s mills may be our homes, as ‘economy of scale’ becomes uneconomical and mass production goes niche more…
Accelerator and Incubator News

Accelerator and Incubator News

MySpace ex-CEO launches one, Dave ‘colourful language’ McClure hosts an LA Acceleratorfest, TechStar's Brad Feld on Accelerators vs. Incubators, Cisco’s in-house guy goes solo, and much more more…
What do neuroscientists really know?

What do neuroscientists really know?

Why is neuroscience suddenly such a hot topic right now? Is it just that the latest brain scan technology allows us to see more detail? The answer is yes, but the implications are far bigger more…
Startup mentoring versus apprenticeship

Startup mentoring versus apprenticeship

The interaction between startups and startup mentors has a fundamental difference from ‘apprenticeship’, something which has major implications for the future of innovation more…
Startups below zero

Startups below zero

So I’m calling it: the margin of costs beyond a founder’s living expenses is now officially zero. What next? more…
She’s busy composing new biological symphonies

She’s busy composing new biological symphonies

What’s happening to bioengineering, in the ‘post-life-synthesis-announcement’ era? more…
How does nature create nano size motors?

How does nature create nano size motors?

There’s so much talk of biologically inspired innovation, I thought it was about time to start tracking down briefings on ‘how nature got there first’ more…
Four questions that determine whether an accelerator should accept you

Four questions that determine whether an accelerator should accept you

Jessica Livingstone offers her own feelings about what Y Combinator wants and I try to read between the lines more…
Shattering our Customer Relationship Management delusions

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’? more…
Educational reform as we know it will die

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. more…
Source code of human vision recently cracked

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? more…
Dragging small traditional businesses into the startup innovation ecosystem

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? more…
Ironic descendant of massive iron rod-through-brain accident survivor

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 more…
Where is the computational juggernaut driving open science?

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? more…
Self-help 2.0 is self-gamification

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. more…
iij top 20 upcoming innovation books for 2012

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 more…
Innovation fixation?

Innovation fixation?

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’? more…
Toys as inspiration: Shrinky-Dink startup epiphanies

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) more…
Startups: what happens when an economy completely collapses?

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 more…
A scary amount of amazing innovation: Street Medicine

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 more…
Need to recover from ‘startup overreach’?

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 more…
Rather go blind? UI enables user to EXCEED his sighted efficiency

Rather go blind? UI enables user to EXCEED his sighted efficiency

Justin Romack's demo has to be slowed down quite a bit for us sighted folks watching the video more…
Tragic inspirational hero Randy Pausch’s muse? CMU’s drama professor

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 more…
Yes folks, it’s artificial artificial artificial intelligence

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 more…
And so then you just reduce the scale by fifteen orders of magnitude…what?

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 more…
Can entrepreneurialism be automated?

Can entrepreneurialism be automated?

If Artificial Intelligence is going to automate the world’s entire workforce, we’re all going to need to give up any hope of employment and become startup entrepreneurs and innovation investors instead. They couldn't possibly automate those, could they? more…
Should the UK government convert student debt into startup equity?

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? more…
Post-exit startups: the friendly ghost in the job-creation machine

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’. more…
Will continuous brain scanning implants make jury trials unnecessary?

Will continuous brain scanning implants make jury trials unnecessary?

Neuroscience offers the prospect of an incontrovertible record of the intentions behind everything we do, so jury trials may eventually be deemed unnecessary. But no chip implanted? Guilty as charged! more…
Online display ads that hardly anyone hates: just a dream?

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 more…
Accelerators vs. incubators: an alumni panel debate video

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! more…
Metagamification in Minecraft

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 more…
No, it wasn’t “touch” that Jobs saw in that first demo

No, it wasn’t “touch” that Jobs saw in that first demo

Touch screens had already been around for ages on that day in 2005. He was well aware that if you had just put one on a phone, it wouldn't have been worthy of the Apple logo more…
Has Scoble suddenly turned anti-Lean Startup?

Has Scoble suddenly turned anti-Lean Startup?

He just said: ‘I hate the term "minimal viable product." That's like telling me "we're shipping without any features because, well, our investors and advisors told us to ship and fix the product later." more…
Congratulations! you’re eating the world’s first human(e) hamburger!

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?) more…
What do we really know about startup acceleration mentoring?

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? more…
What on earth does a conservation entrepreneur do?

What on earth does a conservation entrepreneur do?

Is it just all about 'making the right noises', or can they make a real difference? more…
Khan Academy 2.0?

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… more…
iij Post-conference report on PitchLive London 2011

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 more…
Innovation competitions: why we need more of them

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… more…
Lean Startup, but without Eric Ries?

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” more…
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