Nontrepreneurialism: you want to work, but neither as an employee, nor as your own boss
The Economist calls you a post-materialist: you don’t feel driven by materialist ambitions. You just need enough to maintain your existing lifestyle, rather than improve it. But what does ‘not being your own boss’ mean in this context?
What can everyone else teach innovators?
Nobody invents everything they do, innovating all of the time. Most of the time, we are part of the community, resisting newer untried innovations merely by not abandoning older accepted ones. It’s important for innovators to regularly remind themselves about how it feels to be “everyone else”
Prosthetics beyond disability: the bionic user experience
Looking for a video covering the latest developments in the interface between flesh, mind and machine, from fully functional transplants to limb replacements offering superhuman capabilities?
Mainframes in our cultural DNA: gone today, here tomorrow?
The detail of our individual genetic makeup is already being used to make diagnoses and treatment decisions, albeit in a slow and cumbersome way. The sheer scale of the computational horsepower that doing this in real time will demand promises to bring the hulking mainframe computer back from the grave
Exit strategy more important for startups than a business plan?
For a first-time startup, when the real excitement of early innovation is happening, the daunting business of M&A is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. But research is showing that the later it starts, the higher the risk
Snail mail about to fail?
They’ve got until October, then the US Postal service expects to run out of money. This video shows Congress trying to find out “Where have all the letters gone?”
Innovation, meet thy nemesis: healthcare services
Please, no more innovation! Just let us come to terms with the last lot of changes! We prefer standardisation to innovation! This is the sector where innovators are really gladiators
Giants like PepsiCo, Time Warner and Pfizer talk candidly about how Social Media impacts them
When things go wrong, you could sometimes be forgiven for imagining that big institutions are indifferent to the effects of social media. This video should clear that up, at least for these household names, which seem fully engaged
Startup mentoring as reality TV
What’s it like being interviewed by Paul Graham when you’re applying to Y Combinator? Watch this unmissable video of intense grilling and inspired brainstorming in front of a live audience
Is everything we know about offshoring innovation wrong?
The offshoring phenomenon has provided strong support for the claim that simply increasing the number of suitable graduates will produce enough ‘potential for innovation’ to restore growth and jobs. Until now.
World record for the most innovations in a single experience?
A YouTube clip of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page playing a slow soulful country music version of a classical Chopin prelude with jazz-style backing at London’s Royal Albert Hall accompanied by a giant church organ. He was using a guitar internally modified so that you could bend its B string by pulling down against its shoulder strap peg in 1983
Founderpreneurs and funderpreneurs
Fred Wilson (the VC world’s leading blogger) makes an insightful comparison between first time and serial entrepreneurs. I was thinking through the ‘who do you go to?’ question
Game-changing technology, no venture capital
Tractors, farm equipment, built at around one eighth the cost. Industrial equipment too. Superior design. Handmade quality. Problem? Investment. Solve it, and Jakubowski becomes a household word. That might just happen anyway.
Yeah, like, there’s this professor that GROWS electrical kit
Apart from biology, our physical world is mostly either dumb, rock hard, or both. We use that hard, dumb stuff to make durable things like tools, vehicles and buildings. Biology, although soft, squishy and smart, somehow also manages to grow incredibly hard things, like shells and teeth. Maybe biology can teach us better ways to make hard stuff too
How can we work like designers when we create business models?
Googlers get taught how to think more creatively about exploring business models. We mere mortals can sit and watch while guru Alex Osterwalder talks us through the ideas in his bestselling book
The science? Social. The people? Mechanical. Sort of.
This lab is turning the way social science research is conducted on its head, and that’s not just because the whole thing is online
Sustainable, reversible science: beyond green, maybe even beyond renewable
This astonishing video takes environmental innovation to its outer limits: you’ll need to be pretty imaginative to find a way to invest in the ideas it explores
iij Top 15 Upcoming Innovation Leadership Books
Apart from being about new ideas and leadership (which is, after all, the entire reason for the list) there’s not much in common between these volumes, other than each one focussing on some unique but pertinent aspect
One million electric vehicles: is this video the trailer?
Does this talk, four months before the announcement offer the best insight into the thinking behind it?
Natural gas: the iij Selected Innovation Briefing
Surprisingly, these influential and outspoken panellists, who you might expect would have opposing views on just about everything, seem to be having a candid, but surprisingly civil conversation about a very controversial subject: was it something in the water?
Must-see video of banker doing something wonderful
‘My twelve year old son has autism, and has a terrible time with math. We have tried everything, viewed everything, bought everything. We stumbled upon your video on decimals, and it got through! Then we went on to the dreaded fractions. Again, he got it! We could not believe it! He is so excited.’
Wishing on a starship
Video curation, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the iij Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new innovation videos, to disregard things that have caused them to be ignored or dismissed and to put them into context
iij Selected Innovation Briefing: Biofuels
You’ll need to watch this video if your knowledge of the issues has so far been mostly constrained to news coverage
No potential startup founder left behind
It looks like the enviable track record of startup accelerators like TechStars and Y Combinator derives from identifying something you might call ‘Foundational Capability’ as the basis for startup success, but there is a dark side
Two innovation universes, one amazing video
This starts off as a talk about startup methodology but somehow manages to morph into a sales pitch for an intriguing new solar technology. If you’re able to keep up with Bill Gross’s sometimes ferocious pace of delivery, stick with it, it’s well worth the ride
How handing healthcare ownership back to the patient might just work
It’s a funny old world where it takes Wired Magazine to show the medical fraternity how truly unintelligible (but life-critical) gibberish can be transformed in ways that allow us to take control of our own well being
I Think, Therefore I Pivot: The Lean Startup Philosophy At Work
I just read this question on Quora: ‘What good books tell the story of the business model iterations and pivots of a notable company?’ My response is not a book, but a video of a talk at Y Combinator Startup School
Banking: what’s coming next?
Where in the world are the next systemic bubbles? Can we conceive of interventions which might genuinely mitigate the risks? Are the biggest challenges to banking innovation technological, cultural, governance related, or socio-geographic?
Cleantech startups: early exit strategies and beyond
What does cleantech look like from a strictly ‘risks and returns’ perspective? What new investment approaches will make the most promising government funded emerging technologies a realistic prospect for scalability and growth?
Heading for collision: scholarship traditions and Anything 2.0
Innovation and academia might seem inseparable, but ‘novelties’ such as collaborative research and digital deliverables are often still seen by academic authorities as being an unacceptable encroachment upon the sovereignty of the paper-bound work of the solitary scholar
Marketers target our invisible connective tissue, offline and online
We’re leaving trails behind us, both offline and online, inside and outside social media, that we don’t notice, but marketers do, and they’re using them to spot our closest friends, betting that they’ll share our tastes and would probably buy what we bought if they were approached.
Angels teach Venture Capitalists how to accelerate startups
The new breed of angels: as much ‘startup coentrepreneurs’ as they are investors. Executive control, once obligatory, now seen as a liability, is being replaced with new brands of investor offerings which minimise dilution and instead creatively collaborate to facilitate leanness and opportunistic market agility. VCs are keenly studying this new wizardry
What’s it like when government and business publicly sit around the same table?
We’re making no claims about whether it’s a good or bad idea, whether it works or fails. But the meeting in this video is real and the people in it are from the very top on both sides. The ‘fly on the wall’ perspective has a unique and unprecedented feel
Choosing Tech Careers: Biotech vs. Consumer Tech
Most of the consumer technologies of 20 years ago seem ludicrously primitive today, whereas, for many diseases, current biotech leaves us almost as powerless to prevent the suffering and death of millions today as we were generations ago. However, it still offers the tantalising prospect of unlocking nature’s technology, and potentially rendering all our diseases and current consumer tech obsolete
Humble colossus of computer science: Don Knuth’s saga
Quiet and unassuming, but with a wickedly dry sense of humour: the iconic ambassador of the algorithm has a life story which deserves a wider audience than just computer scientists, who are as likely to have read his Art of Computer Programming as to have listened to Dark Side of the Moon
Clash of innovation news titans
An epic transatlantic on-air wrangle over Google’s future. Veteran BBC innovation investigator Peter Day vs. US prediction guru Mark Anderson. They each put up a characteristically robust performance. But who won? Whatever, it was riveting radio.
Sustainability: the IT nightmare that never was?
Everyone can see how Big IT could feel threatened by accusations of becoming one of society’s most voracious consumers of energy. And yet, it turns out that IT and sustainability are probably inseparable
Lean investing: what is it?
Dave McClure is not exactly a shy or timid voice in the startup investment community. He offers the unique perspective of someone who describes themselves as a geek who became a startup founder who moved on to become an investor in many startups.
An unexpectedly fresh perspective on nanotech
So this set of conference videos was supposed to be about regulatory issues. Shockingly perhaps, it turned out to be neither alarmist scaremongering nor shameless cheerleading.
Legends in disagreement: Kevin Kelly vs. Jaron Lanier
Kelly says that technology isn’t ‘neutral’, it’s ‘good’. Not because it’s solving our problems, but because the choices it offers propel us forward. Lanier doesn’t feel this view resolves our confusion about technology
Disrupting Silicon Valley
If Silicon Valley investors began diverting more of their energies towards increasing entrepreneurial diversity and inclusion, could this put their impressive track record of success at risk?
Emotion: the new weapon of choice for experience designers?
Could it be true that we’ve finally mastered the art of controlling users’ emotions? This talk by a design consultant claims that this is what their research has made possible
The rebirth of the rebirth of distance
It’s been quite a while since the last big fuss about ‘peak oil’: hardly surprising, once oil fell from its pre-crash peak. A guy who made a lot of that fuss is back giving his post-crash perspective in a video. He believes the ‘local vs. global’ balance could be about to change
What’s the impact of crowdsourcing on the media?
What does crowdsourcing mean to an editor? Asking the audience. Doesn’t sound so radical, does it? But within mainstream media, the very term is plagued by controversy. This revealing video gives the view from some leading pioneers, both in the back room and on the front line.
We’re universities and we’re being globalized
The developing world has an insatiable hunger for everything our best universities have to offer. Are those universities doing enough to address this?
Do you know the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry?
Remember ‘the 12 principles of green engineering’ that we covered? The same researcher was involved in putting these different sets of principles together
Where does nanochemistry belong in the world of nanotech?
To get some insight into this new discipline, you might find this video describing the background to a researcher’s eureka moment well worth watching. It’s a talk by Geoffrey Ozin, widely regarded as the father of nanochemistry
The next big thing in innovation : Recursive Resource Reduction
If you want to innovate more effectively, you need to iterate faster. Scoble cites Oracle’s Larry Ellison as having a recipe for increasing efficiency in an unproductive team (by successively reducing headcount) and offers this as a way to keep a team small enough to iterate rapidly.
Disruption contained: preventing self-inflicted innovation wounds
You’ve got a revolutionary product and a choice of innovation strategies: trying to do everything you do ‘in the spirit of innovation’ or to run an otherwise traditional business, limiting additional risk: are both options misguided?