Fixing the ‘unsolved problem shortage’ that holds back potential startup founders
Shortages of easily-tackled unsolved problems are a first world problem: elsewhere, countless established ‘solutions’ are just unaffordable, each one a gift to any problem-seeking would-be entrepreneur
Codecademy horror? 40 years of research into computer learning ignored
The ‘teach yourself to program’ site is just not equipped to have an intelligent conversation about any problems you’re having as you go along. What impact is this having on the dropout rate?
Is blaming PowerPoint really just “shooting the messenger”?
It turns out that claims of causing “Death by PowerPoint” may conceal a far more pernicious offense: our unpardonable ignorance of how human attention actually works
Major debate video: Is ‘who we are’ more than just brain-wiring?
Which side are you on? Are you a ‘connectomist’ who believes that once we fully map the connections in the brain, all it’s secrets will be revealed? Or are you ‘connectome-quizzical’ and looking for a wider range of perspectives before taking up a position?
1.8 million regular listeners to a US science and philosophy radio show?
Is the BBC’s long-established domination of ‘serious’ talk radio finally seeing a serious challenge?
Humanoid, moi? We’re all Stepford wives now
It’s 1996: students experiment with being cyborgs. That strange circuitry covering one eye? People imagine they’re disabled, offer them chairs. Nowadays you’d need to pry our ubiquitous connections to the borg collective (er, sorry: ‘cloud’) out of our cold, dead hands. So are we there yet?
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?
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
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
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.
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?
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’?
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
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
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?
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?
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!
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…
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
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
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.
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
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?
Tearing sharing to pieces: why openness is about more than sharing
Sharing is useful, right? Motherhood and apple pie, surely? The stampede of sacred cows being ruthlessly sacrificed in this extraordinary video bonfire of academic vanities lends it an intoxicating but perhaps far too beefy aroma for some
Three quarters of a billion educationally deprived early learners worldwide: unacceptable, maybe unnecessary
Educational miracle worker Sugata Mitra doesn’t take on small challenges. His original breath-taking discoveries overturned everything we knew about early self-teaching. He’s back with enough equally shocking, more recent findings to justify you watching for fifty minutes.
A game where humans can beat IBM’s Jeopardy-winner?
It would have no problem with repetition, but it might find avoiding hesitation difficult and preventing accusations of deviation pretty much impossible
Startup acceleration: what on earth does that really mean?
Is it just about speeding up the rate at which startups emerge, or making them grow faster, or just unintentionally hurrying them on to an earlier demise?
Agile methodology applied to non-technology: success shock!
Arts authorities caught publicly admitting to experimenting with ditching the ‘waterfall ‘ approach (where committees endlessly prepare vast unread(able) reports before anyone even considers trying anything new) only to discover that they can get strategic projects done quickly and well after all. Gasp!
Are ‘hopeless’ startups our best hope for sustainable jobs?
A startup only has to take one person out of unemployment to make a net contribution to job growth. Instead of ‘Jobseekers Allowance’ why not ‘Business Model Seekers Allowance’?
Is the AirBnB situation a gift?
“Customer service here, we’ve decided to do whatever we can to put right this terrible thing that happened to you when you used AirBnB. For a start, can we have your bank details, so that we can immediately deposit a million dollars”
Dyslexia and a PhD
Die-hard sceptics still regarding it as little more than a convenient excuse for a lack of interest in or dedication to study may be surprised by this video, which reflects impressive academic achievement in a discipline which simultaneously challenges, derives value from and provides support for the cognitive distinctiveness that dyslexia represents
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?
Ending the nightmare of blurred vision for half a billion poor
Even the dramatic recent reductions in the cost of spectacles and cataract operations are not doing enough to reduce the catastrophic impact that untreated sight conditions have in the third world, but strangely enough, our appetite for HD on our mobile phones will fix this
Innovation where it’s needed: malnutrition
The name Plumpy’nut may sound quirky, but this ridiculously simple product idea is already keeping countless famine-struck children from starvation and will save millions of lives
Time for a twist in the ARM story?
Instead of fanning the flames at the bonfire parties regularly held all over Cambridge to celebrate the outstanding achievements of chip designer ARM holdings, perhaps it’s time to splash on just a little cold water
The antidote to socially-mediated dislocation: the infinite neighbourhood
Somehow, something as seemingly mundane as an ‘online errand service’ is helping us discover surprising new ways to support each other
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?
Honey, I printed the kids
They’ve already managed to print a kidney, so it’s only a matter of time. The replicators used are very affordable mods of off-the-shelf inkjets, but the cartridges? You guessed it