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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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?
Bill Gates in a TV trivia contest with tech legends Doerr, Alsop, Kapor, Joy and Frankston
Computer Bowl 1990, pitting the East Coast against the West Coast (apologies to any other legends present but not listed above)
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.
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”
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?
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
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.
What are video games turning us into?
Monsters, zombies, heroes or villains: which of these will we become if video games turn out to be shaping the character of future generations?
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
Was there ever anyone who naturally spoke like Spock?
A non-fictional man who would only speak using formal logic, a founding genius of computer science. Like Spock, he was much stranger than any ordinary alien. A student of his tells a disturbing story about a different but highly relevant kind of alienation.
Mortgage your house, then bootstrap from zero to $50m in 7 years
And all that was BEFORE she got into the VC business, and not just the old-style VC business: she does mentoring at TechStars, invested early in UStream, and is CEO of Get Satisfaction, a 50,000+ customer startup which uses social media to support customer relationships
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
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”
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
Teaching design thinking through gamification
We know we’re creating problems that the next generation will be left to fix, so the least we can do is to give them the skills to fix them, and yet we’re still failing on a grand scale. The good news is that we’re discovering new ways to help them work out how to do this for themselves.
Put it all on Jack?
Twitter? Maybe he just got lucky. Square, the way to pay with your phone? Others may beat him to it. Square, the way to turn the rest of us into merchantpreneurs? Mr Dorsey may yet live to rule our world
Guitar perfectly in tune when its strings aren’t
No motors, gears or levers. 100% virtual physics and yet 100% real acoustics. It doesn’t make sense, but it works breathtakingly well. The catch? It isn’t cheap. Yet.
Innovations in socio-gonzo kiss and tell
TechCrunch writers Paul Carr and Sarah Lacy explore taking this to the next stage: he’s just brought out a memoir, The Upgrade, which breaches confidentiality pledges he made to her. Their unguarded video chat exposes intriguing differences between his blogger and book-writer personas. The book’s film rights have just been sold: so who will play Mike Arrington?
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
The philosophical assumptions of social media
Platforms such as FaceBook have come under criticism for not offering ways to differentiate ‘types of friends’, and as such, not being ‘truly social’. Whilst this may be true, philosophers, sociologists and cultural anthropologists would argue that fixing this may introduce just as many problems as it solves
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
Extreme uncertainty over startups as a solution to everything
Startups attempt innovation under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Is it possible that we can find new ways to solve the world’s biggest problems using ‘extreme uncertainty’?
YouTube Phenom Changes Mathematics Teaching Forever?
Everyone’s telling us that this young woman has used videos in a new, inspiring way, so we went on a hunt for the videos they inspired
Sneak preview of MIT research into robot humanisation
Can we build robots that can be taught in the same way that humans teach each other? That’s not how we teach robots now. Is this the way to make robots more useful in natural disasters?
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.’
Sustainable design, but not as we know it?
Going beyond ticking boxes, complying with regulations or keeping up with the latest initiatives, ecological development guru Bill Reed uproots just about everything we think we know about ‘green’ and asks whether we are really delving deeply enough
Photosynth as a metaphor for an even bigger challenge
Remember the software that could use lots of casually taken photos of a scene and somehow combine them into a 3D model that you could then navigate in a breathtakingly intuitive way? Well, what if you could do the same with independently created scientific research databases?
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
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.
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
Everything we thought we knew about privacy needs rethinking
Could health authorities force us to publish every detail of our daily activities by insisting we all carry smartphones with monitoring apps revealing not just how long we slept, but where?
How relevant are ‘parenting issues’ to today’s innovation investment?
Checking out these news stories may help you decide