March 11th, 2007
Due to the workload of the Ph. D. courses I’m taking, I can not post as frequently as I would like to, so this blog will be on hiatus till Easter Holidays are over (I’ll try to post more frequently once it is back to make up for the late erratic posting schedule ).
See you all on April!
February 11th, 2007
Forbes published a few weeks ago an article titled “How to be a disrupter” written by Clayton M. Christensen and Scott D. Anthony, authors of the books The Innovator’s Solution and Seeing What’s Next (Christensen has also authored the famous book The Innovator’s Dilemma). For those who have not read these books, here is a brief description of disruptive innovation provided in this article:
“Disruptive innovations trade off pure performance in favor of simplicity, convenience or affordability. Disrupters target customers who find existing solutions too expensive or too complicated. They offer “good enough” solutions at a lower price.”
I would add to this description “with a profitable/sustainable business model”.
In this article the authors provide some examples of successful disruptive innovations such as Southwest Airlines (for those of us living in Europe, EasyJet is the european version of this example) or Spot Runner and introduce Vonage (an VoIP service provider) to show that not all disruptions win.
January 29th, 2007
Last week I found a video from a presentation made by Guy Kawasaki on the Art of Innovation (not to be confused with Tom Kelley’s book “The Art of Innovation”, which I encourage all of you to read ). This presentation is both funny and interesting and provides a good opportunity to hear some good tips for entrepreneurs about innovation without having to flight 15 hours to get to SF .
Guy Kawasaki has also published in his weblog an article that includes picture with a visualization of this speech by Martha McGinnis (in the original post you can also find a bigger version of this image, which has better quality, specially if you want to print it).
January 14th, 2007
Innovation Zen has published an article called the Top Harvard Business School Articles in 2006, which lists the articles on innovation included in the list of Most Popular Articles of 2006 published by HBS. I reproduce this list here, including an additional article which I think is also related to innovation and another one I have found quite interesting:
December 17th, 2006
Last Wednesday, Google announced in its blog that they had released Google Patent Search, which allows to search in over 7 million patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from 1790 through the middle of 2006. In the announcement they also stated that they are looking forward to increasing the coverage of this tool and that they are working on saving and printing this patents. Advanced Search can be done using the Advanced Patent Search page or as explained in Monkey Bites, by means of specific keywords such as
The main difference among this new tool and the existing free search service of USPTO is that the latter only supports full text search for patents issued in 1976 and onwards. It has to be noticed that there are also several paid tools that provide advanced patent search features.
Consequently, this new tool could be useful not only for academics and researchers (Patents are commonly used to measure innovation) but also for innovators and inventors. Nevertheless, initially I would use this tool carefully as it seems that not all patents may be returned when searching in Google Patent Search (via Paul Kedrosky’s blog).
Finally and for those of you not so interested in this “serious” uses of this tool, you may want to check Wired post on this subject which points out some “cool” patents.
November 12th, 2006
Under the title CIO Sessions (where CIO stands for Chief Innovation Officer and not Chief IT Officer as some may have thought) ZDNet has published several video interviews with CIOs of different companies and institutions such as British Airways, Reuters, Yahoo and Oxfam (I have really enjoyed the Innovation in a bucket video).
November 5th, 2006
While reading Innovate on Purpose, I have found another two definitions of innovation, which confirms that the statement I did in the second post of this blog (there are probably as many definitions of innovation as people out there) is quite true:
- The first one was provided by Carol Pletcher, Chief Innovation Officer of Cargill, during the second day of the Innovation Immersion Conference and defines innovation as “Converting knowledge and insights into solutions that create distinctive value“. Meaning than innovation is about creating products, services and business models and not only about making the next iPod-like gadget .
- The second one was included in an article that explained the differences between Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurs and it states that innovation is people putting ideas into valuable action. Thus, every organization and every person in an organization can be innovative.
Although I like them both, I still prefer the one provided by Peter F. Drucker in his book “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” .
October 29th, 2006
My good friend Marta pointed me out that Knowledge @ Wharton had published a paper called ‘Smart Growth’: Innovating to Meet the Needs of the Market without Feeding the Beast of Complexity, which I sincerely recommend reading as it introduces some key ideas regarding innovation such as the importance of identifying users’ needs, fast prototyping, process innovation, the necessity to manage the complexity, etc. Additionally, this article includes a quote from Henry Ford, which one of my favourite innovation quotes:
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have asked for a faster horse.”
If you find this article interesting, you may want to check periodically the Innovation and Entrepreneurship section of Knowledge @ Wharton (I have already added it to my bookmarks).
October 15th, 2006
Yahoo! has been practicing for some time now what Henry Chesbrough calls Open Innovation and Eric Von Hippel refers to as democratizing innovation. Following the Open Innovation paradigm, Yahoo! acquires companies that have innovative products and services that can improve Yahoo! services offering (examples of this are both Flickr and Jumpcut) instead of developing all the products internally. Moreover, Yahoo! launched some time ago Yahoo! Developer Network, which allows any developer to use Yahoo! contents and services to produce new applications. Additionally, not only has Yahoo! announced that they will open the source code of Yahoo! Mail before the end of the year, but they have also held the Yahoo! Hack Day organized by Yahoo! Developer Network. During this event more than 400 people were invited to visit their premises and 54 hacker teams entered a 24-hour competition to develop applications based on Yahoo! services and contents (further information regarding this event can be found in blogs such as Techcrunch, Skype Journal or GigaOM).
Another example of Open Innovation is online DVD rent service Netflix which will award $1 million to whoever manages to improve the accuracy of their film recommendation system CinematchSM at least 10%. This is also another example of Open Innovation, because they are looking for the best solution they can get, no matter where it comes from. Moreover, and following the Open Innovation paradigm, they are not asking for an exclusive license of the solution, but instead they want a non-exclusive license and they encourage the winners to to commercialize the product, selling licenses to other companies. Further details regarding this contest can be found in the web page Netflix Prize.