Innovation3: Crowdsourcing, Culture & Tools Summit

22 November 10

Innovation Cubed Conference

Have you ever wondered how to better make use of emerging social media tools to discover new internal process or product innovations? As new communication tools gain popularity, we are seeing an increasing number of internal and market driven innovations brought to life. Specifically, an important aspect of social media that is driving this change is crowdsourcing, which acts as a rich repository of ideas coming from both inside of your company as well as your customers. If you are looking to better leverage crowdsourcing tools or want to hear from today’s leading companies on the subject, consider the newest addition to World Research Group’s Open Innovation Series: INNOVATION3: Crowdsourcing, Culture, and Tools Summit. Read the rest of this entry »


Using Innovation Centers To Generate New Product Ideas

1 July 10

Innovation Centers are popping up around the world. These facilities bring together experts in different fields around a common goal: new product ideation and experimentation. Some of these centers have become enormously successful breeding grounds for new product ideas. These successes, along with the growing awareness of the need to innovate to stay relevant, are driving many organizations to invest tens of millions into these centers. Examples of innovation centers can be found in many different fields.

MIT’s Media Lab, a department within the schools Architecture and Planning division, has been actively pumping out new product ideas since 1985. The Lab is home to product designers, nanotechnologists, data-visualization experts, industry researchers, and pioneers of computer interface. These future minded individuals work side by side to create technology that will enhance the human experience. The Lab produces approximately 20 new patents per year, and is responsible for many commonly known products including computerized prosthetics, Guitar Hero, and the Amazon Kindle eBook reader screen display. Read the rest of this entry »


Innovator Interview: Tony Tomazic, Humana

29 March 10

futurethink Innovator Interview with Tony Tomazic from Humanafuturethink is launching another round of innovator interviews to share insights and best practices from leading innovation practitioners.  All of these interviews are free to download once you’ve registered on futurethink‘s website.

Our first interview in this series is with Tony Tomazic, Director of Consumer Innovations at Humana.  In his leadership role in the Humana Innovation Center, Mr. Tomazic focuses on developing and implementing programs to engage consumers in their health and promote well-being.

Below is an excerpt from his interview.  The full version can be download here. Read the rest of this entry »


The Ultimate Driving Open Source Machine

24 October 08

At the Convergence 2008 conference on automotive electronics yesterday, BMW announced that it is looking for partners with which to collaborate on an open-source car computing platform. No other auto companies have officially signed on to collaborate, though Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Honda have reportedly expressed interest. BMW’s goal, with or without partners, is to have an open-source operating system in a vehicle selling 200,000 or more units over the next five to seven years. Read the rest of this entry »


Normative Innovation

26 August 08

The Curious Capitalist blog over at TIME has a couple of interesting posts (see here and here) on social versus economic norms. The posts, by Barbara Kiviat, are in response to a recent Wall Street Journal article that discusses an ongoing experiment in some U.S. schools that rewards students, with cash, for performing well on Advanced Placement courses during high school.

While the WSJ article and Kiviat’s posts are worth a read if you have some time—the discussion of “norms” is what really sparked my interest because of the implications norms have on innovation. Basically, social norms have been shown to be more effective at eliciting certain types of behavior than economic norms. While financial and other economic incentives have their place in the corporate world, innovation may fare better (in the long term, at least) if the incentive to innovate is a “social” one. Read the rest of this entry »


Ask Everyone

22 July 08

The New York Times ran a great piece this morning about InnoCentive, a company that helps connect companies and their challenges with people who might be able to solve those challenges. This company has been on our radar for a while, as they’ve carved out an interesting niche in the innovation world by providing sort of a marketplace for ideas.

It’s a pretty simple system, really. Companies post specific challenges to InnoCentive’s online database. InnoCentive helps these companies refine each challenge, and a “prize” is attached to it (usually between $10,000 and $25,000). The company posting each challenge is kept hidden. Anyone can log onto InnoCentive’s database and try to solve one of the challenges. Once someone comes up with a solution, they inform InnoCentive, transfer IP rights over to the company who posted the problem, collect their prize, and it’s done.

The beautiful part about this system is that anyone can try to solve the problems in the InnoCentive database. PhD’s, college students, it really doesn’t matter. The company has actually found that most of the “solvers” are people who are completely outside the industry of the challenge at hand. From the Times: Read the rest of this entry »


Crying Over Spilt Milk

8 July 08
futurethink_new_milk

A redesigned milk jug has been the surprising target of much press attention over the past few weeks. The new jugs; which is slowly being rolled out in U.S. retailers such as Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Costco; is taller, rectangular, and has no real spout. The jug was essentially designed with one goal in mind: reduce the environmental impact of milk.

To that end, the new design allows for jugs to be stacked (they’re flat on top), and eliminates the need for plastic milk crates since the stackable design allows for cardboard dividers and shrink wrap to be used. This translates to reduced packing time, faster delivery to stores (which means fresher milk), and fewer wasted resources along the distribution chain. More milk can fit in each delivery truck and in the grocer’s cooler; and empty trucks don’t need to travel back and forth to collect milk crates. Read the rest of this entry »