What’s wrong with innovation today

It's a (fill in the blank) new world today in innovation. In the old, old days, you had technology companies named after the innovators who founded them. Hewlett-Packard. Watkins-Johnson. Varian Brothers. Then startups chose names associated with their technology: Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Linear Technology, Analog Devices. Today innovators choose goofy but memorable names (Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Groupon) and often,

are you lost

What B.S. filter do you use for your own ideas?

You've no doubt heard the phrase your baby's ugly. You've probably used it to describe some piece of technology you've seen somewhere, or maybe had the courage to say so in a customer design meeting. But how do you come to grips with that when the baby's yours? Or, put differently, what B.S. filter do you use on your own

Spring training peek

On baseball and innovation

It's springtime, and that means it's time for renewal, resurgence, growth, fresh things and baseball. I can't help but love the season and its sport (at least its North American sport!). Both are about renewal and hope. There's a lot of failure along the way (you should see my seed-starter box at the moment), but for now it's a very

Improving innovation

The No. 1 question to ask about innovation

I share innovation blog posts that I come across because not only is that part of what this site is about, but I'm also interested in learning more about organizational dynamics and improving productivity. The intersection of technology and human frailty, if you will, is ceaselessly fascinating to me. So I came across "Five Key Innovation Questions to Ask" by

Edison's Desk, Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Mich.

Are the best innovators procrastinators?

I live on deadlines in the publishing business. In fact, it's those hours just before a deadline where I often do my best work (or so I think)–heart thumping, breathing shallow and fast. But many will argue that's ridiculous, that rushing toward deadline introduces error and sloppiness. Whitney Johnson, a founding partner of Rose Park Advisors, Clayton M. Christensen's investment


Are you an innovator or a chicken?

In almost any EE Times survey we've done over the decades (whether it's Salary and Opinion Survey or something else), engineers overwhelmingly view themselves as entrepreneurs. More than three-quarters will say they will start a company at some time in their career. In reality, about 10 percent do. This bubbled up in my mind as I read Bruce Gibney and


What’s your design-engineering muse?

  Two dots connected themselves for me recently as I was looking for inspiration on innovation. Their main connection will become apparent in a moment. Their other connection was that each dot came from the Harvard Business Review.   The first dot was written by Michael Schrage: "To inspire innovation, get a muse." More design resources Artists have muses. Design engineers


Is disruptive innovation crap?

That's Greg Satell's assertion amid his 5 Principles of Innovation on his blog, DigitalTonto. Disruptive innovations (identified by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in a series of famous books) are crappy because they are generally inferior to the competitive products they eventually displace. More design resources But it all depends on how to define "crappy." Digital camera images were,


Innovation the Steve Jobs way

Steve Jobs, who stepped down as Apple CEO amid a legendary career, is in many ways the paragon of innovation. But for what reasons? Some people cite his creativity, especially his famous Stanford speech in which he talked about learning calligraphy in college and how that influenced him to push for fonts on computers. More design resources Some people cite

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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