Blizzards and the Birth of the ATM

“Build it and they will come.” We hear that mantra a lot. But with innovation, it is often more like, “Solve a pain and they will come.” The ultimate success of the automated teller machine (ATM) is a great example of this. The other night I was having dinner with someone who in...

“21 The Movie” and Innovation

  “21: The Movie” is in theaters today in the United States.  Last week I wrote a blog entry on what innovators could learn from blackjack card counters.  Today, to celebrate the formal release of the movie, I am including a downloadable pdf with a full article on the...

Analogy-Driven Innovation and Pavlov’s Fish

What if you could train a fish like you train a dog?  What if you could create a Pavlov’s fish? And why would you want to? According to an Associated Press article, “The idea is to train fish to return to a feeding source when they hear a particular sound.  Scientists...

What Innovators Can Learn From Vegas Card Counters

Which will help your business be more successful: statistics or probability? Underwriters at insurance companies use statistics to assess future risks. This is based on years of collected data. Probability is what card counters in Vegas use to increase their odds of success. This...

Simplification is Innovation

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince, once said, “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away.” This is a brilliant quote because it describes the challenge many innovators face. ...

College Students Innovate for Corporations

Want your organization to be more creative?  Maybe you should “hire” college students.  Or at least that is what some companies are doing.  Yesterday’s Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) described a cabinet maker who is partnering with a local university to...

HP to Consolidate Innovation Efforts

HP recently announced that they are consolidating their innovation efforts and will focus on fewer projects.  According to an Associate Press article, HP is “reassigning its worldwide research team of about 600 employees to focus on a total of 20 to 30 major projects, down...

How Energy Management Can Improve Innovation Success Rates

Yesterday I had lunch with Scott Westover, a pilot, a business executive and an aspiring speaker. He shared with me some thoughts on how what he learned from aerobatic flying could be applied to business success. I asked him to write a blog entry on this topic. His philosophy is...

7 Ways Innovation Can Help Recession-Proof Your Business

As the economy continues to tumble, it is tempting to cut back on your investments in innovation. But now is the perfect time to increase your innovation efforts. Here are seven creative ways that innovation can help you recession-proof your business. 1. Make Your...

Targeting Your Audience

There is one thing I realized early in my speaking career: being a great speaker does not mean you will necessarily have a great speaking business. This past weekend I gave a presentation on how to have a great speaking business. Although my tips were targeted at speaking...
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