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Genius grants for inspired groups of collaborators

June 8, 2012

It would be fantastic if some creative foundation endowed a fellowship program that identified talent clusters: groups of tightly collaborative peers, likely in a single place,but possibly applicable to groups that have very tight, web-supported distance collaboration

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Imagining innovation in the Google era

October 7, 2011

Neal Stephenson has written an important essay, Innovation Starvation, which I discovered via Ron Burnett. In it he grapples with the decline in world-changing inventions, and focuses particularly on the potential role of science fiction as an inspiration for breakthrough thinking. As for explaining the decline, the heart of his analysis seems to be this: [...]

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6 web technologies that don’t suck anymore

April 27, 2011

If you placed a Skype call in 2003, you might remember the joys of echo-filled connections and dropped calls. The service may not be bullet-proof today, but the improvement is remarkable. What was once a service you use in spite of the glitches is now a service you can rely on for your day-to-day work. [...]

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Real innovators don’t hold grudges

April 19, 2011

I started graduate school in 1995 with the intention of figuring out what was ailing Canada’s New Democratic Party. I dove into a comparative study of social democratic parties around the world. As often happens for grad students, my research interest took an unexpected turn. A year into my studies, I was studying for my Ph.D. [...]

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Online innovators turn foresight into insight

April 13, 2011

A glance back at the events of 1989 makes it look like the  year of foresight. It wasn’t a year of major tech payoffs: it was a year of advances that hinted at things to come. You can look back on those hints with a sense of financial opportunities missed, of technical breakthroughs realized, or [...]

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Using social media to drive business innovation: insights from Guy Kawasaki and Target’s Michael Axelin

April 5, 2009

Hearing Guy Kawasaki on the Art of Innovation reminded me of a blog post I wrote last year after attending a talk by Michael Axelin, V.P. of Softlines Design and Product Development at Target (and fellow Oberlin alum). Both talks helped me refine my own thinking on how social media can support business innovation — a key benefit of social media that is neglected in favor of a pure focus on marketing.

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