Can you train people to innovate?

Can you train people to innovate? Financial analyst Barry Ritholtz has shared a helpful slide set titled “Innovation can be trained” that’s worth reading. Printing and then tacking individual slides to your cube walls can be used as a daily reminder that organizations can create cultures of innovation. It’s based on the work The Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen.

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497 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jonathan Ive on Apple’s Design Process and Product Philosophy
    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/jonathan-ive-on-apples-design-process-and-product-philosophy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    When Steven P. Jobs led Apple, he created a core principle for the company’s designers and engineers: stay fully focused on making great products.

    What does innovation culture look like at Apple under Tim Cook? How has it changed, if at all?

    Innovation at Apple has always been a team game. It has always been a case where you have a number of small groups working together. The industrial design team is a very small team. We’ve worked together, most for 15 or 20 years.

    That’s a fairly typical story here: Creative teams are small and very focused. One of the underlying characteristics is being inquisitive and being curious. Some of those personal attributes and hallmarks haven’t changed at all.

    Deep in the culture of Apple is this sense and understanding of design, developing and making.

    Unless we understand a certain material — metal or resin and plastic — understanding the processes that turn it from ore, for example – we can never develop and define form that’s appropriate.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Disruption Machine
    What the gospel of innovation gets wrong.
    by Jill Lepore June 23, 2014
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/06/23/140623fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=all

    Porter was interested in how companies succeed. The scholar who in some respects became his successor, Clayton M. Christensen, entered a doctoral program at the Harvard Business School in 1989 and joined the faculty in 1992. Christensen was interested in why companies fail. In his 1997 book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” he argued that, very often, it isn’t because their executives made bad decisions but because they made good decisions, the same kind of good decisions that had made those companies successful for decades. (The “innovator’s dilemma” is that “doing the right thing is the wrong thing.”) As Christensen saw it, the problem was the velocity of history, and it wasn’t so much a problem as a missed opportunity, like a plane that takes off without you, except that you didn’t even know there was a plane, and had wandered onto the airfield, which you thought was a meadow, and the plane ran you over during takeoff. Manufacturers of mainframe computers made good decisions about making and selling mainframe computers and devising important refinements to them in their R. & D. departments—“sustaining innovations,” Christensen called them—but, busy pleasing their mainframe customers, one tinker at a time, they missed what an entirely untapped customer wanted, personal computers, the market for which was created by what Christensen called “disruptive innovation”: the selling of a cheaper, poorer-quality product that initially reaches less profitable customers but eventually takes over and devours an entire industry.

    Ever since “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted. There are disruption consultants, disruption conferences, and disruption seminars. This fall, the University of Southern California is opening a new program: “The degree is in disruption,” the university announced. “Disrupt or be disrupted,”

    Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a notion of time: a theory of history.

    Most big ideas have loud critics. Not disruption. Disruptive innovation as the explanation for how change happens has been subject to little serious criticism, partly because it’s headlong, while critical inquiry is unhurried; partly because disrupters ridicule doubters by charging them with fogyism, as if to criticize a theory of change were identical to decrying change; and partly because, in its modern usage, innovation is the idea of progress jammed into a criticism-proof jack-in-the-box.

    The word “innovate”—to make new—used to have chiefly negative connotations: it signified excessive novelty, without purpose or end.

    The idea of innovation is the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century, and relieved of its critics. Disruptive innovation goes further, holding out the hope of salvation against the very damnation it describes: disrupt, and you will be saved.

    Disruptive innovation as an explanation for how change happens is everywhere. Ideas that come from business schools are exceptionally well marketed. Faith in disruption is the best illustration, and the worst case, of a larger historical transformation having to do with secularization

    Christensen and Eyring also urge universities to establish “heavyweight innovation teams”: Christensen thinks that R. & D. departments housed within a business and accountable to its executives are structurally unable to innovate disruptively—they are preoccupied with pleasing existing customers through incremental improvement.

    Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail. It’s not more than that. It doesn’t explain change. It’s not a law of nature. It’s an artifact of history, an idea, forged in time; it’s the manufacture of a moment of upsetting and edgy uncertainty. Transfixed by change, it’s blind to continuity. It makes a very poor prophet.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Disruption is a dumb buzzword. It’s also an important concept
    http://www.vox.com/2014/6/17/5817824/disruption-is-a-dumb-buzzword-its-also-an-important-concept

    Jill Lepore isn’t a fan of Clay Christensen’s concept of disruptive innovation.

    Lepore is right that the concept of disruptive innovation is often overused and even misused.

    The “Innovator’s Dilemma” Dilemma

    A disruptive innovation, as Christensen defined it, is a new technology that’s simpler, cheaper, and — at least initially — lower-quality than the one that came before it. Early PCs were a lot less powerful than the mainframes that were already on the market. Early news websites were markedly inferior to the New York Times. Yet the low cost of these technologies lowered the barrier to entry, permitting a faster pace of innovation. And so over time they’ve narrowed the gap with incumbent products. In many cases, disruptive firms have driven their older rivals into bankruptcy.

    One of the big problems with the theory of disruptive innovation is that its originator, Clay Christensen, faced a conflict of interest that we might call the “Innovator’s Dilemma” Dilemma. In the introduction to his 1997 book, Christensen wrote that “colleagues who have read my academic papers reporting the findings recounted in chapters 1 through 4 were struck by their near-fatalism.” Over and over again, the book described how businesses tried and failed to cope with the problem of disruptive innovation

    One of Lepore’s criticisms of Christensen is that his theory has a lousy track record for predicting how disruptive innovations evolve.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 product owner’s besetting sins

    Lead, follow or step aside.

    This condenses the wisdom of one of the main reasons why an agile project intended to fail. In agile project models, especially in Scrum, emphasized the importance of the role of the Product Owner.

    It is true that the theory at the level of ownership of the product seems straightforward task – only reports on the development team, what kind of product or service you want and the team takes care of it at home. However, practice has repeatedly shown that the product ownership is a demanding task, with success comes hard work and participation.

    The project as a project, regardless of the chosen approach may in fact ruin the bad leadership, and it is not even difficult.

    You do not go into
    - Be interested. Inspire and lead others with an example.

    You do not have the power to do
    - Do not agree to bear the responsibility for building the project without power.

    You do not make decisions
    - Be aware of the importance of decision-making, and use the power given to you actively in the project.

    You do not have the time
    - Prioritize management. The team used the time will come back multiplied by the size of the team.

    You do not communicate
    - Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. There is no shortcut.’

    A good product owner is able to lead and to follow the correct times. A really good product owner also knows when it is time to step aside and hand baton to the next.

    Source: http://www.tivi.fi/viisaat/solinor/5+tuoteomistajan+helmasyntia/a994798

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    President Obama at the White House Maker Faire: “Today’s D.I.Y. Is Tomorrow’s ‘Made in America’”
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/06/18/president-obama-white-house-maker-faire-today-s-diy-tomorrow-s-made-america

    “Our parents and our grandparents created the world’s largest economy and strongest middle class not by buying stuff, but by building stuff — by making stuff, by tinkering and inventing and building; by making and selling things first in a growing national market and then in an international market — stuff “Made in America.” — President Barack Obama at the first-ever White House Maker Faire, June 18, 2014

    There he addressed the crowd of assembled tinkerers, announcing new commitments that his Administration and key partners outside government are making to enable Americans from all backgrounds to launch businesses; excel in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and contribute to the renaissance in American manufacturing.

    The efforts announced today included steps to help schools take shop class into the 21st century; new support for startups that want to file for a patent; and a number of private-sector commitments from companies and businesses like Disney, Intel, Etsy, and more, who are committed to doing what it takes to help unleash a new wave of innovation here in America.

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  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Invests $50 Million to Close the Tech Gender Gap
    http://time.com/2901899/google-made-with-code-girls-in-tech/

    Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling kick off Google’s ‘Made With Code’ initiative to get more girls interested in engineering and computer science

    Google has promised to do all it can to recruit more women into Silicon Valley, and now the company is putting its money where its PR is. On Thursday, it launched a $50 million initiative to teach young girls how to code.

    Just last month, Google announced that only 17% of its tech employees are women. The gender disparity is a dire issue for all tech companies. There will be 1.4 million computing jobs available in 2020, but only 400,000 computer-science graduates from U.S. universities to fill them. Part of the problem is that only 12% of computer-science degrees go to women, and in order for Silicon Valley to survive and thrive, it must be able to recruit more engineering talent from the other 50% of the population.

    To give parents the resources to encourage young girls, Google teamed up with all-girls coding groups and camps across the country to create a national database of programs. Parents can enter their ZIP code and find the one closest to them

    “One of the most important things that we can do is get girls into our computer-science classrooms across our country, including elementary school,”

    And finally the site includes a list of “makers and mentors,” female role models who use coding in their jobs in a variety of ways. Since less than 1% of high school girls see computer science as part of their future, Google thought it was important that girls not only understand what coding is but could envision themselves using it in their careers. Right now, girls can’t see themselves joining the Silicon Valley boys’ club. Part of the problem is Hollywood: the ratio of male to female engineers in children’s TV shows and movies in 14 to 1, according to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

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  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play
    Stop your yammering and use ‘glanceable’ device to make yourself feel at home
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/microsoft_tests_halfinch_second_screen_to_spur_workplace_play/

    Microsoft Research has detailed a tiny device called “Picco” that pipes sketches to users to make the workplace more feel more intimate.

    Detailed here in a research paper titled “A Small Space for Playful Messaging in the Workplace: Designing and Deploying Picco”, Microsoft Research explains that Picco is “a tiny situated display for drawings and simple animations, which are created on a dedicated tablet app.”

    Picco was built to test whether playful technology can find a home in the workplace.

    Microsoft tested Picco in two group of interns and a family. All groups found the device amusing, but also reported that Picco and Picclets were useless for any functional or meaningful communication. Subjects, did, however, feel that the appearance of Picclets made the workplace feel a little more intimate.

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  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Study of Brit students finds TXTING doesn’t ruin your writing
    UzN abbreviations w yor M8s not a gateway 2 lousy wrk @ OPIS o skul
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/study_of_brit_students_finds_txting_doesnt_ruin_your_writing/

    Parents and teachers can relax just a bit more after a study found that kids – and adults – who use the wacky abbreviations so common when using short message service doesn’t spill over into writing performed at school or work.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s Your Science Degree Worth?
    http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2014_06_25/caredit.a1400163

    Does going to college make economic sense? How much does the answer to that question depend on the college major you choose?

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    You want a medal for writing a script? Sure: here it is!
    Developer explains how Perl and Excel code earned him the US Army Commendation Medal
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/27/you_want_a_medal_for_writing_a_script_sure_here_it_is/

    Software engineer and Arizon Army National Guard member Vivin Paliath has explained how writing some Perl and Excel macros saw him decorated with the Army Commendation Medal, a decoration awarded “to any member of the Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself by heroism, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service.”

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ayah Bdeir, CEO of littleBits
    http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars-and-provocateurs/ayah-bdeir-ceo-of-littlebits/3905.article

    Why you should care
    Because shouldn’t the rise of the machines also be a creative human revolution?

    “My goal is to give creative people access to the full power of engineering.”

    “When she was 12 and many of her friends were getting Barbies, Bdeir got programming lessons on a Commodore 64.”

    She’s got the look of someone who’s always ready to get down on the floor and start making stuff.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    My concern is that the adulation and funding that the Yo app has received will send a terribly wrong message to entrepreneurs all over the world, encouraging them to misdirect more investment into building more silly apps and other equally meaningless, mindless projects.

    Entrepreneurs with world-changing ideas usually have a very hard time gaining funding from venture capitalists. That’s why they have to resort to crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, appealing directly to the public for investment. Even there, some of the most promising ideas don’t get funded, either because it is hard to explain their value or because they are too risky.

    Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/youre_all_inventing_the_wrong_sort_of_technology/

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Visualizing Algorithms
    http://bost.ocks.org/mike/algorithms/

    “The power of the unaided mind is highly overrated… The real powers come from devising external aids that enhance cognitive abilities. ” —Donald Norman

    Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization.

    But algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tech’s Toughest Battle Is Regulatory
    http://techcrunch.com/2014/06/27/public-and-private/

    For about a decade from Facebook’s founding in February 2004 to Twitter’s IPO last November, the tech industry’s most visible successes were in social networking

    But today, the most interesting late-stage companies intersect with real-life services that have historically been both publicly or privately provided in a highly-regulated way. Think transit and housing.

    The Ubers, Airbnbs and Lyfts of the world often get lumped together, but their approaches to regulation are actually fairly different. Despite the sometimes theatrical language, all of these companies have had to learn how to work with regulators.

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  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Change in behavior is the result of learning. Mere knowledge is rarely enough to change our behavior. Have you ever participated in the training, informing you find interesting things, and decided to remember some of them use? Still, if someone were to ask later, you would end up probably changed your actions. And no wonder, for their own learning and thinking skills, as well as growth is a slow process.

    In the same way we know for certain that the information management role has changed, but the people are not as easy to change with it. Requires the development of new knowledge internalization, that is quiet and experiential, implicit integration of data from more clearly defined, explicit knowledge. In this equation, lies not only in learning but also the key to innovation.

    Educator John Dewey once a reformist idea of learning by doing, learning by doing, is today the concept of self-evident.

    The generation of new knowledge is a collaborative process.

    By making learning and knowledge assimilation of tacit knowledge is modified in a way hard, and again silence – again, hard. When the entire team or the community is part of this process, to enable behavior change and the implementation of a learning organization.

    ”Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” – John Dewey

    Source: http://www.tivi.fi/cio/artikkelit/parhaat_kaytannot/tekemalla+oppii/a995970

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why there are no engineering heroes
    http://developingengineers.com/engineering-news-politics/why-there-are-no-engineering-heroes

    Every so often, the engineering community embarks on a spot of navel-gazing, questioning why there are no engineering heroes known by the wider public. Commentators bemoan that James Dyson seems to be the only person wheeled out on a regular occasion. They ask where the Brunels of the 21st century are.

    For those who are searching for today’s engineering heroes, I have some bad news: they aren’t any and there can’t be any.

    Not because of political or societal reasons. Not because the engineering industry doesn’t promote them. The problem is more intrinsic; today’s engineering is so complex, no one person can ever take credit for anything more complex than a clothes peg.

    James Dyson, like Steve Jobs was at Apple, is one of the rare individuals who have become synonymous with their company and the products that they develop.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Where Are Today’s Engineering Heroes?
    By failing to celebrate its finest contributors, the profession risks far more than mere obscurity
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/where-are-todays-engineering-heroes

    Some 25 years ago, I set out to write a biography of one of the most notable electrical engineers in American history. A professor at MIT, he designed the most powerful analog computers of the 1930s, and he cofounded Raytheon. An advisor to two U.S. presidents
    directed the research that led to the mass production of penicillin.
    he conceived of the U.S. National Science Foundation,

    And he wrote a provocative magazine article that later was credited with accurately describing the personal computer and the Internet—decades before either came into being.

    If by now you’ve identified my subject as Vannevar Bush, congratulations! If you haven’t, don’t feel bad.

    Celebrating heroes is a good way to inspire young people and inform the public, of course. But it’s not just a luxury or diversion that the profession can do without.

    Hold on, you’re thinking, I can name lots of engineering heroes. There’s Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Hewlett and Packard. There’s, hmm, Steve Jobs, and uh, Bill Gates, and um…. At this point, you whip out your smartphone and google “engineering heroes.” But that’s cheating.

    The bottom line is that these days, the engineers who make the most money get the widest acclaim. In other words, to be a hero, you must first achieve stupendous financial success.

    Engineering also faces a sort of structural impediment—namely, there is no Nobel Prize for engineering, nor is there an engineering award with similar global status and prestige.

    “The history of engineering is replete with examples of unheralded engineers who refused to accept designs that compromised the public welfare, no matter how profitable they were,”

    Heroes try, but they also fail. Indeed, the most accomplished engineers notched striking failures in their careers.

    All this talk of heroes may make you uncomfortable. The culture of engineering values modesty and suspects that promotion, especially self-promotion, conceals distortion or possibly even fraud. In today’s societies, where image often trumps genuine achievement, engineers justly admire their own penchant for humility and obscurity.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage
    He’s not a physicist, he’s a very naughty boy
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/30/hawking_cox_monty_python/

    Hawking will appear alongside rock-star yoof-appealing physicist Brian Cox, after he asked to be in the show because he’s a “big Python fan”.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mayors of Atlanta and New Orleans: Uber Will Beat the Taxi Industry
    But first, both men agree, the company faces 15-round fights in cities across America.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/mayors-of-atlanta-and-new-orleans-uber-will-beat-the-taxi-cab-industry/373660/

    The car service Uber is fighting in cities all over America to end the regulatory capture enjoyed by the taxicab industry. According to the mayors of Atlanta and New Orleans, they’re going to win–but not before there’s a long, intense fight about regulations.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Uncovering an Untapped World of Energy
    http://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/shell-energy-future-2014/2014/06/uncovering-an-untapped-world-of-energy/133/

    Untapped energy is all around us — it’s just a matter of finding creative solutions for harnessing it. These technological innovations are changing the way we think about producing power.

    Powering your phone with your feet

    One man’s waste, one city’s treasure

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Israel boasts great innovation, but is weakened by bureaucracy, report finds
    Israel ranked first in the world in terms of ​quality of scientific research institutions
    http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/society/130908-israel-boasts-great-innovation-but-is-weakened-by-bureaucracy-report-finds

    Israel dropped one spot from 27th to 26th place in the annual Global Competitiveness Ranking published by the World Economic Forum last week. The 2013 fall followed a four-spot drop the previous year.

    “The country’s main strengths remain its world class capacity for innovation (3rd), which rests on highly innovative businesses that benefit from the presence of some of the world’s best research institutions geared toward the needs of the business sector,” read the report. “Israel’s excellent innovation capacity, supported by the government’s public procurement policies, is reflected in the country’s large number of patents (6th).

    On the negative side of the spectrum, Israel ranked poorly when it came to the burden of government regulation (109th) quality of ports (90th), government debt (124th) and quality of math and science education.

    “If not addressed, poor educational outcomes—particularly in math and science (78th)—could undermine the country’s innovation-driven competitiveness strategy over the longer term,” read the report.

    “Innovation becomes even more critical in terms of an economy’s ability to foster future prosperity,”

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tieto President and CEO, Kimmo germ believes that innovative startups are imported as part of the larger companies. According to him, raisins can pick up a bun: a large house IT resources, expertise and customer base can be combined with a startup-like agility.

    “We can meet the challenge of setting up a small growth companies in the side of our operations, we are giving the unit labor peace by keeping the worst of the reach of the bureaucracy and the creation of clear rules to ensure the unit’s autonomy and agility,”

    Source: http://www.tivi.fi/kaikki_uutiset/tiedon+toimitusjohtaja+haluaa+poimia+rusinat+startuppullasta/a996185

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Courage to try belongs to a modern corporate management positions

    For some years now the Finnish business world’s sexiest phenomenon have been in startups. Last year, the Finnish start-up companies raised funding of 300 million euros * and have taken their place among the most sought-after employers

    In the IT sector the engine of growth during this period of recession have been just startups.

    With limited resources and low-organizations are often excellent results and provide new innovations to market quickly. This is our big challenge – how to respond to accelerating the pace of innovation competition?

    Start-ups are successful because they are valued openness, individual, creativity, innovation and a willingness to take risks. Also, large companies should adopt similar values ​​and goals. Companies of all employees, including management, need to think boldly and hungrily. Merely thinking is not enough, however, but also requires action.

    The risks include a start-up operation of a large company is a larger-scale operations leach processes. Thus, start-up operations should be kept separate from the basic business.

    Source: http://www.teknologiateollisuus.fi/fi/uutishuone/blog/2014-7/rohkeus-kokeilla-kuuluu-modernin-yritysjohdon-tehtaeviin

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better:

    Happy software developers solve problems better: psychological measurements in empirical software engineering
    https://peerj.com/articles/289/

    Among the many skills required for software development, developers must possess high analytical problem-solving skills and creativity for the software construction process. According to psychology research, affective states—emotions and moods—deeply influence the cognitive processing abilities and performance of workers, including creativity and analytical problem solving. Nonetheless, little research has investigated the correlation between the affective states, creativity, and analytical problem-solving performance of programmers.

    The results offer support for the claim that happy developers are indeed better problem solvers in terms of their analytical abilities.

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    30% of Americans Aren’t Ready For the Next Generation of Technology
    http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/07/01/2147202/30-of-americans-arent-ready-for-the-next-generation-of-technology

    “nearly 30% of Americans either aren’t digitally literate or don’t trust the Internet. That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American.”

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nearly one-third of Americans aren’t ready for the next generation of technology
    http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2014/07/nearly-one-third-americans-arent-ready-next-generation-technology

    Thanks to a decade of programs geared toward giving people access to the necessary technology, by 2013 some 85% of Americans were surfing the World Wide Web. But how effectively are they using it?

    A new survey suggests that the digital divide has been replaced by a gap in digital readiness. It found that nearly 30% of Americans either aren’t digitally literate or don’t trust the Internet. That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American.

    In contrast, says Eszter Hargittai, a sociologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who was not involved in the study, those with essential Web skills “tend to be the more privileged. And so the overall story … is that it’s the people who are already privileged who are reaping the benefits here.”

    Libraries can act as hubs for online learning within a community, Horrigan says. Having young, Internet-savvy people who are willing to share their skills is another option for reducing the size of the digitally unready population.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google, Detroit diverge on road map for self-driving cars
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/30/us-google-detroit-insight-idUSKBN0F50C320140630

    In 2012, a small team of Google Inc engineers and business staffers met with several of the world’s largest car makers, to discuss partnerships to build self-driving cars.

    In one meeting, both sides were enthusiastic about the futuristic technology, yet it soon became clear that they would not be working together. The Internet search company and the automaker disagreed on almost every point, from car capabilities and time needed to get it to market to extent of collaboration.

    It was as if the two were “talking a different language,” recalls one person who was present.

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Choosing a programming language means guessing at the answers to questions like:

    Can we recruit or train the right number of programmers at the right skill level within our budget near our preferred locations?
    Are the necessary libraries for the language of sufficient quality and maturity? If not, how difficult will it be to create and support our own?
    What will it cost to deploy and maintain software written in this language?
    What kinds of tools and utilities are available in the ecosystem around the language and the software written in the language?
    What does the language make easy? What does it make difficult? What does it make possible? What does it make impossible?
    Does the language impose any limitations we haven’t already accepted?
    How does the language fit into our current technology stack?

    Programmers are bad at answering these questions. Programmers are bad at acknowledging—let alone analyzing—business concerns. Don’t expect vendors from Microsoft, Oracle, or enterprise technology consulting companies like IBM or Accenture or SAP to answer these questions for you either.

    Keep in mind two things. First, any language supported by a large company has marketing and sales departments more interested in selling you tools and support and consulting services than in solving your business’s problems and reducing the risks of using that language. Second, any language without a sales or marketing department is probably supported primarily by programmers, and they’re more interested in cool features and theoretical purity and grinding whichever technological axes they prefer than figuring out what’s best for your business.

    Besides that, only you know the risks and rewards that apply to your business.

    Source: http://outspeaking.com/words-of-technology/the-lemon-market-of-programming-language-adoption.html

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Disruptive innovation’ is nonsense? Not ALWAYS, actually
    Check out Google v Big Auto, eggheads, then come back to me
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/02/worstall_weds_disruptive_innovation_cobblers_or_reality/

    If the theory of disruptive innovation is wrong then why do companies act as if it’s true?
    Proof is rather in the pudding after all…..

    It’s thus a standard assumption, an assumption well backed by masses of empirical evidence, that large companies do increase productivity in those small steps. Yet the major advancements come not from the development of extant businesses but from the entry of new ones into the market and the decline of the old. Or, as we might put it, the upstarts clubbing the oldies to death with their new inventions.

    Given this, there’s obviously an interesting theory to be constructed about disruptive innovation. The one we’ve actually got, the one that Lepore is arguing against, is that these new products are initially worse than those they are replacing in many manners. But consumers see something there that extant technology doesn’t provide and thus it replaces the old.

    I suspect that a truly useful fact about this disruption is that, almost by definition, it won’t come from the incumbents in the market. Not because of any economic woe, just because of the incentives faced by the managers and shareholders of said incumbents.

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Marketing Insights: When Engineers Say One Thing But Do Another
    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1322973&

    Engineers hold accuracy and precision as paramount. You are designing and solving critical applications to ensure the highest product quality, system safety, and performance. You are solving complex calculations to ensure the greatest likelihood of success. There’s little room for guesswork or contradictions.

    So when engineers first told me with certainty that other engineers will never give up their personal information on a website, and then they turned around and did exactly that, I was amazed. And I remain amazed, because it’s happened many more times since.

    I’ve worked with business leaders to market their services, products, and companies to highly technical, skeptical audiences.

    And they are generating leads every day from engineers who are filling out forms on their websites and through other channels.

    Engineers will fill out lead forms. Day in and day out, it’s happening at big companies and very small ones alike.

    These are real engineers, real scientists, solving real problems, and seeking real information to help them succeed. It’s about trust. Your customers are solving really big problems, and they need serious information that is accurate, technical, and trustworthy.

    Why? They do it willingly when they perceive information is highly valuable, current, and accurate, and they develop trust. With the combination of established trust and a perception that the information you are providing is of high value, they will share their information to get yours. And they will expect that the trust they have placed in you with their information will be treated with respect.

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stress can be transmitted, such as the common cold

    Stress is contagious, found at Saint Louis University psychologists study group report.

    The study showed that the stress response of the performers also took the observers. Participants’ gender did not affect the reactions. Stress can be transmitted to the weight of the voice, facial expressions, attitude and even the smell, the research reveals.

    Source: http://www.iltalehti.fi/mieli/2014070218458459_md.shtml

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Transformation of a Bike Radar Device
    http://makezine.com/2014/07/02/the-transformation-of-a-bike-radar-device/

    It became Backtracker, a hackable rear-view radar for bikes that’s got an open API and is currently crowdfunding. But that’s the end of the story; what concerns us is the middle.

    “We generally try to find interesting problems that we can solve,” says Struwig. “We help people to see what they can’t.” And that’s what’s behind you. So iKubu started building a device to recognize cars approaching from behind and alert bicyclists.

    They built a rack to support it, and placed a 10 GHz radar antenna on it. It was wired to a single LED on the handlebars that blinked faster as cars got closer. And it was all hacked together from components from previous projects or off-the-shelf components. It was clunky, heavy, and big

    So iKubu built another prototype, sleek and small and shiny, to pitch to manufacturers in the bike industry. Though there was some venture capital interest, it never made it to market. The lesson, says Struwig: “Nobody will ever put in the same amount of passion and effort into taking your product to market than you, yourself.”

    The latest version features a 24 GHz radar antenna

    The radar creates a doppler map, and recognizes not only the vehicle, but how far away it is and how quicky it’s approaching.

    Importantly, iKubu is offering both the open API and development support and schematics.

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Who, what, why: Why does the sum 7×8 catch people out?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28143553

    Children have learned their “times table” – going from “one times one is one” all the way up to “12 x 12 = 144″ – for generations, but certain spot questions cause more problems than others.

    Research by the educational technology firm Flurrish suggests the one pupils find most difficult is “six times eight” (answer: 48). Some 62.5% of the children questioned at Caddington Village School in Bedfordshire got it wrong. The sum demanded of Osborne and Byers was deemed the seventh toughest, flummoxing 47%.

    “It’s those numbers near the middle that kids find the hardest – the sixes, sevens, eights and nines,”

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Digital technology allows the global market for all companies who only know how to take advantage of its potential.

    Successes are those who understand that in the digital world competing business models, not products or services. This is the only way to get genuine competitive advantage.

    Knowledge management into the informaatiosidonnainen profession. Manager must be able to handle large data sets. They must know how to find the data behind this cause-effect relationships, and to give them new meanings.

    Leader, it is important to be proactive and understand future change. Must have a vision. Otherwise, the amendments in the time interval is too short.

    The Director shall be authorized to try, but also permission to make mistakes.

    It should be noted that the success of the future is built upon different set of factors than we are used to. Before things looked through the balance sheet. Now, should look to the success of the off-balance sheet factors.

    Good management are the hallmarks of innovation, activity and creativity. Finnish business management in an international comparison of average. Finland has a good education, but the leadership mindset is very careful.

    Source: http://www.tivi.fi/viisaat/solita/digitaalisuusvallankumous/a996870

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Larry Page explains why it would be ‘stupid’ to run Google like Apple
    http://bgr.com/2014/07/07/google-vs-apple-products-strategy/

    “I’ve been thinking about this change quite a bit over the years. I think it sounds stupid if you have this big company, and you can only do five things,” Page said, subtly taking a hit at Apple. “I think it’s also not very good for the employees. Because then, you have 30,000 employees and they’re all doing the same thing, which isn’t very exciting for them.”

    While Google is not afraid to try several new things at once, Apple has always bragged about the fact that while it has a lot to a lot of interesting ideas and projects, it chooses to only focus only on the best ones. In doing this, Apple is still following Jobs’s lead, who killed many Apple initiatives after he was brought back to the company and chose to focus resources only on a few product lines thereafter.

    “I would always have this debate actually, with Steve Jobs. He’d be like, ‘You guys are doing too much stuff.’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah that’s true.’ And he was right, in some sense.”

    Reply
  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An open letter to women in technology
    http://reprage.com/post/an-open-letter-to-women-in-technology/

    To be honest, I had never really stopped and taken the time to appreciate how difficult things are for women working in technology. I mean, I had always attended co-ed schools and mixed with the opposite gender. But as I got older and more involved with technology, the demographic slowly but steadily changed.

    I’m ashamed to say that a younger me simply accepted the gender stereotype: girls are more interested in the arts, health, and the humanities, while boys are into maths, science and engineering. This was so profoundly and utterly ingrained in my psyche that it took a life changing event for me to really appreciate how flawed my thinking was at the time.

    I realised that our society had somehow managed to create an environment that didn’t do much to encourage women to take an interest in science, technology, engineering or maths. I realised that those six young women in my university class, who had managed to make their way into a lecture theatre filled with other hopeful engineers, were probably the most remarkable of all of us.

    They were so deeply interested in engineering they were able to ignore social norms and doggedly pursue a career that was alien to most of their female peers.

    Reply
  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mind-wandering software knows when you’ve zoned out
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25852-mindwandering-software-knows-when-youve-zoned-out.html#.U75FkkBQO9K

    Snap out of it. Those who find themselves daydreaming when they’re supposed to be reading a report may soon find a device is telling them to pay attention. A detector can now figure out when a person’s attention shifts from their task and get them to focus on it again.

    People are thought to zone out about 20-40 per cent of the time; these instances have been found to result in performance failures, poor memory recall and low reading comprehension

    To combat the issue, Sidney D’Mello and Robert Bixler at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana hit on the idea of making interfaces intelligent enough to spot a user’s waning attention and take action.

    Their software tracks a person’s eye movements with a commercial eye tracker.

    If it thinks the user is no longer concentrating, the system can pause the session, notify the reader,

    Reply
  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/10/scholarly-journal-retracts-60-articles-smashes-peer-review-ring/

    Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal.

    Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once.

    The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published.

    You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

    After a 14-month investigation, JVC determined the ring involved “aliases” and fake e-mail addresses of reviewers — up to 130 of them — in an apparently successful effort to get friendly reviews of submissions and as many articles published as possible by Chen and his friends.

    Reply
  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Unbundling innovation: Samsung, PCs and China
    July 10, 2014
    http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/7/10/unbundling-innovation

    The components are commoditised and OEMs cannot differentiate on software, so they are entering a race to the bottom of cheaper and cheaper and more and more commoditised products, much like the PC industry.

    The funny thing about this is that part of the original promise of Android was that it would allow OEMs to avoid this.

    Reply
  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Innovation’

    By contrast, at the Incubator School in Los Angeles, becoming a billionaire is the goal for many kids.

    In class, they combine the jargon of corporate America with the language of video games. Instead of graduating, they “level up”. They discuss profit-sharing strategies for the school lemonade stand.

    And at this school, starting a business is not only encouraged, it will soon become a mandatory part of the curriculum.

    “It’s an entrepreneurship-themed school that focuses on innovation. It wants kids to launch start-ups and we think of ourselves as a start-up, so we’re constantly refining, experimenting, iterating our product, which is trying to create an education that kids actually want,” says Sujata Bhatt, the school’s founder and head teacher.

    The school looks like a Silicon Valley start-up, with motivational posters on the walls and laptops and tablets on the desks. Only the people using and creating the technology here are children aged 11 to 13.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote
    Sujata Bhatt

    We want kids to look at the world and say, ‘These are problems that need to be solved.”

    Sujata Bhatt Founder, The Incubator School

    When you ask the kids at this school what they want to do when they grow up, nearly all of them say they want to run their own companies.

    Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28129967

    Reply
  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Watching TV after work makes you feel ‘guilty and like a failure’
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/watching-tv-after-work-makes-you-feel-guilty-and-like-a-failure-9626840.html

    Researchers found that using media after a tiring day can make you feel less relaxed and recovered

    You had such good intentions for when you got home from work: go to the gym, call a friend and sort out that paperwork.

    But after a hard day in the office you ended up slumped on the sofa in front of the television instead.

    If you feel bad about it you’re not alone – scientists have discovered that watching television at the end of a long day can make you feel guilty and like a failure.

    They found that those who were especially fatigued were more inclined to feel that they were procrastinating by watching TV or playing games instead of doing more important tasks.

    This led them to feeling guilty, which in turn made them feel less recovered and revitalised, diminishing the positive effects of using media.

    Reply
  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Learning Myth: Why I’m Cautious About Telling My Son He’s Smart
    Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:43:00
    https://www.khanacademy.org/about/blog/post/95208400815/the-learning-myth-why-ill-never-tell-my-son-hes

    Reply
  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science
    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/08/24/1712215/acm-blames-the-pc-for-driving-women-away-from-computer-science

    “Over at the Communications of the ACM, a new article — Computing’s Narrow Focus May Hinder Women’s Participation — suggests that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs should shoulder some of the blame for the dearth of women at Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and other tech companies. From the article: “Valerie Barr, chair of ACM’s Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), believes the retreat [of women from CS programs] was caused partly by the growth of personal computers”

    “ACM continued its efforts to reshape the U.S. education system to see real computer science exist and count as a core graduation credit in U.S. high schools”

    Reply

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