Searching for innovation

Innovation is about finding a better way of doing something. Like many of the new development buzzwords (which many of them are over-used on many business documents), the concept of innovation originates from the world of business. It refers to the generation of new products through the process of creative entrepreneurship, putting it into production, and diffusing it more widely through increased sales. Innovation can be viewed as t he application of better solutions that meet new requirements, in-articulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and, as a consequence, new, that “breaks into” the market or society.

Innoveracy: Misunderstanding Innovation article points out that  there is a form of ignorance which seems to be universal: the inability to understand the concept and role of innovation. The way this is exhibited is in the misuse of the term and the inability to discern the difference between novelty, creation, invention and innovation. The result is a failure to understand the causes of success and failure in business and hence the conditions that lead to economic growth. The definition of innovation is easy to find but it seems to be hard to understand.  Here is a simple taxonomy of related activities that put innovation in context:

  • Novelty: Something new
  • Creation: Something new and valuable
  • Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
  • Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful

The taxonomy is illustrated with the following diagram.

The differences are also evident in the mechanisms that exist to protect the works: Novelties are usually not protectable, Creations are protected by copyright or trademark, Inventions can be protected for a limited time through patents (or kept secret) and Innovations can be protected through market competition but are not defensible through legal means.

Innovation is a lot of talked about nowdays as essential to businesses to do. Is innovation essential for development work? article tells that innovation has become central to the way development organisations go about their work. In November 2011, Bill Gates told the G20 that innovation was the key to development. Donors increasingly stress innovation as a key condition for funding, and many civil society organisations emphasise that innovation is central to the work they do.

Some innovation ideas are pretty simple, and some are much more complicated and even sound crazy when heard first. The is place for crazy sounding ideas: venture capitalists are gravely concerned that the tech startups they’re investing in just aren’t crazy enough:


Not all development problems require new solutions, sometimes you just need to use old things in a slightly new way. Development innovations may involve devising technology (such as a nanotech water treatment kit), creating a new approach (such as microfinance), finding a better way of delivering public services (such as one-stop egovernment service centres), identifying ways of working with communities (such as participation), or generating a management technique (such as organisation learning).

Theorists of innovation identify innovation itself as a brief moment of creativity, to be followed by the main routine work of producing and selling the innovation. When it comes to development, things are more complicated. Innovation needs to be viewed as tool, not master. Innovation is a process, not a one time event. Genuine innovation is valuable but rare.

There are many views on the innovation and innvation process. I try to collect together there some views I have found on-line. Hopefully they help you more than confuze. Managing complexity and reducing risk article has this drawing which I think pretty well describes innovation as done in product development:

8 essential practices of successful innovation from The Innovator’s Way shows essential practices in innovation process. Those practices are all integrated into a non-sequential, coherent whole and style in the person of the innovator.

In the IT work there is lots of work where a little thinking can be a source of innovation. Automating IT processes can be a huge time saver or it can fail depending on situation. XKCD comic strip Automation as illustrates this:

XKCD Automation

System integration is a critical element in project design article has an interesting project cost influence graphic. The recommendation is to involve a system integrator early in project design to help ensure high-quality projects that satisfy project requirements. Of course this article tries to market system integration services, but has also valid points to consider.

Core Contributor Loop (CTTDC) from Art Journal blog posting Blog Is The New Black tries to link inventing an idea to theory of entrepreneurship. It is essential to tune the engine by making improvements in product, marketing, code, design and operations.






  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Invention Killed the Inventor

    The desire to innovate and change the world can drive one to take dangerous risks. Sometimes, inventors pay the ultimate price. Inventors can be early testers of a device under development, and sometimes pushing the limits of what’s possible has deadly consequences. In this era of warning labels on coffee cups, it’s perhaps worth taking a look back at some inventors of the past who lost their lives in the pursuit of building something new.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ellun Kanat new business unit encourages Finnish companies to “conflict”

    According to Miia Savaspuro, Head of Business Unit, Finnish companies do not dare disagree.

    The Conflict-Defined Unit helps businesses create a corporate culture that will turn organizations more open and faster, and thus develop the company’s performance capability.

    “This is not a completely new thing for us, because Ellun Kanat has since been working on projects related to working culture. What’s new is that we have created a model, a way of thinking and a philosophy for developing a corporate culture, and we have differentiated it into its own business unit.”

    The Conflict Business Unit helps businesses “conflict”. It is a process of creating a trusted atmosphere in which both employees and management dare to critically examine their own and others.

    According to Savaspuro, this is too small for Finnish companies. Our corporate culture is cautious and disagreeing is considered extremely difficult.

    “If you think of the most successful companies in the world, so many of them are based on conflict with each other, thus looking at their own, critically, both inside and out, and being able to move agile.”

    “Companies are aware of what they are doing and most of them know how they do, but it is not clear to many companies why they are doing, or the vision is latent.” We make a share to our owners profit “is not a very motivating reason to go to work in the morning” , Says Savaspuro.


  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Engineers of the Future Will Not Resemble the Engineers of the Past

    Important innovations are on the horizon in a host of fields, including energy, medicine, transportation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. And engineers will play a key role in inventing the technologies of the 21st century. But they won’t be much like the engineers of the past.

    That was the message delivered by Stanford engineering professor and former dean James Plummer; Plummer’s talk kicked off the first IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit, held in San Francisco last week. The aim of the conference, a full-day event preceding the ceremony where IEEE’s annual honors are bestowed, was to bring together tech leaders and visionaries to consider the future of technology and the impact engineers can have globally.

    The engineers who will invent that future, Plummer said, “will be a different breed of people than the engineers we educated in the 20th century.” There will be fewer jobs for people in a world with more automation, he pointed out, and therefore educational systems have to focus on producing tech professionals who do what computers can’t do.

    For engineering education, Plummer indicated, that means a number of things. Doctoral programs likely won’t change much, he said, other than to become more interdisciplinary. But masters-level programs, at least at brick-and-mortar schools, “will just go away,” he predicts. “Instead it will be about lifelong education and just-in-time knowledge, and that will be done online.”

    And undergraduate engineering education, though it will persist, will change radically.

    “Today, students are expected to be job-ready with a B.S. degree, so 75 percent of their education is technical courses. Freshman year is designed to be a filter; we send them off to take math and science and tell them to come back if they survive, so dropout rates are 50 percent or more,” Plummer explained.

    “Careers are becoming global and unpredictable,” he said. “Lifelong learning is essential. The half of life of engineering knowledge is three to five years.”

    Plummer advocated broadening engineering education to include more liberal arts exposure and more life skills, with the aim of preparing future engineers for unpredictable careers.

    Engineers will need communication skills, the ability to work in teams, global knowledge, and an entrepreneurial outlook as much as they will need technical depth, he said.

    He pointed out that at Stanford, small seminars, some of which are organized around the Grand Challenges issued by the National Academy of Engineering, have been one way of tying engineering to problem solving.

    Still challenging, he says, is teaching students that failure is acceptable and showing them how to recover from failure. “It is an important life skill,” Plummer said. “I haven’t found a way to successfully do it in a traditional classroom setting. It’s hard to encourage failure and grade students. The best success we have had in teaching failure is outside the classroom, by setting up student competitions and creating environments in which there are opportunities to work on ill-defined problems.”

    “Today’s engineering programs, [which emphasize] creativity, innovation, project-based earning, and working in teams—things I didn’t get as a student—change how young people in the programs come out into the world. They make it cool to be an engineer,” he said.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Retirement age must move as life expectancy grows, says WEF
    Four workers to each pensioner just doesn’t add up

    The ratio of people in the workforce to those in retirement will fall from 8:1 to 4:1 by 2050 if retirement ages do not change, and the global economy will not be able to bear the burden, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said

    Life expectancy has been growing globally by an average of one year every five years since the middle of the last century, and a baby born in 2017 can expect to live to over 100, the WEF said in a report (PDF) on the implications of this change on pensions and retirement.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The IT industry has always been disruptive, but emerging technologies, new ideas, practices and vendors are driving immense changes that your organization may not be prepared for.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Research Report: 4 Important Trends in Big Data

    IT Management
    Tomi Engdahl
    15.06.2017 16:34

    Please respond to “eMedia Reactivation”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    15 Great Thoughts on Engineering
    From queens and presidents to engineers and CEOs, we present great thoughts on engineering.

    Engineers tend not to be an introspective bunch. They may argue for hours about what constitutes good software code, but a discussion about their role in society is likely to be brief.

    Still, engineers occasionally step outside their stoic circles to provide a few deep thoughts on their profession’s place in the cosmos. And if they don’t, the outside world is always happy to step in and give its opinion.

    Here, we’ve collected a few of those insights. From queens and presidents to engineers and CEOs, we present thoughts on engineering, from inside and out.

    “At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession.” — Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand since 1952

    “Because we have a society that is by and large illiterate in these areas – science, math and engineering – what we do is a mystery to them, and they find it scary.”

    “To make an embarrassing admission, I like video games. That’s what got me into software engineering when I was a kid. I wanted to make money so I could buy a better computer to play better video games – nothing like saving the world.” — Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla, Inc.; CEO, founder SpaceX; CEO, Neuralink

    “With engineering, I view this year’s failure as next year’s opportunity to try it again. Failures are not something to be avoided. You want to have them happen as quickly as you can, so you can make progress rapidly.” — Gordon Moore (at left in photo), co-founder and chairman emeritus of Intel Corp.

    “Relying on nothing but scientific knowledge to produce an engineering solution is to invite frustration at best and failure at worst.”

    “Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering.” — Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp.

    “Leonardo da Vinci combined art and science and aesthetics and engineering. That kind of unity is needed once again.”

    “The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them.”

    “Find something that you love to do, and find a place that you really like to do it in.”

    “A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.” — Freeman Dyson

    “There’s a fundamental problem with how the software business does things. We’re asking people who are masters of hard-edged technology to design the soft, human side of software as well. As a result, they make products that are really cool – if you happen to be a software engineer.” — Alan Cooper, software designer and programmer, recognized as the “Father of Visual Basic”

    “As an engineer, I’m constantly spotting problems and plotting how to solve them.” — Sir James Dyson

    “My goal wasn’t to make a ton of money. It was to build good computers. I only started the company when I realized I could be an engineer forever.” — Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple, Inc.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Megabots, Colliders, Rockets, Tunnels Underground, and Other Big Dumb Ideas Will Save Us

    To put it simply, as far as technology goes, everything is still low-hanging fruit. We’ve barely done anything. Even some of our greatest accomplishments can happen randomly in nature.

    Yet that same small optimization applied to a larger effort could have vast positive impact. Those same microprocessors could catalog our planet or drive probes into space.

    Big projects make us bigger than our cellphones and Facebook. When you see a rocket launch into the sky, suddenly, “the world” becomes, simply, “a world.” Order of magnitude improvements reduce the order of our perception of previously complex problems. They should be our highest goal. Whatever field you’re in, you should be trying to be ten times better than the top competitor.

    Nitpicking and Naysaying:

    The first thing that happens when an enterprising individual proposes something big is that some “expert” will come out of the woodwork to write a self-congratulatory article on how smart they are for disproving the feasibility of the idea. Historically these people have been shown to be fantastically wrong.

    Don’t Worry About the Money:

    There is more money out there for investment in new tech and audacious problems than there has ever been. There is almost a trillion dollars floating around for start-up investment in tech alone. The amount of capital floating around to invest in big stuff is staggering.

    If we waste a few billion it’s meaningless. A million dollars won’t even run the US government for a second.

    Stop With the Concept Art. Start Doing:

    We really have powerful visualization software at hand these days. We can tell the greatest stories ever told and do it singlehandedly on a modest computer. So it’s often tempting for someone to present their great idea to the world, plant a flag, get a lot of attention, and then drop it. However, only doers move us forward.

    Rather than just concept art, try to do a concept. Start doing the math. Consult some experts. See if you can find a crack in reality where you can wedge your idea.

    The hyperloop is a good example of this, so is Elon Musk’s boring company. He has enough name power alone that a great rendering would be enough for some, but he does. He had the math worked out to prove the preliminary feasibility. He went out and bought a drilling machine with his billionaire money to see for himself if it can be done.

    Stop With the One Man Shows:

    We know that you have a great idea. However, true technological innovation has always happened as a team effort. When you read about the geniuses that filtered through Edison’s lab (which included Tesla) his list of accomplishments makes more sense. Being the lone war hero, spending night and day learning every skill needed aside from teamwork is just a waste of time. If you’re a good mechanical engineer, find someone who is good with electrons. If you’re not a good manager, find one. Woz needed Jobs.


    Humility is not the hacker way. When you do something great, brag. When you are doing something great, tell people. Get people excited. Learn to be persuasive.

    Find a Way to Make Money Doing It. Humanitarian Efforts Should Be Profitable.

    Money is leverage. It lets you buy human time and creative output. It buys machines, capital. It’s the only way to get rocket fuel. Doing it on the cheap won’t get you anywhere. So find a way to make money. Find a way to make lots of money. Very few things deserve to exist on merit alone.

    The truth is that the best people in the world have one life to live. They aren’t going to work at your nonprofit for $30,000 a year. They’re going to work in a place where they can leverage millions and make millions.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    When Innovation Moves Too Fast

    My go-to laptop is out of storage space and I refuse to put my stuff in the cloud. I’m a digital Robinson Crusoe, alone on an island of hard disks and memory sticks. Resisting the cloud hurts only me, but I’m stubborn—and a victim of an insidious, unseen force: Lag.

    Lag is the failure to adapt to changes in our engineered world. Lag is everyone’s problem. Many people fall behind; most perpetually feel they will never catch up.

    The problem isn’t new. In the 1920s, the sociologist William Ogburn crafted an entire theory around the idea that social and cognitive traits make people slow to adapt to emerging technologies—and thus delay gaining their benefits. Lag hurts the pocket, too.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Storing data: A moving target–A-moving-target?utm_content=buffer446d0&utm_medium=social&

    I’ve started scanning the slides to .jpg images, which will take a long time.

    But, will there be any machine that can read such images for future generations? How should I store the digitized slides—on disc drives, CDs, or flash drives?
    Eventually, there won’t be a machine left that can read them. Will there be a machine left that lets us view the original slides? The only way I can see the slides themselves is with the slide imager I bought about a year ago, but at least I can scan slides myself. The slide imager stores .jpg files to an SD card, for which my laptop PCs have slots. Transferring the image files to the laptop is easy, but perhaps the next laptop will lack a SD card slot. Thus, I keep an adapter handy for when that day comes.

    For now, the advantage of the DVD is that those movies reside in multiple locations because my cousins have copies.

    Archiving home movies is a small problem compared to what Hollywood is facing with archiving films

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Older Fathers Have Geekier Sons’

    Men who delay starting a family are more likely to have “geekier” sons, a study suggests. They were brighter, more focused and less bothered about fitting in — according to the “Geek Index” devised by King’s College London. The mother’s age had no impact, and daughters seemed to be immune. One scientist said a trend for delayed parenthood might mean we were heading towards a “society of geniuses” able to solve the world’s problems.

    Older fathers have ‘geekier sons’

    Those with a high geek score, unsurprisingly, went on to do better at school – particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

    Possible explanations include:

    Geekier dads could be taking longer to start a family and pass on geeky traits to their children
    Older men have a home setting (due to stable, better paid jobs giving more access to education or experience from previous children) that encourages geeky traits
    New mutations in sperm that affect development

    The gender differences are not fully explained.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobile Robotics Kit Teaches Coding and Electronics Skills

    Educators are incorporating robotics into their STEM and CTE curriculum to train the new skilled workforce of engineers and technicians. This skilled workforce will be responsible for designing and maintaining advanced robotic

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Siemens Lays Out Vision for Mentor

    When Siemens AG agreed last November to buy Mentor Graphics Corp. for $4.5 billion, it wasn’t the first time that the German conglomerate had entertained the idea of swallowing the Portland, Ore.-based EDA software vendor.

    Turns out that the two companies had had what executives termed a “fly by” some nine years before. When rival Cadence Design Systems Inc. launched a hostile takeover attempt of Mentor in 2008, Siemens was one of several potential white knight acquirers that CEO Walden Rhines reached out to.

    “This idea of putting two companies like us together has been in my head for 20 years,” Grindstaff said during an interview with trade press editors at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) here Tuesday (June 20). He added that it was just a matter of waiting for the technologies to evolve to the point where the disruption in the marketplace caused by such a deal would be manageable compared with what could be gained from the synergies involved.

    During the meeting with the press and a keynote address earlier in the morning, Grindstaff made a persuasive case for the combination of the two firms at a time when Siemens PLM customers—mostly system vendors from across various industies—are increasingly designing their own chips for inclusion in their products.

    “A lot of stuff is getting connected together,” he said. “It’s getting connected because of a change in the way products are designed. Many systems companies around the world are becoming chip designers.”

    Later, he said, “The driving force behind the acquisition has to do with the speed of change and where many of our customers are in the cycle.”

    Grindstaff explained that, rather than “inch its way up” to be closer to chip level design, Siemens wanted to get there in one fell swoop by buying a company with strong knowledge and history in the IC space, he said. “We wanted to get on the far end of that [chip design] spectrum,” he said.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China Is About To Usurp America As The World Leader In Science

    No matter what China does these days, it does it extremely quickly.

    building wind and solar farms like no tomorrow, they are really going full steam ahead. Make no mistake, China wants to be a world leader in pretty much everything.

    This also appears to include science and technology (S&T). Back in 2014, several reports pointed out that Chinese S&T spending was rising dramatically compared to Japan, the US, and the EU. Back in 2008, it trumped Japan, and by 2013, it eclipsed the EU. At its current rate, China will outspend the US by 2019.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    America Is Now a ‘Second Tier’ Country

    Some 17 others, including all of Scandinavia, outperform the U.S. by a wide margin when it comes to well-being.

    America leads the world when it comes to access to higher education. But when it comes to health, environmental protection, and fighting discrimination, it trails many other developed countries, according to the Social Progress Imperative, a U.S.-based nonprofit.

    The results of the group’s annual survey, which ranks nations based on 50 metrics, call to mind other reviews of national well-being, such as the World Happiness Report released in March, which was led by Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, or September’s Lancet study on sustainable development. In that one, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden, and the U.S. took spots 1, 2, 3, and 28—respectively.

    The U.S. may be underperforming, but so is the rest of the world. American progress, like that of other rich nations, has stalled for four years running. Based on overall world GDP, humanity as a whole could be doing a much more efficient job taking care of itself. Tough graders, these social-progress folks.

    America “is failing to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, protect the environment, and provide opportunity for everyone to make personal choices and reach their full potential.”

    As a result, the U.S. is ranked as a second-tier nation within the multilevel structure of the Social Progress Index 2017 report

    Its lowest marks come in the categories of “tolerance and inclusion” and “health and wellness.”

    The authors note that wealth is no guarantee to first-tier access.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    No Thanks! We are too Busy.

    “Thanks for thinking of me, but we’re not looking at anything new.” If I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me, I’d be rich. When I first saw this cartoon on LinkedIn last year, I thought that it was a perfect way to make a point. We as people are still resistant to change. So much so, that we often forget that someone might have a better solution.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Benefits of Hiring from Outside Your Industry
    Here are 5 reasons hiring managers should seek out engineers not from your specific niche industry.

    Don’t be afraid to seek out and hire engineers not from your specific niche industry.

    This is not to imply that you should lower your standards for key staffing criteria, such as technical competence, depth of experience, niche technical expertise, self-motivation, and communication skills. Au contraire. The point here is to focus on hiring engineers with strong skill sets and cut back on the laser focus on finding someone who has created your exact product. Here’s why:

    1. Adjacent product design experience brings new design insights
    Bringing in engineers from other industries or product categories can bring new ideas on how to solve problems in your product category. It will likely be a pleasant surprise to find out how the solution to technical problems in another product category can morph into solutions for your product designs. Bringing in outside engineers brings new perspectives.

    2. Other industry experience adds new ideas around testing and quality
    Quality and testing standards for medical devices, DoD systems, commercial electronics and consumer products can have very different standards for quality and testing. Consider the value of engineers coming out of the DoD world joining a company trying to create rugged, commercial products.

    3. Engineers from other industries can accelerate your process
    Such engineers, if they come with self-confidence, can challenge pre-conceived notions of what “must” be done and help break the mold of “we have always done it this way.”

    4. Great engineers can readily pick up your nuances
    Every product category, especially those that are mature, has tribal knowledge based on past experiences. Good engineers coming from “other” industries will know how to ask the right questions.

    5. Outsiders can learn and assimilate new regulatory and industry standards
    a great engineer can quickly read and assimilate new standards. These just boil down to process definitions and design inputs. However, just because an engineer comes in knowing the regulatory processes or standards for your industry does not mean they will be a good engineer. Unless you are specifically recruiting someone to be a pure regulatory engineer, any good engineer can learn the standards of a new industry. It is not rocket science.

    These are not academic arguments for building a team with “outsiders.” It is a practice

    Contrary to the perceptions of some, great engineers also readily pickup and enjoy the fast-paced and dynamic environment of the commercial product world.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Broadband: Evolving Beyond the Big Dumb Pipe

    Strategic planning for the innovation era

    How do service providers make the change from utility to innovation service models? They start by laying the foundations for innovations that provide service insights, development agility, and industry partnerships. Strategic planners in technology and product management need to introduce these three enablers of innovation success:

    Gather subscriber insights: Understanding your subscriber usage patterns and trends is a critical first step towards developing the right services portfolio for your market. Use the subscriber usage metered data to define subscriber segments, correlate usage to network utilization, and strategically offer services that reflect real value to customers. This information will be critical to creating service models that deliver revenue and cost savings benefits.
    Enable agile development and delivery: Go beyond the buzzwords and implement a structured environment from development to service delivery. Use policy-based service definitions to accelerate time to market.
    Leverage strategic partners: You might be first in your market to roll out a particular service, but chances are that something like this has been done before. Find the people who have already crossed the chasm. These trailblazers not only deliver a technology solution but their ability to think strategically also provides benefits across the product lifecycle.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Study: TechCrunch Disrupt videos show VCs focus more on potential gains when interviewing male founders, more on losses in interviews with female entrepreneurs — There is an enormous gender gap in venture capital funding in the United States. Female entrepreneurs receive only about 2% …

    Male and Female Entrepreneurs Get Asked Different Questions by VCs — and It Affects How Much Funding They Get

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms

    At a White House gathering of tech titans last week, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, delivered a blunt message to President Trump on how public schools could better serve the nation’s needs. To help solve a “huge deficit in the skills that we need today,” Mr. Cook said, the government should do its part to make sure students learn computer programming.

    “Coding,” Mr. Cook told the president, “should be a requirement in every public school.”

    The Apple chief’s education mandate was just the latest tech company push for coding courses in schools. But even without Mr. Trump’s support, Silicon Valley is already advancing that agenda — thanks largely to the marketing prowess of, an industry-backed nonprofit group.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Macron, CEA-Leti Push Startup Movement

    How real is startup movement in France? Is it sustainable? For entrepreneurs, 39-year-old President Macron and 50-year-old research institute CEA-Leti are their needed tailwind.

    French engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs are ready to hitch their wagons to a star, President Emmanuel Macron, who wants France to become a “Startup Nation.”

    In a country where rigid labor laws have long constrained hiring and firing practices, being “correct” is one of the most important values. French people tend to be risk-averse, preferring, for example, a job at La Post (the national postal service), or in big state corporations like Gaz de France (GDF) or Électricité de France (EDF). Working in big government or big utilities has been the dream of French parents for their kids.

    In that context, the idea of a “startup” is the polar opposite to everything for which France stood through at least the 20th century.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Europe First’ Emerges as Theme of Tech Reboot

    GRENOBLE, France – More and more, the motto of the European microelectronics industry, including its semiconductor manufacturing reboot, has become “Europe First.”

    The joint collaboration agreement announced by Europe’s two large research institutes — CEA-Leti (Grenoble) and Fraunhofer Group (Berlin) — here this week has amplified an upbeat “pro-Europe” sentiment. As Leti hosted its 50th anniversary, the heads of the two research and technology organizations sealed a deal and discussed plans to work together, aligning their microelectronics innovation agenda in Europe.

    Marie-Noëlle Semeria, Leti’s CEO, told reporters, “By putting European large projects under a single roof, we can go faster [with our R&D], together.”

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Your smartphone makes you stupid, study shows

    Researchers at the University of Texas find the “mere presence” of a phone reduces our ability to think and concentrate — even when it’s off.

    Looks like the word “smartphone” may be a misnomer. Sure the phone may be smart, but just having it around makes us dumber, according to a study of nearly 800 phone users conducted by the University of Texas at Austin.

    Researchers at the university’s McCombs School of Business asked participants to take a series of computer-based tests that needed their full concentration. Before they began the tests, geared to measure “the brain’s ability to hold and process data at any given time,” people in the study were randomly asked to either place their phone facedown on the desk, in their pocket or in another room. All were told to mute the sound.

    The study found that people with their phones in another room “significantly outperformed” those who had their phones on the desk, and did slightly better than those who had their phones in a pocket.

    “Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources,” said McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward, who headed the experiment. “It’s a brain drain.”

    Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The EU doubles research funding – Finnish companies need to be awake

    The European Commission is doubling its funding for research, if the ideas of the High Level Group of its recommendations are fully implemented. This opens up new financing opportunities for Finnish companies, say the DIMECC interface of the technology industry and the manufacturing industry.

    The report submitted to the Commission by the Working Group marks a major breakthrough. In addition to increasing funding, the recommendations include modernization of education, reform of the Union’s research and innovation program, cutting of the volume of research and investment cuts and, for example, involving citizens in various projects.


  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    U.S. Seeks Life After Moore’s Law
    July events kick off $200M DARPA project

    A few dozen executives will gather next week at the first event to kick off what could become nearly a half billion dollar program to revitalize the U.S. electronics industry. An event the following week in Silicon Valley will seek input from the broader tech community on finding new materials, architectures and design processes for a post-Moore’s-law era.

    The Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) under the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency aims to serve the needs both of the military and the tech industry. DARPA will spend a total of $200 million on the effort including $75 million of new funding expected in its fiscal 2018 budget.

    The spending is significant but relatively small compared to the ambitions of the program. It aims to accelerate research in the kinds of post-Moore’s law areas Gordon Moore himself defined in his article that defined chip scaling.

    They include “the integration of novel materials and functional blocks, automation in design, and the reuse of large functional blocks and architectures,” DARPA said on its ERI Web site.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Will the U.S. Replace its Aging Engineering Workforce?
    As more U.S. engineers retire, the U.S. education system will be taxed to provide enough native-born replacement engineers. Or, this may require foreign-born engineers as replacements.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Do Engineers Listen to While They Work?
    A new survey delves into the music preferences and listening habits of software engineers at work.

    If you’re a software engineer today, chances are you work in an open-format office. That means you’re under constant assault from interruptions, distractions, ambient noise, and all of the other things that come with sharing a space with dozens of other people. It also means a good pair of headphones and a playlist of your favorite music can be essential to your productivity. Even Mythbuster’s own Jaime Hyneman has said music is a vital part of his work process.

    To gain some insight into the listening habits of software engineers, Qualtrics, a research software and experience management firm, conducted a survey of 400 professional adult software engineers.

    The results showed that 96% of software engineers reported listening to music at least some of the time and 78% prefer music over anything else while coding. The next highest preference was total silence, but it was only preferred by 6% of respondents (to be fair to that 6%, it’s hard to prefer something that is unubtainable in your work environment).

    The stereotype when you think of coders and music is to imagine Bertram Gilfoyle from the show Silicon Valley listening to electronic music or heavy metal. But Qualtrics found the artists with the most consensus were U2, Taylor Swift,The Beatles, Maroon 5, Linkin Park, and Katy Perry. Does that mean engineers prefer top 40 Pop music just as much as everyone else? Accoding to the survey Pop is by far the most popular genre for software engineers to listen to (28%). Electronic music came in a distant second at 12%, and another 11% listed classical as their top choice. Reggae was music of choice for only 2% of respondents (Sorry, Bob Marley).

    Engineers also prefer to use streaming services to get their music. Pandora is the most popular choice, preferred by 29% of respondents, with YouTube and Spotify coming in at 23% and 19%

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chicago to make future plans a graduation requirement: report

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) wants public high school students to show their plans for the future before obtaining their diploma.

    Students will soon have to show that they’ve secured a job or received a letter of acceptance to college, a trade apprenticeship, a gap year program or the military in order to graduate, The Washington Post reports.

    Emanuel’s plan, approved by the Board of Education in late May, makes Chicago’s the first big-city system to make post-graduation plans a requirement.

    “We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed,” Emanuel told the Post. “You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”

    But critics say the district may not be able to provide mentoring to help needy students when the rule takes effect in 2020.

    “It sounds good on paper, but the problem is that when you’ve cut the number of counselors in schools, when you’ve cut the kind of services that kids need, who is going to do this work?”

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kim Hart / Axios:
    Canada aims to capture foreign tech talent with recently debuted Global Skills Strategy program, which boasts visa application turnaround of 2 weeks for firms

    Canada’s play for immigrant tech talent

    When it comes to high-skilled immigration, the U.S.’s loss could be Canada’s gain. Canada recently launched a Global Skills Strategy visa program to make it easier for its companies to bring in foreign workers with specific technology or business skills. The program allows firms to have a position pre-approved and get visas within two weeks — a stark contrast to the months-long U.S. visa process.

    Why it matters: The Trump administration has moved to restrict the number of immigrants coming into the U.S. on work visas, which worries big tech and consulting firms that use the H-1B visa program to fill technical and specialized jobs. Canada’s government is seizing the moment to provide an option for engineers, executives and other tech talent who may no longer qualify for an H-1B visa or who simply don’t feel comfortable staying in the U.S.

    Government of Canada launches the Global Skills Strategy

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Convergence of Blockchain with Emerging Technologies Set to Disrupt the Healthcare Industry by 2025

    In the next five to 10 years, a blockchain ecosystem with healthcare-focused use cases involving health data exchanges, smart assets management, insurance and payment solutions, blockchain platform providers, and consortiums will emerge. On-going digital democratization of care delivery models towards a much-anticipated personalized and outcome-based treatment paradigm will be the major impetus for blockchain adoption. Furthermore, the convergence of blockchain with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, mHealth and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) provides new opportunities to explore digital health economies. At its core, blockchain would offer the potential of a shared platform that decentralizes healthcare interactions ensuring access control, authenticity, and integrity while presenting the industry with radical possibilities for value-based care and reimbursement models.

    “Burgeoning connected health devices and the need to protect against data breaches make blockchain, with its ubiquitous security infrastructure, the obvious foundation for emerging digital health workflows and advanced healthcare interoperability. It creates an additional trust layer through unique distributed network consensus that uses cryptography techniques to minimize cyber threats,” said Transformational Health Industry Analyst Kamaljit Behera. “Blockchain technology may not be the panacea for healthcare industry challenges needs but it holds the potential to save billions of dollars by optimizing current workflows and disintermediating some high-cost gatekeepers.”

    Data interoperability, insurance fraud management, drug supply chain provenance, and identity management applications offer growth opportunities, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health team

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Technology Program for Productivity Enhancer – R & D rose up to 250% without loss of quality

    The Dimecc Need for Speed ​​(N4S) four-year technology program was experimented with real-time business models, according to Dimecc Oy.

    Business models boosted the product development of the participating companies – some up to 100-250% without loss of quality. Delivery capability and customer satisfaction also improved.

    According to the announcement, thanks to the technology program, the combined savings of Nokia, Data, Ericsson, Elisa Appelsin, F-Secure and Bittium of the six big Dimec shareholder companies are 40.7 million euros annually.

    The program measured the impact of business models within the company. The efficiency of development work increased by some 250% of the companies participating in the program.

    Infrastructure efficiency improved by 50% with cloud services, and addictions to non-maintenance support decreased by 50%. The release of free source software reduced the cost of licensed products by 30%.

    “The N4S program can also be used by other Finnish software-intensive companies to become world class operators,”



  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    N4S Treasure Chest for Real-Time Business

    N4S Treasure Chest is a collection of instructions, best practices and guidelines based on the results of N4S-program. Treasure Chest instructs how to make software business in real-time.

    The industry is utilizing the new technical infrastructure such as data visualization and feedback from product delivery. These new capabilities as well as various sources of data and information help for gaining and applying the deep customer insight. The important question is how data science can support service and software development for real-time business. New Goal Driven Hunting Culture – mercury business approach expands beyond existing business.

    Making company agile is the grounding. Then there are elements for experimental culture established for instance by enhancing DevOps training through continuous experimentation. Introducing service design is another key trait for transforming a company from project business into service business. Overall, those organizational developments may take some 3 years of continuous everything.

    The need for speed increases all the time. However, coupled with the increasing speed, quality in software development must be retained and even improved by quality leadership. Thus, Lean, continuous and viable are the key performance measures. Amplifying the cycle between data and impact enable developing new digital services for speed and beyond. We have achieved 3x speed in data warehouse development, for example.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    90% Employees face awkward interview questions: JobBuzz Study

    Interview preparations are a tough task, given the varied and weird nature of questions one could face in job interviews. Proper preparation and research is the key to excel. JobBuzz a company rating platform powered by TimesJobs reveals the most awkward questions asked in an interview.

    A whopping 90% of the 820 employees who participated in this study confessed that they have faced inappropriate or awkward questions in job interviews as admitted to JobBuzz, a company rating platform powered by TimesJobs.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Most Republicans Think Universities And Colleges Are Bad For America

    A rather striking poll by Pew Research has just been released that reveals that only 55 percent of Americans think that colleges and universities “have a positive effect on the way things are going” in the US. This may be a majority, but it’s a fine one. In any case, this means that almost half of Americans think universities and colleges are having a negative effect on the national state of affairs.

    The poll finds that 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think that they are having a negative effect, up from 45 percent last year. In contrast, a large majority of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents – 72 percent – think the opposite

    When it comes to colleges and universities, Democrats see them as having a better effect on the country than the media (net -2), labor unions (net +37), churches and religious groups (net +14), and financial institutions (net -21).

    More Republicans, on the other hand, view colleges and universities less favorably than banks and financial institutions (net +9) and religious organizations (net +59).

    For some reason, having any kind of university degree makes someone far more moderate or left-leaning than their non-degree owning friends. This may be why Republicans are increasingly keen to disapprove of colleges, as they see them as bastions of liberal thinking.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    These Kenyan Farmers Are Coding Apps to Cope With a Devastating Drought

    I went to a hackathon in Eldoret, Kenya to see if homegrown technology could work where foreign solutions have failed.

    Kenya is facing one of its worst droughts in decades. Families are camped by dry wells, livestock has become too skinny to be eaten or sold, and armed conflict is flaring up between cattle grazers. Maize, a staple crop here, has been hit the hardest. In February, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a national disaster, with 2.6 million people in need of food aid after the drought started in 2014.

    I went to Eldoret for Hack4Farming, a hack-a-thon that has drawn over 100 people—including the 40 competitors—from across Kenya. With the drought looming large, they have set their sights on revolutionizing Kenyan agriculture. In attendance are iPad-toting members of a growing class of young Kenyan professionals that have invested in small-scale horticultural outfits, keen on finding the latest tech for their farms.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    3D printing will not substitute building models by hand in architecture

    We said it. And we’re a 3D printer company for architects.

    Models are an integral part of architecture — both for architects and everyone else. A model makes a design idea a reality that can be grasped. For architects, they can act as a communication and design tool. For the rest of us, models provide mesmerising three-dimensional visualisations of buildings and spaces. Put a scale model in the middle of a table and see how everyone forgets all about the sketches, drawings and digital modelings. Humans were meant to perceive the world in 3D — it is natural to us.
    In architecture, a model is not just a model, but an added dimension, a material felt, a form grasped, a mass understood, a spatial relationship distinguished. These dimensions are attained both from examining ready models, but also from building the models.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios:
    Early coding school Dev Bootcamp is shutting down, says it couldn’t make its business model work; it was acquired by education services company Kaplan in 2014 — Dev Bootcamp, the original “coding bootcamp,” is shutting down, the company announced on Wednesday.

    Early “coding school” Dev Bootcamp is shutting down

    Dev Bootcamp, the original “coding bootcamp,” is shutting down, the company announced on Wednesday.

    Why it matters: Early coding bootcamps like Dev Bootcamp launched a boom in alternative education for programing skills, with some of the school’s own alumni going on to found their own successful programs, like App Academy. Ultimately, the coding bootcamp craze highlighted not only the need to rethink computer science and programming education in traditional colleges, but also the increasing demand for workers with these technical skills.

    Not sustainable: Dev Bootcamp, which was acquired by education services company Kaplan in 2014, says it couldn’t make its business model work.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A people-first view of investing in innovation or entrepreneurs who take people for granted will fail

    Participants at our event were voicing concerns as well as enthusiasms — and smart ones at that — about cybersecurity and the environment, about safety and public space, about the sharing economy and an incipient oligarchy.

    Something, though, seemed to be missing.

    wanted to step back and think about what automation in general means for humans.

    “What,” I asked the group, “does it mean for a person to interact with a robot?”

    And I realized that my question was not just about autonomous cars, not by a long shot. I was also thinking about enterprise security and next-gen healthcare, about financial technology and marketplaces. My thinking applied to just about every aspect of the businesses of the future. All of these realms involve humans — and far too often, humans are taken for granted.

    Which is to say, we need to think of people not just as consumers but collectively as the society that shapes technology just as much as technology shapes society.

    Thinking about people merely as consumers is a dead-end

    A people-first view of investing in innovation or entrepreneurs who take people for granted will fail
    Posted 11 hours ago by Navin Chaddha (@NavinChaddha)

    Navin Chaddha
    Navin Chaddha leads Mayfield. The firm invests in early-stage consumer and enterprise technology companies and currently has $2.7 billion under management.

    More posts by this contributor:
    Jason Kilar on founding Vessel and the wonderful world of customer service
    NFX Guild’s James Currier’s journey from baiting hooks to baiting big deals
    As the first institutional investor in Lyft, a serial entrepreneur, a hands-on ex-engineer and a lifelong tech enthusiast, I have been fascinated by the promise of the world of autonomous transport. However, as the conversation at a recent Mayfield-hosted event on the topic turned to the complexities that autonomous cars might introduce to the urban thoroughfare, I had an insight.

    Participants at our event were voicing concerns as well as enthusiasms — and smart ones at that — about cybersecurity and the environment, about safety and public space, about the sharing economy and an incipient oligarchy.

    Something, though, seemed to be missing. It was as if the autonomous cars had circled us and we couldn’t see past them.

    We talked at times about people, certainly, but almost always as the source of a problem. In the form of pedestrians, people meant safety concerns. In the form of professional drivers, people meant employment issues. In the form of government officials, people meant over-regulation. In the form of longtime drivers, people meant long-held societal norms about ownership and freedom of motion.

    I wanted to step back and think about what automation in general means for humans.

    “What,” I asked the group, “does it mean for a person to interact with a robot?”

    Sure I was thinking about cars, but I was wondering aloud about how my family responds to an Alexa speaker on the kitchen counter, and how bots had come to suggest themselves as the middle managers of online interaction, and the role that non-player characters serve in virtual reality games, and how pedestrians navigate around the beta-stage delivery robots popping up on sidewalks.

    And I realized that my question was not just about autonomous cars, not by a long shot. I was also thinking about enterprise security and next-gen healthcare, about financial technology and marketplaces. My thinking applied to just about every aspect of the businesses of the future. All of these realms involve humans — and far too often, humans are taken for granted.

    Which is to say, we need to think of people not just as consumers but collectively as the society that shapes technology just as much as technology shapes society.

    Thinking about people merely as consumers is a dead-end

    These are bright days. There is no doubt that change for the good (the current political climate notwithstanding), technological innovation and a spirit of curiosity and exploration are all hallmarks of our time.

    However, when people in the business of technology talk about the future, they talk about an ever-shifting slate of similar line items. It’s almost always about the software and hardware that will yield opportunities for investors, businesses and consumers.

    Technology isn’t the only thing changing. Society is changing.

    What is almost always missing is the human element: How does human behavior shape business opportunities? How is human behavior changing, and what does a projected change in human behavior a decade from now mean for a product we’re starting today but that won’t fully penetrate its market for another 10 years?

    What I’m describing is the feedback loop: Technology isn’t the only thing changing. Society is changing. These things influence each other.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Linux for Everyone–All 7.5 Billion of Us

    Linux has long since proven it’s possible for one operating system to work for everyone—also that there’s an approach to development that opens and frees code so everyone can use it, improve it and assure its freedoms spread to everyone doing the same.

    This has been great for computing at all scales. But, it hasn’t been great for everybody, yet, because not everybody has access to hardware or software, but we can still help them out, our way.

    What I’m suggesting here is that we conceive and develop new approaches to bringing the benefits of free and open-source computing, software and methods to everybody.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Universities finally realize that Java is a bad introductory programming language

    Java is popular, certainly, but it’s also extremely clunky and syntactically bloated.

    But a new version of the course, CS 106J is based on JavaScript.

    According to the University website, “[CS 106J] covers the same material as CS 106A but does so using JavaScript, the most common language for implementing interactive web pages, instead of Java.”

    The decision to ditch Java is a laudable one. While there’s a lot to like about it, Java is perhaps the harshest language you can learn as a beginner. In fact, in this respect, it’s straight-up awful.

    Because, here’s the thing. Programming is fun – or at least, it should be. It shouldn’t be scary, but rather a fundamentally creative endeavor that can lead to an amazing career.

    By teaching Java, you risk associating programming with something tedious and difficult in the minds of beginners, and run the risk of them switching to something less arduous.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Madeline Purdue / USA Today:
    Spurred by efforts, the number of female students taking AP CS exams grew by over 2X in past year; the number of black and Latino students grew over 3X

    AP computer science exam takers double; here’s why

    Female, black and Latino student participation in Advanced Placement computer science exams has more than doubled in the past year, helped by the introduction of an AP course designed to introduce principles, according to a new report.

    The biggest gains in AP computer science exams came from minority and female students taking the the AP Computer Science Principles exam, said, which aims to add computer science to the curriculum of every school in America to bring more diversity into the tech industry.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Books You Should Read: The Idea Factory

    You’ve heard of Bell Labs, but likely you can’t go far beyond naming the most well-known of discoveries from the Lab: the invention of the transistor. It’s a remarkable accomplishment of technological research, the electronic switch on which all of our modern digital society has been built. But the Bell Labs story goes so far beyond that singular discovery. In fact, the development of the transistor is a microcosm of the Labs themselves.

    The pursuit of pure science laid the foundation for great discovery. Yes, the transistor was conceived, prototyped, proven, and then reliably manufactured at the Labs. But the framework that made this possible was the material researchers and prototyping ninjas who bridged the gap between the theory and the physical. The technology was built on what is now a common material; semiconducting substances which would not have been possible without the Labs refinement of the process for developing perfectly pure substances reliably doped to produce the n-type and p-type substances that made diode and transistor possible.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Woodie Flowers: Things, Not Theory

    If you’ve never heard of Woodie Flowers, you’re missing out on an important aspect of engineering education: solving problems. The Papalardo Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering at MIT has a resume that could fill a room. Flowers and Dean Kamen started the FIRST Robotics Competition, which holds events worldwide and is responsible for many people choosing to study and practice engineering. Search his name and you’ll see Woodie’s many accomplishments.

    Flowers gave a keynote address at NI Week 2017, where he talked about why engineers need to think not about equations and theory, but about how they can use their skills to solve many of the world’s problems. He also said that engineers, because of their ability to separate fact from fiction, are in a great position to understand how the world works. EE Times met with Flowers at his office on the MIT campus.

    EE Times: How did you go about developing a hands-on engineering course?
    Flowers: When I joined the MIT faculty, the head of the ME department was Asher Shapiro, one of the world’s leaders in fluid dynamics. His grad course in fluid mechanics was the best course I ever took. He was, though, a classic engineering science guy. He’d start at the upper left corner of the blackboard, and at the end of the class, he was at the lower right corner.

    What stuck in my head, however, came from a film series from National Science Foundation (NSF) that Shapiro supervised in making.

    EE Times: Do students come in with a yearning to learn?
    Flowers: In my classes, particularly in a freshman seminar (which became the biggest freshman seminar at MIT), I would write “Things, not theory” on the blackboard. I would ask them to tell me what they wanted to learn about. I would get some 400 responses, and we’d pick about 150 things where students would give a five-minute presentation to the class. That showed me students could be curious about a lot of things. Creating a self-image with a license to be curious and a need to know is a big deal. Learn about the things around you. Can you figure out what this is?

    Nearly half of the students in that freshman seminar were women. Some claimed to have been culturally deprived of the opportunity to learn how things worked.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paul Mozur / New York Times:
    China unveils official policy to build a domestic AI industry worth ~$150B by 2030 calling for AI companies and R&D to be at US levels of innovation by 2020

    Beijing Wants A.I. to Be Made in China by 2030

    If Beijing has its way, the future of artificial intelligence will be made in China.

    The country laid out a development plan on Thursday to become the world leader in A.I. by 2030, aiming to surpass its rivals technologically and build a domestic industry worth almost $150 billion.

    Released by the State Council, the policy is a statement of intent from the top rungs of China’s government: The world’s second-largest economy will be investing heavily to ensure its companies, government and military leap to the front of the pack in a technology many think will one day form the basis of computing.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Deeply reported features provide technology insight for engineers
    Posted Jul 20, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    At AspenCore (owner of EEWeb), we believe that good technical journalism is vital to technological progress, and rather than degrading journalism to fit an online strategy of ever more clicks and page views, our first and preeminent concern is to present the best technical data, tools, and reporting to you, in the most succinct language possible, whenever and wherever you look for insight.

    According to AspenCore’s Mind of the Engineer, the largest, longest-running, and most trusted behavioral study of its kind, the number-one concern for engineers worldwide is that they struggle to keep up with technology change. When asked how they coped, they unanimously answered that they turned to industry media publications, such as Electronic Products, to read and self-train.

    Which brings me to why, at AspenCore (owner of EEWeb), we believe that good technical journalism is vital to technological progress, and rather than degrading journalism to fit an online strategy of ever more clicks and page views, our first and preeminent concern is to present the best technical data, tools, and reporting to you, in the most succinct language possible, whenever and wherever you look for insight.

    In addition to EE Times and EDN, you can find these articles on other AspenCore sites, such as here on EEWeb, Electronic Products, Planet Analog or EBN, among others.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Accelerating the speed of innovation

    Being first to market with a new product or feature is a critical differentiator in many industries. Being first often means capturing greater market share or establishing leadership and dominance in a new market. It also leads to faster return on investment and greater overall profitability.

    From a design standpoint, the difference between being the innovation leader and having a late-to-market “me-too” product might be just a matter of a few weeks. The more a development team can reduce its design cycle, the greater its chance of taking the lead in the market.

    Innovation, however, takes time. Development teams need to be able to explore new ideas and test different options. This is often an iterative process — the team implements a design, tests it, improves it and then begins the cycle again. The faster a team can iterate, the faster it can complete a design that is ready for market.

    Time-to-market, then, is impacted significantly by how quickly a development team can iterate designs. A team that can iterate a design cycle in a few hours can innovative several times faster than a team that takes a week per cycle. The ability to iterate faster gives OEMs greater flexibility. They can use faster iteration to deliver a product to market more quickly. Alternatively, they can add a few design cycles to focus on refinement—for example, reducing power consumption or product size. Another option is to optimize a design for price by taking time to evaluate different components that can reduce your overall bill of materials (BOM) cost.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    10 Automotive Ideas That Didn’t Pan Out

    From flying cars to early aluminum engines, here’s a peek at some of the auto industry’s most ignominious failures.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Coding bootcamps are dying out, here’s why

    Not quite the future of learning?

    Coding bootcamps – intensive courses that promise to turn you into a developer in just a matter of weeks – are going out of business at a breakneck pace.

    In the US this month alone two courses, Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard (which closed its London operations last year), announced they will completely shut down.

    Similarly, Startup Institute quietly shut its London office late last year having already closed in Berlin and scrapped plans for European expansion.

    The reason, as Dev Bootcamp put it, is because: “ultimately, we have been unable to find a sustainable [business] model.”

    But what’s going on? These courses cost thousands to take part in, and are supposed to help ‘traditional’ workers jump into the high-tech jobs of the future.

    So shouldn’t bootcamps be booming?

    Makers Academy co-founder and CEO Evgeny Shadchnev.

    “I expect that many people who started coding bootcamps in the recent years will go out of business.”

    He explains the current wave of market failures as the symptom of a race to the bottom.

    “It’s very easy to launch a bootcamp and promise the earth to applicants. This leads to a low quality of training, and makes it very hard to make profits or even break even,” Shadchnev told The Memo.

    “This, in turn, leads to [bootcamp] graduates of dubious quality, which reflects badly on the entire industry.”

    2016 Coding Bootcamp Market Size Study

    Coding Bootcamps Expected to Graduate 17,966 Students and Grow by 74% in 2016, Based on Responses from 97% of US & Canadian Schools


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