Archive for magic

In late 2009, I was invited to speak at Singapore’s Innovation and Enterprise Week 2009, an event held at Biopolis and sponsored by A*STAR, the world-class research organization of the Singaporean government, in collaboration with Exploit Technologies, the tech transfer arm of A*STAR. While I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss our book, the important thing to me was the opportunity to learn more about that amazing country and their bold approach to promoting innovation and technology. In my presentation for the large crowd at Innovation and Enterprise Week, I discussed the fascinating parallels between the Singapore experiment and the evolving experiment in innovation in my state of Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery represent a brilliant approach to combining the best of public and private innovation.

Below are three video segments from my presentation. A couple of friends in Singapore took the video. There are a few gaps in sound and so forth, but I hope you can understand it. Don’t miss my lame magic trick in segment 3. They seemed to like it–proof again of the great courtesy that one finds in Singapore. In all seriousness, I think there are important lessons about innovation that can be gleaned by inspecting both the Singaporean system and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which include the Morgridge Institute for private sector research and the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Madison and Singapore are on opposite sides of the world, but on the same side of the innovation spectrum, at the leading edge.

Update: On April 24, I posted a newly recorded and shortened Pixetell presentation covering the basic information I shared in Singapore, without the magic or other excursions.

I am deeply grateful to the many people who kindly shared their time to help me prepare for the presentation, including Sangtae Kim, John Wiley, Charles Hoslett, Carl Gulbrandsen and Janet Kelly from the Wisconsin side (Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and WARF), plus Boon Swan Foo, Seito Wei Peng, and Sze Tiam Lin at Exploit Technologies in Singapore.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Sep
30

Recharging Your Innovation Community: Getting a Pop in Performance

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Is your innovation organization running on empty? Crushed, lacking creative juices? Time to add some fizz again with principles from the book, Conquering Innovation Fatigue. As part of the series on Magic and Innovation, today I’m using a simple effect to illustrate what can be achieved with an innovation organization.

Available on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JVr017KZBw.

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Aug
18

Salt from Water: Getting Granular with Disruptive Innovation

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While giving a pseudo-explanation for the “physics” behind our last video post, a new tongue-in-cheek demonstration is provided that launches a brief discussion of disruptive innovation and the role that intellectual assets can play. The physical demonstrations occurs in the first 4 minutes, then there are 3 minutes of further discussion. (Sorry about the lighting – my hair isn’t that dark!)

Disruptive innovation involves a product or service that motivates the established incumbents to ignore it or flea to higher ground by focusing on high-end customers. The disruptive innovation tends to be “worse” in some way and initially only attractive to non-users or low-end users of the existing technology, so it is not perceived as a serious threat nor does it cause serious pain as it gets a foothold. The disruptive innovation tends to lack the bells and whistles of existing offerings, but provides new dimensions of convenience, low-cost, easy access, etc., that are not key features being sought by the incumbents. But once the easily-ignored “worse” disruptive innovation gets established, it can, through successive sustaining innovations, reach an increasing large portion of the market and eventually cause direct pain to the incumbents. By the time they feel the pain and recognize the threat, it may be too late because they have not developed the new skills, supply chains, or infrastructures needed to compete effectively. Toast.

The problem with disruptive innovation is that established companies, especially large companies, have filters in place that tend to kill it. The opportunity is too small, not aligned with their core competencies, not aligned with what existing customers are asking for, etc. So it is killed or ignored, whether it comes from internal innovators or external innovators.

In our chapter on disruptive intellectual assets, we explain how a low-cost intellectual asset strategy can be used to overcome the known problems in responding to disruptive innovations. By pursuing these intellectual assets at an early stage in the name of mitigating external risk, you can actually lay a foundation for later products or services of your own when the corporation realizes the importance of the opportunity. Without the intellectual asset foundation, it would normally be too late. An aggressive intellectual asset team can make a huge difference in protecting a company and lying a foundation for future success.

From YouTube.com/magicinnovation (Jeff Lindsay’s Magic Innovation channel): “Salt from Water: Getting Granular with Disruptive Innovation.” Recorded in Appleton, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.

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Aug
15

Transforming Nickel Ideas to Dollar Innovations

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As part of my “Magic and Innovation” series, here is a 3-minute video blog, “Transforming Nickel Ideas to Dollar Innovations: The Danger of Excessive Valuation of an Invention.” In it, I discuss one of the innovation fatigue factors that stem from the innovators or inventors themselves when they think their early-stage invention or embryonic innovation is far more valuable than it really is. This brief lecture includes a sleight-of-hand effect in which a nickel coin is transformed to something more valuable. No trick photography is used.

It’s so easy for a prospective innovator with a great idea, an interesting product, a cool gadget, or a new software concept, to do some calculations and come up with gargantuan valuations. “Let’s see, everybody in the world eats bananas. If as few as 20% of the North America buys my new automatic banana peeler and slicer at $15 each, that’s $1 billion for North America alone! So all I want is $50 million and you can own my provisional patent application. And I’ll toss in my non-functioning plastic prototype for free. ” Inventors and entrepreneurs need to look through the same “Lens of Risk” that potential licensees or acquirers must use. Going from a nifty “nickel” concept to an innovation that succeeds in the market involves numerous risks that must be overcome for the transformation from nickel to dollars to occur. Until you help your prospective partner or licensee have a genuine reason to believe that success will come, the value of your brilliant concept will be painfully low. But there are things you can do to enhance its value and help overcome the hurdles to success. This includes building the diverse intellectual asset estate we discuss in the book, completing your “Circuit of Innovation™,” working with partners to overcome various hurdles, and making iterative changes to address feedback from the market place. It’s not easy, but when done right, you can greatly increase the odds of success and experience the magic of successful innovation.

From YouTube.com/magicinnovation (Jeff Lindsay’s Magic Innovation channel): “Magic and Innovation: Transforming Nickel Ideas to Dollar Innovations,” August 14, 2009. Recorded in Appleton, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.

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Aug
13

Magic and Innovation: A Lesson on Corporate Alignment from a Cut and Restored Paper Trick

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In this 4-minute video clip, I illustrate some of the principles from our book, Conquering Innovation Fatigue, using one of my favorite magic tricks, a version of the cut and restored paper trick. It speaks to the need for the innovation community in a corporation and other elements to be aligned with the true objectives and goals of the corporation. I performed this effect for the audience of the CoDev conference on open innovation in 2009, where I came up with this line: “If you’re not aligned, you’re skewed.” See if it fits.

From YouTube.com/magicinnovation (the Magic Innovation channel): “Analogy of the Cut and Restored Paper Strip: Alignment and Connectivity for Innovation Success,” August 13, 2009. Recorded in Appleton, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.

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InnovationFatigue.com is the official blog for the new book, Conquering Innovation Fatigue. Here we provide supplementary innovation, news, tips, updates, and, when needed, a correction or two, to keep those who are using the big on the inside edge for innovation success.