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Category: Innovation

Understand the Power of the Question to Drive Innovation

November 14, 2016 by Akira Hirai


A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Asking “Why,” “What If,” and “How” is a powerful way to drive innovation, empower entrepreneurs, and create needed solutions.

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Harvest Great Ideas from Your Company’s Best Assets

December 9, 2015 by Jimmy Lewin


the thinking corporation frood

Many businesses, large and small, have a huge source of great ideas that can help them improve, innovate, and grow, and yet so many of these companies never think of using this amazing corporate asset. What is this highly valuable asset? Its own people. Says David Frood, the author of The Thinking Corporation, “Given that we are all capable of contributing new ideas, the question becomes how do you successfully generate, capture, process and implement ideas?” Becoming an organization capable of answering this question can benefit in a number of [Read More]

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How Much is That Invention Worth?

April 22, 2015 by Shyam Jha


How Much is That Invention Worth

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson more than a century and a half ago. He forgot to mention that if you did not patent your idea, many would copy it, have it built cheaply offshore, and probably drive you to bankruptcy. More than 4,400 patents have been awarded by the US Patent and Trademark office for variations of a mousetrap alone! In fact, according to the Smithsonian, more patents have been awarded for a mousetrap than any other [Read More]

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Price Your Product to Capture the Value You Create

May 14, 2014 by Shyam Jha


value based pricing

Are you leaving money on the table by pricing products based on costs? According to Wharton marketing professors Jagmohan Raju and John Zhang, most companies either price their products and services based on their costs, or their competitors. They fail to capture the value they create for their customers. When asked how they set their prices, many executives throw their hands up the air and say, we don’t set the prices, markets do. They are wrong. Markets don’t set prices; marketers do. In their book titled Smart Pricing, Raju and [Read More]

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A Night at the Museum: Using Art to Spark Creative Thinking

March 20, 2013 by Akira Hirai


A Night at the Museum: Using Art to Spark Creative Thinking

Public discourse in recent years has revolved around the question of creativity: how to foster it, how to harness it, and whether our society suffers a critical lack of it. Corporate consultants have also been expanding their repertoire to offer workshops that promise the secret to unleashing creativity. While the art museum may seem an unconventional venue for business professionals, consider that the works on display in an art museum are the result of countless individual lives dedicated to creation and expression. It is this — and the kind of [Read More]

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Moving Electricity: Sometimes, Innovation Isn’t Enough

December 18, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin


Electric Grid utility industry

An old friend named Tim stopped by the office recently to talk about innovation in the electrical utility industry in the United States. Tim has spent 45 years in the business of generating and moving electrical power; he has spent the past 15 years consulting with entrepreneurial companies in the U.S. and abroad. It turns out that Tim is very frustrated because there have been many amazing innovations in the transmission of electricity from where it is produced to the customer, and yet, the industry, for the most part, refuses [Read More]

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Licensing Your Intellectual Property for Fun and Profit

September 28, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin


Licensing Your Intellectual Property for Fun and Profit

You have a brilliant new invention. Congratulations! But now what? In general, you have two choices: you can build a company, or you can license your concept to another company and you can earn ongoing licensing fees. Most inventions, by themselves, are too small to be the basis of a company. Furthermore, if you’re like most inventors, you probably don’t have the resources or skills needed to successfully build a company. Thus, licensing is a sensible option for many inventions. This article offers a brief and hopefully entertaining introduction to [Read More]

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Get Uncle Sam to Fund Your R&D

July 19, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin


Grant funding for your startup research and development

Since 2006 I have had the pleasure of working, in a limited role, with the National Science Foundation. The NSF participates in the SBIR/STTR grant programs which are coordinated by the Small Business Administration and mandated by the U.S. Congress. According to the SBIR website, “The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.” This means that if you think you have a great idea for a technological [Read More]

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Innovation Starts With Thinking and Ends With Execution

February 2, 2012 by Marty Zwilling


The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge

Most people think innovation is all about ideas, when in fact it is more about delivery, people, and process. Entrepreneurs looking to innovate need to understand the execution challenge if they expect their startup to carve out a profitable niche in the marketplace, and keep innovating to build and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. Everyone thinks they know how to make innovation happen, but I can’t find much real research on the subject. At the same time, myths about innovation are commonplace in business. Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, in [Read More]

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How To Think Big and Act Bold

January 20, 2012 by Marty Zwilling


Nanovation: How a Little Car Can Teach the World to Think Big and Act Bold

What sparks paradigm-shifting innovation in any business? It’s a special mix of entrepreneur and company, regular in every respect except for having the courage and foresight to make an idea happen that was supposed to be impossible. As an entrepreneur in a startup, how do you know if you have this potential, and what are the steps to get from an innovation to a revolution? The first step is to meditate on the examples set by others, like Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, or Thomas Edison with [Read More]

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