It’s the “crazy” ideas that change everything

Imagine if I went to my economics teacher in 1987 and explained any one of these seemingly crazy ideas to them:

  • I’m going to ask a ton of brilliant authors and historians to donate their time, write factual articles, check each other’s work, and not pay them a penny. Afterwards, I’ll offer their work for free.
  • I’m going to have a horde of programmers develop all sorts of programs to make people’s lives easier. Their work will be gratis, and the users don’t have to pay.
  • I’m going to move to Memphis, Tennessee, buy 14 airplanes, and compete with the postal service and charge less to deliver faster.

The teacher would ask me when I hit my head and how hard.

If you haven’t already put it together, the aforementioned ideas lead to Wikipedia, Google, and FedEx. They say hindsight is 20/20, so it’s easy to look back and marvel at the successes of innovative pioneers, but do you think these ideas were so critically acclaimed when pitched at their humble beginnings? read more

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Do You Let Your People Go There?

Next Time, Really Put Everything Is On The Table. Go There.

The Hope: Your leaders take whatever risks they need to in order to get the job done.

The Reality: Your leaders are risk averse, hoping that their less-than-bold moves trigger some kind of true change.

How many times have you heard, in the midst of a crisis, that “everything is on the table” when in reality, there are very few things on the table? Typically, in my experience, that phrase is only used instead of the blunter “Someone here is going to have to make a sacrifice, and just so you know, it won’t be me”. read more

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Culture Shock: Where Does Innovation Fit In Your Organization?

Is Your Culture Open To Innovation?

“They shut it down.”

He whispered the phrase to me reverently, with a touch of sadness. My colleague just met with me over lunch to tell me that they had decided to shutter the innovation lab. It had only been around for two years and had done some awesomely interesting stuff, but for some reason, its time was up. read more

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How To Build a Culture of Innovation in Your Organization

Were we ready to build a culture of innovation?

“They shut it down.”

He whispered the phrase to me reverently, with a touch of sadness. My colleague just met with me over lunch to tell me that they had decided to shutter the innovation lab. It had only been around for two years, and had done some awesomely interesting stuff, but for some reason, its time was up. read more

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Forget VR and AR: Focus On Manipulated Reality (MR) Instead

What Will Reality Be?

How do you predict the future?

There are many ways, of course, but here are two which seems to work well for some things:

  1. You take something that currently exists today and extend it out in the future, then think about that world, for example, right now, there are a few autonomous vehicles out there – you just think of a time when all vehicles are autonomous, because it will happen, we just don’t know when. All you have to do then is think about that world, to project your mind into a world where all vehicles are autonomous. What kind of world will that be?
  2. You look at the past and look for repeating patterns. Find a pattern, a cycle which has repeated itself over time, then apply that pattern to a new domain, which should reveal the next logical step in that domain.

Here is how I see things in the “reality” space.

The Oculus Rift is finally on sale, well on pre-order, for about $600. You need that, plus a fairly high-end gaming PC in order to take full advantage of the full experience. If it’s as good as they say it is (I’ve been in a number of places where the line to try it out was so crazy long that I never had the time to try it myself) then I’m sure that it will be awesome. So everyone is talking Virtual Reality as the next hot space, and that it’s a complete game changer. Personally, I don’t think so, VR is actually the precursor to a new form of Augmented Reality. read more

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The Creativity Story

A Creativity Framework

Once upon a time, business leaders were constantly juggling problems like aggressive competition, demanding customers, disgruntled employees, and unsatisfied shareholders. They relied on a combination of the usual practices and tools – planning, analysis, commanding, controlling, coordinating, directing, standardizing – to manage the daily turmoil. read more

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Your Grandkids Won’t Need to Know How to Drive

Near Future, No One Will Need To Know How To Drive

I was talking with my sons the other day about driving – I have one son who is learning to drive and another one who is interested and I told them that their generation will likely be the last generation who will need to learn how to drive. Their kids will probably never need to learn how to drive. In fact, in my opinion, humans driving cars will probably be outlawed at some point. Here is my sense of the progression here. read more

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Ageism: The Worst Kept Deep Dark Secret

Ageism Is Everywhere, It Sucks and Few Care

Today I’m going to tackle a sensitive topic. I don’t know how sensitive this topic really is because I think everyone is pretty well aware that this is exactly what’s happening, but people keep calling it a secret when it obviously isn’t. Some people even say “this is the darkest deepest secret of Silicon Valley”. read more

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Robots Are Awesome

Aren’t Robots Great?

Just got back from watching Terminator Genisys and of course read the article on how a number of tech luminaries are trying to place some rules around AI (didn’t Isaac Asimov already come up with some really good rules a long time ago – those rules work for me) so that there isn’t another Skynet. read more

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5 Ways to Build Your Own Billion Dollar Startup

Looking to build your own billion dollar business? Chris outlines 5 ways in which billion dollar businesses leverage traits inherit in humanity in order to provide services that appeal to everyone.

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