Photo by Tim Evanson on Flickr. Used under a creative commons license.

Everyone knows it’s broken

One of the biggest frustrations innovators face is that of trying to change things that are obviously outdated or flawed, but for which the organization seems unwilling to alter its product, market, or delivery strategy. Modern retail banks make money from re-investing the money you store with them at a higher rate. But increasingly, they […]

Adventuretime Tardis by JD Hancock. Used under a Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/6925582553

When can becomes must

One of the biggest challenges for incumbents is to know when a marginal trend will become mainstream, and to react to it. Being too early is like being wrong, only more expensive. Being late can be fatal. Predicting these tipping points is the key to knowing when to commercialize innovations and shift budgets. When should […]

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Mercedes and the three maxima of innovation

Peter Yared is a smart guy. Since he started writing games and utilities at age ten, he’s founded and sold multiple tech companies. Recently, he left his post as CTO of CBS Interactive to launch another one. Recently, Peter wrote about innovation on Techcrunch, specifically addressing the coming fight between upstart Tesla Motors and incumbent […]

Valerie Coulton is much more awake than I am at 5AM ET

Innovation, culture, and design: SCM’s Valerie Coulton

A month ago, Ben Yoskovitz and I visited Barcelona to run a Lean Analytics workshop for Schibsted Classified Media, one of the world’s largest classified publishers. We were initially contacted by Valerie Coulton, whose official title is Innovation Catalyst, about joining their worldwide meeting. Valerie and her team had read Lean Analytics, and wanted us […]

Horse Manure spreader photo by Don O'Brien on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license

Tomorrow is not like yesterday, only more so

Here is the thing about the future. Every time you look at, it changes, because you looked at it, and that changes everything else. Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage) in Next (2007) Most companies’ innovation is focused on sustaining the current business model—doing what Sergio Zyman calls “selling more things to more people for more money […]

Using hackathons to drive internal innovation at Intel

Cathy Spence is the Enterprise Architect and PaaS Lead for Intel IT’s Cloud Computing program. She’s been at the company for nearly a decade, and has a background in IT and software engineering. Recently, she championed the use of Platform-as-a-Service computing within the software and hardware giant, and used hackathons to build support. You can […]

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Apple’s next trick

Without Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple has been widely criticized for incremental innovation. Critics charge that the firm isn’t breaking new ground the way it once did: the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini were just incremental improvements. To use Clay Christensen’s vernacular, they were sustaining, not disruptive changes. Everyone’s got high hopes for Apple’s […]

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Unemployment is not a bad word

A few weeks ago, I met with a minister for economic development. I wanted to convince him that the world tomorrow would not be the world yesterday, only more so. I needed an example pulled from science fiction, but also credible. The stuff of both dreams and headlines. I settled on the self-driving car. Google’s […]

Nobody Cares - by Zoonabar on Flickr

Twitter’s attention tax

TL;DR: If you can convince millions of people to test which topics are interesting on a platform you control, you can tax those topics when they become popular. Welcome to Twitter’s real business model. If I tell you that I’m going to build the next Facebook, your skepticism isn’t around whether I can assemble a […]

Four candles from Maurice Reeves on Flickr. Used under a creative commons license.  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mauricereeves/3139315903)

Four things big innovators do differently

This originally appeared as a guest post for Geckboard. Large companies all have different strategies and approaches to coming up with what’s new. Some centralize innovation, while others distribute it. Some rely on acquisition, while others prefer to incubate. And some move cautiously, while others cast about wildly for the mythical unicorn that will catapult them into […]