Saturday, 21 July 2012

Are you designing, making and/or selling products to the Chinese Consumer?

This book takes a shot at understanding how the Chinese look at themselves; their society, how they make personal and commercial choices:

  • Why family and social stability take precedence over individual self-expression and the consequences for education, innovation and growth;
  • Their fundamentally different understanding of morality, and why Chinese tolerate human rights abuses, rampant piracy, and endemic government corruption; and
  • The long and storied past that still drives decision making at corporate, local and national levels.
Highly recommended.

Click for Table of Contents and Overview.

Monday, 16 July 2012

US Patent & Trademark Office has recently published a new patent application of Apple's that reveals they're working on a next generation 3D Holographic-like display system.

In one application, Apple's display system would automatically authenticate a user, greet them and provide a customized desktop for just that user. Something along the lines of how new computer car systems will adjust the seat and controls for a particular driver.  

The Holographic-like displays are based on a projection system and in many cases the impression given is that these systems would apply to applications as diverse as video conferencing, scientific modelling, entertainment and perhaps even forensics.

Think of the (US) TV show ‘Bones’ and their use of a device called holographic ‘angelator.’  One of the unique aspects of this invention is that users won't be hassled with 3D glasses or headgear of any kind.
Modern three-dimensional (3D) display technologies are useful in many area across  gaming, medical diagnostics, flight simulation, air traffic control, battlefield simulation, weather diagnostics, entertainment, advertising, education, animation, virtual reality, robotics, biomechanical studies, scientific visualization, and so forth. 
At the high end of the computational power spectrum, the same technological advances that permit intricate object databases to be interactively manipulated and animated now permit large amounts of image data to be rendered for high quality 3D displays.
Think of the benefits for collaborative multidiscipline design/engineering, sales pitches, retail sales displays, et al? 
And when this tech is integrated in devices such as the iPAD and iPhone - well - good bye 3D TV!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Bootstrapper's Bible: Guide to Starting a Business with no Money!

This is a free (for two weeks) manifesto for the Entrepreneur with ideas but with empty pockets.

It comes form a great authority Seth Godin former V.P of Marketing Yahoo and now Uber-Marketing Consultant and Author of multiple books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change and work.

How to do the best work of your life
A book called: The Flinch.

It’s about how to push your own barriers and how to do things that scare you.

Seth Godin called it: “a surprise, a confrontation, a book that will push you, scare you and possibly stick with you for years to come.”
If it’s even that good, the question then becomes, how can you, the reader, make something so great that even you are unsure of how it was made?

7 Steps to the Best Work of Your Life

1. Burn your bridges. I was conscious of the fact that I would never get a chance to publish under Godin’s Domino Project again. I knew that if I screwed it up, I was done. You do your best work with your back against the wall, when you are uncomfortable and you put yourself in freefall, on purpose.
2. Grow an eye in the back of your head. Your blind spots, whether they are laziness or settling for anything sub-par, will kill you. I had people the entire way telling me to make it better, over and over again, until I practically cried and didn’t know how.
3. Be willing to suffer. Forget about the “starving artist” myth. Starving is easy– deprogramming is hard. Because you are a human being, you are programmed to settle in one way or another, and breaking that programming will hurt. Get used to it– it’s the only way to make something exceptional.
4. Be comfortable making something that people will hate. No one will love your work unless it has an opinion– and with an opinion come those that disagree. The first person outside of our little circle that saw the work did not like it at all, perhaps even hated it. This is also how I knew that I had something that some people would fight for.
5. Consider the future. In the future, books either cost $50 or $0. They are frictionless and those that travel the fastest and spread the widest, win. Make your work as close to the future as possible– but only 6 months, not 18 months. If you’re too far in the future, it’s possible no one will get it.
6. Sharpen your idea. This part is damn hard. Only when the idea became “the flinch” did I know that I had an idea that was sharp enough to travel. Every other idea had too much friction, too much difficulty to be expressed. When the idea marketplace is saturated (and it is now, more than ever), your idea needs to be more graspable than ever before, because you only get one chance.
7. All content must be spreadable. Quotes in 140 characters. Links in the text. New phrases that stick in people’s minds. Everything must be a part of your “marketing campaign”– even in a book that’s basically unsellable. The best quote from Godin on this was, “make it a poem that doesn’t rhyme.” There is so much information out there now that your work can no longer simply be commerce– it must also be art.

Raising Angel & Venture Capital Finance.
by Tom McKaskill.

If you are at the start-up stage of new innovative venture and/or potential first time Entrepreneur, then this is a good book on the rising funds side of the equation. Full of hints, where to look and practical approaches.

Free on-line: ‘Democratizing  Innovation.’ 
by  Prof. Eric Von  Hippel.

One of my favourite books by Prof. Eric Von Hippel: ‘Democratizing Innovation,’ is avilble free on-line.

 Personally Hippel is in my top ten all time authorities on customer centric innovation.

Even if the concept of ‘Innovation’ at the ‘Strategic’ level is newish to you, the book  is well thought-out and easy digestible.

Basically he says – his long term thesis – that customers are not only beginning to own the innovation process, they are – especially with digital products/processes/content  – way down the line in knowledge and knowhow.

Hence companies had better not only start listening to customers, but bring them in as co-innovators, semi-owners of the innovation force from end-to-end.

It’s a good A-to-Z on how to implement such a strategy.