Innovation

  • Gillmor Gang: Fits and Starts

    Gillmor Gang: Fits and Starts

    The Gillmor Gang — John Borthwick, Dan Farber, Keith Teare, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — take a walk on the wild side as The New York Times publishes all the news that fits. Except, that is, the news about itself. The Twitterverse is clogged with leaked Innovation reports, business model Kremlin Wall analysis, and newsroom disappearances galore. For the record, we also stop in… Read More

  • Bill Gates: It’s OK If Half Of Silicon Valley Startups Are “Silly”

    Bill Gates: It’s OK If Half Of Silicon Valley Startups Are “Silly”

    Microsoft Founder Bill Gates doesn’t worry that Silicon Valley is the home of billion-dollar texting apps and farming games. “Innovation in California is at its absolute peak right now. Sure, half of the companies are silly, and you know two-thirds of them are going to go bankrupt, but the dozen or so ideas that emerge out of that are going to be really important,” Gates… Read More

  • Study: Copycatting, Diverse Teams, And Transparency Are Keys To Innovation

    Study: Copycatting, Diverse Teams, And Transparency Are Keys To Innovation

    A fascinating new study explores, in exquisite detail, the hidden secrets of innovation. Rampant copycats, the authors find, are a surprising key to discovering creative solutions. Imitators must, however, be supported with diverse teams and transparency of success. “You benefit when other people imitate you because they help you explore multiple variations around your solution that… Read More

  • Imagining The Future: Ray Kurzweil Has “Unlimited Resources” For AI, Language Research At Google

    Imagining The Future: Ray Kurzweil Has “Unlimited Resources” For AI, Language Research At Google

    Last month, famed inventor, entrepreneur and futurist, Ray Kurwzeil, announced that he was joining Google as a director of engineering. Many have wondered what Kurzweil’s new position would mean for Google and the billions of people its global reach directly or indirectly touches. Would they be uploading Kurzweil’s brain into their datacenters? Become the next Skynet? Speaking at… Read More

  • Innovation: Where Can We Go From Here? A Lot Of Places, Actually

    Innovation: Where Can We Go From Here? A Lot Of Places, Actually

    Just when you think that we’ve innovated all that we can, something new comes along and completely blows our mind. It could be an advancement in hardware, software or just a new way of thinking of things. Humans are pretty resilient when it comes to thinking up new things to tinker with and making our lives easier. This year was pretty awesome when it comes to innovation, and not the… Read More

  • Department Of Defense To Private Sector: We Need Your Help With Mobile Innovation

    Department Of Defense To Private Sector: We Need Your Help With Mobile Innovation

    On stage at the second-day keynote, Major General Robert Wheeler talked about the changing role of industry and enterprise as it relates to technological innovation, and how where once the military led in that department, now the vast majority of advances are being driven by advances made in the private sector. And that means the DoD is in a position of asking for help from a variety of sources. Read More

  • Clayton Christensen: “Disruptive Innovations Create Jobs, Efficiency Innovations Destroy Them”

    Clayton Christensen: “Disruptive Innovations Create Jobs, Efficiency Innovations Destroy Them”

    If you get the opportunity to hear Clayton Christensen hold court, seize it. Speaking at BoxWorks in San Francisco today, Christensen was characteristically soft-spoken, self-deprecating and good-humored, even prompting Ron Miller to describe him as “the Steven Wright of business research” and the anti-Aaron Levie. Read More

  • Who Moved Apple’s Cheese? The Role Of The Knock-Off Effect In Innovation

    Who Moved Apple’s Cheese? The Role Of The Knock-Off Effect In Innovation

    Chris Hawker, the founder of Trident Design, LLC, has over 20 years of experience developing and commercializing his own and others’ inventions. His most famous product, the PowerSquid, was the subject of a six-part series published in TechCrunch called the Song of the PowerSquid. As the president/founder of Trident Design, LLC, I’ve been inventing and commercializing products… Read More

  • Start-Up Chile Project

    Chile’s Grand Innovation Experiment


    Regions all over the world have spent millions—sometimes billions—of dollars trying to create their own Silicon Valley. They drank the same Kool-Aid and used the same recipe: start with a research university; build a fancy tech park next it; give tax breaks to chosen companies to locate in the park; attract venture capital by offering matching investments; and watch the magic… Read More

  • How China’s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win

    How China’s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win

    Bob Compton and I finally have something to agree about. The Washington, D.C.–based venture capitalist produced a provocative documentary, 2 Million Minutes, which tracked six students—two each in the U.S., India, and China—during their senior year of high school. It showed the Indian and Chinese students slogging to learn mathematics and science, and the Americans partying… Read More

  • Can Russia Build A Silicon Valley?

    Can Russia Build A Silicon Valley?


    A few months ago, I wrote about why I believed that Russia’s planned “science city” was destined for failure, in my BusinessWeek column. I predicted it would follow the path of the hundreds of cluster development projects before it. Political leaders would hold press conferences to claim credit for advancing science and technology; management consultants would earn hefty… Read More

  • Oil Spill Still Too Slippery To Solve (But Here Are Some Videos)

    Oil Spill Still Too Slippery To Solve (But Here Are Some Videos)

    So far, an estimated 82 million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. Everything BP has tried to stop the largest oil spill in history has failed. The company has tried everything from “junk shots” to “top kill” to containment domes, and is still spending $100 million a day to try to cap the well and clean up the mess. The company is even open to… Read More

  • The Importance of Fear, Risk and Hacking

    The Importance of Fear, Risk and Hacking

    Last week I met Gever Tulley, author of the provocatively-titled “Fifty Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do.” The book grew out of a 2007 TED talk about why embracing and exploring danger ultimately lessens it. (See! Good things do come out of TED. Let the TED-TechCrunch healing begin!) The book doesn’t advocate playing in traffic, but it does extol the virtues of… Read More

  • Microsoft: Too big for its own good?

    Microsoft: Too big for its own good?

    There’s an interesting and thought provoking essay at BetaNews by Joe Wilcox entitled “Why former employees say Microsoft can’t innovate”. It’s a rather myopic examination of the middle-management woes and culture of job protectionism that is harming Microsoft’s ability to truly create. Microsoft has grown a lot in the last couple years, and they’re up… Read More

  • The Future Of Innovation Could Reside in Collaboration

    Yesterday, I attended the Churchill Club‘s program addressing “The Innovation Economy: R&D and a Crisis.” The panelists included Josephine Chang, an IBM Fellow and Vice President of IBM Almaden Research Center; renowned innovation expert and former Cisco CTO Judy Estrin; Rick Rashid, a senior vice president of research at Microsoft; VC executive Sue Siegel, a partner at… Read More

  • Ballmer gets snippy with Intel

    Ballmer gets snippy with Intel


    Steve Ballmer, in a move not exactly challenging Microsoft’s unfortunate reputation as a bloated, last-generation software developer paralyzed by inertia, criticized Intel for focusing on multiple cores — a strategy Ballmer says “mandates and necessitates ongoing OS innovation.” Oh, no! Oh good heavens! What will we do? Design our OS that reflects (or influences!)… Read More

  • Japan gets inexpensive, yet innovative solar cells

    Japan gets inexpensive, yet innovative solar cells

    Japanese companies Gunze and Dai Nippon Printing are each developing new technologies that make it possible to produce low-cost, pigment-sensitized solar cells. Gunze focuses on low-end solar cells that can be used to power smaller electronic appliances or in-store ad displays, for example. Their cells will use a film, which is coated with special pigments, as a power source. Gunze, actually… Read More

  • Fluid filled eyeglass lenses for the optometrist-impaired

    Fluid filled eyeglass lenses for the optometrist-impaired

    Yeah… I see syringes and eyeballs and I just cringe. I don’t care what it’s for. I don’t care that it’s a good idea. I don’t care that this process will save money, time and get proper eyewear to those that need it. I see syringes and eyeballs. I don’t even wear contacts. The thought of sticking a finger in my eye on purpose sounds like the most… Read More

  • Siafu computer interface changes shape when exposed to electrical charges

    [photopress:siafu.jpg,full,center] Hopefully you’ve all seen Batman Begins, otherwise the following explanation won’t make any sense. Remember when Morgan Freeman was showing Christian Bale around Wayne’s gadget basement or whatever it was called? And he showed him the material that Batman’s cape was made? Like, it’s flexible like any fabric, but once you run a… Read More

  • Geek Trends: iPod Pockets

    Geek Trends: iPod Pockets


    I’m a certified bag nut. I seem to acquire them everywhere and frequently have to purge my collection to make space for actual possessions — otherwise I’d just be carrying around bags in larger bags (it’s happened before). That said, I’m distinctly aware of pack-efficiency. The more they can carry, the better, as long as the size doesn’t expand. There… Read More