John Sviokla

Disruptive Innovation Mashup? The Copenhagen Wheel

Big Think reported yesterday that the Copenhagen Wheel, which was designed at MIT’s media lab is going to win the $15,000 Dyson Prize for design. The video below gives an idea of the wheel’s most salient attributes. This Copenhagen wheel is derived from the Green Wheel, which was written about a lot in 2009.

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Disruptive Thinking: 5 Attributes to Consider

Every once in a while you see something which is such a fresh solution to a problem you just say ahhhh. Check out this skytrain/bus idea about how to float about the traffic in China and create efficient transport.

It got me thinking as to what make for a disruptive thought:

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The Integration of Marketplace & Marketspace: The Killer App for Healthcare?

In our recent Diamond Digital IQ study, we found that only 3% of healthcare companies were focused on innovation as their primary strategic emphasis. You can empathize that 2009 was a year where many participants in the healthcare cluster were just trying to survive, but, in an industry where costs are rising, care is becoming more complex, and funding sources are in flux, we need more than only 3 in 100 firms focused on innovation. See the figure below.

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5 Things That Create Ridiculous Customer Experiences: Can’t We Avoid Catch 22?

The other day I was on the phone with my insurance company because they had rejected, for a second time, a procedure for my son which was performed by a physician who they claimed was “out of network” — let’s call him Dr. Brown. But, as I logged into the firm’s web-site (again), I was able to easily find Dr. Brown who was “in network”. As I had done a few weeks before, I mentioned this to the customer service representative, and she was not able to look at the web site from her computer, so I had to read her the name, address, and phone number so that she could contact him and make sure that he was “in network”. 

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7 Non-traditional Barriers to Innovation

A friend of mine recently asked me: What do you think are the biggest barriers to innovation? If you look at the literature on innovation many folks cite insufficient support from the CEO, inadequate funding, the pressure of quarterly earning, a culture of following, and fear of risk. I expect that these explanations are valid, but given how complex it is to truly innovate, I wanted to offer up a somewhat different list — based on experiences in helping companies innovate, and drawing from some previous posts I’ve done.

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YouTube & The 48th Anniversary of the Visual Global Village

On July 10, 1962, Telstar I was launched, the first communications satellite to transmit live television across the Atlantic. The term Global Village was coined at about the same time by Marshall McLuhan in his books The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) and Understanding Media (1964). McLuhan was referring to the effect of radio in the 1920s which brought people together faster, and more intimately.

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Innovations in Control: Do you Have the Right Cost of Capital for Today’s Environment?

This post is co-author Joseph Calandro, Jr., author of Applied Value Investing (NY: McGraw-Hill, 2009).

One of the most important and overlooked innovations in business are the innovations in internal controls and measurement. The duPont company famously invented their duPont formula which helped their executives to understand exactly what was driving financial performance in their business; which divisions were making good margins; which consuming too much capital.

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Economics of Cognitive Work Part II: Exploring the B2B Paradigm

In a recent blog post I began to explore some ideas concerning the nature and economics of cognitive work in the modern corporation. I made a distinction between Business to Consumer (B2C) work and Business to Business (B2B) work. In B2B work, leaders have to create a way for their organizations to coordinate and collaborate to create solutions for their customers. Think about how complicated it is to get a large commercial insurance policy underwritten, or a new airplane built to specification, or a new company’s IPO launched successfully. 

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People or Machines & Transparency: Twin Innovations in Service

Esurance.com’s current advertising campaign emphasizes the fact that their customers can interact with technology when they don’t want to talk with people and they can talk with people when they don’t want to interact with technology. In a world which is becoming increasingly populated by people who have grown up with the internet always being a part of their lives their expectations are shaped by being able to get their products or services in any mode they desire.

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The Economics of Cognitive Work: Some Initial Ideas

I have been long fascinated by the economics of cognitive work and I plan to explore this topic across a number of blog entries. I use the term cognitive work, not knowledge work, because knowledge work is a slippery slope. As soon as you know something, it stops being knowledge and soon becomes a fact. For example, when a person is scored for a credit card, that process of credit scoring used to be knowledge work, but because we have an algorithm for it, we don’t think of it as being “knowledgeable” anymore.

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