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Thoughts on innovation

While My (Gibson) Guitar Gently Weeps: An Open Letter to Gibson's New CEO

Fifty years ago, when Eric Clapton played lead guitar on the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” he played a Gibson guitar.  Gibson is an iconic brand and has been the guitar of choice for a wide variety of musicians...

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The Landmine Problem

Landmines and other unexploded weapons cause horrific damage. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 26,000 casualties are caused by landmines or unexploded ordinances (UXO). Roughly one in four of those victims die as a result (Source), and those who...

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The Internet of Rats: Automating rat tracking for Apopo's HeroRats

Apopo.org is a wonderful organization.  They train rats to sniff out land mines in former conflict zones, thus preventing thousands of deaths or injuries.  Why rats?  They’re very trainable and have excellent senses of smell (high olfactory acuity).  And, they...

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What next for LEGO?

On March 6, LEGO announced its results for 2017.  Sales declined by 8% and profits dropped by 18%.  These results are a striking exception to the company’s recent stellar performance.  But there are lessons from LEGO's recent performance that can...

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The most interesting retail experiment that no one is talking about

The LEGO Dead Ocean Strategy Near my home in Philadelphia, LEGO just opened its tenth North American LEGOLand Discovery Center.  It’s located in the Plymouth Meeting Mall, a mall opened in 1966 outside Philadelphia and once one of the premier...

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Which industries could additive manufacturing disrupt?

There’s a lot of debate about if and where additive manufacturing technologies (such as 3D printing) will disrupt current manufacturing industries.  Some argue that it’s a low-quality prototyping technology that is unlikely to cause any major change to mass production...

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The real price of LEGO has declined

Here’s a careful and surprising analysis of the LEGO Group’s product and pricing strategy.  While it may seem that LEGO has become more expensive, it hasn’t when measured on a $$-per-brick basis or $$ per set basis.  Instead, what LEGO has...

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Copyright law – how the intellectual property system in the US screws up innovation

Amazing story of technological innovation designed to create a legally viable way to stream TV over the Internet: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/08/why-johnny-cant-stream-how-video-copyright-went-insane/ Here’s the gist of it: Rebroadcasting someone’s copyrighted content over the Internet is illegal. That amounts to a “public performance” of...

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Photogrammetry – how to make a salt shaker from your head

Amazing what you can do with free tools. I made a salt shaker from someone’s head. Here’s how it works: Take 40-50 pictures of someone’s head. The software isn’t good at capturing objects with one color, so you have to...

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Apple as a Model for Innovation Management

Apple’s a great company. They’re innovative, profitable, and successful. They’re used everywhere as a model of what innovative companies should do and be. In fact, I get applause in my exec ed classes when I say I won’t use Apple...

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