Category Archives: Innovation

Apparently They Call it Showrooming

amazonSalesI love my Kindle. I know that RMS calls it a swindle and abhors the DRM that makes it what it is. For me what it is a lightweight, reading platform with a battery that I never worry about charging, text that adjusts to my failing eyesight and a library in my suit pocket. I love that I can sample materials from the amazon store before I buy and that my library can be deployed across a series of linked devices. The cloud tracks my progress and keeps me synced and the whims of my personal reading preferences are catered for. All that said I love browsing at Hodges and Figgis and Dubray. I find many of the books I want to read in piles and on shelves in the stores. I want the showroom to get their brokerage cut. This doesn’t happen today and I want to figure out how it can. Continue reading Apparently They Call it Showrooming

Pondering PARC

PARCIn the 1960s, 70s and 80s, XEROX’s Palo Alto Research Center provided a nurturing research environment for some brilliant technical minds (check out their timeline). Financed by the steady stream of revenues from their photocopy and associate supply business. Despite a record of breakthrough research innovation and well executed business model, many have considered PARC to have been one of the best case studies for business failure to capitalise on innovation – they invested in the bright minds but seemingly were unable to find the magic means to commercialise itself.
Continue reading Pondering PARC

Extending the Personal Mood Hub

Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 08.44.05A few years ago in, in an attempt to ground twitter in real world usefulness, there were ‘creative’ suggestions that your refrigerator would be tweeting you to remind you that you were running low on milk. Useful and the next thing you know the refrigerator will have an account at TescoDirect. The positioning of Twitter as a lightweight communication protocol now goes without saying on both a technical and social level, then along come Philips this week with the Hue Personal Wireless Lighting system. On offer: 3 lightbulbs and a wireless controller that lets you control the  hue, intensity an schedule from your smartphone. Check out Ambience. You can choose the hues from your favourite photographs to help you ‘re-live’ the memories. Also note the ‘Community’ being created around what is at this point a seriously niche device. It’s not cheap as you will note from reviews – just under €200 for a start pack. Continue reading Extending the Personal Mood Hub

New EU-Wide Patent System Ratified by European Parliament

The EU-Parliament passed new legislation (which still requires national ratification by member states) that unifies and radically cuts the cost of obtaining full patent coverage throughout the EU by patent seekers. More details are available from ITWorld. It’s good news for inventors, but how does this impact on innovation given the current litigious environment? The Apple-Samsung ongoing battle is the case in point to consider.

Hiring, Firing and the Evolving Organisation

I happened across this interesting article reporting on a conversation with Cindy Alvarez, Director of User Experience at Yammer. For whatever reason I found it short, pithy and well worth regarding. Anyone that has gone through the start-up experience will probably find it familiar. She refers to Five Types of People I Should Have Fired Sooner, and I wonder whether anyone else might share experience of anyone of these types. One of the interesting things I find in all the types is the sense that organisations are evolving entities (something we all know – but oft need be reminded of). In many cases what was once a good hire has become a bad hire – something that indeed even holds true for founders themselves. How can organisations adapt to identify these traits as they emerge? Is firing always the only alternative? I realise that it makes for a fine title and keep the article straightforward and approachable – but what alternatives exist? Worth a quick read.

Getting Back to How we Share Public Data

I am very impressed with a Norwegian initiative called the ‘Data Hotel‘. It’s an EU funded approach to providing the mechanism and the standards to make data from public sector agencies freely available. It addresses one of the key challenges to organizations today – not that they don’t want to share – simply that they lack the tools and resources to do it with increasingly depleted resources. Enter the Data Hotel. It embraces all the right open access standards, not just for the data itself, but in terms of open source software. Continue reading Getting Back to How we Share Public Data

Ireland not earning kudos for new Irish SOPA

As you are all aware, Seán Sherlock signed the statutory instrument yesterday and Ireland has implemented our own SOPA-like law. It has not taken law for international observers to note this turn and unsurprisingly the reaction from most has been less than laudatory. One quote from TechDirt strikes the common feeling charging that ‘the government appears to be trying to move in two different directions at once,’ and suggests that ‘the first thing towards increasing innovation in business models online is not putting misplaced liability on service providers, not setting up a censorship regime, and not removing the incentives for the entertainment industry to actually embrace innovative business models.’

Igniting Change: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Here’s a great example of how social computing can serve Ireland. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland supports and publicizes unique and worthy initiatives that make social change happen. They are currently looking for applications for their 2012 programme. They challenge people to stop ranting about the social and environmental challenges facing Ireland, to step up and with their support make a change. Check it out. In a perfect world, I’d challenge you each to come up with your own idea on how to harness social computing and social media and enter it in their contest to get some funding. Any takers?