Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Innovation Trifecta

C. Engdahl
Product Marketing Manager

Space shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven safely touched down on runway 15 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:14 p.m. EDT this past Saturday (March 28, 2009). Discovery returned home after a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. The STS-119 mission, also known as International Space Station Assembly Flight 15A, was the 28th mission to the station. It had a primary objective to deliver the final set of solar array wings and truss element needed to complete the station’s electricity-generating system. In addition to three spacewalks to install these components, the crew also unfurled the arrays and performed other tasks.

I happened to be in Florida on Saturday for a little rest and relaxation with my family (rest and relaxation being a relative term of course with two school-aged kids and a toddler in tow). Because of overcast skies and the fact that the space shuttle performs a glide landing (no rocket thrust), I was unable to see the landing from my location only 30 miles or so to the south on Cocoa Beach. (Despite my intention to look to the sky, to be honest, I actually sort of lost track of the time as I kept an eye on my kids playing in the surf. I can’t say I even looked up at the prescribed time.)

Despite not actually seeing the shuttle landing on Saturday, my return to Florida this past week made me think of a few related things. Just being near the Kennedy Space Center reminded me of JFK’s iconic speech back in 1961 in which he said the United States “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth”. I wasn’t yet born when Kennedy made his pronouncement, but I’ve seen the speech (or snippets of it) many, many times. When it comes to some of the more innovative endeavors ever undertaken, it’s difficult for me to think that putting a person on the moon isn’t somewhere near the top of the list.

I know virtually nothing about the technical challenges or complexities associated with sending a person into space, let alone the difficulties of landing someone on the moon. For me though, what makes the moon landing so monumental is that it required the combination of three essential innovation elements – Strategy, Ideation, and Execution.

Kennedy of course provided the basic strategy and vision. I imagine there were also many players behind-the-scenes providing additional strategic direction. As for ideation, obviously scores of new ideas came to the forefront - new equipment, new food, new techniques, and new technical challenges to overcome. Virtually everything NASA did at the time was new. And ultimately to succeed in this endeavor, the NASA team had to execute against the vision and ideas. From the Mercury missions and the likes of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter and John Glenn, through Gemini, to the culmination of Apollo 11 and the moon landing on July 20, 1969 with Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, this almost decade long endeavor epitomizes for me the Innovation Trifecta of strategy, ideation, and execution. It's all pretty amazing when you think about it.

I am still in awe of this accomplishment.

As a footnote to this blog entry, the Discovery landing this past weekend also reminded me of a business trip to Florida I took over a decade ago. I remember the day, or rather the moment in question, very vividly. On October 29, 1998 I had dropped off some colleagues at Tampa International Airport and then headed south. I was flying out of Fort Myers later in the day. As I made my way down I-75 towards Fort Myers, listening and singing to songs on the radio, I began to see a few cars parked on the side of the road. As I drove further, more and more cars were lined up, stopped on the road. It seemed odd but I didn’t think much of it. I kept singing away. At some point though I noticed people out of their cars, pointing to the east. Something was obviously going on. I turned off my radio and looked out my window. There in the sky, headed towards the heavens was the Discovery space shuttle – mission STS-95. It had just launched. The shuttle and its rocket thrust were clearly visible even from the Gulf side of the Florida. It was an incredible sight. On board this particular shuttle mission was a 77 year old man by the name of John Glenn. It was his return into space nearly four decades after his original Friendship 7 mission back in 1962. Chills went up my spine. The hair on my neck stood up. A symbol of the trifecta had returned.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Education Secretary challenges innovation

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has issued a challenge to those school receiving stimulus money. Those continually investing in the status quo will not be rewarded. Those schools who find new and innovative ways to spend their money will be rewarded. The Race to the Top Fund will be distributed to schools who show their innovative ways to prevent layoffs and program cuts. The more innovative the schools are, the more they'll be rewarded. We've talked about the importance of education when it comes to the quality of innovation our future generations produce. Do you think this is a good way to encourage schools to increase creativeness?

Read more on the package at The Washington Post.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Did you know?

What inspires you?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Vision of the Future from Mozilla

Richard MacManus form ReadWriteWeb recently got a chance to interview Chris Beard, Mozilla’s Chief Innovation Officer. In this article Beard discussed what Firefox is doing to keep its flagship product Firefox competitive against the likes of Google Chrome. Even though Google has claimed that Chrome performs better and is safer than any web browser out there, Beard mentions that Firefox is constantly working on the latest innovative versions of the browser that reduce crashes and improves performance.

Mozilla’s vision for the future is to “help its users better navigate and manage an increasingly complex world.” In part of keeping up with this vision, Mozilla has integrated many social elements into its browser like Flock, the Awesome Bar, and Ubiquity. It looks as if we are still lightyears away from capturing the ideal web surfing experience.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Speaker Profile: Dev Patnaik

Dev Patnaik is a founder and principal of Jump Associates, a consulting firm that helps companies innovate. Together with his teammates, he works with visionary business leaders to identify new markets, reinvent existing categories, and define new products and services. Dev is a trusted advisor to senior executives at some of America’s most admired companies, including General Electric, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Target and Hewlett-Packard.

When he’s not working at Jump, Dev moonlights down the road at Stanford University as an adjunct professor, where he teaches design-research methods to undergraduate and graduate students. Since 1999, he has taught a course called Needfinding. In the class, students draw upon methods from anthropology, design and business planning to discover insights about ordinary people and create new products. While the class is required for all Design majors, it’s become a favorite of students from the Business School, School of Education and even Computer Science. As apples don’t fall far from the tree, Dev has a Bachelor’s degree in Product Design from Stanford.

Get to know Dev before the conference, check out these media sources:
Podcast: Making Innovation Work
Podcast: Icon-o-cast
Article: The True Measure of a Good Idea

Don't miss your chance to see Dev give his keynote speech, "Wired to Care" Monday, May 18 at the Front End of Innovation Boston.

Source: Bright Sight Group

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Art of Discovery

C. Engdahl
Product Marketing Manager

At first glance, this entry may appear to have nothing to do with the Front End of Innovation. There is a point to the story though.

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate on a fairly regular basis in the academic lives of my children. My oldest kids are late elementary aged, and it’s been gratifying to help out in what might be considered non-traditional ways for a working dad. Not simply have I helped them with activities like homework and school projects, or attended conferences and other occasional evening programs such as concerts and carnivals, but I’ve also actually participated in activities during regular school hours. I’m proud to say I’ve volunteered to read during class, attended my fair share of off campus field trips, and participated in a variety of other programs and activities.

One of these other programs is something called “Partners in Art”. The program is designed to introduce elementary students to works of fine art and to provide them an opportunity to explore and discover the creative process for themselves through discussion and participation. On a monthly basis in each classroom a parent volunteer presents several works of art around a particular theme and provides the students an opportunity to also create their own work of “art”. A theme might involve a particular genre of art such as Impressionism, a specific time period such as the American Revolution, or perhaps a particular country or world region such as Africa or Central America. I find Partners in Art a particularly rewarding program because it’s educational for both the students and presenters, and has an inherent creative element. It is also gratifying to see the discovery process that takes place amongst the students during each session. It’s as if you can see little light bulbs go on in their heads each time they have a connective thought or discover something new during a session.

It just so happens that because of a creative scheduling trick, I actually gave a Partners in Art presentation this morning for my daughter’s class. And as has been the case during previous sessions I’ve led, it was evident the kids actually enjoyed themselves. Not only was the Partners in Art session an opportunity to avoid at least temporarily their regular academic lessons, but more importantly it gave the kids an opportunity to stretch their imaginations beyond their usual activities and draw connections between an otherwise unknown artistic world and their daily lives. Their faces gleamed with discovery. It didn’t hurt either that the art project associated with today’s lesson also happened to be downright fun.

Go for a moment now beyond the walls of this elementary school and think about your own daily professional objectives. I’m not alluding to the idea of having fun at work. (Although if I gave it some additional thought perhaps I could scrape together some sort of Robert Fulghum-esque life lesson with a tie-in to the Front End of Innovation. That might be a stretch though.) No, I’m really talking about the discovery process each of us goes through to accomplish our Front End of Innovation objectives.

In the development of new product ideas or other innovation activities I believe there is a discovery process we must all go through to be successful. Whether we explicitly realize it our not, we all strive to make different kinds of mental connections. We compare and contrast various formulations of ideas. Try different juxtapositions to reveal novelties. And like Picasso, perhaps we even “borrow” elements from other great artists and incorporate their work into our own. In the end, if you’re fortunate, the outcome of your efforts will be the same as the students I saw this morning. At your moment of discovery, you’ll get a big smile on your face, feel a sense of enlightenment, and be reenergized to continue your work. It’s a beautiful thing when it all comes together. Be careful though not to smile too big. You wouldn’t want your boss to think you’re having too much fun.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Free Web Seminar: Systematic Innovation: Building Capabilities and Processes to Make Innovation More Predictable and Repeatable

The Front End of Innovation Event is putting on a one hour long web seminar with presenter Trisha Pergande who is the director of Strategy and Innovation at General Mills. The web seminar is going to take place on Wednesday April 8, 2009 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST. Here's a brief description of the presentation and what you can expect to take away from it.

Identifying new products does not have to be a magical experience where inspiration luckily meets a marketplace need. Process does not need to be the enemy of innovation. Rather, providing the right amount of structure can make innovation repeatable and teachable. General Mills has decided to systematize exploratory innovation by creating a team of internal consultants that specialize in identifying new opportunities.

From this Web Seminar you will uncover:

  • Why is systemizing innovation important?
  • Why is having internal innovation expertise critical?
  • What are the four fundamental steps for identifying opportunities?
  • Why does process need to be enabled by great tools?
  • Why are great ideas insufficient?
Make sure to mention priority code G1M2104W1BLOG when you register.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What role will science play in the future?

Gregory S. Babe, the president and chief executive at Bayer, recently gave Forbes three reasons right and left brained individuals are important to businesses. Not only can they think technically, but the creative side of the individuals can bring better lives, some by using science to help companies keep innovating and improving the environment they work for.

- The first involves some of the real challenging problems we have facing us (such as global warming).
- Second, companies like Bayer will always need a steady stream of well-educated, well-prepared employees with STEM backgrounds--science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
- Third, the more science-savvy a society is, the better it will be at making decisions about controlling greenhouse gases or implementing intellectual property protections.

Why do you think it's important to have both creative and technologically savvy people working for your company?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hollywood Looks at Corporate Innovation

Chuck Salter of FastCompany.com, recently interviewed Tony Gilroy, whose new film, Duplicity, stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, to discuss why Gilroy makes movies about business's dark side and how spying can trump innovation. For our purposes, Salter asks Gilroy one question that we all should mull over when thinking about innovation:

Salter: One of the CEOs in Duplicity says that companies are focused on stealing ideas rather than innovating. How much does this actually go on?

Gilroy: That's the character's worldview. He's addressing the military wing of his company and making a Battle of Britain call-to-arms kind of speech. I don't think that's entirely the case, but this corporate espionage thing is huge. If you're going to spend $60 million to develop a product and take five years to do it, I could spend $2 million on intelligence -- equipment, personnel, whatever I need -- and I could have your $60 million investment for $2 million.

We encourage you to read the rest of the article here. What do you think about corporate innovation or espionage? Let us know your thoughts.

Innovations for small businesses

In a recent blog post a bMighty, Fredrick Paul looks at the key for small business innovation: technology. He emphasizes that small businesses must continue to innovation to stay in business, and should put some emphasis on technology to make it happen. Other things that drive innovation for small businesses are personal passion, customer connection, agility and adaption, experimentation and improvisation, and resource limitations. The website also provides a link to the white paper called Defining Small Business Innovation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Speaker Profile: Max von Zedtwitz

Max von Zedtwitz has published 12 books and more than fifty papers in academic and practitioner journals, with some of his work receiving awards for academic excellence and industrial relevance. He focuses on global R&D management, innovation in emerging countries and China, incubation and technology-based entrepreneurship, and R&D project management, based on proprietary databases with more than 6,000 entries on global R&D management and Chinese R&D and innovation. During this session Max will share his personal and professional experience on managing emerging technologies, global innovation, and doing business in China and India.

Here are two whitepapers from Max von Zedtwitz that we've recently come across:

Internationalization of R&D - Perspectives from Outside and Inside of China
R&D in China -- Competition or Collaboration?

Don't miss your chance to view Max's session, "Deciding where to invest globally in R&D – Comparisons and contrasts of India and China. What can we learn?" at the Front End of Innovation Conference in May 18-20 in Boston!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If an idea falls in the forest...

C. Engdahl
Product Marketing Manager

You’ve heard this classic riddle: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Eighteenth Century philosopher George Berkeley posed this question to illustrate the idea of “subjective idealism” – the idea that people, places, and things do not exist unless someone is around to perceive them. We don’t really hear much about subjective idealism anymore. Seems like the only surviving remnant of this philosophical idea is this often repeated riddle.

My elementary aged daughter came home from school about a year ago and (with a smile on her face) asked me this exact question? She must have just heard the riddle at school that day and figured she’d stump her old man.

She didn’t really appreciate my response. “It depends on how you define sound,” I said. “If sound is defined as a wave, then the tree falling indeed makes a sound. If sound is created by the wave vibrating the ear drum of a person or other creature capable of ‘hearing’, then the tree falling does not make a sound.” I think my answer confused her a bit. The smile disappeared from her face.

(She didn’t appreciate it either a month or two later when I quickly clenched my right hand repeatedly and slapped my fingers against my palm to demonstrate the sound of one hand clapping.)

I recently returned from the 2009 Stage-Gate® Summit. Because of the economy and what I figure are shrinking travel and training budgets across corporate America, it was a more intimate event than in years past. But the Summit was excellent none-the-less. Attendees had the opportunity to hear a variety of great speakers from corporations throughout the country talk about innovation and the processes and techniques they use to manage their efforts. Many of the presenters were Sopheon clients.

Dr. Bob Cooper of course gave a presentation as well, providing valuable information regarding innovation and new product development derived from his research and experience. As I sat and listened to his remarks, I couldn’t help wonder if the information he presented would be as valuable if no one were around to hear his message.

“If an idea falls from Dr. Cooper’s mouth and no one is around to hear it, will the idea make a difference?”

Had he not had an audience I imagine he still would have been as passionate as ever. He probably would have gotten all worked up as usual, loosened his tie, and eventually taken off his coat as insights emanated from his mouth.

Let’s assume for the moment though that the audience was indeed empty and other means of transmission and communication for his ideas did not exist. No printed or electronic copies of his presentation. No webinars. No emails. No books. Nothing. How valuable would Dr. Coopers ideas be if he couldn’t share them with others?

Not very.

The ideas would stand in isolation. They'd go under-utilized and undeveloped. Without critical feedback, Dr. Cooper would have difficulty building on his own ideas. And most importantly, no one could execute against his ideas. This would be the true tragedy. For this is where the real opportunity with ideas exists. The power of ideas is fully realized when action is taken. Benefits are derived when ideation meets execution. It’s not good enough to develop a great idea. You need the means and ability to do something with it to make it truly powerful.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Speaker Profile: Jody Turner

Jody Turner, the founder of CultureofFuture.com is a premier connector of inspirational people and information, presenting at world events, gleaning and reporting back influential design and lifestyle trends to companies worldwide. Jody’s focus is strategic deliverables via topic driven trend presentations, project design and content ideation labs. Jody founded Culture of Future and Culture Lab over 6 yeas ago, working with some of the top communication and branding experts driving forward lifestyle, culture and design perspectives for larger global entities.

Jody has joined the Board of Directors for the Architecture + Design Museum, Los Angeles and has been invited to join the Fast Company Magazine experts online blog. Additional clients include CEOs For Cities, Apple, MySpace, Adidas Advanced Technology, Sony Design, Samsung, Starbucks, The Gap, Microsoft Pioneer Experience Studios (PMX), IDEO- San Francisco/NY, Home and Garden Television.

Here’s a brief clip of Jody Turner talking about cross culture with brands and products.

Don’t miss Jody Turner's session“Trend Hunting and Innovation: Be the new global standard in your field, break the mold and invite conversation, change the game worldly and wisely” at the Front End of Innovation Event in May!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Innovation must continue in the financaial sector

At Seeking Alpha, they published an article this morning that emphasized that innovation must continue in the financial sector if we'd like to see the prosperity and growth like we've seen before. Ben S. Bernanke, the current chairman of the Federal Reserve System, said earlier this week Iit is unrealistic to hope that financial crises can be entirely eliminated, especially while maintaining a dynamic and innovative financial system."

What do you think? Is it worth it to continue innovation in the financial system to achieve the high peaks of success we've seen over the past few decades?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

U.S. ranks eighth in innovation

According to a report produced jointly by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and The Manufacturing Institute (MI), looking at both the business outcomes of innovation and government’s ability to encourage and support innovation through public policy the United States ranks 8th in the world with regard to Innovation. According to Ohmygov.com, topping the list of the most innovative countries were, in order, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, and Ireland. Part of the lack in innovation could be the declining American automotive and financial sectors. What other forces have caused American innovation to slip among other leading countries?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Stock Portfolio Is Up

by C. Engdahl
Product Marketing Manager

Despite my love of movies and general interest in the movie industry, I have long avoided participating in the Hollywood Stock Exchange (http://www.hsx.com/). I always figured I had better things to do with my spare time than spend it buying and selling “shares” of actors, directors, and upcoming films using simulated money, and then watching these “investments” move up and down in the HSX market.

I recently succumbed however to the intrigue of the HSX. As an example of a front-end of innovation tool, the HSX was too compelling for me to resist. Apparently I don’t have better things to do with my spare time anymore.

Participation in the HSX does not make me a Hollywood insider. I have no illusions that buying these virtual stocks will get me closer to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Anyone with a web connection can join. I imagine I’m one of several hundred thousand people (if not close to a million) participating in this multi-player web-based game. That works just fine for me. I’m actually more interested in the writers and directors of films and am content to admire these talents from afar.

What intrigues me more than the virtual elbow rubbing with Hollywood stars, and motivates me to participate in the HSX despite no actual monetary gain, is the underlying premise, technology, and community power of the application itself. Like a regular stock exchange, the act of buying and selling HSX stocks causes share prices to fluctuate up and down. The ultimate HSX share prices are meant to be an indicator of actual box office success. More specifically, the stock prices are meant to predict the box office take for the first four weekends of a motion picture release. If the HSX share price is H$60 for instance, this suggests the movie in question will earn $60 million during its first four weekends. This makes the HSX a type of “prediction market”… and apparently a pretty good one at that.

In April 2006 the HSX forecast that “The Da Vinci Code” would bring in 207 million dollars in the first four weekends after release. By the end of June 2006, when the first four weeks of the movie had come and gone, “The Da Vinci Code” reportedly earned almost 206 million in actual revenue. Not a bad prediction. And apparently, although I can’t confirm this (unless you’re willing to accept Wikipedia as a credible source), the players on HSX in 2007 accurately predicted 32 of the 39 major-category Oscar nominees and 7 out of 8 top-category winners.

Pretty impressive.

I’m sort of fascinated by the potential power of the HSX. I’m trying to think though whether it could be widely applied in other situations. It almost seems a bit too sophisticated though for most industries and organizations. In some sense it’s a little obscure for my tastes too in that the inner workings are not readily transparent. Although the tool seems excellent, a sophisticated prediction market such as this is clearly not meant for, nor needed by every organization.

Despite its somewhat specialized application, the power and approach of the HSX highlights for me two very important elements that I believe are necessary to create an effective front-end information solution (by “front-end information solution” I mean things like prediction markets, idea generation tools, more comprehensive idea development solutions, or other applications).

1. A good front-end solution utilizes a clearly prescribed and consistent method for guiding front-end activities. In the case of HSX, the method is the act of buying and selling “stocks”. This method is consistent over time and is easy to understand even by those new to the HSX game. In other situations, an organization might use specific techniques (i.e. brainstorming or idea generation, etc.) or processes (Stage-Gate®) to shape their efforts. Whatever method you choose, try to make it simple to understand and consistent over time. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t change or experiment with different methods and techniques when dealing with front-end initiatives. Not at all. I’d suggest though that your choices be deliberate and not simply a hodge-podge collection of haphazard, disconnected activities.

2. The HSX also incorporates the element of interaction. Its participants, through the act of buying and selling, are engaging one another and exchanging information. To develop great information and ideas on the front-end of innovation, an organization needs interaction and collaboration amongst its innovation participants. Rarely does great innovation happen in isolation. (Note: I wouldn’t use the word collaboration to describe the HSX if only because it sounds too much like collusion – a no-no for any type of stock exchange.) In addition to the interaction through trades, the HSX also provides a platform for discussion amongst players. Discussion, whether virtual or face-to-face, is essential to most every innovation process. The exchange of ideas is always good for discovering greatness.

Time for me to go. I need to check my portfolio.

I think the market’s actually up today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Technology innovation is key to pulling out of recession

In a recent article at the Boston Globe, they look at how a new wave of technological innovation is likely what will bring us out of our current recession. A few of the items they look at that could be responsible for the rebounding are cell phones, medical gear, green technologies or batteries that could run cars. They also cite technology as what has brought us out of the previous recessions. Now that the US government is pushing fund back into health care, technology and energy, we'll see inventors, researchers and engineers emerge from fields to bring new ideas back into play, reviving our economy.

For the full article, read here. What kind of technology do you see pulling the world out of this recession? In the article, they point out that you usually can't see a trend until you're in the middle of it, but could it be a medical advancement? Or battery powered cars?

Friday, March 6, 2009

How About an Innovation Stimulus Plan?

Reid Hoffman, founder and chief executive of LinkedIn, writes in yesterday's Newsday about Innovation and the need for its own Stimulus plan. He writes, products and services drive a healthy economy. To translate the stimulus into long-term growth, we need incentives for business innovators. Entrepreneurs are the fertile soil for job growth and recovery.

Small companies represent 99.7 percent of all employers, generating 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the past decade. He continues, President Barack Obama should take a page from his campaign playbook. Why stop at tapping the grass roots to debate the stimulus? He should seek to fund innovation at the grass-roots level.

Obama is familiar with using YouTube and social networks - products of start-ups and tools of the people. His administration should make it a point not only to avoid propping up failing, overleveraged institutions but to finance new businesses, back promising ventures, welcome the best foreign minds and nurture native talent. We can innovate our way out of this recession.

What do you think of Hoffman's thoughts?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The More you Spit Out, the More you Innovate

Years ago TaylorMade’s golf equipment lagged behind these Japanese rivals, but now with what CEO Mark King calls “relentless innovation” consumers line up to purchase metal golf drivers that are at times $100 more than what rivals charge. This article in BusinessWeek details a couple of things Mark did to whip his company back into shape.

Mark quickly learned from his Japanese counterparts that they were able to lead for years because they turned out new products much more frequently. One of the first things Mark did was hire an executive from UPS in order to revamp their supply chain. The company was able to double the money spent on marketing within 5 years. King also spread the wealth of responsibility between all middle managers. Product development had been the responsibility of senior executives, but by spreading this out to 40 managers more could be done.

Do you agree with this philosophy?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Speaker Profile: Peter Erickson

Peter Erickson, Senior Vice President, Innovation, Technology and Quality, General Mills, is responsible for the identification, development and commercialization of new food products and technologies that can help in nourishing the lives of consumers by providing increasingly higher levels of health, taste, and convenience. During Erickson’s tenure as the head of Innovation, Technology and Quality at General Mills, the company has delivered more than $1 Billion in global incremental new product sales, more than $1 billion in cost savings and has improved the health profile of more than 40 percent of the U.S. portfolio.

Peter Erickson will be presenting Innovating on Innovation on Tuesday, May 19th at 9:45 at the Front End of Innovation in Boston.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Free Web Seminar: Consumer Segments -- New Online Research Approaches for Better Understanding

Brendan Light, SVP of Research and Development at BuzzBack Market Research will be presenting this hour long web seminar on two different dates. Here's a brief recap of the presentation:

More creative research approaches now integrate innovative projective and enabling exercises in online studies. This type of approach, the use of newer online qualitative techniques in an online quantitative research, converts a standard online study into one that provides richer and deeper understanding of segments, including vivid consumer language, visual imagery and personal insights and emotions.

What you will learn by attending:

  • Through a case study approach, specific examples will be shown that explore research methods that breathe new life into the way consumer profiles are created.
  • Examples of award-winning, projective and enabling techniques that can be used in online quantitative research will be demonstrated.
  • Techniques to overcome online research’s traditional problem of eliciting mostly top-of-mind, surface responses will be explored, with side-by-side results that show how these new techniques can demonstrably improve insights
  • A new method of navigating open-ended responses based on Web 2.0 technology will showcase ways to highlight consumer learning faster and more efficiently.
  • Case study examples will include: consumer goods, personal products and consumer healthcare.
You can view this web seminar at two different times.

For our US readers:March 18 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM EDT:
Mention Priority Code: MWS0017IIR
Register Here

For our EUROPEAN readers: March 19 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM GMT:
Mention Priority Code: MWS0017MIIR
Register Here

Special offer for FEI Blog Readers

As a special offer to our loyal FEI blog readers, we're extending a 15% discount to attend FEI USA this year. Simply enter code: XM2104LINK when you register. Included in your discounted registration is an exclusive meet and greet with Keynote speaker, Jim Collins. Hurry! This offer ends on March 13.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Guy Kawasaki on Innovation

Diann Daniel of CIO.com recently interviewed Guy Kawasaki, he discusses the difficulty of prioritizing innovation when you are worried about financial survival, why we can't know whether Twitter and other social networks gave Obama the win, and how anyone can be an innovator. One of the most fascinating insights from Kawasaki came from the first question, in which he was asked to define innovation, "Innovation is creating something before people know they need it. The process involves building upon the work of others-a.k.a., "copying," grinding it out, and deleting what doesn't work to jump to the next curve.
Innovation isn't a lightning bolt of inspiration in the middle of a muse. More often than not, it's a process of grinding, cogitating, and doubting. There truly is no shortcut to innovation. Over the course of a career, you come up with dozens, if not hundreds of ideas, and reject most, try some, and you are lucky if handful succeed." What do you think of Kawasaki's remarks, how do they directly relate to you and your company?

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