Where Good Ideas Come from

In teaching Innovation, I go over many videos, articles, lectures, notes, etc. Students often ask, how can they identify problems to solve, or how to get ideas. I invariably guide them to this beautiful video by Steven Johnson, who also has a book of the same title. There isn’t a fountain of ideas that you can drink from. Its only your hard work and preparation that lets good ideas bubble up to you. Certainly as Louis Pasteur noted, chance favors the prepared mind.

Some of the key points Steven Johnson identifies are:
1. There is no Eureka moment. It’s the slow hunch that gestates over long periods, sometime even decades before the solution reveals itself in the Eureka moment.

2. Social Interactions: He mentions the coffee bars and social clubs as places to meet a diverse group of people, facilitating an healthy exchange of ideas. It is this testing, tearing down and building-up of ideas that permit better ideas to sprout.

3. Spaces: Serendipity happens in physical spaces facilitating interactions with people and ideas. In these times of broadband connectivity, interactions can happen virtually, increasing opportunities for sharing and swapping ideas/ hunches, thus accelerating creativity and innovation.

Please share your learning points on this video.

Wearable Device Hackathon 2018

Just concluded the biggest, baddest Wearable Device Hackathon evah, organized by the Innovation Center Manipal and the Kasturba Medical College Manipal.

We had over 150 participants from ten different institutions, 25 mentors, 17 volunteers and five judges. What an amazing event that was.

Grand Challenge Udupi

For Innovation to serve the people and move the country forward, we ultimately need to reach the most underprivileged in our society.  This was exactly our goal when we teamed up with the local government – Udupi District and developed this Grand Challenge.

The District officials under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner Smt Priyanka Mary Francis and Assistant Commissioner Shilpa Nag, picked issues they grappled with most.
Continue reading “Grand Challenge Udupi”

Scott Galloway on Apple, Amazon, Facebook & Google

Scott Galloway on how this Gang of Four is going to rule the world and destroy jobs everywhere. Forget about the One percenters, we’ll need a new term – the one micro percenters who will own 99% of world GDP.

Fujifilm X100T Film Simulation – Quick Examples

Fujifilm X100T is ❤

Just received my X100T over the holidays and it’s a beauty. A few thoughts:

Small: It’s tiny (compared to my D600). I have small hands and can barely get my hand on the grip and not smudge the LCD. If you have bigger hands, I’d advise you handle this camera before you rush to order. It easily fits in my jacket pocket – in Boston we wear jackets 8 months in the year, so a big plus. Also fits in the city bag I sling across my shoulders and includes a water bottle, reading glasses, small notebook and pencils. Continue reading “Fujifilm X100T Film Simulation – Quick Examples”

Creativity at Caine’s Arcade

Watch this amazing kid’s creativity and gumption in building his cardboard arcade. Had me in tears. Make kids (and adults) watch this. In the daily grind we tend to forget what life is all about.

Steve Jobs commencement speech, 2005

Thank you for a great ride, Steve. We’ll miss you.

Notable: Click here for commencement speech by David McCullough Jr at the Wellesley High School Graduation (2012).
Continue reading “Steve Jobs commencement speech, 2005”

Fighting Cervical Cancer with Vinegar

In developed countries, pap smears are used to detect cervical cancers, but these tests are not available for poor women in developing countries. Brushing the cervix with household vinegar turns cancerous and precancerous lesions pale white within a few minutes. The lesions can then be immediately frozen using metal rod cooled by a tank of carbon dioxide, which is readily available from any soda plant.

This cheap and easy screening test called VIA/cryo has recently been endorsed by the World Health Organization.

Read More & pic from: Fighting Cervical Cancer With Vinegar and Ingenuity, New York Times

Other Health Related:

Thank you Steve Jobs!

It had to end one day – and that day is today!
Thank you for for a great ride.
With much gratitude,

Jobs Steps Down at Apple, Saying He Can’t Meet Duties

Steve Jobs in San Francisco in June (New York Times)… “I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

via Jobs Steps Down at Apple, Saying He Can’t Meet Duties – NYTimes.com.

Email – The long and short of it

Last week, I was intrigued by this and other articles reassessing the length, style and overuse of emails. A brief overview of new email think.

  1. Arun Shanbhag Email(methinks this all started when) Gmail introduced the People Tab, to provide “contextual information about people you’re interacting with,” and justified it by *gag*, “Email is just as much about the people you communicate with as it is what you’re communicating about.”

  2. As if on cue, Chris Anderson, curator of TED conferences, railed against the evils of email.
    “we’re drowning in it,” he cried. “Every year it gets a little worse. To the point where we can get trapped spending most of our working week simply handling the contents of our in-boxes.”
  3. Chris is proposing an Email Charter with 10 Rules.

  4. Ok fine; you think these rules are equally verbose? How about twitter for Email? Shortmail restricts your email messages to 500 characters! Send ME your 500 character manifesto!

  5. You have difficulty counting? How about disciplining emails to three.sentence.es?
  6. Fine, fine! Tweet me in 140 characters.
  7. Does not work for you? OK! Let’s talk; call me!

Mark Twain once said, “I don’t have time to write you a short letter, so I’m writing you a long one instead.”

iClouds over MobileMe

With Steve Jobs unveiling iCloud, the new online storage and synchronization service, the big question in my mind was, what happens to my MobileMe a/c? Despite the media calling it a “failed service,” it served my needs very well.

Here are snippets of relevant information taken from the email I received from the MobileMe Team:

Available this fall, iCloud is free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users.
Yaay! That means I have to upgrade to OS X Lion, which I would have done anyway. A bargain for $29!

Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.
So, at least for another year, I don’t have to worry about MobileMe disappearing.

When iCloud becomes available this fall, we will provide more details and instructions on how to make the move. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about iCloud.
Can’t wait! If you are thrilled, give a hoot!

But wait, (after talking to a Apple guy), apparently iCloud will NOT support web page-hosting and sharing picture galleries, currently available to MobileMe subscribers. No word on any replacement. Also, iCloud will only provide 5GB of space. Considering the SD card in my camera is 8GB, how useful is this? I’d be willing to pay for extra storage.

And more: what does this mean for the storage industry? Starting from sales for external hard disks to the online storage services like Box.net and DropBox? Oh Well, you have to break eggs to make omelettes.

Hair Twister

This was the winning entry in the Innovation Tournament.

“Hair Twister” team from India proposed a mat filled with human hair to clean up oil spills. Hair mats can trap the oil without degrading or contaminating it. The oil could then be harvested and the mat re-used. Chemical mats and dispersants unfortunately, degrade the oil and make it a hazardous waste, which needs to be disposed off appropriately. Chemical dispersants also have their own issues with toxicities.

The hair mats could also be used in farming to retain soil moisture and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Hair could be collected from barbershops essentially for free and not end up in waste landfills.

Win! Win! With the winnings the team members should get help to develop a polished, marketing video. See here for details on other entries.

See Related:
Amazing Pranav Mistry: Thrilling Potential of SixthSense technology

Video: Chance Favors the Connected Mind

Steven Johnson provides a visually engaging answer to the age old question, Where do Good Ideas come from?

He posits that it is not the eureka moments, but the interconnections of hunches and mingling of ideas that lead to fascinating inventions. I had to watch this short, fast-paced video several times to appreciate the nuances and graphics. Hope you enjoy it too.

In this TED talk, Steve elaborates on the role of coffee houses during the age of enlightenment in Europe, and gives recent examples of how chance favors the connected mind. If you are game for a cup of coffee or chai let me know.

Amazing Pranav Mistry: Thrilling Potential of SixthSense technology

From TEDIndia: Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data — including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper “laptop.”

Continue reading “Amazing Pranav Mistry: Thrilling Potential of SixthSense technology”

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