Category Archives: innovation

An obscure, but excellent, look at Steve Jobs in action

This is a video segment from a documentary called “The New Entrpreneurs” that gets posted and taken down from youTube periodically. Every 9 months or so, I want to send it to someone and the previous link fails. Finally, it looks like the creator of the video has posted it, so it’s likely to stay. […]

Chairman Jobs on teams, A players, and priorities

An oldie, but an enduringly good one, Business Week interviews Steve Jobs about how he did what he did at Apple and Pixar. On the need to think teams: No major work that I have been involved with has been work that can be done by a single person or two people, or even three […]

Stop celebrating failure, find a better word

The celebration of failure has become a tired, counterproductive meme. Sure, the tension involved in celebrating something normally thought to be bad gets your attention. It’s also a way to get people out of their comfort zone. So cheers for that. But, really, we actually want to succeed and the more I read about failing […]

New ex. of making behaviors fun

Nifty little exercise where a group of designers turn a train station staircase into a piano keyboard (a la the classic scene from Big) in order to get people to engage in the healthier behavior of taking the stairs rather than the escalator. THey conclude: “Fun can obviously change behavior for the better” and the […]

The depreciation of ‘gadgets’

An ignite talk by Mark Argo about the increasing open-sourcing and personalization of gadgets begins with a fun account of the way in which the word gadget has evolved and been depreciated. According the usual on-line sources (OED,, Wikipedia), the origin of gadget is not entirely clear, but there was a late-19th early-20th century […]

Back to One Laptop, via the Windmills

Here’s a mini-version of the upcoming documentary about William Kamkwamba, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Watching it today, William’s comment about needing electricity to get to the internet (at 5:21) struck me: “Most people want internet technology, but they can’t use internet technology without electricity.” This reminds me of some of the smug criticisms […]

Supporting the Windmill Project

Just finishing The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as the author, William Kamkwamba caps off his US speaking tour with a Daily Show interview (tomorrow). With the money he has raised, William has added solar panels to his village, another windmill and has achieved his goal of irrigating the land for a second season of […]

Inspiration: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

About 3/4 of the way through The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (that’s the Amazon link, the author’s site is here). Terrific book on so many levels. In short, it’s the story of a 13 – 14 year Malawian boy (William Kamkwmaba) who, unable to pay tuition for school after a devastating famine (which his […]

Tim Brown on Design to Design Thinking

I’m still uncomfortable at the rush to make everyone designers when we mostly understand design as styling, but Brown makes some great points and highlights things missing from many design thinking talks: – design has been, and should be again, about big things – design has its routes in system, systemic, or integrative thinking (it’s […]

Stop being different, be better

Just re-read Martin Neuimeier’s A Designful Company along with a bunch of my co-workers. Reading a book at the same time as other people is a fantastic thing to do — it sets of neuronic chain reactions and builds common language — and the book itself was pretty good. However, it highlights one of the […]