Where Science Meets Muse

Archive for July, 2011

In the Medical Device Industry? – Check Out Knobbe Medical Device Group

Posted by Plish on July 28, 2011

Are you a medical device start-up?

If not, are you looking for:

– news about medical device companies?

– medical device oriented conferences in your area?

– legal insights into the world of medical devices?

– suppliers, manufacturers and consultants that know their way around the medical device industry?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above then check out KnobbeMedical.

Started by the Intellectual Property attorneys of Knobbe Martens, the website is a great resource for those in the medical device industry.

Personally, I’m impressed with the depth and breadth of the information that’s available. If there is anything negative about the site it’s that the page design isn’t overly friendly.  There is so much information that it can be somewhat laborious to drill down to get the information you need. 

Nevertheless, don’t let that discourage you.  It’s well worth spending some time at the Knobbe Medical site.

Posted in culture of innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship 2.0, Funding Innovation, innovation, Medical Devices, patents, Start-Ups | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Predicting the Future – Maybe It’s What We Make It

Posted by Plish on July 23, 2011

I came across this great little blurb at Impact Lab where Seagrams distillery  made predictions in the 1940’s about what life would be like in the future.  One of the pictures, shown below, shows what is essentially a Sport Bar with flat screen TV’s. 

What’s missing from this scene?  See what you come up with and then continue reading….

The first obvious feature is that the hockey players, including the goalie, are not wearing any protective headgear.

The other aspect is that there are no other races (or women) shown in the image, only white men.

Why do television sets and bars get ‘modernized’ but behaviors don’t?

First, helmets for players.  It was considered uncool for players to use head protection.  It’s a macho thing!   Helmets would get in the way of fans identifying the players!   Why would players in the future be less macho? If anything they’d be more macho, right?  (The natural  question to ask is: are hockey players of the present less macho because they wear helmets?)

I suspect that macho-ism explains the fact that it’s all men in the bar as well.   It’s interesting that a more racially diverse crowd wasn’t considered part of the future.

Let’s shift gears from people to objects – the TV’s. Why did flat screen TV’s in bars get predicted?

Think about the attributes of any product – things like size, weight, speed, flavor, temperature, etc.  The future tends to hold products that are smaller, thinner, lighter, faster, more flavorful, hotter/colder,… well, you get the idea. 

These physical, touchy-feely aspects come into being because we want things to be better.  We imagine them better and make them better. In a way, we make the future.

People, on the other hand, are harder to figure out. 

But then, maybe it’s not that much different.  If we want to predict how people will behave, maybe we should just imagine ourselves better, more open, more loving, more concerned about safety, more concerned about each other…

Then we should just make the future that way.

Posted in Design, Evolution, imagination, innovation, The Future, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Small Changes in Design Can Positively Impact Customer Experience – Thoughts After the Storm…

Posted by Plish on July 16, 2011

I don’t know what chord the wind was playing, I only know it wasn’t that “shoosh’ sound that a breeze, even a strong one, makes.  The haunting drone of 75+mph winds was punctuated by the snapping sounds of tree trunks and shuddering thuds as 30 foot  tree  segments slammed onto, or rather, bounced off the roof and then landed in front of the window. The lake, usually filled with whitecaps during storms, instead was flattened and swirling, looking as if it were going to part.  Given the apocalyptic combination of noise and wind, it wouldn’t have surprised us to see ghost’s of Pharoah’s army riding on chariots through the waters.

The onslaught lasted only minutes while we frantically grabbed cats, flashlights, phones and water and tunneled into the closet in the center of the house.

Winds subsided and water started dripping through the bedroom ceiling…

As if the entire block was cued by an off-stage director, people walked out of their homes and into the street, drizzle falling and cracks of lightning still flashing in the distance.  One by one we evaluated each other’s property and looked at the damage. Maple trees that have faced battles for over 50 years lost this one.  Trunks over a foot in diameter snapped and splintered. Our fascia was ripped off in one place, a tree branch pierced into the attic in another, and a dent in a ridge turned out to be a broken beam.  Small holes randomly pocked the shingles.  Shattered trunk lay on top of bushes and small trees.  Their forced bends seem to be screaming, “Get off my back!”

The lack of power and the holes in the roof are main concerns.  Those will get patched by roofers that were kind enough to end their gruellingly long day with a trip to our house to seal them off.  The power?  We had that covered with a generator, albeit 24 hours after the power was lost. 

I prepared the generator for its run.  I took a quart of oil and tried to verify how much oil would be needed.  The instructions said .6 liters.  I looked on the side of the plastic bottle to see if I could gauge how much to pour. 

Sweaty, with a headlamp on my head and mosquitoes beginning their evening feast, I looked in disbelief.  The bottle is filled with 1.419 liters of oil.

Seriously – four significant digits? (This is actually 48 ounces but I’m not about to convert .6 liters to ounces)

The markings on the container start with 1.3 and go down in 0.1 liter increments.  So, as if the situation isn’t bad enough, I now have to actually think.  I subtract .6 from 1.417, that’s 0.817.  I begin pouring.  Nope, not enough…pour more…I’m close…pour again…too much…augh, oil is dripping out of the fill port.  I pour some oil out and recheck…I add more again….perfect.  

Add gasoline, flip switches, pull cable, it starts.  We have power to fridge, freezer and a fan. 

I look at the oil slick on the concrete and do damage control to keep it out of the grass and flower bed.

I look again at the bottle.


As I listen to the generator humming in the darkness and mosquitoes in my ears, it strikes me how the simplest products can be made so much more helpful with a minimum amount of effort.  All it takes is a little empathy and understanding.  The manufacturer provided a clear stripe of plastic and gradation marks so that the contents could be measured as it was dispensed.   It wouldn’t have been any more difficult to reverse the sequence of the numbers so that they could actually be useful to the pourer.

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Posted in Customer Focus, Design, Ergonomics, Experience, innovation | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

A Lesson in Entrepreneurship 2.0 – Innovative Business Model Helps ‘Would Be’ Competition

Posted by Plish on July 5, 2011

Barb’s Kitchen in Monroe, Wisconsin, is more than simply a state licensed kitchen that is well-known for its potato salad and Shaggy Dog marinade.  It is a shared incubator, a place for culinary entrepreneurs to cut their teeth without having to invest in their own buildings, or their own equipment.  By renting space in Barb’s Kitchen they obtain access to equipment, and perhaps more importantly:  like-minded souls.

According to this article in the Monroe Times, nine different companies have used these shared resources, six of which have officially gone out on their own.

How many other businesses would share their labs, offices or resources with those who could become competition? Would you?

It’s brick and mortar, radical, social networking. 

Business model innovation.

~Welcome to Entrepreneurship 2.0~

Posted in culture of innovation, Entrepreneurship 2.0, innovation, Social Innovation, Social Networking, Social Responsibility | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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