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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Getting Naked…Innovation!

Posted by Plish on November 5, 2013

If you’d like to read a comprehensive, yet very readable book on the innovation process and the tactics of designing for people, I highly recommend the book Naked Innovation by Zachary Paradis and David McGaw.

How much does the book cost?  Right now it’s less than I paid for it when it first hit the shelves of an IIT Design Conference.  In fact, it costs nothing!  That’s right – it’s free.  The authors want to make an already good book even better, so they are re-releasing it for free, one chapter at a time, and asking for feedback from the readers.

What do you need to do?

First step: Head to  NakedInnovation.com.

Second step: Download individual chapters of the book.

Third step: Read…

Fourth step: Give your feedback.

This book is an excellent addition to your innovation library, and now is the best time to pick up a copy and contribute to making the next version even better!

Let me know your thoughts when you read it.

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Posted in Books, Crowdsourcing, culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, innovation, Innovation Tools, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Makers – The New Industrial Revolution (Book Review)

Posted by Plish on February 7, 2013

The other day I picked up a copy of Makers – The New Industrial Revolution, by Chris Anderson.

It’s an exploration of the Maker movement and its place on the world-wide stage.

If I could sum up this book with one word it would  be:

Inspirational

Yes, inspirational.

He makes a good case for the argument that the Maker movement is here to stay and it’s buttressed by enthusiastic people who are empowered by the democratization of manufacturing technologies worldwide.  Indeed, as one chapter is entitled, “We Are All Designers Now.”

We can all take part in designing and manufacturing products, and even help each other in the process.  The internet is the great equalizer and it enables people to reach each other, and niches that, while perhaps not in the millions, are substantive enough to enable the development and growth of business.  The internet also gives access to manufacturing methodologies such as 3-D printing, laser cutting, and CNC machining, making the machine shop as close as your laptop.

He cites multiple case studies of companies (including his own) that leverage technology and the power of crowds (which is also the power of individual dreams) to build sustainable businesses.

The book is an easy, clean read.  There is some minor redundancy in writing style but it’s not off-putting.  Also, if you already are familiar with manufacturing technologies like 3-D printing, there are small chunks of the book that won’t give you any new information.

I’ve already shared this book with a friend who is involved in artistic co-creation, and this book excited him as well.

If you’d like to learn more about the Maker movement, if you’d like to be inspired by stories of how Makers are redefining manufacturing business worldwide, if you want to understand how Maker businesses have the potential to expand and become disruptive economic machines, you do want to read this book.

Ignore it at your own risk.

 

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There’s a great interview with Chris Anderson, about the Maker movement, over at Wharton.

 

Posted in Arts, Books, Case Studies, Co-Creation, creativity, Crowdsourcing, culture of innovation, Design, Disruptive Innovation, Entrepreneurship 2.0, Innovation Tools, invention, Open Source, problem solving, Reviews, Social Networking, Start-Ups, The Future, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Great Information Visualization Tool – VUE

Posted by Plish on September 1, 2009

vue

Different tools are required for different tasks.  When it comes to mindmapping and information management there are tons of possibilities.

I came across this software called VUE.   It’s less of a mindmapping tool and more of an information visualization tool.  Its strength lies in the multiple ways information can be arranged, sorted and manipulated.  I can see this working great for process analysis and research purposes.  Check out this video that also utilizes some pretty slick interaction tools.

Some perks about the software:

  • You can also use this tool to build presentations
  • Embed URLS in nodes
  • Embed pics or other files into nodes
  • Group and manipulate various nodes
  • Export as PDF or as a webpage

The best thing about it? 

It’s free!

So download it and play with it.  I’m sure you’ll come to like it and see multiple uses for it!

Posted in creativity, Design, idea generation, Information Visualization, innovation, Mind Maps, problem solving, Research, Reviews, Traditional Brainstorming, Web 2.0, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Maker’s Unite! Report on Make Magazine’s Maker Faire.

Posted by Plish on June 9, 2009

Courtesy of Paula at QuiteCurious.com

Courtesy of Paula at QuiteCurious.com

If you’ve never checked out Make Magazine, you should.

It’s a great place to get the creative juices flowing by seeing how people from all over the world are ‘building better mouse traps’.

Every year they sponsor a Maker Faire and while I was not able to be there, Paula over at the Quite Curious blog was.  Her report is exciting and thorough!

This just goes to show how inherently creative people are!

We need one of these in the Midwest.

Posted in Creative Environments, creativity, Design, idea generation, imagination, innovation, invention, problem solving, Reviews, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review of Chicago Toy and Game Fair

Posted by Plish on November 23, 2008

Do Not Know When This Pic Was Taken But It Was Not Today In Chicago

Do Not Know When This Pic Was Taken But It Was Not Today In Chicago

Today went to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair-ChiTaG for short.  It took a bout 2 hours to leisurely stroll through the hall, chatting and checking out the various games.  The main take-aways were:

  • Eco/Green games are in.  This was clearly THE main common thread through the majority of the newer games.
  • You don’t have to come up with a whole new type of game to have something that’s pretty cool.  Just by tweaking the rules and adding or subtracting from well known games like Trivial Pursuit can result in totally new and cool games. 
  • Almost no high tech type games were there- only a couple even looked high tech.
  • Very few music related games or toys
  • The overwhelming majority of games were for indoor use.

Personally there were two games that caught my eye and even dented my pocketbook.  The first, called “Not Tonight Josephine” is a Trivial Pursuit type of game that is great for history buffs.  Though originally designed for the UK it comes with a US adaption kit for those of us on this side of the pond that don’t know much about Cockney English.   It even got good reviews.  By the way, this is the one that dented our pocketbook as my wife and I couldn’t pass it up. 

The second game that I really dug was called SiegeStones.  Players take turns placing towers or stones on a wooden game board (that would look totally cool if it was marble!) and try and claim the towers by gaining adjacent circles with their color stones.  A typical game lasts only 15 minutes or so.  I was taken by the simplicity and modern primitivity of it.  Didn’t drop any coin for this one, but maybe I’ll make a marble board for it first.

All in all, I recommend you checking it out if you’re in Chicago.  It’s still going Sunday the 23rd and you can get a $2 off coupon here.

Games are a great way to get thinking in non-traditional ways, so go with an open mind and see how innovation doesn’t have to be earth shattering to be new!

Posted in Design, games, idea generation, problem solving, Reviews, toys, ZenStorming | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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