ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘Crowdsourcing’

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 »

Highlights from IIT’s 2013 Design Research Conference

Posted by Plish on October 10, 2013

Once again the IIT Institute of Design has put on a provocative and stimulating conference.

Under the theme “Exploring Creative Balance in Design“, the conference was a potpourri of glances at the past, understanding of the present, and flashes of future.  It was held at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, a stimulating change from the Spertus Institute, where it’s usually been held.  There was an interesting ‘negative’ about the location in that electrical outlets were few and far between. Charging phones and laptops was a challenge.  (Personally, while on my quest to find outlets, I found some really cool nooks in the museum that I didn’t even know existed)

Some highlights in no particular order:

Mickey McManus of Maya inspired awe.  A trillion connected devices is just around the corner.  A trillion!  Think of what is possible (good and bad) when those devices interact with each other!  Think of how nature communicates with itself!

Mel Lim talked about keeping Ego in check.  A wonderful challenge to becoming better people to create a better world.

John Doyle gave an amazing talk of the limits of systems, how the same concepts govern phage evolution. Fast and specialized systems or slow and flexible?  How to walk the line?  What about feedbacks in our systems?  How do we design for that?  There was also a cautionary bent to his talk, but he emphasized the need for people to adopt new ways of looking at systems in the world.  He mentioned to me afterwards how essential it is that the design world gets involved.  The research needs to be made accessible to more than just mathematicians to be able to impact the world in its most profound way.

Darlene Damm spoke of her DIYROCKETS project.  Open Sourcing the Space Industry.  Amazing and disruptive innovation!

John Payne talked skeuomorphs and more,  Ultimately it’s about understanding our culture so we can communicate through design more effectively.

Panos Papalambros spoke of optimizing designs using algorithms that are automatic as well as human assisted. Discussed the benefits of crowdsourcing this process as well.

Liz Sanders and co-creation.  There truly is power when individuals create together as a communal entity. She’s got a great resource at Maketools.com that I’ve personally used.  This is exciting work and it’s only going to mature more.

Matt Jones and Richard The of Google Creative Labs showed the power of video in prototyping.  “All design is fiction.”  Love that quote because everything starts as an idea – a fiction – and it becomes reality.

Lucy Kimbell talked about the various types of empathy using Star Trek’s Deanna Troi as the research subject.

There was also everyone’s favorite “curmudgeon”, Don Norman.  He emphasized the need for design research to be more effectively integrated into corporate product development processes.

Matthew Clark and many others gave amazing talks.

If you’d like to see more from the conference check out #DRC2013 on Twitter.  You can also go to Seen for a timeline of twitter posts about the conference.

Lastly, but in no way least, I met old friends and made new ones.  When all is said and done, that’s what makes these conferences so valuable.

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts and looking forward to next year!

Posted in Co-Creation, creativity, Crowdsourcing, culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, innovation, Innovation Tools, Maker Movement, Open Source, Research, Social Innovation, Sustainability | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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.

 

************

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 »

Finding the Real Niches for 3D Printing

Posted by Plish on February 3, 2013

3-D printing is cool and it has its place, but we keep asking it to do everything.  We want it to be the go-to technology for making toys, utensils, art, food, etc.   And yes, there are companies like Ponoko that are built around these technologies, and they’re quite successful, but the question still needs to be asked:

Are we using 3-D printing tech to its strengths?

Neil Gershenfeld of MIT, and author of Fab:The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop, sums it up well by saying:”…The killer app for digital fabrication is personal fabrication. Not to make what you can buy in Wal-Mart, but to make what you can’t buy at Wal-Mart.”

To “make what you can’t buy at Walmart.”

That’s exactly the point!

Yet, if you look at what 3-D printing is being used for, with the exception of some creative art and its use by architectural and design firms, 3-D printing is, by and large, being used to make what can be bought at Walmart, or some other store.

Recently Nokia, in its attempt to ride the buzz of 3-D printing, started providing files so that people can print their own phone cases. Yes, people with some 3-D design software acumen can make their own cases, and no doubt will come up with some really cool ideas.  But, the point remains, these same parts can be bought finished and then customized with colors, overlays, etc., and (this is a biggie) no software knowledge is required.

So that brings me to the main point of this post.

If 3-D printing is ever going to truly blossom and be a force to reckoned with, it needs to be more than just another way to do something that is already being done.  It needs to stand on its own as a technology that says, “Only I can do this and without me you will never see this come to fruition!”

For that statement to be made, we first must truly understand the strengths of 3-D printing technologies.  Once we know what can and can’t be done, we can then look for those problems for which 3-D printing is the ultimate solution.  It’s a little bit backward to think this way, but it often happens that new technologies start as solutions looking for problems.

So, let’s put the power of the web to work and crowdsource the future of 3-D printing. To do that, we need to answer the following questions:

What is it that 3-D printing can do that other technologies can’t?

Where are 3-D printing’s strengths?

What can 3-D printing do that molding technologies or machining, or thermoforming can’t do?

Here’s a quick, short list to get the ball rolling:

  • Make things in layers
  • It can create by controlled melting/bonding and curing type processes
  • Can make hollow objects
  • Can make objects within objects
  • Can reproduce digital data in 3-D (This enables us to hold something that otherwise can’t be held, i.e. Using CT scan data to build skulls for surgical planning)
  • ???

I’m sure there is more that can be added to this list.  Please share what you think 3-D printing does well.   Feel free to either comment here or on twitter, use  #3Dstrengths.  I’ll compile the responses and let’s see if we can’t find a niche for 3-D printing that brings real, sustainable value beyond what 3-D printing is being used for today. If you have a niche idea, use #3Dniches.

Thanks and looking forward to the responses!!

Posted in Arts, Design, Disruptive Innovation, innovation, Innovation Tools, Open Source, problem solving, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Want to Make a Difference as a Volunteer, Without Leaving Home?

Posted by Plish on February 7, 2012

I recently was followed by @benrigby over on Twitter.  I checked out his profile and was  intrigued to say the least.

You see, Ben is the CEO of Sparked.com, a microvolunteering platform.  I had heard of microfinance, but microvolunteering?

So, I went over to his site, checked it out, and was thoroughly impressed.

Such a simple idea and such an elegant solution.

I joined on the spot and began reading about the challenges people have…and shared some proposed solutions.   The best thing about this site is that once you start reading about what people need, it’s almost impossible not to help and give your two cents, because Sparked.com has made it so simple. (The only thing that I can’t find, but that would be really helpful, is a way to bookmark individual challenges that catch your eye but you can’t get to at the moment.)

You can also use the Sparked platform to engage your employees  or your customers in volunteer causes.   What better way to build a esprit de corps or brand identity, than through volunteering?

Check it all out for yourself.  You’ll be glad you did!

Posted in Crowdsourcing, Design, Funding Innovation, innovation, Innovation Tools, problem solving, Social Innovation, Social Networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Free, New Tool for Online Meetings/Collaboration – Try Zipcast!

Posted by Plish on February 18, 2011

Slideshare has just launched a really slick, new service called Zipcast.  It’s an online meeting tool.  It’s free and it’s simple.  Simply set up a free account through Slideshare and you get a free meeting room.  Call a meeting and broadcast it on Twitter or Facebook, or keep it private and only invitees can participate.  The fact that it’s spontaneous and doesn’t require any planning is great for initiating discussions on the fly.  Zipcast does require that your meeting centers around a Slideshare ‘presentation’ (yours or someone else’s) that is already uploaded but this isn’t really negative – after all, most meetings are centered around documents anyway, right? 

Features of Zipcast are:

Free

  • Use any presentation: yours or someone else’s
  • Personalized meeting rooms
  • Streaming live video
  • Group chat
  • No downloads
  • Unlimited meetings & participants
  • Facebook & Twitter integration
  • Private or Public

Pro

  • Password protection
  • No ads
  • Conference call number

What does Zipcast claim it can be used for?

  1. Share ideas with remote colleagues.
  2. Launch your next product
  3. Talk at a conference remotely
  4. Teach anyone, anywhere
  5. Pitch a client
  6. Walk people over your sales deck
  7. Support your customers
  8. Run a non-profit fundraiser
  9. Share your photo albums
  10. Have fun sharing presentations

Personally I can see this being used as a great way to teach people, to give webinars for free, or to work on social innovation projects.  People could contribute to a discussion, a new presentation could be made based upon the feedback, another meeting held, and so on.  I could see this becoming a platform for online Pecha Kucha, which I would really dig.  Think about it.  You could tune in to a Pecha Kucha presentation 24-7 and not have to sit through hour long presentations.

This will obviously morph and be taken in new directions as it gets used.  I can already see an artist uploading lyrics/poetry to their Slideshare page and giving a concert/reading for anyone and everyone that will listen.

This seriously has some coolness going for it.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Posted in Conveying Information, Crowdsourcing, culture of innovation, Customer Focus, Design, Education, Information Visualization, innovation, Social Innovation, Social Networking, Social Responsibility, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Joy de vivre, Inc – Crowdsourcing Product Development

Posted by Plish on March 23, 2009

Do you have a design or product you’d like to see manufactured and sold?

Joydevivre.orgis a crowdsourced innovation portal for people to submit product ideas and eventually make money from them. 

The concept is simple.  You send them a design.  They pre-sell it.  If they sell enough, they make the tooling and invest in the manufacturing using the proceeds from the pre-sales to cover costs. The original designer gets a royalty from the sale.

What do you think of this idea?

Posted in Crowdsourcing, Entrepreneurship 2.0, Funding Innovation, innovation, Start-Ups | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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