ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Looking for Disruptive Technologies? VentureRadar is the place for you

Posted by Plish on July 20, 2015

Every once in a while I come across a phenomenal resource that I want to share, and VentureRadar is just such a site.

If you want to find out which companies are leading the way in disruptive and innovative technologies, VentureRadar will crawl through publicly available data and show you who’s hot.  The Company was founded by Andrew Thomson, PhD who contributed to the building of an online intelligence tool used by Dow Jones.  His team also includes two  PhDs and a Masters Degree – their knowledge spanning artificial intelligence, machine learning, mathematics, statistics, and science.

How does it work?

It’s basically a search engine.  Type what you’re looking for and let the magic unfold.

For example, if I type in the phrase, “Wearable” I get these results.  If I click on the first company, Wearable Intelligence, I get this report which is shown below as well.

Screen Capture from VentureRadar

Screen Capture from VentureRadar

I asked Dr, Thomson, how Innovation and Growth Signals were defined and he kindly provided the following:

“Innovation Signals: There are two elements we consider when measuring innovation: proprietary technology/skills/business models, and the potential for disrupting industries. Highly rated companies can include both established or even consulting based companies (so for example a contract R&D company would be often be considered innovative) as well as disruptive start-ups.

Growth Signals: This measures the ‘momentum’ of the company, which could be through revenue but more often through other metrics which can infer business momentum, such as partnerships, awards, funding events, press coverage, social media, etc.”

Here’s what a company like Uber looks like:

Uber's profile on VentureRadar

Uber’s profile on VentureRadar

On the flipside, there are companies like well established IDE Technologies, leaders in water desalination.

IDE Technologies Well established but also leading the way in developing water desalination technologies

IDE Technologies
Well established but also leading the way in developing water desalination technologies

In my opinion, VentureRadar is a pretty amazing platform for locating those companies that could be competition, or partners.

It is also a valuable resource if you’re looking to map how a certain technology will develop over the next 5 years.   Once you can see where things may be going, your strategic and scenario planning can take that into account, giving you a better feel for the accuracy of future scenarios.

I’ll be using this for sure in my work.  Pay them a visit.  I’d love to hear what you think about VentureRadar.

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Posted in Design, innovation, Innovation Tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Working For Peace (From a Thankful Place)

Posted by Plish on November 21, 2012

As we here in the United States get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that even with the disagreements we have, we can still go to sleep and not have to worry about missiles landing on our homes.  In other parts of the world, people aren’t as fortunate.

In the Middle East, things are particularly sensitive right now.  Nevertheless, there are those that are working for peace in the midst of turmoil.  Wednesday morning (in the US), peacemakers and educators in Israel, Gaza and Palestine will gather together in a non-violent dialogue.  You can listen and be a participant by visiting the website here.

Let’s all share from our plenty.

~peace~

 

Posted in Human Rights, innovation, Politics, problem solving, Religion, Social Innovation, Social Responsibility, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Proposed Solution for Wrong Site Surgeries

Posted by Plish on June 24, 2011

Came across this article about how current measures aren’t addressing wrong site surgeries as much as hoped.  So it got me to thinking that perhaps something like the below solution could be used to help minimize these adverse events.  The patient’s bar code is scanned and the surgery team is presented with the preferred orientation of the patient for that surgery, and the location of the surgery on the patient.  Three people, including the surgeon, have to cross-check the patient with the information presented. When all check boxes are filled, the surgery can proceed and hopefully at the proper site.

Suggestions and thoughts are welcome!!

Click for Full Size

Posted in Customer Focus, Design, Health Concerns, Healthcare, Information Visualization, innovation, software, User Interface | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Design and Innovation in the Context of Life’s Problems

Posted by Plish on December 31, 2010

“Jacob,” asked Mr. Gold whose days dangled by a thread, “where do you find the strength to carry on in life?”

“Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it,” said Jacob. “But I do find strength in the ashes.”

“In the ashes?” asked Mr. Gold.

“Yes,” said Jacob with a confirmation that seemed to have traveled a great distance.

“You see, Mr. Gold, each of us is alone. Each of us is in the great darkness of our ignorance. And each of us is on a journey.

“In the process of our journey, we must bend to build a fire for light, and warmth, and food.

“But when our fingers tear at the ground, hoping to find the coals of another’s fire, what we often find are the ashes.

“And in these ashes, which will not give us light or warmth, there may be sadness, but there is also testimony.

“Because these ashes tell us that somebody else has been in the night, somebody else has bent to build a fire, and somebody else has carried on.

“And that can be enough sometimes, that can be enough.”

-Jacob the Baker, by Noah benShea

The above story, taken from the delightful book, Jacob the Baker, was written by the author to help him and his dying father through the night. The words are profound and meaningful, especially for those people who are going through difficult times.

Ahhh, difficult times…

I am only now, finally getting my new computer and business systems running again.  If not for some annoyances that pop up every now and then, I can hardly tell that a little over a week ago my CPU/motherboard melted down in the midst of deadlines and the holidays.  Before that…

Fast rewind with me for a year and, like other people,  along the way you’ll  experience family illness, accidents, pain, even death…

This laptop debacle pales in comparison to the other things that happened over the course of a year.  Yet, this technological glitch was a frustrating event that meant schedule manipulation, late, sleepless nights, and more intense days. It did nothing to foster a more peaceful approach to the holidays.

Why do I bring this all up?

People’s lives can get extraordinarily messy.  In the midst of chaos, humans naturally seek some semblance of order. During those times, more than in others,  people expect things to work – especially the little things.  When the little things don’t work, it can push our patience to the limit.  We’ve all been there.

Interestingly enough, seldom do the design of products and services take this larger context of chaos into account.  Oh, sure, products are (hopefully!) designed to be easy to use, intuitive, and  pleasing.  Designers strive for empathy with people to make sure that they really understand what people are going through in their daily lives.  But it’s difficult to design for the effect that time and stress can have on people and how they go about living day to day.

Designing a sterile package that’s easy to open in an Emergency Room is not the same as making a package easy to open in an ER where a family of  six is coming in from a head-on collision – 14 hours into a shift in which more people have been lost than saved; the head nurse’s husband asked her for a divorce that morning; another’s child got sick in daycare so he had to call his brother to pick the child up; one ER doc’s car broke down and still isn’t repaired, another nurse is home with the flu; the only food anyone consumed has been a bag of Halloween candy, multiple soft drinks, 2 energy bars, and a bag of chips; and the ER is going to be audited the next day. That’s just the last 24 hours for this crew…

“Easy to open” takes on different meanings depending upon  the extent to which people have been stressed prior to opening the package.

 Now granted, not every person is going to be swamped 24/7.  There is respite in even the most hectic lives.    But I think we’ve all seen people become blubbering messes over something that just a week earlier was accomplished without any thought or emotion.  

Think, no, dream of what our lives would be like if things were designed so that even in our most frazzled states, the use of a product or service caused us to crack a smile, or pause, breathe and savor a flickering moment of peace.   What if, designing innovation meant that during those frantic times of searching through the ashes, someone made sure that we actually found a hot, glowing ember?

May you not only find encouragement in the ashes,

may you also find glowing embers – enough for you and enough to share.

I wish all of you a safe, healthy, wonder-filled 2011 and beyond!

Posted in Authenticity, culture of innovation, Customer Focus, Design, Emotions, innovation, Life Stages, love, Social Responsibility, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can an iPad Cripple Innovation and Creativity?

Posted by Plish on June 30, 2010

Came across this provocative piece at Harvard Business Review .

The author, Peter Bregman, returned his iPad because he found himself filling up his time with ‘stuff’ via the iPad as opposed to taking advantage of the ‘downtime’ that we all experience.  Bregman calls this downtime boredom, but in essence it’s the time when we’re not focusing on particular problems- that valuable time when the brain is able to make connections and build insights. It’s that time before falling asleep, the time in the shower, the time during or after a workout.

His point is well taken even if his solution to being an iPadoholic was slightly radical. 

We need to take time to relax – to disconnect, to experience the feeling of being and not necessarily doing, as Bregman poignantly points out at the end of his article:

“We have a new ritual now, and it really has become my favorite part of the day. I put (my 8 year old daughter) to bed 15 minutes earlier than before. She crawls into bed and, instead of shushing her, I lie next to her and we just talk. She talks about things that happened that day, things she’s worried about, things she’s curious or thinking about. I listen and ask her questions. We laugh together. And our minds just wander.”

‘Doing’ as part of the ”cloud’ 24/7 isn’t always a good thing.  Great ideas and innovation have their origins in those times when we pleasantly have our feet on the ground and are simply being.

Posted in Authenticity, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, The Human Person, The Senses, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Inventables – Great Idea Resource for Innovative Product Solutions

Posted by Plish on October 15, 2009

Click here to check out the page on inventables.com

Inevitably when trying to come up with innovative ways of solving sticky problems we have those times when we say, “If only I had XYZ I could make ABC.”

Enter:  Inventables -The Materials and Technology Marketplace.

Inventables is a free site (though a Premium service is also available)  that allows someone to browse through or search for enabling materials and technologies.  It’s as simple as typing in keywords or clicking in a cloud.  

For example, the dissolving fabric pictured above is one of 146 technologies I found while doing a search on “fabric”.  A particularly pleasing feature is that the results do not only tell you how the technologies are currently being used, but you will be given possible other uses, seductively getting those creative ideas flowing.

The contents of Inventables is a veritable symphony of technologies looking for a home; or in the words of Inventables’ long term mission statement: “(Inventables provides) a living showcase of what’s possible to deliver inspiration and innovation to the dreamers of the world.”

Prepare to dream…

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, Creative Thinking Techniques, Design, idea generation, Innovation Tools, invention, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Creativity in the Silence…

Posted by Plish on August 4, 2009

leaves1 michaelplishka2009

I’ve always been a huge proponent of the need to quiet one’s self…

to center

to be present in the moment with who you are

Not who you want to become

Not with what you were

But with who you are

It’s the you of the Now that is brilliantly creative

It’s the you of the Now that has the solution to your problems

The river of information flows incessantly

We draw from the river with feverish pitch

As if drought were impending

 Fear of being without…

Creativity does not flow in the din of that river of eddies and vortices!

The Silent River of Beauty…

Drink from Her…

Posted in Authenticity, Creative Environments, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, idea generation, imagination, innovation, meditation, nature, Nature of Creativity, prayer, problem solving, Spirituality, The Human Person, The Senses, Twitter, Web 2.0, Workplace Creativity, ZenStorming | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Philosophy, The Information Super-Highway and Innovation

Posted by Plish on April 14, 2009

Does the internet help or hinder philosophy?

Does the internet help or hinder philosophy?

Over at Linkedin, Paul Dowling, CEO of DreamStake, posed this poignant and thought provoking question:

“Has the internet killed the Philosopher?
It struck me that in the past knowledgeable individuals accumulated wisdom throughout their lifetime and formulated it to bring meaning to others. These philosophers have helped mankind to make sense of issues such as politics, religion, ethics and even the very meaning of life itself.
It has occurred to me that the rate of change facilitated by the internet and other technological innovations will preclude the linear building of ‘accepted’ wisdom by individuals over their lifetime.
We already talk about disruptive technology and business models. We see society changing in unpredictable ways brought on by these changes. Is philosophy dead or will it simply change to reflect the society we live in?”

First, let’s agree on some definitions.

Philosophy is Greek for, “Lover of Wisdom” (Philo – lover of;  Sophia – Wisdom).

In Greek, the word Epistamai means “to know” and “knowledge” is derived from this word. (It’s where we get Epistemology from)

In the Internet Age, access to information is unprecedented.   We are all harvesting, compiling and storing volumes of information.  We are philoepistomoi (Please forgive my Greek conjugation!) — lovers of knowledge!

Philosophy (of which I agree there is less of), is more properly a reflection upon the information or data.  In ancient Greece, to philosophize was even identified with knowing the mind of god(s) – it was searching for the method behind the madness. 

Philosophy, then, actually shares something with innovation. 

A philosopher, like an innovator, observes the world/human system and notices connections, patterns or trends where others don’t.   Build upon the connections by pulling disparate pieces of information together and what do you get?

INNOVATION!

It’s no accident that the Ancient Greeks were as innovative as they were.  Where there is philosophy, innovation can, and often will, follow.

So what does this all mean in today’s information age?

There are two routes we can follow. 

  1. We can be information hoarders
  2. We can be philosophers

But, to be effective philosophers and innovate on multiple levels we need to delve deeply into the problems of the world and the problems of the heart/mind.

It is the lack of reflection on the aspects of the human person that I believe is responsible for less philosophy in the world – less wisdom, less profound innovation. 

But, it is the human aspect that when plumbed leads to more powerful, emotive, wonderfilled innovations!

Here’s to Philosophy!

Posted in Authenticity, Design, innovation, Lateral Thinking, Philosophy, problem solving, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

X-Ray Yourself With Sticky Tape!

Posted by Plish on November 16, 2008

This just goes to show what can happen when you looks at something in a totally different way.  Take a totally mundane task, like unrolling a roll of sticky tape and try to find something different about it.   Now, the challenge becomes one of harnessing the energies available in this process.

X-ray photography would be an obvious use of this phenomenon.  What’s a second use for x-rays?

Posted in Case Studies, idea generation, innovation, Research, Science | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

TED-Not the Airline

Posted by Plish on October 22, 2008

Technology – Entertainment – Design

If you haven’t checked it out before, there some really inspirational and informational videos over at TED.

It’s a great resource for creative and challenging thought.  So stroll on over and check out the video presentations, and if you’re feeling adventurous, become a TED member-it’s free.

See you over there!

Posted in Creativity Videos, problem solving, Science, Team-Building, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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