News Roundup: Why We Love Lists; Pop-Tart Innovation Trends; Tulips and Bitcoins

Editor’s note:  We’re taking a look at recent stories that have intrigued us here at PARC.

information_overload-parc-blog (2)The New Yorker A List of Reasons Why Our Brains Love Lists
By Maria Konnikova
An article about lists in a blog recap list? Hey, why not? Fascinating insights, including many psychology and sociology references, help you understand why you want to read this blog post.

MIT Technology Review An Artificial Hand with Real Feelings
By David Talbot
Prosthetic advancements have been monumental, but sensory abilities remain a great innovation challenge and opportunity. Researchers at Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University have “developed a new kind of interface that can convey a sense of touch from 20 spots on a prosthetic hand. It does this by directly stimulating nerve bundles—known as peripheral nerves—in the arms of patients…”

Harvard Business Review Blog – Stop Me Before I “Innovate” Again!
By Bill Taylor
We appreciate both the humor of this article (further commentary and reaction to WSJ’s Pop-Tart flavor innovation story) and the sentiment. Innovation is losing its meaning; we couldn’t agree more. Time to innovate the new term?

TEDxSF – Printing, information, and horses (Video)
Janos Veres and Roger Meike discuss the future of printed electronics and networking. It’s not going to be just the “Internet of Things.” It’s the “Internet of Everything.”

Success – About Face: Companies That Reinvented Themselves
By Jim Motavalli
Explore the survival and turn-around tales of stalwarts National Geographic, Xerox, and Hyundai. Four lessons include:  Forget the sacred cows; change the concept; think long-term; and look ahead.

The Atlantic – How Many Tulips Can You Buy With One Bitcoin?
By Robinson Meyer
The comparison of Bitcoins to the Dutch tulip mania and subsequent crash was inevitable.  Meyer illustratively shares the creation and graphs of the “bitcoin-tulip exchange rate.”

Business Strategy Review – Dame Ellen MacArthur
By Stuart Crainer
Dame Ellen MacArthur, who broke the record for fastest solo circumnavigation by yacht, has launched a foundation to champion The Circular Economy, in which the goods of today become the resources of tomorrow. Inspired by the imperative of frugality and function as a long-distance sailor, as well as by the proximate worthlessness of money on such a voyage, Dame Ellen has turned her efforts towards advocating for a durably sustainable model of capitalism.

The New York Times – ‘In the Old Days, You’d Smell the Milk’
Interview by Hope Reeves
Doug Rauch, former President of Trader Joe’s, is opening a new grocery store that takes donations of good but past its sell-by date grocery items, and offers them at deep discounts.  “We’re going to grab all of this stuff, bring it on-site, cook prepared meals with it and also offer milk, eggs, bread and produce. It’s going to be priced the same as junk food, basically,” Rauch says. The innovation relies on unfreezing our mental models of what the word fresh means, and exploiting the reflected bias of most grocery retailers for only merchandising blemish-free, attractive fresh foods. Daily Table will be a non-profit, providing those retailers with an incentive to donate. What other business, we wondered, could be founded on similar principles?

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