9 July 2012 | Stephen Hoover
'Open innovation' has moved from business phrase and concept to business practice and reality. But what does it mean, really?? Simply put: open innovation means drawing on resources and/or working with people outside one’s organization to fill in gaps and accomplish your goals… whatever they are. Because one of the biggest mistakes you can make in today’s innovation landscape is assuming that all the best people in the world work for you. They don’t. So open innovation is a way to leverage others’ expertise, assets, and resources for your needs, whether you’re buying or selling (or both). There are many ways to do this – think of a spectrum, ranging from unfettered to orchestrated, all of them loosely categorized as open innovation. But for PARC it’s not as simple as "open" + "innovation" -- it’s about more than the sum of these parts.
9 July 2012 | Lawrence Lee
John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out that "The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone. The iPhone is to cell phones what the Mac was to typewriters." His point is that the iPhone wasn’t a disruptor of mobile phones; instead, the iPhone was a disruptor of portable computers, and that’s how we should have viewed it all along... and foreseen its evolution into the iPad and its resulting impact on the computing industry. First: a quick clarification. A 'disruptive' technology typically starts at the low- (or under-served) end of the market – not perceived as a threat to incumbents – and eventually displaces the existing market. But don't the incumbent companies see what's happening? Sure they do. But it’s hard to see competition from disruptive "substitutes" outside one's industry, and even harder to figure out what to do about it. However, those of us who work in innovation need to recognize such blind spots and exploit the opportunities presented by them as often as we can.
19 April 2011 | Peggy Szymanski
"Murky" can describe problems in organizations where you see the cloudy fog obscuring what you’re trying to get at, but you don’t know what’s behind it. "Wicked" can describe problems in organizations that are too tangled to tease apart, politically loaded, or just plain difficult. Whether you want to tactically address an acute process problem in a specific department, or strategically transform the way an entire company fundamentally operates, learns new practices, or engages at the critical "customer front", ethnography-based work practice study is a powerful tool for making work visible...
31 March 2010 | Mark Bernstein
[The Economist invited us to contribute an abridged version of this post, "How do you define innovation?", for their blog.] Innovation is a sorely overused word. Yet we are constantly asked to define it. A number of theorists and practitioners have offered up their variations: product innovation, business model innovation, technology innovation, design innovation, radical innovation, incremental innovation, disruptive innovation, open innovation…and so the list goes on. All are useful; none are complete. I don't have a pat answer, catchy definition, or compelling metaphor for this. But here’s what I do know: however it is defined, innovation is a valuable change, unconstrained by the way things are. I think I can safely claim that we’re speaking from experience…
2 March 2010 | Bo Begole
What's the difference between Ubiquitous Computing ("ubicomp") and Augmented Reality ("AR")? I hear this question often, and you could replace "augmented reality" in that question with any of the following buzzy paradigms for people-interacting-with-computers: Virtual Reality, Pervasive Computing, Mobile Computing, Wearable Computing, Multi-Device Interaction, Cloud Computing, Intelligent Systems, Ambient Intelligence, Context-Aware Computing, Adaptive Systems, Machine Perception, Social Computing, Smart Environments, Everyware, and so on. For the most part, I don’t find formal definitions useful; you can call it whatever suits your fancy. All that matters is that I understand what you mean when you use a term and that you understand what I mean when I use it. The attributes of a definition that carry lasting meaning are not technological properties (performance, cost, size, distribution, latency), but the core capabilities that the paradigm enables for usage.
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