Tag Archive | Innovate

Elon Musk: an exceptional innovator

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. In these two companies, products manufactured have never been proposed before. For SpaceX (USA), the company is able to sell a rocket launch for satellites for 12000 dollars / kg as cost for Ariane 5 (Europa) is 23000 dollars / kg and for Proton (Russia), 18000 dollars / kg.

As ILIAD for French Telecommunication, SpaceX is completely redefining the market of space rocket launch. He obliges restructuring Safran (Ariane) into Airbus group in June 2014.

Elon Musk is also the CEO of Telsa, a company selling only electric cars in USA! Elon Musk is a serial creator, as he was the creator of Paypal sold to Ebay in the 2000’s years.

“If a company depends on its patents is that it does not innovate or when it does not innovate fast enough.” It is with these words Elon Musk justifies his last “madness” make patents Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, accessible to all. And therefore its competitors, now free to take the technologies that have made the success of the models of the Californian company.

Elon Musk 2

“Technological leadership is not defined by patents, history has shown repeatedly that they represented only a small protection against rival determined continued Mr. Musk. Rather, it is defined by the ability to company to attract and motivate the most talented engineers. “And therefore the ability to constantly innovate. “You want to innovate much faster than your previous patents lapse,” says Mr. Musk. It is demonstrated by the success of SpaceX, his second company, specializing in space launch and has only a limited number of patents.

Tesla web site: http://www.teslamotors.com

SpaceX web site: http://www.spacex.com

Lenovo: a chinese innovation pioneer?

Lenovo

Lenovo’s innovation lies in its technology, products, business model and cultural management, according to Liu Chuanzhi, founder of the Lenovo Group and president of Legend Holdings Ltd., and Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo.

International acquisitions fueling global innovation

Referring to Lenovo’s innovation history, people tend to indulge in the story of Lenovo’s buying IBM’s PC business in 2004. “At that time, Lenovo didn’t expect to become the global leader of PC industry”, said Yang Yuanqing with emotions.

To date, Lenovo’s Innovation Triangle Teams in the USA, Japan, and China collaborate have been fusing together different cultures of different countries and collaborating in a 24-hour non-stop manner to ensure leading position of Lenovo’s innovation in the world.

After successfully absorbing IBM’s PC business, Lenovo’s international acquisitions have been unstoppable. Lenovo’s international mergers, from single business like PC and server to comprehensive business like cloud computing, serve not only as effective strategies for Lenovo to strengthen its operation volume and optimize market distribution, but also a way for Lenovo to bring in talented people from different fields and fill its innovation teams with new blood.

At present, Lenovo owns about 11,000 patents globally, about 2/3 of them coming from China and 1/3 from oversea teams. According to Zhang Dekui, director of Lenovo’s Innovation division, Lenovo spends USD500 million on R&D every year, and has 5,000 product developers, including engineers, researchers, and designers, and more than 100 advanced labs around the globe. These constitute Lenovo’s unique innovation and quality guarantee system.

Complete industry chain supporting innovations on multiple levels

Liu Chuanzhi has said that “Lenovo’s first innovation is to combine technology with the high-tech industry”. In 2012, when sales of Lenovo’s PCs were thriving across the world, Lenovo keenly grasped the new trend of the mobile internet and started its PC+ strategy, beginning to increase investment in mobile internet terminals like smartphones, tablet computers, and smart TVs in the meantime of consolidating its advantages in the PC industry.

Today, the fall of some traditional PC manufacturers and the achievement of Lenovo in the PC+ area have proved that Lenovo has made a right decision. In the Q2 of the 2013 fiscal year, the global market share of Lenovo’s smartphone increased to 5.1 percent, behind only Apple and Samsung, and the growth of its tablet computers was even higher. Also, sales of Lenovo’s tablet computer and smartphones had exceeded that of its PCs for two quarters in a row, their revenue accounting for 15 percent of total revenue of the company and profit margin steadily on the rise.

In Lenovo’s Innovation Center, Lenovo’s employees, from system design engineer to software application researcher, from part technology R&D director to product design director, demonstrated Lenovo’s innovation industry chain to the reporter. Lenovo has set up technologies in four major fields to bolster the entire Lenovo business innovation endeavor, including part technology and system innovation, natural interaction technology, cloud service and big data technology, and new materials and design innovation. These make up Lenovo’s core R&D innovation strategy, dubbed “one cloud and multiple screens”, and they are also the source of Lenovo’s business innovation.

Independent manufacture and protection of innovation achievements

In October 2013, Lenovo’s industry base in Wuhan was completed and put into operation. This is a comprehensive industry base that integrates R&D, production, and sales of mobile internet terminals, with a total investment of more than RMB5 billion Yuan. “In this base, a product will need to go through dozens of labs before it is finally put onto the market, and it will be examined and checked repeatedly during production. This is the advantage of independent production and development. It can protect our innovations”, said Yang Yuanqing.

There used to be doubt that Lenovo was a computer assembler and not a core technology innovator. For this, in 2011 Lenovo began to shift its focus onto parts and components, striving to achieve breakthroughs in component technologies and walk ahead of competitors in terms of system innovation. This requires Lenovo to attach more importance to working with upstream manufacturers, extensively consolidate upstream and downstream technologies, and provide parts for system innovation. Lenovo’s independent manufacturing enables it to communicate directly with upstream manufacturers, which would increase its leverage for innovation.

10 years ago, Lenovo introduced a relation-type business model that targeted at corporate customers and government customers, to go along with its consumption business model that targeted consumers. That was a business model innovation. Now, Lenovo again introduced a new-era dual business models, with one online model and one offline model, and its marketing campaign is moving from traditional advertising to internet marketing, digital marketing, and micro-blogging marketing, etc.

In 2012, Lenovo added “Pioneer” to its 4P corporate culture, showing its intention to be a pioneer of the time. Internally, Lenovo has its unique innovation mechanism, including CEO innovation discussion, ideas management, etc, so as to promote the realization of technology and product R&D.

Dyson: the UK innovation edge

dyson-hot

Sir James Dyson is the world’s most famous vacuum maker. His “never loses suction” vacuum is the top-selling vacuum cleaner in the world, and his company has since expanded into making better fans and hand dryers as well. He founded the James Dyson foundation in 2002 to nurture young engineers.

James Dyson said: “I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution.”

Few British designers can claim to have had as much impact on the cleanliness of our homes as James Dyson – but the man’s achievements go far beyond hard-sucking vacuum cleaners.

dyson-dc01

A decade after the Cyclon came the DA001 (quickly renamed the DC01), the first vacuum cleaner sold under the Dyson name and, to put it mildly, a real game-changer (despite being a very similar design to the Cyclon). Dyson’s patented Dual Cyclone technology gave the DC01 huge suction power compared to its rivals (90 airwatts, to be precise) – although this came at a premium price.

dyson-dc06-robotic-cleaner

Dyson has been working on a robotic vacuum cleaner for seemingly forever – but has never put it into production. James Dyson claims that the DC06 worked fantastically well thanks to an amazing complement of electronic brains and more suction power than rivals, but its 70 sensors and three on-board computers meant it was also fantastically expensive to build – it would have cost something like £2,500. The company put the project on ice, with James Dyson saying he wouldn’t build a cheap robotic vacuum that didn’t work as well as the pricey prototypes.

dyson-airblade-dryer

Dyson’s air-moving expertise wasn’t to be restricted to vacuum cleaners, and in 2006 it was applied to commercial hand dryers with the Airblade. Rather than using a wide stream of heated air to dry your sodden mitts, it produces a single layer of cool air moving at a speed of 400mph that dries hands in 10 seconds. Dyson says the Airblade uses less electricity than its competitors as well as working far more quickly, while the cooler air doesn’t increase bacteria to the same degree as traditional dryers.

dyson-airblade-tap

In 2013, Dyson squeezed Airblade tech into a water tap, allowing people to wash and then dry their hands at the basin.

And in 2014, we can be sure that Dyson will continue to innovate with new tests, new failures and of course new products.

Check the computer without touching screen!

Leap Motion

Check the computer with hands and without touching the screen ?

Zoom , change the page , edit an image using gestures or eye recognition? With its American futuristic technology , Leap Motion , a start -up , has embarked on this adventure. Inspired by the virtual control used by Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report , the Leap Motion technology is a small box . Once connected to a computer or a TV, it will allow any direct through hand movements remotely.

HP , Google … they want Leap Motion!

In 2013, the U.S. computer maker Hewlett Packard announced that it signed a contract with the start up Leap Motion to integrate a solution for 3D control in its computers. A few days later, Google celebrates Earth Day and Google Earth Service offers a new way to discover the world by enriching the Leap Motion technology. Integrated to whatever robot, Leap Motion technology , in the service of persons with reduced mobility can revolutionize their lives.

The case is available for purchase and costs about 80 euros.

See the Leap Motion web site : http://www.leapmotion.com/

Context Computing: a new age begins

TheAgeOfContext

I was in San Francisco in November 2013 and I had the opportunity to see a conference from Robert Scoble and Shel Israel about their last book “Age of Context”.  This age of Context Computing will revolutionize the way to image the interaction with devices and will concretely enter in our life in 2014 with the electronic Glasses and interactive watches. And this is only the beginning as explained the lecturers ; in the next ten years, you will find the context programs in your cars and probably in all devices that you can imagine: toothbrushes , industrial machines, refrigerators, televisions , … and probably everywhere in more than 10 years!

From the 70s and 80s , for 20 years , we have evolved into the age of the batch computing. Humans keyboarded data during the days ; and during the night batches calculated data from those entered manually .

From the 90s and 2000s, for 20 years again, we entered into the age of the event computing. Humans keyboarded data ; and immediately by clicking on a button,  program was launched to calculate synchronously or asynchronously data.

From the 2010s with tablets and their sensors and more significantly from 2014 with the new usage of the new electronic Glasses or interactive Watches, we are entering in the age of context computing . Computers or devices are equipped with sensors for sensing the temperature , brightness, heartbeat , blood pressure , speed, racing acceleration or position in space; and depending on the context , the developments made interacts with humans when a context is recognize; the system provides contextual information in order to help people with the aim to be more effective. This may seems firstly trivial, but this is for me also a revolution.

Don’t hesitate to read the excellent article from Forbes published in October 2013 : Contextual Computing: Our Sixth, Seventh And Eighth Senses.

Don’t hesitate to buy the book “Age of Context” that gives really the possibilities of the future major revolution of the computing : Age of Context from   Robert Scoble and Shel Israel .

Managing innovation? First freeing creativity

Managing Innovation Freeing Creativity

Innovation & creativity: 2 things different

Innovation and creativity are not the same thing. This might not come as a big revelation, but too often companies treat the two as if they’re one and the same. Here’s a simple way to tell the difference: If you can measure it, it’s innovation. This week’s lead Searchlight item talks about the metrics you can use for managing innovation, starting with the importance of using a common language when crafting ideas into innovations.

Common language is a key first step, author Drew Marshall says, because your employees who have the biggest ideas might not technically be your innovators. They might have the ideas but not know what to do with them. Top companies like Google famously set aside time for employees to explore innovation — but what they’re really encouraging, Marshall contends, is that necessary first step — some free time for minds to wander.

Creativity first!

Creativity precedes innovation. Last summer at the Gartner Inc. Catalyst conference in San Diego, I joined a packed hall of IT leaders who sat in rapt attention during a keynote address from famed graffiti artist (and former entrepreneur) Erik Wahl. Bounding around the stage and through the audience, he encouraged people to remember and embrace the creative freedom of their youth, pausing only to paint perfect pieces of pop art before their eyes.

The audience exploded into a standing ovation, which to me translated as “Yes! Get me a canvas!” There was definitely a buzz, and maybe that buzz carried people through the day. Maybe it was just the pep talk some of them needed to get their creative juices flowing again. Here’s hoping that back home, those big ideas were met with the guidance needed to transform them into real-life innovations.

Check out SearchCIO’s own coverage of these topics Boston CIO uniting citizens and the city through gamification CIO advises focus on making mobile applications ‘killer apps’ Cracking the big data analysis code Before you run out and buy a set of oil paints, check out the rest of this week’s roundup which includes a look at perhaps the most critical battle in the data wars — the next killer mobile app, why Facebook is so last year and more. Your employees are simply endless founts of creativity, but the world will never know it unless you know about managing innovation. Data doesn’t get much bigger than this. Forget about companies owning information that helps them target you as a consumer; next week the Supreme Court will consider whether companies can own and patent human genes.

Teenagers sick of something? Can’t be! It’s not surprising that teens are tiring of Facebook; but for the sake of knowing your future customers and employees, it’s useful to note that a new study shows they’re drifting from traditional social networking altogether. Once just considered a cheap alternative to texting, messaging may be emerging as “the killer app in mobile.” It’s those darn teenagers again. (This may shed some light on Facebook Home.)

Don’t view these findings about consumer shopping preferences as an excuse to keep your mobile e-commerce app on the back burner. Read the article, take a deep breath and get back to work! For once when the government is accused of playing games, it can take pride in the barb — it’s using gamification to improve the nation.

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Apple vs Google vs: where is innovation?

apple-vs-google

Google’s primary source of profit is search-related advertising while Apple’s is consumer hardware. And Google’s five-front assault on Apple’s profit model takes advantage of that difference.

Here are five of Apple’s fronts and how Google is attacking them:

1. iPhone

Apple lags and has lost share in high end smartphones where 426 million units were sold during the first three months of the year. Gartner reported that in the first quarter of 2013, Apple’s global share of the high-end mobile phone market declined from 22.5% in the 2012 period to 18.2%.

Apple is number two to Samsung — which supports Google’s Android operating system. Samsung’s market share increased from 27.6% to 30.8% in the first quarter of 2013.

2. iPad

Android has already taken the tablet market lead from Apple. IDC expects Android to control 60% of the tablet market by the end of June 2013.

It wasn’t always so gloomy for Apple’s iPad. After all in the second quarter of 2012, the iPad commanded over 60% of the tablet market — but that figure has dropped ”to around 40% in each of the third and fourth quarters of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013,” reports Venturebeat.

And Android has been gulping iPad’s market share. Venturebeat notes that between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, Apple swapped the lead with Android — in 2012 Apple outsold Android by 11.8 million to 8 million; while in that same period in 2013, Android trumped the iPad by 27.8 million to 19.5 million.

Moreover, IDC expects skies to darken for the iPad. In the second quarter of 2013, IDC believes that Apple will ship fewer than 19.5 million units because Apple is not launching what CEO, Tim Cook, called its “amazing” new hardware until “fall 2013 and throughout 2014.” Thus IDC expects Apple to ship between 17 million and 18 million iPads — leaving Android tablets with 60% of the market in Q2 2013.

When it comes to competing with Android smartphones and tablets, Apple can either cut price and slash its profits or hold its prices and win fewer new customers. Cook has yet to prove that Apple can innovate its way out of that profit-growth dilemma.

3. Apple Maps

Under a year after Apple removed Google Maps from the iPhone, Google introduced a new version that is simpler and can be customized to each user.

By sharing what Google knows about each individual from other services, Google can customize maps. According to the New York Times, “When users who are logged into Google visit Maps, they will see the places they frequently visit highlighted, like restaurants, museums and their home. Google learns the places they go by drawing information from all of Google’s services — including search and Maps history, Google Plus posts and information in users’ Gmail in-boxes.”

Bernhard Seefeld, the product management director for Google Maps, bragged to the Times, “We can build a unique map for every place and every click.” For those who are worried about Google knowing too much about them, this new service is creepy — but potentially useful.

Meanwhile, the memory of Apple Maps six most epic fails lingers.

4. iTunes

Google is going after music streaming through the introduction of Google Play Music All Access (GPMAA) — a service that lets users stream music using Google Play for Android. For $9.99 a month, GPMAA combines “users’ current Play collections with access to millions of additional songs,” according to Fortune.

Meanwhile, Google was able to secure content deals with three major record labels—Universal Music, Sony, and Warner Music Group — and beat Apple to market with the streaming service that iTunes has long-been rumored to be developing, says Fortune.

5. Innovation

The most important front where Google is trouncing Apple is innovation. To be fair, under Steve Jobs, Apple’s approach to innovation was to introduce a much better product in an established industry. The result was big success from great products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iTunes.

But Google Glass’s big media splash suggests that creating entirely new categories of products can also be a way to spur growth. We can also speak about the Google Cars that can for sure impact also IT solutions.

Google certainly needs help there — since its traditional markets are slowing down.But it looks like Google is winning the war for the future: Google is offensive and Apple only defensive.

Women in Science & Technology: Critical for Innovation

women-in-tech

Since 2001, the National Science Foundation has invested more than $130 million to support ADVANCE projects at nearly 100 institutions of higher education and STEM-related, not-for-profit organizations across the U.S. CONNECT@RIT (Creating Opportunity Networks for Engagement and Collective Transformation) focuses on improving conditions for female STEM faculty, with a unique emphasis on women who are deaf and hard-of-hearing at the university. RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) will address issues of recruitment, retention and advancement of female faculty through reassessment of some of its academic and human resource policies, expanding a newly established faculty mentoring program and increasing professional development and leadership opportunities.

Part of the NSF research included looking inward at RIT where a climate survey and examination of HR data trends led to the identification of barriers for women faculty. These ranged from the recruitment and advancement of women faculty to balancing work and life. RIT had only 23 percent of its female tenured and tenure track faculty in STEM disciplines, below the 30 percent average represented in U.S. colleges and universities, even though the number of female faculty had tripled at RIT over a 15-year period. Further data revealed gender-based, average salary gaps existed at each faculty rank, and that women left the faculty ranks at a rate nearly twice that of their male colleagues. These findings mirrored national trends for women in STEM careers in academia and in industry.

Among the Connect@RIT project goals includes attracting 30 percent female applicants for RIT STEM faculty positions, at least 75 percent of STEM departments achieving a critical mass of female faculty, retention rates for female faculty that closely mirror those of male faculty, and an increase in the percentage of women in academic leadership positions to a level which maps to their overall representation at RIT. The finish line for the project is five years out and the researchers have plenty of work ahead. But we are confident they will have a similar finish to last year’s race team.

In summary, a diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. This is especially true for colleges and universities, like RIT, that specialize in innovation. RIT has historically been a leader in developing new technologies, systems and approaches. RIT faculty and research teams often partner with business and industry leaders on research and development initiatives. In order to effectively continue in this capacity – to cultivate the best and brightest minds and to be an innovation resource for industry – everybody must proactively encourage diversity.

Diversity isn’t an altruistic aspiration; it’s a competitive demand.

6 Tips For Building Innovation Into Your Company

Word Ball - Innovate

Innovation is a big corporate buzzword, and it’s one of the hottest topics on this blog. That’s because it’s one of the biggest mysteries to business leaders. A new study from Accenture, “Why Low Risk Innovation Is Costly,” revealed that fewer than one in five chief executives believes their company’s strategic investments in innovation are paying off. Because of the high percentage of failure, nearly half of the executives surveyed said their companies were less likely to risk implementing breakthrough ideas.

Innovation only happens in the right environment, one where everyone is not only allowed to innovate, but they are actively encouraged to speak up and bring new ideas to the table. This may sound like common sense, but it is far from common practice. How do you create an innovative environment?

  1. Innovation only comes by invitation. Invite people to bring forth their new ideas. True innovation takes place when people are free to raise ideas, take ownership of them, and then implement them. If people are required to ask permission for every step they take, they will stop asking permission.
  2. Innovation is not a solo sport, it requires a group of players with skills specific to the effort. Many companies appoint an innovation department or hire a chief innovation officer, which can make innovation just another stovepipe in the organization. The message this sends to your organization is that innovation is “their job” and “not mine” – siloed off. While an idea may come from one individual, it’s the cross-functional creativity, trust, and collaboration that bring innovation to life.
  3. Encourage everyone to put their ideas to test fast, fail fast, and then reiterate. If people wait for perfection before they put the idea to work, the effort will lose steam before it ever gets off the ground.
  4. Value the lessons taken from failure as much as your successes, and apply those lessons toward each new attempt. This makes it safe for everyone to innovate. The idea is not to encourage failure but to foster innovation that leads to winning success as rapidly as possible.
  5. Ensure this behavior gets modeled at every level, from the very top to individual contributor. That means the senior leaders must be actively involved, not just mandating the change.
  6. Resist the desire to project manage your way to innovation. It cannot be generated by focusing solely on budgets, resources, and timelines. If you try, you can guarantee your innovation investment will be wasted.