Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Innovative Management Update - Week of January 30th

Every week, we try and publish an exciting summary of the best articles, videos, events, and posts that relate to innovative management. Enjoy!

Where Creativity Meets Technology

In an interview, Jennifer Chayes, managing director of Microsoft Research New England, says the industry represents science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) wrong to young people, especially women, who often have an image of a nerdy guy at a computer, programming. Chayes, who chose science over a career in visual arts, says STEM fields can be very creative and collaborative, noting that she has never just sat at a computer and programmed. Chayes says she always works with other people and loves the human interaction, which is what she tries to explain to young women. "I love when another person's thinking sparks something in my mind, and my thinking sparks something in others." Chayes also notes that Microsoft employs a lot of nontechnical people to better understand how people want to use technology, adding that technology is moving toward greater interaction with social sciences. "So much of technology really depends on this interaction of engineering and technology with social sciences," she says. "So if someone gets interested in the social sciences, and starts doing work in this space, I think they put themselves in a much better position to get reemployed."


Nolan Bushnell stopped by the office the other day, to play an anti-aging video game. “It’s what I call a ‘looking forward by looking backward’ game,” he said, settling in at the keyboard and loosening up his shoulders. “Meaning that you have to be able to solve a problem using information you received before you were distracted by something else. That’s why older people lose their cars in parking lots. They park, then they go in and shop—that’s the distraction—and then they can’t remember where they put their car.”

Anti-Aging Games—a Web site with games that are designed to improve short-term memory, focus, and concentration in older people—is one of his recent ventures, in a fifty-year career of serial entrepreneurship that began with TV repair, the founding of Atari, and the introduction of the first commercially successful video game, Pong, in 1972. He has made and squandered several fortunes since then, and missed out on a few more, notably in 1976, when he declined to buy a third of Apple Computer, for fifty thousand dollars. “I’ve been in navigation systems, robotics, restaurants”—he founded the Chuck E. Cheese chain—“communications systems, touch screens, and now I’m back in games,” he said. “I like to say I have five-year A.D.D.”

A Scientific Explanation for the Emergence of Mattering from Matter

Are we getting any closer to a scientific explanation for the emergence of mind from matter? According to cognitive scientists Jerry Fodor, "Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious."
Fodor's is a minority position. Cognitive scientists are on the whole optimistic. Most would claim that, thanks to advances in life science, complexity theory and information theory, we are fast approaching a fully materialist account of consciousness.
In his new book Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerges From Matter (Norton 2011), U.C. Berkeley's Terry Deacon takes up the gauntlet thrown down by Fodor. Deacon argues that the mainstream approach to cognitive science has a lot in common with Zeno's Paradox: In our race to a fully scientific account of consciousness, no matter how finely we dissect neurological processes, or how elaborately we flesh out our algorithmic computational models of complex informational processes, we are getting nowhere nearer to an explanation of consciousness. To Deacon, we need a different approach to the pure physics of consciousness, an approach that parallels the calculus that enabled swift Achilles to ultimately catch the tortoise.

5 Creativity Tips from Betty White

1.       Be grateful.
2.       Don't take yourself too seriously.
3.       Find work you love.
4.       Give back.
5.       Surround yourself with friends

Innovation and Engineering in America

Thomas Edison’s Secrets to Creating Innovation Leaders

Sarah Miller Caldicott began researching and writing about Edison’s world-changing innovation methods after spending more than 15 years in corporate life as a senior Marketing executive. Her book, “Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor” delineates Edison’s five competencies of innovation.

1.       A Solution-centered Mindset
2.       Kaleidoscopic Thinking
3.       Full-spectrum Engagement
4.       Master-mind Collaboration
5.       Super-value Creation

100 Tips About Life, People, and Happiness

Here are the first 42 :)

  1. True wisdom and insight is always free.
  2. Give your power over to no one.
  3. Going into the unknown is how you expand what is known.
  4. Get a library card.
  5. Spend more time around people that both challenge and respect you.
  6. Remain skeptical forever.
  7. Fight for what matters.
  8. There is a method that works. Find it.
  9. Join a movement.
  10. Drink your coffee black.
  11. Never let anyone photoshop a picture of you. It creates a false sense of self-confidence.
  12. Read more. Especially things you disagree with.
  13. Get used to feeling stupid. It’s a sign of growth.
  14. It’s easy for people to talk a good game, so watch how they behave instead.
  15. Learn something from everyone.
  16. Find things that inspire you and pursue them, even if there’s no money in it.
  17. Starve if you have to, for as long as you need to.
  18. Survive on a little just to prove you can do it.
  19. Get one big success at an early age. It’ll help build your confidence for bigger things.
  20. Do what you say you’ll do. No one is reliable anymore.
  21. Be comfortable with abandonment, even of parts of your identity.
  22. Learn a new language.
  23. Eat more protein.
  24. Keep people around you that will tell you the truth.
  25. Genius gets you nowhere. Execution is everything.
  26. If given the choice of equity or cash, always take cash.
  27. Meet new people as often as possible. Offer to help them.
  28. Don’t discriminate. Connect anyone in your network to anyone else.
  29. If you can’t do a pull-up, you have a problem.
  30. Nobody likes a know-it-all.
  31. Get a passport. Fill it up with stamps no one has ever seen.
  32. Quit your horrible job.
  33. Read biographies. It’s like having access to the best mentors in history.
  34. Go to bed, and wake up, early. No one will bother you, letting your best work emerge.
  35. Scare yourself a little bit every day. It will expand your inner map.
  36. Learn to climb trees.
  37. Don’t buy a lot of stuff, and only buy the stuff you really love.
  38. Be humble and curious.
  39. Twitter followers don’t keep you warm at night.
  40. Be as useful as you can in as many circumstances as possible.
  41. Show up.
  42. Repeat people’s names when you meet them.

 dot dot dot  - you should read ‘em all…

Lenovo to Launch App Programming Class

Lenovo is collaborating with the National Academy Foundation to teach teens how to design, program, and market their own Android apps. Lenovo and the foundation will offer an app programming class in five U.S. high schools in the spring, and expand the pilot program to 70 schools nationwide in the fall. Students will be required to take an introductory programming course before they are admitted into the 12-week program. Participants will work in small groups, use the standard Android developer toolkit to create their own app, and eventually release their app on the Android market. "We want to make sure they have a good experience doing something that is potentially marketable at the end of the course," says Lenovo's Michael Schmedlen. "We want students to be prepared for the future." A Lenovo survey found that 80 percent of teens are interested in learning how to create apps, and nearly 25 percent believe app development will be the most marketable technology skill in the future. The program will make the curriculum, materials, and lectures available free online for teachers who want to emulate the class.


If you’re in Seattle in mid-February, you might want to come to one of these events to hear and meet Jean François Porchez, who is probably the most widely-known French type designer today. JFP will be giving a free talk on Wednesday, February 15 at Kane Hall at the University of Washington, as part of a week-long symposium: “Letters From France: On Designing Type.” He will also be speaking the following day at the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle), with a Q&A session in both French and English. And I hope to entice him to our monthly typographers’ pub, on the second Tuesday, which will be February 14 (yes, Valentine’s Day), at the Pub at Third Place (6504 20th Avenue NE, Seattle), from 8 p.m. on; anyone interested in type is welcome. (Look for the table full of obvious typographers.) A bientôt!

Digital Engagement Through Transmedia Storytelling

According to Wikipedia transmedia storytelling, also known as multi-platform storytelling, cross-platform storytelling, or transmedia narrative, is the technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies. Henry Jenkins officially defined transmedia in 2006 in his book “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide,” as a story that “unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole.” So given this transmedia storytelling is just the tip of the transmedia iceberg with transmedia branding/activism/performance/etc. waiting in the wings so to speak.