#SiliconValley2009: Swissnext

6. October 2009

FUNKENSPRUNG Silicon Valley discovery tour 2009 – day 1: the future of diplomacy (as the Swiss Consulate titled this venture) is located in San Francisco and serves as a business/ innovation hub for swiss companies and US. companies. Actually it reminded me of what the ONE Smart Spaces back in 2003/ 2004 could have reached to (besides not be located in San Fran.) It calls itself not an “business incubator” (they are not breeding) but more as an accelerator and “connecting the dots”. They offer open and closed events, they foster a well selected network of entrepreneurs, companies and VCs. For Swiss start ups they offer temporary offices and business services.

So what about Austria?


Need to Supercharge Your Business? Think Like a Designer.

25. September 2009

Mention great product design, and the responses are predictable: You’ll hear about Apple or perhaps BMW, companies that make stuff its customers touch, feel and enjoy. Tim Brown, the CEO of design powerhouse IDEO, is on a mission to change that idea, or at least expand upon it.
check Paul Sloan on bnet.com and his interview with Tim Brown

What´s Your Lifeline for Innovation?

19. August 2009

Hm, I rarely do watch TV, but “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” is kind of addictive… I came across Stephen´s tweets – and it gives some refreshing input on the show 🙂

by Stephen Shapiro

During dinner the other night, I compared crowdsourcing to the lifelines on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

Imagine you are sitting in the hot seat. The show’s host asks you a question. You are nervous and can’t think straight. You believe you know the answer to the question, but $64,000 is on the line. You are no longer that sure of yourself. You have all of your lifelines. What do you do?

A. Answer the question on your own.
B. Phone a Friend
C. Use the Fifty-Fifty
D. Ask the Audience

Let’s explore each option…
Read the rest of this entry »

Finally it all makes sense – or the power of failure

18. August 2009

The last couple of weeks i got more and more interested in identifying the impact of failure and mistakes on the innovation process and how companies manage to handle failure. I came across the Pasta&Vinegar blog entry about Hamel and Prahalad’s point of view:

mind/tech bazar from outer space
Hamel and Prahalad’s take on failures
Generally, I do not read so much of business books but I wanted to have a glance at “Competing for the Future” (Gary Hamel, C. K. Prahalad) because it deals with issues I am interested in: futures and the importance of foresight research. Although the vocabulary is idiosyncratic and turned to a certain category of people (”managers”, “leader”), there are some interesting parts.

More specifically, I was of course curious about how the authors dealt with “failures”, a research topic I came to cherish for a while. Some dog-eared pages excepts below.

First about what constitutes a failure, p.267:

“Verdicts of new product failure rarely distinguish between arrows aimed at the wrong target and arrows that simply fell short of the right target. And because failure is personalized – if the new product or service doesn’t live up to internal expectations it must be somebody’s fault – there is more often a se [From Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Hamel and Prahalad’s take on failures]

Ask more questions

29. July 2009

So simple, so difficult.

Ask more questions

Zappos on Nightline

23. July 2009

Zappos on Nightline

… and a good insight into Zappos.

Zappos is Powered by The Empowerment of Employees

23. July 2009

AmazonTony-Hsieh-at-SXSW-09-Sunni-Brown company announced on Wednesday that it will buy Zappos for about $807 million in stock and will pay $40 million in cash and stock to Zappos employees.
The deal is expected to close this fall.

Zappos is one of my favorite company regarding HRM and innovation.
Under the leadership of Tony Hsieh, this organisational culture has become a pillar of strength for the company. Zappos has an army of employees who believe in the company’s core values and deliver “WOW” customer service. This is the prime reason for the company’s repeat purchasers (who are about 75% of Zappos’ clients) and word-of-mouth marketing.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 50 Most Innovative Companies

29. May 2009

Businessweek has posted a list of the top 50 most innovative companies in 2009. According to the survey, taken by “senior executives around the world,” Apple is number one, and the reason listed by 47% of respondents is the products. Not that surprising, no?

Suprisingly Microsoft comes in at number four, and Wal-Mart is not far behind at number 10, companies not necessarily being regarded as innovative. But then again, both of them are being recognized for their “process,” not their actual products. So maybe Businessweek is just asking the wrong people. At any rate, congrats to Apple for topping the list (for the second year in a row).

Web 2.0 advanced?

12. March 2009

have a look at this

If you are near a printer check it out and activate your webcam! Then enjoy some nice web design work!


by Florian M. Stieger

Another new G-service: Google Voice

12. March 2009

Wow, when i was at google last summer we discussed googles role in voice services…

Google is preparing to launch its latest wheeze, Google Voice – a single number that forwards calls and texts to your phone. It’s 21 months since it shelled out more than $50m for phone number aggregator Grand Central. The service will be in private beta for a week or two and then restricted to a US audience, but anyone with a business card that lists more than one phone number should take note of a simpler way of doing things. The concept is pretty simple: Google issues a phone number to the user, who configures up to six phone numbers to which calls should be forwarded. Incoming calls trigger all the configured numbers to ring, enabling the user to receive the call regardless of where they happen to be. The idea isn’t new – companies such as Yac have been offing much the same idea for a decade or so – but Google Voice will be free, and promoted by Google who have already provided videos showing of the feature set.

Read the rest of this entry »