Archive for May, 2010

achieving breakthrough innovation

They must radically rethink the entire business model — technology choices, distribution, pricing, scale, workflow, and organization. Fine-tuning the existing business models will not work. That is why the bottom-of-the-pyramid customer base is the best friend that a company focused on breakthrough innovations ever had. This unfamiliar market with very low discretionary income provides sufficient distance from the current top-of-the-pyramid customer base to force institutions to change their practices.

Rather than researching markets, they must immerse themselves in the lives of their target consumers. At the bottom of the pyramid, there are tough challenges in access, awareness, affordability, and availability, and only those who are grounded in the reality of their consumers’ lives will understand their priorities. The consumers themselves may not articulate their needs.

They must accept constraints. They cannot do all things; they must do a few things very well. Many people have come to believe that creativity must be unconstrained; in practice, however, breakthrough creativity requires an explicit acknowledgment of limits.

They must not innovate in isolation. Breakthroughs occur when there are clusters of innovations, taking place continuously over time, in small experiments from which companies learn rapidly, and in an ecosystem involving many collaborators and partners.

None of these changes will be possible without a clear and unflagging commitment to a strategic intent. In the case of Indian health care, that is the intent of serving all people with world-class quality at prices they can afford. Guided by that value, the process of breakthrough innovation is a market development task; it is very different from the challenge of serving an existing market more efficiently.

The Innovation Sandbox by C.K. Prahalad


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frugal innovation


Being budget minded, focused on simplicity, challenging of the design & the processes and being aware of the implications of huge market sizes. Focus on customer.

“The term is quite commonly used in countries such as India or China to describe a specific kind of innovation which takes great care to minimise costs of innovation and cost of final product.

“Frugal innovation is not just about redesigning products; it involves rethinking entire production processes and business models. Companies need to squeeze costs so they can reach more customers, and accept thin profit margins to gain volume. Three ways of reducing costs are proving particularly successful.”

  • Contract out more work
  • Use existing technology in imaginative ways
  • Apply mass-production technique in new and unexpected areas

The Economist’s special report on innovation in emerging markets

Jeff Bezos;

Q: The company has a reputation for frugality. Does that apply to the way you innovate?
A: I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out. When we were [first] trying to acquire customers, we didn’t have money to spend on ad budgets. So we created the associates program, [which lets] any Web site link to us, and we give them a revenue share. We invented one-click shopping so we could make check-out faster. Those things didn’t require big budgets. They required thoughtfulness and focus on the customer.

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a whole 9 seconds?


We are drowning in distractions, and each brings stress as we have to make choices

Too many messages, too many options, too little time

“The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of 9 seconds” – BBC News

9 seconds is all of someone’s attention that you get to hook them

Do you think like a goldfish? a great presentation by Sally Hogshead

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design language : click love

The most important element of the games’ designs, however, is what Mooney calls “click love.” The simplest unit of fun for gamers, it’s the tangible sense of connecting your physical button-pushing with satisfying on-screen reactions. With farming games, it’s click, strawberries. Click, raspberries. Click, eggplants.

First-person shooters are exactly the same, just with a different metaphor: Bang, dead. Bang, dead. Bang, dead.

Such moment-to-moment payoffs are the hardest thing to get right and the most likely thing to ruin a game. If the gameplay doesn’t send a mini endorphin rush when you push a button, all the designers’ well-laid design plans and big-budget graphics are worthless.

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idea selling advice

  • If they feel they birthed it, they can’t kill it.Leave creative chaos at the door
  • Pause before you start – builds anticipation
  • One opening line never to use – “You’ll love this…” sets people against it immediately
  • Help clients visualize your ideas in living color
  • Stand tall, talk short – "I wish you had talked longer" are words you’ll never hear from clients
  • Throw out handouts
  • Bank on leave-behinds
  • Stop selling, start storytelling – storytelling is jet fuel for presentations
  • Get personal – share personal episodes to connect with your audience
  • Create abracadabra moments – look for ways to create dramatic, abracadabra moments in your pitch
  • Once you’ve sold an idea, don’t buy it back – if the client finally says yes, then say thank you and leave the room with your idea sold

by Sam Harrison

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stay in the boat and in the moment


“…he gained a chance to understand the mental workings of these Olympic athletes. Preparing for the broadcast, Jones interviewed the rowers and asked them what they would do in cases of rain, strong winds, or breaking an oar. The  response was always the same: “That’s outside my boat.””

Quit Managing Your Time… and Start Managing Your Attention by Lee J. Colan & David Collrell.

Stay inside your boat, be focused

Stay in the moment, creates presence

1 thing at once, and make sure that it is the most important thing, creates focus

Make sure you focus on what you can control and don’t waste energy on things outside of your sphere of influence

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