Author Archives: Roy Jacobsen

Question are as important as answers

“The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old questions from a new angle, requires creative imagination … Continue reading

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How ideas happen: Half a can of soup

My eldest daughter and son-in-law joined us for a good old-fashioned mid-west family supper last night: meatloaf, baked potatoes, and green bean casserole. Son-in-law commented about how much he loved green bean casserole, but they seldom made it, and daughter … Continue reading

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Challenge yourself with a personal FedEx Day

A huge challenge for entrepreneurs and small businesses is not becoming a commodity. The nature of the small business gig is that there are other small businesses in the same niche you are, and unless you make a conscious effort … Continue reading

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Look for solutions in nature

Wired Science shows how, quite often, solutions to problems already exist–in nature. For example: The long, tapered nose of the Shinkansen, the high-speed trains of Japan, were modeled after the beak of the kingfisher, which drastically reduces the resistance as … Continue reading

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Innovation isn’t always tied to R&D dollars spent

Steve Jobs has said that “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least one hundred times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s … Continue reading

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Patent trolls are as bad as trolls in Middle Earth…

…and maybe a good dose of sunlight can help defeat them. Check out Gregg Fraley’s post about a menace to innovation, patent trolls.

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Quotable: “Innovation isn’t…”

“Innovation isn’t always about adding things. It’s asking yourself, what can I take away?” — Carmine Gallo, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success

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Innovative hack: Use a Personal Glucose Meter to measure things besides glucose

The Make magazine blog points to an interesting hack of personal glucose meters by Yi Lu and Yu Xiang at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: They figured out a way to use them to measure chemicals other than glucose. Li … Continue reading

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Can you design a workplace where innovation thrives?

Yes. Good design can help create a workplace where ideas flow freely, where people from different areas and with different perspectives can meet, mingle, interact, and cross-pollinate their brains, and where innovative ideas germinate, take root, and thrive. But according … Continue reading

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Heating homes and offices with computers?

Speaking as a life-long resident of the Northern Great Plains, I like this idea: A new paper from Microsoft Research The Data Furnace: Heating Up with Cloud Computing suggest a radical but slightly mad scheme for dealing with some of … Continue reading

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