Author Archives: Braden Kelley

We want to de-risk ideas and help move them towards being taken into clinical trials.We sometimes add money to company investments in order to make Phase 1 trials more robust than originally planned:$4 million VC-funded trial, we incremented by $750k to fund neuro-imaging and extra doctor visitIn order to get more data out of the trialWe are almost filling the role of an early stage investor (in some cases).Giving foundation money to drug companies must be a challenge for people giving money to the foundation to take, but we are pushing the envelope in order to do whatever we can to accelerate the finding of a cure.For more information on the talk, go here.

Leave a comment

IBM’s new core values:Dedication to every client’s successInnovation that matters, for our company and for the worldTrust and personal responsibility in all relationshipsGlobal Innovation Outlook (GIO) program (similar to an innovation jam):Brainstorming around big societal issues2-3 times per year at sites around the worldIdeas were going globalInnovation was becoming more openHave now run about 50 GIO’s in 36 countriesStarted with the question of:What would happen if we took the five best scientists (IBM fellows) and five of the top, connected people from the consulting business and brought them together?Problem was that it wasn’t openSo we started inviting external people and opened it upWe opened up our planning processVideos posted on the webShame on us if we can’t execute firstWe took it to the Chairman:We estimated it would take 18-24 months to implement the ideaThe chairman asked if we could do it in five monthsOf course we stupidly said yesChariman …

Leave a comment

We have a Kentucky warehouse with 4 million pairs of shoes.Importance of striking an emotional connection with customers.Tony started LinkExchange before selling it to Microsoft:Sold it because it went from five people to 100 peopleHired people without the thought of cultural fitAfter the sale, formed an investment fund and invested in 20 companies including Zappos.comNow we have 9 million customers and a focus on having the best customer service:We sell clothing, handbags, and electronics nowWe also look at Virgin for inspirationWe give a lot of customers free upgrades to overnight shippingOur number one growth driver is repeat sales and word-of-mouth (WOM)We want to talk to our customers (we put an 800# on all of our web pages)We run our warehouse 24/7 to maximize speed even though it is not the most cost effective way to operate itWe are focused on building lifelong relationships, not on maximizing transactionsOur number one …

Leave a comment

Consider the impact of calling someone to congratulate them versus e-mailing them.In designing a building, he starts by talking to the people who will be living in the building and identifying what their experience might be (what would they like).We have a lab focused on craft and technology. We know it is not a profit center, but we think it is important to our desired outcome of designing great spaces.Design is about embracing the central core elements and infusing them throughout.We only go to theater for the memory (from a speech on “Theater and Architecture” connections).Reasons people come together:A mission bigger than themselvesTo connect to other peopleI see more festivals happening in the near term:An increasing need for public spectacleStorytelling is still telling people whether or not they want to listen to it.Importance of mocking up what’s important to the people you are designing for.Listening is important but prompting …

Leave a comment

Dennis was doing a great job as a high school principal in New Hampshire (dropout rate down, college rate up), but then a new conservative board came in and fired him for doing the same things that made him successful.There a was a big drama over this and a book was written and titled “Doc” which unfortunately turned out to be the title of a book about a serial killer that came out at the same time, so the book was renamed “Teacher” and then years later, renamed to “Doc” again.A movie was made from the book:”A Town Torn Apart”Then he was hired to create a new high school approach at the Met High School in the Providence area:What’s best for students? (Our mantra)What would school look like if we closed our eyes and designed one from scratchClasses three days a week and internships in the community on the …

Leave a comment

Impact of BBC Connections television program on his life (hosted by James Burke).We have to share, but what do we share?Do we know what we need to share?It is one thing to share inventions, it is another thing to share intentionsAn innovation changes how people organize, how they do business, and/or how people live their lives.IBM Alphaworks:Average lifespan of an innovation program is three years, maybe five years at the outside, but Alphaworks is now thirteen years oldReason is the crossing of the membrane of the firm and connecting to external companiesThis makes it more valuable and difficult to dislodgePersonal JourneyAlphaworks -> Extreme Blue -> Innovation XChange Network -> YCombinatorExtreme Blue is a ten year old talent program:Reported to heads of HR, Technology, and Business StrategyInnovation XChange Network in AustraliaHiring trusted intermediaries and implanting people into companies that could share with other implanted intermediaries but not with companiesWe brought …

Leave a comment

Sequoia Capital is asking CEOs (Partners) to take 20% pay cuts and people earning over $100,000 to take 10% pay cuts:This is a really bad time to raise VC fundsSequoia sees this slowdown lasting up to 8 yrsFlagship ventures does traditional VC work, but also does building of companies from scratch or building of companies around a professor or innovation:One example is LS9 – 60 people in South San FranciscoSugar goes in and petroleum comes outUses e-coli bacteria that have been modifiedWhat if you could turn CO2 into oil?Joule BiotechnologiesUsing organism created from scratchDon’t want to sell out to or take investment from big oil:Other countries are interested in these technologies but also states in the USA because the inputs are otherwise waste products in states like TennesseeWe are also investing in genome sequencing and understanding genome mutations:60 year old male has hundreds of thousands of mutations at the …

Leave a comment