Is the Post-a-Phone an Innovation?

I came across an article on Engadget about a phone that is so flat you could mail it. Sure it is only a concept at present, but with my direct marketing hat on I thought at first that it seemed like a cool idea. I started to imagine it as a fun way to announce new support hours or some ...

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Congestion-based Air Travel Pricing

In the United States I think sometimes we place a little too much faith in the laws of supply and demand and too little in the ability of the government to help make our lives better. We as consumers are not very good at imagining the externalities that are not present in the monetary cost of something, but are always ...

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Nokia acquires Navteq – Foolish or Strategic?

Nokia announced a $12 Billion acquisition of map provider Navteq yesterday. Only time will tell if this acquisition will prove to be the next Skype (where eBay overpaid and had to write down the value of Skype) or the next MySpace (which looks to be a bargain at $580 million). My question is this: Does Nokia need to own Navteq? ...

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Innovation in Pet Ownership?

Recently I heard a guy telling a story about how he goes out a few times a year on a buddy’s boat and that one day his buddy let it slip that he spends $30,000 a year mooring and maintaining his boat. My reaction? Wow! $30,000? In fact his buddy’s wife joke’s that the only reason she’s working is to ...

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Are $300 Jeans an Innovation?

I came across an interesting article by Chip Heath and Dan Heath in Fast Company. The article hypothesizes that people’s enjoyment of luxury goods has moved beyond the feeling of status to personal enjoyment. Think about the concept of wine connoisseurs moving beyond wines to jeans, watches, mens dress shirts, and even coffee. Traditional luxury goods consumers would prefer that ...

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The Second Coming of the Retail Health Clinic

There used to be a day when you could go to your local barber and get all sorts of wonderful health treatments. That fortunately or unfortunately faded with the old west. That day is returning however, or at least in a slightly different fashion. All across the nation companies like MinuteClinic are opening locations in drug stores like CVS. What ...

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Can Microsoft out-innovate Google?

Microsoft announced today a round of updates to its Live Search offering. Searchengineland had a good story on the developments. Microsoft, a late comer to the search engine game, has stepped up their pursuit of the number two spot, putting Google and Yahoo! on notice that they are serious about playing in this market. Microsoft already has arguably the best ...

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People powered search as an innovation?

An article in Fast Company recently waxed on about mahalo.com and Jason Calacanis as if they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. We live in an amazing world. Where else but on the web could you create a half baked product, launch it, and get someone else to pay you to provide the functionality necessary to provide a complete ...

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Innovation at the Bottom

Came across an article on a BusinessWeek blog talking about the One Laptop Per Child project announcing their plan to offer a line of accessories. The article talks about a $10 DVD Player and a $100 Projector, and how they might be a boon to entrepreneurs in developing countries when paired with the low cost XO laptop. Innovation at the ...

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Devil in the Details – Strategic Innovation

There is more talk about strategic innovation every day. As more and more industries enter their commodity phase, companies are looking to differentiate themselves and increasingly they are turning to strategic innovation to do so. The art of strategic innovation has been the subject of many books including: Dealing with Darwin, Blue Ocean Strategy, and Fast Second. Books on the ...

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