“Innovation is about saying no to 1,000 things”

I came across this Steve Jobs quote in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s tremendously entertaining book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, and it struck a chord. I notice it’s a fairly popular quote on Goodreads too, as are quite a few from Taleb’s book. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. …

‘Every employee gets virtual $10,000 to invest in ideas’

Interesting idea in David Berkus’s HBR piece on innovation. He writes that companies often think that to be innovative means they need more ideas, but really they need to be better at recognising ideas that are already there. He mentions an idea market: Rite-Solutions has set up an “idea market” on their internal website where …

A few notes on innovation

I enjoyed reading The Medici Effect after picking it up on impulse. Frans Johansson’s 2006 book looks at how innovation is enhanced when people from different disciplines come together to tackle problems. He calls it the intersection. “When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a …

Alain de Botton on success and failure

A few insights to chew on in this TED talk from Alain de Botton on why we might be feeling more and more anxiety about our careers and our standing in the world. He talks about how we think about success and failure, about envy, the dark side of meritocracy, and how tragedies such as …

A comeback for pneumatic tubes

I kinda love this idea. The Economist reported recently on the concept of using pneumatic pipes to deliver goods. “In the late 19th and early 20th century, underground tubes were used in many cities to speed up the transport of mail between post offices and government buildings. “Letters were put into capsules, the capsules into …

Startups: they’re emotional

I love the term Pandora founder Tim Westergren has for the emotional rollercoaster you strap into when you launch a startup – the wall of worry. “If you’re an entrepreneur you have to steel yourself… Unless you’re very very lucky and wind up on a fast trajectory, you’re going to [be] climbing the wall of …

KiwiFoo ’09 and the power of conversation

I had the good fortune to attend KiwiFoo (aka Baa Camp), a kind of unconference which brings together a cluster of people from various fields who share at least one thing: a burning passion for what they do. Hard to go wrong with a starting point like that and sure enough it proved a hugely …