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Innovation News & Analysis

What Television Can Teach Us About Digital Innovation

2014-23-July-Kevin-Spacey.jpgOn June 25, Aereo lost a huge battle in the Supreme Court which pitted established broadcast networks against the online streaming start-up.

A quick recap: Aereo is a company that lets consumers stream live TV over the internet. The Supreme Court shut them down for copyright infringement, saying Aereo antennas were redistributing private content without permission. The media is calling it the death of technological innovation in the television industry.

But here’s the thing: they're wrong.

The Future is Open and Why You Should Care

2014-27-June-Hamster-Wheel.jpgThe recent move by Elon Musk to open thousands of Tesla’s patents to the public probably left you wondering, “What the heck is all this fuss about?” or “Why would people care so much about Tesla’s patents?”

Ultimately, it’s about what could be a great benefit for you (and me), the consumer -- and by that, I don’t mean all the coverage around how this will be good for the electric automobile industry. Though that is certainly true, there’s a lot more to it than that.

By making this move, Musk has really set a precedent for why all technology companies should consider going down the same path. Why? Because “open” environments benefit the entire ecosystem -- the companies, the consumers and the industry at large.

We Media's Andrew Nachison: Helping Companies Connect, Innovate

Connecting with Bill Sobel

When you read the “about me” section of Andrew Nachison’s personal website, you get a brief glimpse into an incredibly eclectic person. In his own words, he’s a “a thinker, explorer, creator, futurist, catalyst, convener, producer, educator, geek, photographer, musician, artist, husband and dad.” In short, he’s a man of many interests.

He’s played clarinet on stage at Carnegie Hall, studied wildlife, development and environmental policy in Kenya, managed Lawrence.com, among the world's first digital newspapers -- a job that earned him a reputation as a pundit in the emerging digital news sphere -- and reported for a bevy of highly influential newspapers and magazines.

Right now, Nachison is the CEO of We Media, a digital media company and creative agency, as well as iFOCOS — The Institute for the Connected Society — both of which look to help companies make better use of the many, many connected devices in improved and new ways.

NYC Media Lab: Using Technology to Save Media Companies

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Justin Hendrix is a man of many interests — media, Americana music, space news … oh, and he plays the banjo. But the real story is that he is executive director of the NYC Media Lab, where he "helps companies discover."

The NYC Media Lab "connects technologists in digital media and technology companies with bright minds in New York City's universities" to drive innovation and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corp., Columbia University and New York University, the Lab hosts events and seeds projects "to foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media."

With an impressive roster of corporate members — HBO, Time Warner Cable, Hearst, AT&T, Verizon, News Corp. and NBCUniversal — the Lab is designed to spur innovation. More specifically, in its own words, "generate fresh thinking that creates value through research, prototyping, knowledge transfer, talent development, and human relationships."

The Innovation Based Business Case for Social

2014-28-May-First-Flight.jpgIn management science innovation is typically thought of as a process which results in beneficial changes through novel ideas or solutions. Innovation is about change -- and change, volatility and flux have been the defining features of the business landscape since World War II and especially since the 1970s. As one commentator succinctly put it in 1990, organizations must “get innovative or get dead."

Let's examine four ways social business can be associated with innovation and look at the different ways each measures value.

Missing the Boat on IT and Technology

2014-29-April-Ship-Launch.jpgWhen you look at surveys of CEOs, such as the one by PwC in 2014, McKinsey in 2013 and IBM in 2012, they reflect what we should all know: that the innovative use of technology is one of, if not the primary, enabler of business innovation these days.

Whether it’s connecting with the customer (as referenced by IBM), obtaining market insights (through analytics including big data analytics -- see this discussion of a McKinsey report), or simply finding new ways to deliver products and services to customers, technology is a critical driver of business success.

The Two Most Overlooked Opportunities in Corporate America

"Why should the business pay for that? How will that impact top line revenue?" Although it may have been a while since you asked or have been asked either of these questions at your place of business, I bet you are familiar with them — and just as familiar with the goat rodeos that arrive when the questions are asked.

Harness Your Social Platforms for Innovation: 4 Essential Principles

It’s been said that no man (or woman) is an island, and this is as true in innovation as it is anywhere else. Communication and the ability to collectively brainstorm has proven to be a great benefit to the corporations that engage in it, and social platforms like Jive, Telligent, Chatter and internal wikis have allowed this process to be faster and more inclusive than ever before.

But most companies with social platforms use them primarily for knowledge sharing. Innovation goes beyond knowledge sharing and requires breakthrough thinking. Implementing a social platform within an enterprise has its challenges, but companies who fail to use them to spur innovation miss out on a significant growth opportunity.

The 2 Biggest Time Sucks in Corporate America

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"Please shoot me now! I can't do it anymore! Why does everything have to be so slow and painful? There has got to be a better way!" Does this sound familiar? Although it may have been a while since you heard or muttered any of these phrases at work, I would be surprised if you have not heard some similar sense of frustration at your job.

Let's take a look at the greatest "Time Sucks" in corporate America ...

How Awesomeness Dies

awesome wave.jpgI once collaborated with a business leader on a team, and she really liked an idea I had. After a conversation about the idea, she asked how we could make it real "without killing the awesomeness." In that moment, with that question, I immediately knew how awesomeness dies.

5 Things to Banish from Digital Offices

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Every day something in the digital office annoys a few hundred million workers. Not enough to stage a mass revolt, but just enough to ferment our collective disdain for technology.

Here's a wish list of things those of us at CMSWire would like developers, vendors and IT specialists to fix in 2014. Their cooperation will help save our souls from everything from the inevitable cloud outage to expletives over the latest snafu and personalized ring tones that sound like moose calls. 

The Hidden Dangers of Customer Requests

Customer Experience, The Hidden Dangers of Customer RequestsWhy listening to customers can sometimes be a bad thing

“We listen to our customers” is a claim we hear from product makers frequently. It’s supposed to assure us that the company has in mind the best interests of its users. But what if listening to customers is actually the last thing a company should be doing?

Three Ways to Drive Business Innovation, Every Day

Social Business, Three Ways to Drive Business Innovation, Every DayWhere do great ideas come from? The kind that drive innovation -- original ideas with purpose that can transform a person, a business or even an entire industry?

It often seems that there is a random creativity to innovation and a dependence on the unexpected, perhaps even the accidental. We cannot simply say, “go forth and innovate.” Or can we?

Creating Value from Chaos: Defining and Encouraging Innovation

1375251_600129090029481_1666320026_n.jpg Think about a company like Apple and you probably think, accurately or not, about innovation. We're always waiting for the next big thing. The new. The unusual. The useful. The latest innovation.

"Innovation" is as big of a buzzword as "big data" -- and just as hard to define. Blame it on the very nature of innovation: to innovate means to create change, which, by necessity, implies breaking rules, making mistakes and upsetting the status quo. So how do you define change … and, more importantly, why should you bother?

Canyons of Manhattan/Photo by Asa Aarons

The Key to Innovation: Solve a Problem

Innovate by Solving Your Own Problems
Is the key to innovation simply working to solve our own problems?

This was a popular theme at a recent DEMO conference in California's Silicon Valley. Several founders of startups and entrepreneurs echoed that sentiment as they pitched investors and customers about their upcoming projects.

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