Book: Creativity and Tao

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We had learned many theories or thinking processes in the creativity and innovation field. However, most of them are illustrated by a more western point of view. The book- Creativity and Tao- is inducing creativity through the Chinese philosophy-Tao, including some thinking mentioned in the Book of Chang, aks I-Ching. That offers people who are more familiar with Chinese culture and thinking or people who don’t tent to learn things systematically another channel to see what’s creativity and how to increase creativity during daily life.

find me on google plusDwoWen Chang

Shake up the storm

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Brainstorming is the very basic workhorse of creative thinking. It’s been around for almost 60 years, and I don’t even remember when I haven’t yet heard of it, but it doesn’t mean that one cannot find new techniques which shake things up and make it more fresh and more valuable.

Recently I started using two ideas, new and insightful to me, that changed my thinking and ideas a lot. Both of them is somewhat turning things upside down.

Wall covered with sticky notes

Let it flow {Brainstorms at INDEX: Views by Jacob Bøtter on Flickr}

The weirdest solution

This one I heard last year when listening to Phil McKinney’s talk for the 2010 StartupBus crew. When he’s brainstorming with a team for example for a new product idea (he was running the Innovation Program Office at HP), after they run out of things to add to the board, he asked which idea was the weirdest or worst. Then he took of everything else, and developed that particular one.

As people say, the first half a dozen or even dozen ideas during brainstorming are the ones that are really conventional, not very creative, the ones that others are likely to come up as well. The weirdest idea is usually one that people has the biggest subconscious resistance, because it’s the furthest from their comfort zone. Thus putting the brainstorming participants in an uncomfortable situation, surprising them, and confining the scope (limitations boost creativity), they can come up with things that they would unlikely find if they just think about the ideas that they find good.

Inverse Questioning

This one I came across while reading Jono Bacon’s The Art of Community. The setting is that after the initial ideas, the question is posed: what would make it the worst the thing that we are trying to improve? We are brainstorming for a better cellphone? What would make it absolutely terrible? Are we thinking of improving our event? What would make it the most awful event ever? Once that is sketched out, go to all of these ideas, and turn them around – how could we avoid all of these things?

The more I think about this technique, the more genius it is, for certain things. It is really naturally suited for the “improvement”-like brainstormings, for other types (e.g. articles for this blog) it is not really applicable.

Where it would really shine, though, is brainstorming about improving something with a crowd whose opinion I don’t know well. It is a perfect way to see what things make people worried about a particular thing. How to improve our laboratory or work environment? Ask people what would make this is the worst lab or office ever. Very soon you’d have a lot of suggestions that probably you wouldn’t have thought normally, because those are things which are normal or even invisible to you. Also in this case, all the ideas are usable, don’t have to throw away the first dozen or so “common” suggestions – those are the ones to fix in the very first step.

An additional advantage is that people love to complain, it is likely to be easier to get them contribute with negative things, and once they got going, the momentum should carry them over on the positive ideation side as well.

So, what is your technique?

find me on google plusGergely Imreh

Different ways

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I’ve recently read an article recently about Lachy Groom, 17 year old entrepreneur, who has founded at least 4 internet startups by this age, and he’s just going on. The article does go into some detail about how has his ideas, and most of them seem to be simple stuff: he have seen an opportunity to fill in. Build or create something quick, then move on to other opportunities. This “do small things but do many of them” attitude is really appealing to me. That’s maybe because I’m usually having a lot of small ideas, and I try to get as many of them as possible out of my head, because they are really a pain to carry around.

Compared to this, many people are looking for the One Idea, the thing that makes everything right and will be around forever plus one day, and they will never have to come up with another plan, maybe just adjust this one. It’s pretty much like how Facebook looks, I don’t really think Mark Zuckerberg will do anything besides that ever again, which might or might not be a good thing. Either way, Facebook tries to solve problems in a particular and fairly limited area.

This way or that way? (photo by Struan Donald)

If entrepreneurship and innovation is about creating value, then I’d probably like to see more people doing lots of small stuff. Solve our little problems so we can move on doing the big ones. Experiment, learn, and grow with the things you are building. Also, every big thing started from small, never know without trying which one is going to be the watershed.

I think there’s actually a third kind of entrepreneur, that comes out of the most successful ones among the ranks of peers to Lachy Groom, who end up being something like Elon Musk or Richard Branson. The former is heading SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity, the latter the Virgin empire. Both of them are doing many-many things, but these things also grow up to be huge, solving huge and important problems. I think they are the people I really want to set my eyes on as great examples. In the mean time, Lachy (half my age) is giving me a lesson on how to do these things. So now that the weekend is coming, it will be about spotting the opportunities around me, and choosing something to actually act on.

find me on google plusGergely Imreh

用創意將貧民窟變彩色了 -「Favela Painting」

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當你聽到貧民窟,你腦海第一個想像的畫面是什麼?灰灰暗暗,髒髒兮兮?也許從來也不想踏入。荷蘭藝術家Jeroen Koolhaas與Dre Urhahn,決定想要改變這樣的形象,想為貧民窟的人們帶來一些創意,一些樂趣。他們在一些貧民窟進行一「Favela Painting」(貧民區繪圖)計畫,於2006年開始,與當地人合作,用藝術創造將貧民窟彩色化,樂趣化,消除原本的偏見!

看看里約Santa Marta這貧民窟前後的差異。Jeroen Koolhaas與Dre Urhahn用創意來消除偏見,為貧困的人們的生活注入更多的色彩!這週是World Creativity and Innovation Week,你是否也可以運動你的創意為你的生活周遭帶來一些改變?

這是Jeroen Koolhaas與Dre Urhahn本人:

官網:http://www.favelapainting.com/

In 2006, the Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn started deaveloping the idea of creating community-driven art interventions in Brazil. Their efforts yielded two murals which were painted in Vila Cruzeiro, Rio’s most notorious slum, in collaboration with local youth. The artworks received worldwide coverage and have become points of pride in the community and throughout Rio.”The Firmeza Foundation supports the creation of striking artworks in unexpected places. It collaborates with local people to use art as a tool to inspire, create beauty, combat prejudice and attract attention.”

find me on google plusDwoWen Chang

World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 世界創意創新週

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World Creativity and Innovation Week, WCIW, (April 15 – 21) is coming. Are you ready to celebrate your creativity and innovation with your friends, classmates, family, colleagues or just yourself?

For those people who are not familiar with this WCIW, I copied some words from the WCIW website below. If you are interested in learning more about it, please goes to here. Also, please join us to celebrate everyone’s creativity and innovation. Don’t say you are not creative, trust me, you will be surprise that how creative you actually are once you decide to be creative.

# It is about affirming everyone’s ability to generate new ideas (quick – what are 5 reason’s you should get a raise?) and make new decisions (Chinese for dinner tonight, or Italian, maybe Thai – we’ve never had Thai) in any arena – home, school, business, governments – you get the picture.

# It’s about spreading the word and the spark that ignites innovation. If we all do that, then maybe we’ll see beyond our limitations to invent new ways of thinking and acting so the world becomes a better place. Maybe, for example, industries that are on their last legs will achieve revitalization by pursuing new directions.

# It’s about doing something new, something different, having new ideas, harvesting new considerations, putting things together that haven’t been put together before.

# It’s about seeing things in new ways, asking new questions, collaborating with new partners and holding the ground for new ideas to surface.

Look for some ideas to celebrate it? WCIW’s website offers some ideas for you and you could always adapt it or invent your own idea.

Celebrate at home.

Celebrate at school

Celebrate at work

世界創意創新週(4月15-21日)即將到來。你準備好要怎麼慶祝你的的創造力及創新力了嗎? 世界創意創新週WCIW是起於2002年,不論是商場上、家裡、企業內、學校或是社區及一般個人,已經在全球超過46個國家從李奧納多.達文西的生日4/15起到4/21,ㄧ起用各式各樣的方式讓周遭更有生氣與活力,鼓勵自己與周遭的親朋好友一起享受及表達他們的創造力來慶祝人類獨特的創意創新能力。

你可以自己慶祝、邀請你的親友們一起慶祝、整體公司內的長官、下屬或同事一起慶祝、學校的同學,也可以和陌生人一起慶祝;你可以沈默的慶祝,也可以和大家分享。WCIC的網站上提供了一些慶祝點子供你參考,你可以從中得到一些靈感,創造你自己獨特的慶祝方式。不要說你沒有創意,相信我,一但當你開始慶祝時,你將會為你自己是個創意點子王而感到驕傲驚喜。

在家慶祝的點子參考這裡.

在學校慶祝的點子參考這裡

在公司慶祝的點子參考這裡

創意無價!!

find me on google plusDwoWen Chang

Taipei Ignite #4

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If you are interested in TED TALK and you are in Taiwan, then don’t miss the event Taipei Ignite #4. It’s a mini version of TED TALK, each talk only lasts five minutes. During event, you could get a lot of info from various fields, hear different perspectives, I will it’s a good opportunity to create some creativity and innovation sparks in your heads. Steve Jobs said that creativity is all about connecting dots. Hey!Taipei Ignite #4 is going to provides lots of dots at one time, all you need to do is showing up there and connect those dots. How easy and great it is, isn’t it?!

Ignite Taipei #4 (Chinese version) will be held at 3/31 afternoon in Taipei Stock. Make sure you put it on your calendar.

喜歡TED TALK的您,不要錯過了3/31在台北的Taipei Ignite #4.這是個小型的TED TALK,每個主題只有5分鐘,即使你不喜歡其中一個主題,也不過就是5分鐘,之後也就是下一個主題了。通常,很多人因為想說只有5分鐘,姑且聽聽,反而超出預期。因為要在5分鐘裡表達出精華可不是簡單的事,每個演者可都是卯盡全力,簡單扼要地分享精華中的精華。

對於嘗苦於沒有創意創新靈感的人,更是鼓勵您去參加。因為短短時間內各式各樣的資訊一起綻放,想必能在您的腦海裡激盪出不少火花。記得Steve Jobs總說創意就是把不同的事物連結起來嗎?Taipie Ignite #4正是給你這樣的connecting dots的機會,不要錯過。

時間:2012/ 3/31

地點:Taipei Stock 倉庫藝文空間 台北市八德路一段34號3樓

find me on google plusDwoWen Chang

How to be creative

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上星期, Jonah Lehrer的新書”Imagine: How Creativity Works” 剛上市,我尚未閱讀此書,但是看了11日Lehrer在華爾街日報的介紹文章,個人覺得是一本值得推建的書。中文版不知會不會上市,有也不知道是什麼時候,畢竟原文版也才出爐。但是該華爾街日報的介紹中已有許多值得分享的資訊。這篇文章很長,我不一一翻譯,僅分享一些我覺得很有趣的片段及我個人的一些想法。對原文有興趣的可以參考這裡。

文章開中名義的表達了創造力不是什麼神奇的魔術,沒有什麼所謂的“創意天才”。即便是賈伯斯(Steve Jobs)及齙伯迪倫(Bob Dylan)般的奇才,也都不是擁有什麼所謂的天賦異稟及超乎常人的超能力。創造力不是與生俱來的特質,也不是天使賜與的奇蹟,只是一種能力。任何人都可以學習創造力,也可以提高創造能力。新的研究為我們帶來了啟示,讓我們得以了解那些改變世界面貌的產品是如何發明的,最棘手的問題又是如何解決的。在什麼是創造力,以及如何在我們自己身上和工作中激發創造力的問題上,我們已經獲得了非常多的具體經驗。

悄悄話:我完全認同創造力是一種能力。任何人都可以透過學習來提升創造力。在我們的Blog中,我已反覆的表達這樣的觀點多此。但唯一的補充是,我的確相信每個人都有所謂的天分或是頃向,而這些獨特的天分或是頃向會影響每個人的創造力發展。我個人喜歡將這樣的天分或是頃向解釋為內在的動機,也是我們上一篇格文討論過的議題。有些人就是比其他人在音樂上更容易有高度創意,有些人擅於發明全新的東西,有人則擅於將現有的產品改善。所以個人私房觀點是:天使們還是有給不同的人一些不同的天賦。:)

新的研究還揭示了什麼是解決棘手問題的最佳途徑。我們往往認為,某一領域的專家是他們所在領域的創造天才。但重大突破常常來自圈外人幼稚而大膽的想法。要增強創造力,花些時間涉獵本行之外的領域,發展跨專業技能是非常重要的。

悄悄話:這個理論真的有其道理。在我的workshop中,我們常要求我們的客戶邀請其他領域或是部門的人來參與,因為這些外行人常常會問一些看似無理頭或是外行的問題,或是提出全然不同的觀點。這些“新鮮”的腦袋常是讓那些已有慣性思維的專家們產生靈感,豁然開朗的關鍵因素。

讓我們從最難的問題談起,這些難題乍看似乎根本無法解決。但這類問題只要能解決,一般都是在靈感乍現的一瞬間迎刃而解的。由馬克·比曼(Mark Beeman)和約翰·庫尼奧斯(John Kounios)主持的研究已經發現這束火花可能來自何方。在靈感出現前的幾秒鐘裡,大腦中一個叫前顳上回(superior anterior temporal gyrus, 簡稱aSTG)的區域活動會急劇增加。該區域位於大腦右半球表面,其遠距離聯想功能出色,而將關係很遠的訊息聯繫在一起正是解決創造性難題所必需的過程。

有意思的是,比曼和他的同事們發現某些因素會讓人更容易產生靈感,能更好地發現aSTG生成的答案。比方說,讓實驗對像看一小段幽默影片──科學家們節選了一段羅賓·威廉姆斯(Robin Williams)表演的獨角喜劇──可以使平均成功率提高20%左右。

酒精也有助於提高創造力。今年早些時候,伊利諾伊大學(University of Illinois)芝加哥分校的研究人員對清醒的學生和有醉意的學生在解答腦筋急轉彎時的表現進行了比較。科學家們給受試者出了一系列名為“遠距離聯想測驗”(remote associates)的詞彙問題,受試者必須找到另外一個單詞,將一組三個單詞聯繫起來。下面我們舉一個例子:

Pine(松樹) Crab(螃蟹) Sauce(果醬)

在這個例子中,答案是“apple”(蘋果)。這一組單詞加上“apple”就組成了“pineapple” (菠蘿)、“crab apple”(海棠果)和“apple sauce”(蘋果醬)。有醉意的學生解決的問題比清醒的學生多出近30%。

放鬆和喝酒為什麼能讓人更有創造力呢?部分原因要歸結於分心會為人們帶來意想不到的優勢。儘管我們生活在一個崇尚專注的時代──我們總是迫使自己集中精力,用咖啡因來提神──但這樣做可能會抑制想像力。我們也許是專注的,但很可能把注意力集中到了錯誤的答案上。

這就是為什麼放鬆會有所助益:只有當身心在淋浴時得到舒緩,或者讓獨角喜劇暫時打斷思緒,我們才能將注意力的聚光燈轉向內心,暗中傾聽大腦右半球表面展露的所有隨機聯繫。當我們需要靈感時,這些聯繫常常就是答案的來源。

這項研究還解釋了為何如此多的重大突破都是在毫不相干的場合中產生的,例如,阿基米德(Archimedes)在浴盆中發現了浮力定律,據說物理學家理查德·費曼(Richard Feynman)會在一家脫衣舞俱樂部演算方程式。這就顯示出谷歌(Google)在休息室擺放乒乓球檯的明智之處,也證明了做白日夢的實用性。愛因斯坦(Einstein)曾說,“創造力是浪費掉的時間的殘餘物。”

悄悄話:喝酒放鬆的確是個好方法,但是不要喝茫了。放鬆才是重點,喝不喝酒真的是其次。有一個著名的理論叫做bed, bath, and bus,就是說明了人常在暫時遠離原先苦思卻無解決方案時,如躺在床上、泡澡或是坐在公車上時,反而常有那靈光一閃,答案就在眼前的頓悟。放鬆是一個讓我們暫離可能是錯誤的答案,也是讓我們的腦袋利用在床上看書、泡澡或是在公車上看沿途景色時,把我們之前思考很久的問題和其他的事物做連結的時候。在創造學的理論中,稱之為”incubation”醞釀期。前提是“你之前要思考過你的問題”,不是腦袋從來都不用動,鎮日趟在床上、泡澡或是搭車閒晃就可以很有創造力。頓悟是努力思考、辛苦工作中的點,沒有辛勤耕耘,就沒所謂的頓悟,也沒所謂的創造力。所以說,創造力其實不是一蹴可磯的,背後的汗水、淚水都是常被忽略的。

1970年,作曲家布魯斯·阿道夫(Bruce Adolphe)第一次在紐約的茱莉亞音樂學院(Juilliard School)見到馬友友。馬友友當時只有15歲(不過他已經在白宮為肯尼迪總統演奏過)。阿道夫剛剛創作了自己的第一部大提琴作品。他回憶道,“不幸的是,我根本不知道自己在幹啥,我以前從來沒有譜過大提琴曲。”

阿道夫曾把樂稿拿給茱莉亞音樂學院的一位教授看,這位教授告訴他這作品中有一個和弦是無法演奏的。但在阿道夫修改樂譜之前,馬友友在他的宿舍裡先演練了這部作品。阿道夫說,“馬友友把我的作品從頭到尾演奏了一遍,當樂曲進行到那個高難度和弦時,他找到了一種演奏方法。”

阿道夫向馬友友轉達了那位教授的話,問他是如何奏出那個高難度和弦的。於是他們把這部作品又演奏了一遍,當馬友友演奏到那個和弦時,阿道夫喊“停!”他們看了看馬友友擺在指板上的左手,手指扭曲的姿勢幾乎是常人無法做到的。馬友友說,“你說得對,確實彈奏不了!”但他終究還是彈奏出來了。

如今,馬友友在演奏時仍然盡量去尋找初學者的感覺。他說,“必須始終提醒自己像初學大提琴的孩子一樣沉浸其中。因為這孩子為什麼要拉琴呢?他是為了尋找快樂。”

悄悄話:把自己當初學者一樣來解決問題,拋開所有先入之見及不懼失敗的能力正是創造力的關鍵。還有就是那份“尋找快樂”
的動力。做你喜歡的事,更容易激發你的創造力。

創造力就像火花。當我們摩擦兩塊石頭卻一無所獲時,會感到十分沮喪。但當火焰燃燒起來,新的想法傳遍世界時,我們則有巨大的成就感。

在人類歷史上,我們將首次了解到如何擦出更多靈感的火花,如何讓更多的火花燃燒成為熊熊烈火。但我們也必須承認:無論我們了解多少東西,創造的過程從來都不是輕而易舉的。我們的意志永遠都會被不確定性籠罩,會被腦細胞在建立新聯繫時的隨機性左右。

也許每個關於創造力的故事都不一樣,卻又是相通的:它們都是從無到有的過程,好似魔法一般。

悄悄話:創造的過程看似神奇,好似魔法。但是卻是艱辛的過程。每個人都有創造力的無限潛能,只要願意面對那不確定性、那可能的失敗及辛苦的work。每當有公司企業要求我給他們保證一個一定成功的創新成果時,我都在想,他們真的在和我討論創新嗎?沒有風險、保證沒有失敗的創新? hmm….我真的無法保證.

find me on google plusDwoWen Chang

Money錢雜誌文章分享:1張夢想卡 讓你身價翻10倍

在我的培訓中,我常花至少10分鐘,要求參與者靜下心來寫下他們的願望,然後花10分鐘篩選出你最想要卻還不知道如何達成的願望。工作坊的前置作業中,我甚至可能花數小時。有人常問我那是不是浪費時間,因為那20分鐘我也也許已可以分享更多的思考工具或是想點子,為什麼要花這麼多時間。剛看到這分文張,描述了將夢想寫下的魔力。和大家分享…

作者: 撰文:賴雅淳 攝影:張家禎 | Money 錢
許願要有技巧,夢想才會成真。要心想事成,親自寫下「夢想卡」絕對是關鍵的第1步,再搭配執行力與堅持的恆心,2012年會是你圓夢的起跑年。
寫字,人人都會,但是把夢想或是目標「寫下來」,這個只有短短幾秒的動作,卻是個人成就與財富差異的起始點。
美國百年企業奇異(GE)公司前執行長傑克.威爾許(Jack Welch)某次用餐時,突然靈機一動,隨手拿起一張餐巾紙在上面寫著:「只把第1名和第2名留下來,其他的全部賣掉或重整。」
一張紙 拉開成就與財富
一張輕薄紙巾上的短短一句話,啟動了奇異公司組織再造新革命。在威爾許任內,奇異公司年營業額從250億美元成長到1400億美元,獲利也從15億美元竄升到127億元。一段簡短的文字,締造了100億美元,甚至1000億美元的差距。
被封為「飛魚」、「水怪」的美國游泳運動員麥可.菲爾普斯(Michael Fred Phelps II),在2008年北京奧運中一口氣奪下8面金牌,而他締造金氏世界紀錄,比別人快0.01秒的關鍵,就在於他寫下了明確的目標。
「每當我遇到困難時,我會拿出一張紙,寫下自己的目標,然後把這張紙放在床邊每天看、每天提醒自己,直到目標實現為止。」菲爾普斯在一次電視專訪中透露出金牌選手的秘密。
暢銷書《心靈雞湯》作者傑克. 坎菲爾(Jack Canfield)原本年收入只有8,000美元,相當於台幣24萬元。在一次偶然的機會下,他的工作夥伴要他寫下一個目標,而且這個目標必須大到讓人達成後會高興的飛上天。
於是坎菲爾把一張「紙鈔」手寫改成10萬美元,然後貼在天花板上,每天睜開眼睛都在提醒他:「我真的可以1年賺10萬美元嗎?」寫下夢想的那一年,他賺了9萬2,327美元,過沒多久,又收到100萬美元支票。一個簡單的動作,讓一個人的財富創造出不同以往的10倍,甚至百倍身價。
「寫下明確的目標」就像買了一張車票,可以讓個人或是企業站在十字路口時,知道要往哪個方向走。
成功人士圓夢時間管理術 下定決定1%→寫下具體目標2%→執行97%
有了明確方向,很自然的,前方的道路就會1公里、1公里的開展,帶你去你想要去的地方。不論是夢想中的職位,還是遙不可及的財富,突然有一天,就近在咫尺。
用手寫 成功機率高10 倍
「聽起來很玄,也許很多人會不相信,但我自己也曾有過寫下目標,然後心想事成的奇妙經驗。」7年前,紐約人壽總經理林順才還在ING 安泰人壽(已併入富邦人壽)服務時,有一天,他在筆記本上寫著:「1年後我要坐我老闆的位置。」後來他只花了9個月的時間,就完成了升官加薪的美夢。
「不要『只是想』,而是要具體的寫下來,才會讓你更有感覺,進一步的思考下一個職涯或是理財規畫。」林順才強調「手寫」的重要性。根據統計,把新年計畫寫下來的人,1年後計畫成功機率是46%,沒寫下來的人,成功機率只有4%,相差10倍。
「這跟投資理財一樣,你要先清楚的寫下目標,才會知道現在要存多少錢,然後判斷以目前投資環境,要用什麼工具達成理想的報酬率,最後才能得到你想要的存款數字。」摩根投信總經理石恬華表示。
每當石恬華在工作上遇到瓶頸,她就會在白板上寫下現在有的選項是什麼、喜歡什麼、不要什麼,幫助她釐清思緒,找出解決辦法。「我的辦公室電腦前、桌上,到處貼滿了memo (便條)紙,上面寫著短中長期計畫,每完成一件事情,我就撕下來。」

find me on google plusDwoWen Chang

Always be innovating

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Yesterday I went to to cheer for my friends at the SME’s Entrepreuneurship and Innovation Award, hosted by the France Taiwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was my first time at such an event and in such group, and I was really curious how do the most innovative people look like, what makes them stand out.

Participants of CCIFT SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award 2012

Participants of the CCIFT SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award 2012

That evening four companies and their founders were competing for the honour, and it was a lot of fun hearing their presentation. I of course filter everything through my limited and biased experience and it’s good to see on the other hand what does the jury value. The jury, consisting of investors, CEOs, multinationals’ country directors and so on, with a lot of experience that I cannot even imagine or comprehend most likely. I was wondering whether my guess for the most innovative team will coincide with their assessment (spoiler: it did).

A short intro of the four companies/teams, and their pitch of being innovative:

  1. Enspyre: using extensive internship program to create a multitude of side projects within the company that strengthens their brand since their main business is a B2B and otherwise unbrandable service; and cultivate potential hires that are quite hard to find. In the last couple of years, about 100 students went through this program (for a company of about 40).
  2. FoodExpress: deliver from any restaurant, outdoing competitors in scope of choice, ease and quality.
  3. HotelsnTours: holidays more tailor made, focus on customer service and satisfaction, “out-satisfying” the big names.
  4. Koegler Electronics: hardware design and manufacturing, e.g. 21″ handheld tablet, and “portable” computer.

Well, Enspyre took home the award, and I did get to chat and think about why they and not the other three.

The biggest difference for me between these companies was that Enspyre has a large team, while the others are 1 or 2 person teams. The small teams had so very little feedback on what is a good idea and what’s not that much, that their products almost felt that they are missing crucial points. When they describe something as simple, as modern, as important, as not important, for me those often felt anything but. The small teams also looked like they are kind of shooting blind in some direction but without a clear idea how to improve their situation. They know their current situation pretty well, but they almost almost looked puzzled when a jury member asked about realistic future directions. Enspyre on the other hand did lay out a plan, with all its conditionals and covered their bases. Of course they don’t know the future but they have pretty good plans to tackle it.

Also, 2) and 3) din’t look like much innovation, just a like an ordinary business model. That’s not a bad thing, though. I know that one does not have to be novel to be successful, just have to be good at what they do. 2) can be interesting, though they face a lot of issues that can bring things down quicker than you can place an order in their mobile app. 3) desperately needs to pivot and differentiate, though it’s great that they are profitable, even if on a very small scale.

The 4) has plenty of creativity and innovation, the founder is a pretty good engineer, but an overwhelming personality. He does try to do everything by himself (which is not a small feat in hardware development), and the things he makes are also to satisfy his own needs. He certainly can have a certain niche market, but seems to be so oblivious to a lot of ways that his work could really get off the ground, if only he wasn’t so old fashioned and conservative in some of his things.

One very encouraging thing was that almost all competitors have took part in this award before, even if with other projects. It’s great that they try and and do, and if it comes to that they fail forward. That alone I applaud already.

All in all it was an interesting event, and I came home mighty inspired. My takeaway from all this:

  • Innovation is hard and very few people can genuinely do it (otherwise this could have been a much stronger race)
  • even if something is innovative many people won’t see it’s true value and potential
  • learn from others, have lots of feedback and listen listen listen
  • iterate plenty
  • restart if needed
  • keep at it

Of course none of them is new idea, I just need plenty of reinforcement so I can apply them with ease.

find me on google plusGergely Imreh

Super Bowl 2012 Commercials: Watch Them All Here

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喜歡看超級盃的通常有兩種人,一種是看球賽,一種是看廣告。超級盃的廣告通常是錯過了,就看不到了。不過現在感謝Youtube的存在,如果你錯過了Super Bowl 2012 的廣告,點下方的連結,還是全部全部可以看得到。和大家分享這些精彩的廣告。

Super Bowl 2012 Commercials: Watch Them All Here.