7 Things I Learned from Listening to The Culture of Innovation Talk

I really enjoyed watching  “The Culture of Innovation” from MIT Technology Review.

The talk covers several interesting topics worth exploring.

  1. Permission less innovation and Innovation at the edges
  2. A culture of practice over theory
  3. The concept of Social Investing
  4. Connectivity in Communities
  5. Peripheral vision and Pattern Recognition and how they are the total opposite of focus and execution
  6. Attachment bias
  7. Cultures and sub-cultures

My favorite quote from the talk:

We so cherish focus, execution and they are the opposites of peripheral vision, pattern recognition
Peripheral vision and pattern recognition lead to discovering new ways of doing things.
Here is a link to the video interview with Joi Ito.

ReadLog: Launching a SaaS Company, CTO Coding and Order Matters in Software

Here are a few entries from my readlog.

1. In Here’s How I Built and Launched a SaaS Company For Less Than $40k, Ryan Shank tells us how he built a SaaS product company in 6 months. Ryan describes:

  • How he found a designer through Dribble (a community of designers)
  • Created product requirements
  • Designed deliverables
  • Found a senior developer in India through Upwork
  • Built and Marketed the Product

Enjoyed reading Ryan’s detailed account how a single person can build and market a SaaS product and start building a company.

2. Matt talks about a common dilemma technical founders face. In Should a CTO keep on coding?  He discusses how to balance your desire to remain tech (by coding) with the need to do all the other things a founder CTO needs to do.

When you start as a technical founder, you are really a developer, quickly becoming a team lead. The team lead does leadership things but still codes and does very little management tasks. Then depending on how the company grows, usually you become a manager and now you have very little time to code.

Matt has some good advice and it was a pleasure reading the post.

3.  More than one order matters was a refreshingly different article from the ones I usually read.

Order matters. In real life when you’re in a library or a city or in your kitchen. And in software development. Order, the right order, helps understanding. Where there is order orientation is easier.

Order is important but hard to create and maintain.

Order is helpful, even important. But often order is hard to create and/or to maintain. Why’s that? What’s order anyway?

“What kind of order does software need?” is a great read, if you are building software.

LinkLog: Content Marketing and Sales

How Does Content Marketing Actually Get You More Sales? A good article, worth reading if you are an entrepreneur or in marketing:

There is a big misconception that content marketing doesn’t drive sales. But if it didn’t work well, none of my companies would exist.

From KISSmetrics to Crazy Egg, I’ve grown each of my businesses through content marketing.

To prove to you that content marketing drives sales, I’m going to share with you stats and data points from KISSmetrics to show just how effective content marketing is.

Matt Gemmell – All This Stuff Scares the Hell Out of Me

All of this stuff scares the hell out of me:

  • Software patents, and their use as a financial weapon.
  • The walled garden of the various App Stores, with mysterious and ever-changing rules governing admittance, and the constant threat of capricious rejection.
  • The consequent relative invisibility of non-App Store software.
  • The incredibly crowded market, with imitations and duplicates of popular titles springing up overnight.

I don’t want to sound too negative. But a tweet from Tim O’Reilly got me reading a chain of posts.

Tim Bray · Discouraged Developer http://bit.ly/1py5KM9

Ed Finkler – “I find myself more and more concerned about my future as a developer. ” bit.ly/Ul1Tsg

Snippets Worth Sharing: Deep Links

Deep links are a kind of hyperlink that points to a specific place or function inside a mobile app. A deep link on a mobile Web page or in an e-mail, for example, might take you to a specific product in a shopping app or song in a music app.

Support for deep linking has been built into Apple and Google’s mobile operating systems for some time. It allows app developers to give URL-like identifiers such as “iOSApp://location/123456” to specific sections within an app. However, uptake by mobile app developers was initially slow due to differences in how the feature worked on different operating systems and a lack of broad support for their usage.

Source:

The Hyperlink Gets Reinvented

Search Startup Quixey Aims to be the Google of the App Era

IBM Watson – Augmenting Human Knowledge

Amazing! Between Watson, Siri and other similar Natural Language apps, we will be entering a new era of Knowledge Augmentation. I am especially thrilled about the impact it will have on teaching.

Watson looks at the question it is being asked and groups words together, finding statistically related phrases. Thanks to a massively parallel architecture, it then simultaneously uses thousands of language analysis algorithms to sift through its database of 15 terabytes of human knowledge and find the correct answer. The more algorithms find the same answer independently, the more a certain answer is likely to be correct. This is how, back in 2011, it managed to win a game of Jeopardy against two human champions.

In a presentation at the the Milken Institute Global Conference, IBM senior vice president and director of research John Kelly III demonstrated how Watson can now list, without human assistance, what it believes are the most valid arguments for and against a topic of choice. In other words, it can now debate for or against any topic, in natural language.

From a Gizmag article on IBM Watson

Process for Generating Ideas and How to Validated Them

Nine entrepreneurs describe their approach to finding the initial users and validating their business ideas. Here is one from Rob Walling:

Rob Walling, founder of the Numa Group and creator of Drip, an email-marketing tool. “I wanted to find 10 people who would be willing to pay a specific amount for the product once it was complete. This forced me to not think about features, but to distill the idea down into its core value[: a] single reason someone would be willing to pay me for the product. I took that, and emailed 17 people I know, or had at least heard of, who may have shared the same pain. This way, I not only had my initial customers who could provide me feedback on the details of how Drip should work, I had the start of an early base of revenue I could use to start growing the product.”

You can read the other 8 stories here.

Having an Active Sense of Humor Helps us to get More from Life

A nice read – It’s Funny How Humor Works

Having an active sense of humor helps us to get more from life, both cognitively and emotionally. It allows us to exercise our brains regularly, looking for unexpected and pleasing connections even in the face of difficulties or hardship. The physicist Richard Feynman called this “the kick of the discovery,” claiming that the greatest joy of his life wasn’t winning the Nobel Prize—it was the pleasure of discovering new things.

LinkLog: Ara – An Innovative Modular Phone Project from Google

From Google’s Project Ara

Ara is definitely an amazing innovation, and a project that it would be amazing to see come to fruition. It’s also massively ambitious, and not every experimental tech Google develops ends up as a proper shipping project. Modularity has a lot to potentially offer the smartphone market (and could also be very interesting when applied to tablets) but there’s a lot of ground to cover between here and selling these things in stores. Still, if anyone has the resources and runway to make it happen, Google is a pretty good candidate

The TIME profile also sheds light on some of the fundamental mechanics of how Ara works. Modules are designed to slot in to each compartment on the basic chassis interchangeably, regardless of what each does. They’re also hot-swappable, so you don’t need to power down the phone to replace individual parts. Finally, the modules are secured to the device using hardware latches, which use magnets to lock stuff in place. That lock is released using an app of the phone, so that they won’t fall out when jostled or when the phone drops.

Project Ara: Inside Google’s Modular Smartphone