Category Archives: App

More Than A Dream: Advanced Technology And Creating A Risk-Free Market

By Carol Ozemhoya, Contributing Editor at Vector

Some people worry about technology costing people jobs and taking over the world as has been portrayed in many major motion pictures, such as the “Matrix” series.

But in reality, a lot of the advances in technology have made our lives easier and safer, and well, cheaper. Consider the cost of color TVs when they first came out and what they cost now… a mere fraction of the earlier models. And the same goes for other electronics, including computers and smart phones.

And that’s not even mentioning the fact that those very same electronic devices are processing information faster than ever.

There’s also advanced technology’s impact on financial markets. Artificial intelligence, for example, can enable a trader, financial analyst or even an ordinary person to predict the volatility of the stock markets and even specific stocks. That comes with advanced technology systems that are designed to monitor social media and news sources.

One such system, designed by Indexer.me, is called Vector… it tracks social media and news coverage of specific trends, companies, stocks, even personalities… returning information that can assist its user in making crucial financial moves.

So, the question becomes… could some of these advancements in processing power drive a “Zero Volatility Point” in financial markets?

Some say yes, others say not so much

First of all, some of the rhetoric on the matter comes from what some refer to as the end of Moore’s Law. This is in reference to the chip in most, if not all, computer processing systems. The big question seems to be… how much longer can the developers go before the chip reaches its limits in terms of size and speed?

Sophie Wilson, designer of the original Acorn Micro-Computer in the 1970s and later developer of the instruction set for ARM’s low-power processors that have come to dominate the mobile device world, has such thoughts, reports Next Platform.com:

“And when Wilson talks about processors and the processor industry, people listen. Wilson’s message is essentially that Moore’s Law, which has been the driving force behind chip development in particular and the computer industry as a whole for five decades, has hit its limits, and that despite the best efforts by chip designers around the world, the staggering gains in processor performance over that time will not be seen again.”

She goes on to say, “that since Intel founder Gordon Moore introduced his prediction in 1965 that the number of transistors in a processor would double every two years – it later was amended to every 18 to 24 months – the IT industry has been on a relentless march to fulfill that prophecy, with significant success. She said that in her lifetime, the performance of computers has increased by a factor of 10,000, due in large part to the continual shrinking of transistors on chips.”

Chip designers can’t keep this up, some believe, because the industry found out about 10 years ago that it couldn’t keep increasing chip performance with faster speeds because the processors get too hot. In fact, Intel’s Pentium Pro neared the point of being as hot as a hot plate. Ouch!

That didn’t really stop chip developers, as they sought out other methods of enhancing performance, such as adding multiple processing cores. That worked for a while, but even adding processing cores is reaching its limits, reports Next Platform.

Here’s the thing: at some point, how fast those financial gurus can receive and process financial reports, world news (such as elections, which can heavily impact financial markets everywhere) and plain old tips and instinct, will level off, and that could mean a volatile market.

But the News Isn’t All That Bad

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and alternative solutions such as quantum computing, protein computing, DNA computing (data storage), logic gates and Nano machines, may provide money managers and researchers with new tools to not only read and interpret data at phenomenal rates… but to render precise predictions of all asset classes at once.

“Quantum computers use qubits to store 0’s and 1’s that are encoded in two distinguishable quantum states, and process them simultaneously,” explains Jo Fletcher, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Vector. “As a result of the aforementioned superposition, quantum computing may facilitate deep learning and data processing capabilities that may far surpass today's standards.”

Sure, having a savvy business head, experience and even instinct will remain important, but a lot of the guesswork could be cut out, as more and more accurate information is processed and better predictions are created through modes such as quantum computing.

“Imagine a world where analysts are no longer responsible for performing analysis on one sector or asset class at a time. But instead, they cover all asset classes at once because of the ability to process all known financial information at hyper speed,” says Anton Gordon, co-founder of Indexer.me.

Now factor in artificial intelligence and there is a distinct possibility of a zero-volatility point. This would be a point where all known and previously unknown financial market data could be factored into short term and intermediate term trades.

What Does It All Mean?

Vector’s Anton Gordon explains it like this: “The very nature of how we trade stocks and other assets will change. As the use and application of quantum computing normalizes in the financial services industry, we may reach a ‘zero-volatility point.’ This is a point in which the returns on various asset classes approach the risk-free rate due to market prices that more accurately reflect current future expected information on the underlying assets.” 

In other words, in the future, quantum computing could allow for perfect market information. The possibilities are, quite frankly, staggering.

About Vector
Vector is a natural language processing application that performs information extraction on millions of news stories per day. It provides high value to any quantitative researcher, adding a collaborative-authoring workflow in perfect synergy with the most powerful and unique faceted search in the business. For more information, please visit www.indexer.me or jofletcher@indexer.me.

Useful Links
Vector website: http://www.indexer.me
Press kit: http://www.indexer.me/media-kit.html
Social Media: @indexervector, LinkedIn@Indexervector, @indexerme, @jofletcher

About Indexer
Indexer is a tech start-up in the artificial intelligence space and has a focus on computer vision and natural language processing technologies.

Innovation Sighting: Pearl RearVision Backup Camera and Alert System

RearVision how it worksBacking up your car in those crammed, hard-to-see spaces just got safer and easier, thanks to Pearl Automation’s innovative use of the Task Unification Technique. Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it's taking something that is already around you and giving an additional job.

RearVision provides a great example of this SIT technique at work. By adding a solar powered HD camera to the standard license plate frame, Pearl turned this humdrum car accessory into a rear-viewing camera. The theft resistant camera frame installs securely around your license plate and connects wirelessly to a car adapter in your ODP port. The adapter pairs with your mounted smart phone, transforming it into a rear-viewing screen.

TechCrunch shares:

Once connected, the RearVision app in landscape will show you a full-screen view of what the cameras in the license plate holder is seeing, with a 175-degree viewing angle. You can toggle between the full fish-eye experience, or a warp-corrected view that fills the display corner-to-corner with the space behind your car. You can also pivot the view up or down to get a better look at more of the sky, or more of the ground as needed.

RearVision mounted phoneYou also can utilize this technique to innovate helpful products.

To get the most out of the Task Unification technique, you follow five basic steps:

  1. List all of the components, both internal and external, that are part of the Closed World of the product, service, or process.
  2. Select a component from the list. Assign it an additional task, using one of three methods:
  • Choose an external component and use it to perform a task that the product accomplishes already
  • Choose an internal component and make it do something new or extra
  • Choose an internal component and make it perform the function of an external component, effectively “stealing” the external component’s function
  1. Visualize the new (or changed) products or services.
  2. What are the potential benefits, markets, and values? Who would want this, and why would they find it valuable? If you are trying to solve a specific problem, how can it help address that particular challenge?
  3. If you decide the new product or service is valuable, then ask: Is it feasible? Can you actually create these new products? Perform these new services? Why or why not? Is there any way to refine or adapt the idea to make it viable?

Breaking the Barriers of Creativity

Break_the_barriersWhat holds people back from being creative? Is it a lack of time? Do you not have a budget for doing creative work? Perhaps you work in an industry where there are lots of regulatory or legal barriers that seem to make it hard to generate novel ideas.

For many people, these types of constraints seem frustrating and overwhelming. They appear to be strict boundaries that seem to limit your ability to be creative.

But guess what? Surprisingly, constraints are not a barrier to creativity. In fact, constraints are a necessary condition for creativity to occur. Your brain works harder and smarter when given tight boundaries. The more constrained you are, the more creative you’ll be.

So what is it that seems to limit our creativity? The answer is a condition known as fixedness. Fixedness is a cognitive bias that limits our ability to see the world around us differently than what we’re used to. There are at least three types.

First is functional fixedness. Functional fixedness makes it hard for you to consider an object doing a job other than what it you know it to do. When you see a dry erase marker, for example, you instantly relegate it to the job of...well...marking. If you could force it in your mind to be available to do another job, you end up with a creative idea.

One of my pet peeves is when someone takes a permanent marker and writes on a white board. Okay, maybe I’ve done it once or twice.  When that happens, take a regular dry erase marker and write over it. Voila! Permanent marks are gone! Now that’s creative.

The second type is structural fixedness. This type makes it really hard to imagine objects having a different structure than what we’re used to. Let’s go back to our dry erase marker. Why are these markers always straight? That’s fixedness. What if we could imagine a curved marker or perhaps one with a grip. Instead of holding it like a pencil, we can bend it so it fits in our hand better. Again, that’s creative.

Finally is what we call relational fixedness. This type of fixedness makes it very hard to imagine two objects having a relationship that wasn’t there before. As one object changes, the other object changes. Our mind doesn’t form these connections naturally because of relational fixedness.

Look at our simple whiteboard marker. What if it could change colors automatically when writing on different areas of the white board? Are there certain applications where that would be more convenient. When we find that application, we’ve generated a creative idea. We’ve broken through our fixedness to create new value.

We all have all three types of fixedness, and they hold back our ability to generate new possibilities. The good news is that you can break all three types. But you need a set of cognitive tools to do it.

New: Innovate! App Brings Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) to Your Computer and Tablet


App-CoverWant innovation at your fingertips? Consider the Innovate! Inside the Box web application, which acts as a digital sherpa for Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT).

This web app (available for an annual subscription of $12) takes you inside the box and into the world of creativity. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can generate thoughtful, fresh ideas to solve a problem or improve a product.

For those who have yet to read “Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results,” the SIT method uses techniques that evolved through research that examined thousands of innovative products, demonstrating that innovation is teachable and accessible to anyone. SIT refutes the traditional view of creativity, which is typically considered as thinking “outside the box” to find big ideas. The app harnesses this method to help you generate ideas digitally.

How to use the web app:

  • First register and create log-in credentials.
  • Once logged in (and paid), review the five techniques to understand how each one works and how to apply them.
  • View the sample project, Refrigerator, under My Projects. Review the Ideas List for examples of ideas generated with each technique. You may recognize some of these already from reading the book.
  • Create your own new project and follow the instructions on how to apply the SIT method techniques.
  • After applying the method(s), see the idea(s) you’ve generated. If you’re happy with your idea, the tool will allow you to write a more detailed description, get a new virtual product and share your breakthrough innovation via email, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #InnovateInsidetheBox.

Tips to help you navigate the tool:

  • If you’re not sure where to start, you can always reference previous blogs and categories to view real life examples of each technique. Typically, I recommend starting a new project with subtraction because it helps address fixedness.
  • Remember the difference between a component and an attribute because you will kick your project off by listing both.
  • Don’t go outside of the Closed World. The Closed World includes only the resources available in the immediate area.
  • You have the ability to create groups and add others to your projects.

Professors and instructors who are interested in teaching a course about innovation may want to consider using the Innovate! Inside the Box web app as a supplement. Download the faculty instruction manual, which includes a course guide and suggested materials.

Nintendo wins big with “Pokémon GO” mobile app

If you see young people wandering through your city looking for digital creatures to catch, don’t distract them! These are Pokémon fans, who are intently playing a brand new location-based mobile app game called Pokémon Go. How big of a deal is this? It’s huge: The Apple and Android app debuted last Wednesday evening in the […]

Using Systematic Innovation on Digital Assets

Cyt-screen-960x630The SIT method is great for creating exciting new products and services. Now I want to show you how to apply these techniques to digital assets. For example, let’s apply the Attribute Dependency technique to a website. You start by listing the internal and external attributes of the site like the one here. 

Internal:
1. color
2. design
3. graphics
4. information
5. link locations
6. page loading speed
7. contact information
8. length of text

External:
a. number of visitors
b. type of visitors
c. location of visitor
d. SEO page rank
e. search requests
f. type of browser
g. type of computer

Next, randomly pair an external attribute with an internal one. and imagine a relationship between the two attributes. For example, “location of visitor” and “graphics,” meaning how the information is displayed on your website. As the location of the visitor changes, the information and graphics that you display on your website changes. Why would that be valuable? In what situations would it make sense to have that relationship in place?

Think about it. Imagine if your customer is browsing your website right inside one of your retail stores. Perhaps you would change the kind of information and graphics you would use to show your products. What if they were browsing your website from one of your competitor’s stores? Could that change how you display competitive pricing information? What if your customer is browsing within a healthcare facility, or from an airport, or inside a restaurant? Would it change the products, the prices, or other service elements that you display? It just might. Applying attribute dependency can make your website responsive and adaptable. It services your clients better by understanding more about them.

Facebook_like_logo_1Let’s apply this same approach to a social media application. For this example, let’s use Facebook. Here are the internal and external attributes of a Facebook Page.

Internal
1.number of friends
2.wall postings (by you)
3.pokes
4.status
5.years on Facebook
6.gender of friends
7.degree of friendship
8.emotional state
9.nature of friendship
10.age
11.current location
12.current activity
13.photos with other people

External
a.time
b.likes
c.size of friends’ network
d.wall postings (by others)
e.status of friends
f.friend's demographics (age, gender, etc)

Let’s imagine a relationship between “likes” and “wall postings.” There is no relationship there now, so let’s imagine one. For example, as the number of “likes” increases over a particular period of time, your wall postings change. Why would that be beneficial? Perhaps you would put different products or special promotions there once you reach a certain level of likes. In other words, you change how you engage with your customers who visit your Facebook page based on how they engage. A relationship between these two attributes would give you a cue to know when it's appropriate to do something different on your page.

Let’s go further with digital innovation and look at mobile apps and how to apply SIT techniques. For these, I like to use the Task Unification technique. We create a virtual product by saying: the App has the additional job of addressing this business issue. The trick is to pick an app that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue now. That’s where you find some surprising innovations.

Let’s do an example. Imagine your company makes a household product that helps get rid of odors in your home. It’s a spray product that you would use to get rid of odors from your cat or dog. Imagine you're the marketing manager for this product and you want to find creative ways to promote its benefits.

First, find a list of mobile apps. Pick one of these randomly and plug it into the phrase: "the app has the additional job of promoting my product."

Here is an app called Micello, a provider of comprehensive indoor venue mapping. It’s like Google maps only for in indoor spaces like shopping malls or airports. You imagine this app has the additional job of promoting your spray for pet odors. What would be the benefit? How it would work, and how would it increase brand awareness of your product? Suppose this technology is used to create an internal map of your home. What if it could also track where your pet spends its time as it moves from room to room. Perhaps the app creates an odor heat map of where the pet has been so that you know exactly where to spray the product. I love this idea because it’s both functional and it reinforces the brand promise.

Task Unification can help find new uses for existing apps, and it can help you create completely new apps.

Your digital assets are just as important as your products and services. Using the SIT Method will unlock more value for your customers and find new ways to engage them more effectively through digital channels.

 

 

Eight Years of Blogging at Innovation in Practice

Drew 1This month marks the eight year anniversary of Innovation in Practice. As always, I want to thank my many readers and supporters who follow it.

When you start blogging, you're never quite sure who will read it and continue reading it. A fellow innovation blogger told me not to worry about. "Blog it, and they will come," is what he said. In essence, readers self-select based on their interest in the topic. I can't control it.

That said, I've learned a lot in the last eight years, and I see predictable patterns in the types of people who find me here and contact me about speaking engagements. They are:

  • Strategy/Innovation Leaders: executives who are looking to make transformational change in their business
  • Technical/R&D Leaders: executives who are driven to fill their product pipeline
  • Commercial Leaders: marketing executives who need to strengthen their franchise vis-a-vis their colleague's franchises
  • HR/Leadership Training Leaders: HR executives or consultants who want to embed innovation in their programs
  • Meeting Planners: people who source talent for a wide variety of programs

My goal is to make this blog different from other innovation blogs and websites. Instead of focusing on why innovation is important, I focus on how innovation happens.  The themes of this blog are:

  • Innovation can be learned like any other skill such as marketing, leadership, or playing the guitar.  To be an innovator, learn a method.Teach it to others.
  • Innovation must be linked to strategy. Innovation for innovation's sake doesn't matter. Innovation that is guided by strategy or helps guide strategy yields the most opportunity for corporate growth.
  • Innovation is a two-way phenomena. We can start with a problem and innovate solutions. Or we can generate hypothetical solutions and explore problems that they solve. To be a great innovator, you need to be a two-way innovator.
  • The corporate perspective, where innovation is practiced day-to-day, is what must be understood and kept at the center of attention. This is where truth is separated from hype.

I'm expecting 2016 to be another strong year in terms of keynotes, workshops, and training programs. My marketing and PR team are going to completely re-position the "Drew Boyd" brand in terms of a new website, design, and messaging. It's an exciting project, to be launched in the first quarter.

The book, Inside the Box, is now in fifteen languages and continues to sell well globally. As of now, I have three additional book projects lined up with some amazingly-talented co-authors. Four more video courses will be added to my lynda.com lineup. Now that LinkedIn owns lynda.com, the viewership of my courses has skyrocketed.

And the biggest news for 2016 is...the launch of our new web app - Innovate! Inside the Box, a software tool that helps you use the SIT Innovation Method. Today, we have an iPad version of the app, but this new app will be browser-based so you'll be able to access from any Internet-connected appliance. STAY TUNED!

I want to thank Jacob, as well as Amnon Levav, Yoni Stern, and the entire team at SIT LLC. I thank Marta Dapena-Baron at Big Picture Partners, Bob Cialdini and the team at Influence at Work, Yury Boshyk at Global Executive Learning, the Washington Speakers Bureau, the team at Lynda.com, Jim Levine, Emilie D'Agostino, Shelley Bamburger, the team at Wordsworth Communications, and my fellow faculty at the UC Lindner College of Business.

Drew

Eight Years of Blogging at Innovation in Practice

Drew 1This month marks the eight year anniversary of Innovation in Practice. As always, I want to thank my many readers and supporters who follow it.

When you start blogging, you're never quite sure who will read it and continue reading it. A fellow innovation blogger told me not to worry about. "Blog it, and they will come," is what he said. In essence, readers self-select based on their interest in the topic. I can't control it.

That said, I've learned a lot in the last eight years, and I see predictable patterns in the types of people who find me here and contact me about speaking engagements. They are:

  • Strategy/Innovation Leaders: executives who are looking to make transformational change in their business
  • Technical/R&D Leaders: executives who are driven to fill their product pipeline
  • Commercial Leaders: marketing executives who need to strengthen their franchise vis-a-vis their colleague's franchises
  • HR/Leadership Training Leaders: HR executives or consultants who want to embed innovation in their programs
  • Meeting Planners: people who source talent for a wide variety of programs

My goal is to make this blog different from other innovation blogs and websites. Instead of focusing on why innovation is important, I focus on how innovation happens.  The themes of this blog are:

  • Innovation can be learned like any other skill such as marketing, leadership, or playing the guitar.  To be an innovator, learn a method.Teach it to others.
  • Innovation must be linked to strategy. Innovation for innovation's sake doesn't matter. Innovation that is guided by strategy or helps guide strategy yields the most opportunity for corporate growth.
  • Innovation is a two-way phenomena. We can start with a problem and innovate solutions. Or we can generate hypothetical solutions and explore problems that they solve. To be a great innovator, you need to be a two-way innovator.
  • The corporate perspective, where innovation is practiced day-to-day, is what must be understood and kept at the center of attention. This is where truth is separated from hype.

I'm expecting 2016 to be another strong year in terms of keynotes, workshops, and training programs. My marketing and PR team are going to completely re-position the "Drew Boyd" brand in terms of a new website, design, and messaging. It's an exciting project, to be launched in the first quarter.

The book, Inside the Box, is now in fifteen languages and continues to sell well globally. As of now, I have three additional book projects lined up with some amazingly-talented co-authors. Four more video courses will be added to my lynda.com lineup. Now that LinkedIn owns lynda.com, the viewership of my courses has skyrocketed.

And the biggest news for 2016 is...the launch of our new web app - Innovate! Inside the Box, a software tool that helps you use the SIT Innovation Method. Today, we have an iPad version of the app, but this new app will be browser-based so you'll be able to access from any Internet-connected appliance. STAY TUNED!

I want to thank Jacob, as well as Amnon Levav, Yoni Stern, and the entire team at SIT LLC. I thank Marta Dapena-Baron at Big Picture Partners, Bob Cialdini and the team at Influence at Work, Yury Boshyk at Global Executive Learning, the Washington Speakers Bureau, the team at Lynda.com, Jim Levine, Emilie D'Agostino, Shelley Bamburger, the team at Wordsworth Communications, and my fellow faculty at the UC Lindner College of Business.

Drew

Good Business Is the Best Art

"Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art."

                           —Andy Warhol

WeworkRecognizing that business is an art form and that you, as a businessperson, are an artist is critical to surviving and thriving in the sharing economy. Leading brands must see themselves as artists of business first and agents of commerce second.

Art today is the ultimate vehicle for transforming a common commodity into a sought-after treasure. Why? Because art transforms something that was once utilitarian into a vessel of engagement, like Warhol did for the Campbell’s soup can.

Being an artist of business involves taking a product and turning it into an experience that engages the consumer and makes them a fan and loyalist for life because they are drawn to the product and to the emotions the product evokes. Try thinking about your products and services from an artistic point of view. What feelings do you want to evoke in your consumers? What feelings do you not want to illicit? Understand the creative and emotional impact of everything you do when it comes to your brand and learn how to create experiences, messages, stories, systems, services, and products that express the essence of that artistic vision.

How PepsiCo Turned a Bag of Chips into a Work of Art

PepsiCo demonstrated Warhol-inspired artistry with their Do Us a Flavor campaign, which invited customers to submit their ideas for a new potato chip flavor. The campaign is a great example of business art that turned their product, a bag of potato chips, into a canvas for global creative self-expression. This disruptively creative platform put potato chips front and center on the global stage by engaging the world in a co-creative process to artistically imagine a new generation of snack food, custom created by the public and Pepsi.

As the contest was global, an amazing array of exotic and unusual flavor combinations—from chicken and waffle to onion Lakshmi to Fluffernutter to pumpkin blood—were submitted to a panel of judges, who chose finalists from each country and ultimately a winner. The winner received $1 million and got their picture on their bag of chips.

The Do Us a Flavor campaign generated over 3.8 million submissions, and sales of the original chips, as well as sales of finalist chips, went through the roof. The campaign provided a ready and ever-renewing source of engaging content for the company’s website and YouTube channels.

The Do Us a Flavor campaign illustrates that today, people don’t just want to consume a product; they want to engage in the artistic endeavors brands can provide. And perhaps more important, this campaign demonstrates that creative experiences are what will influence purchasing decisions going forward, just as much as the quality of the product itself.

Interact and Connect  

Warhol lived and worked in constant connection with others. The Factory was designed to be an environment that had all manner of people constantly connecting in new and unusual ways. This was the inspiration for Warhol’s art, and one of the reasons that he became more than a painter and grew into a movement that still has relevance today. In many ways, Warhol and his business model presaged the era of connectivity that we live in today through technology. So modern-day artists of business can learn a lot from Warhol’s approach to sharing.

The number one priority for brands today should be to create for the we and not for the me. While that is counterintuitive to traditional business strategy, as consumption is an individual activity, brands that embrace we-ness and build community are the ones that will ultimately win at the increasingly competitive global game of instigating consumer participation.

Why WeWork Works So Well

WeWork is a contemporary embodiment of the principles that drove Warhol’s Factory. WeWork bills itself as a community of creators, and has created work spaces nationwide designed to house the entrepreneurs, small business owners and artists of tomorrow, wherever they might live and work. WeWork is a business studio environment that appeals to innovators, mavericks, and artists who have left the constraints of corporate America behind and set off in pursuit of their own business missions with an eye toward building a better future.

Beyond office space, WeWork offers collaborative environments where innovators of all varieties can connect and share, resulting in countless mini incubators of business artistry. WeWork offers a panoply of services designed to instill and instigate creativity within its community. Amenities range from physical offerings like shared office space; conference rooms, and networking opportunities to creativity festivals such as sleep-away camp retreats imagined to facilitate collaborative imagination and innovation.

 

Adapted from We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy by Billee Howard. © 2015 by Billee Howard. Tarcher Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.