If you live in the world of innovation, you know that stay current
on things is important and not just those things that are directly
related to your work. You need to look around at everything and ask
yourself some key questions. What does this mean? How does this
impact other things? What is the opportunity that this reveals?
Here are some examples from today’s newspaper (I like the Wall Street Journal) to consider.
In Nevada, some people have found playing hard-rock music to be an effective way to repel Mormon crickets.
Hmm… What is it that makes this so? Is the underlying principle
useful more broadly? Is there an abstraction to be made here?
Ford is still losing money, but has slowed its cash burn.
It looks like Ford is showing it will be able to something that the
other Big-3 automakers can’t—rebuild their company without taxpayer
assistance. Kudos for this! What else does this tell us though? What
had allowed Ford to be different and how does this translate to other
Microsoft is reporting its first ever decline in quarterly revenue.
What are the predictable impacts on the rest of the software industry?
How does this tie in to other high-tech sectors? What about the
relationship to the consumer space?
More entrepreneurs are taking a pass on paying themselves to keep their businesses going.
What does this tell us about the investment climate? What pressures
does this create on the costs of services and the costs of personnel?
Should larger companies consider similar measures?
Apple gets egg on its face over baby-shaking game.
Makes you wonder who’s minding the i-store. What lesson does this
misstep hold for us? Was this simply a failure of management? How
could this have been prevented?
These are just a few of the headlines from today’s WSJ. What news
items are you seeing that can provide useful insight for future
innovation? Are you just reading the news, or are you analyzing it and
extracting out useful innovation lessons?