Antony Evans is raising funds for Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity on Kickstarter! Create GLOWING PLANTS using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler's software - the first step in creating sustainable natural lighting
John Mayer once said "Nobody's music is the enemy of your music...The idea that someone else has made it when they shouldn't have made it is toxic thinking."
I am a firm believer in finding creative ways to rearrange the notes of a composition or tweak the ingredients to bake more pies. Mrs. Fields re-imagined the cookie, Steve Jobs re-designed the mobile phone. What product or service out there could you re-imagine?
The Power of Positive Thinking by Paige Arnof-Fenn The theme of this month's magazine is music. I am a huge music fan. Having grown up in New Orleans I think jazz is just in my blood. I go back there every year for the Jazz Festival.
The world's 10 most innovative Education companies from Fast Company... This is one opinion but some great companies here. I just don't agree that the greatest innovation in education will be putting classrooms online but rather a model where communities curate the best quality learning content.
1_Coursera For simultaneously scaring and wooing brick-and-mortar universities into the future by helping get their courses online, at no cost to students. By the end of 2012, eight months after the site's launch, 33 universities were offering 206 courses over Coursera 's platform, all free to the site's two million users--up from only five universities in the beginning.
I had a fascinating lecture this week from the Harvard Economist Ricardo Hausmann. He has some very interesting research as to how countries develop based on the complexity of their human capital 'Knowhow'.
Adam Smith called the ability to get diverse skills to come together to make more advanced products and services The Division of Labour. However, it would be better described today as the Division of Knowledge. Now that the complexity of products have grown so much since the time of Adam Smith we now see the complexity of products being driven larger by our Division of Knowledge.
However, the Division of Knowledge is driven by knowhow. Knowhow is difficult to learn online. We have the challenge of learning knowhow as Malcolm Gladwell argued it takes at least 10,000 hours to develop expertise. This will be a key challenge fo… Read morer us at BraveNewTalent. We can develop professional knowledge but can we help develop people's professional knowhow is a key question.
The argument behind this is that it is hard to store a lot of knowhow in the same person. There is an interesting argument to look at the development of knowledge over the last few centuries. We have not extended the amount of time people spend gathering knowledge but instead we have extended the number of courses that are available to study. There is now more diversity in knowledge. What this means is that countries are not richer because we individually hold more knowledge. Countries are richer because more knowledge is held at the social level. People are limited in how much knowledge they can individually hold. Hausmann calls this the 'Personbyte'. So the only way we can have more knowledge at the social level is through the division of knowledge (and hence of labour).
However, I disagree here with Hausmann on the point of the personbyte. I feel it dangerous to reduce people to the sum of their knowhow. In my experience in the Talent space I've realised that the impact that an individual can have is an exponential curve. Where those with stronger abilities have many multiples the impact of the person with more average abilities. Take Steve Jobs as an example. He was a person of rare abilities and therefore much more than a single 'personbyte'. He had the impact perhaps of an army of people. Where I see Hausmann argument falling short is on the individual basis. However, his argument does remain a very powerful one for how countries and companies think about their own complexity of knowhow.
An interesting data point is that the average US employee work in an organisation with 100 employees. India has 4 times the population of the US. One might assume then that the average employee in India works with a company with 400 employees (4x100). However, the average Indian employee works in an organisation with just 4 people.
Hausmann uses a genius analogy of the game of Scrabble as a analogy to the Theory of Economic Development. Think of the letters like specialities or 'people bytes' and words as products. E.g just just 1 letter you can make 1 word. 3 letters creates 5 words, 10 letters equal 595 words.
When one looks over the last 100 years, and certainly since the Industrial Revolution, we can see a great acceleration in labour - of the complexity of different levels of knowhow coming together. So what caused the great acceleration in labour? It is the increase in the numbers of letters i.e the number of specialisms. By doing this we increased the number of valuable combinations of letters we call products.
A great example is the iPhone - it costs $3000 per pound. However, the raw ingredients cost $10. The iPhone therefore costs at least 300x more than the cost of its ingredients. What is within this costs - it is the cost of Knowhow.
The basic model here is that countries that have more personbytes are able to make more products. They are more diversified. Products that require more personbytes will be made by fewer countries. Products will be less ubiquitous and therefore command a higher price in the marketplace.
A clear trend is that products are getting more complex or they are becoming 'longer words' to use the scrabble analogy. But the value chains are becoming more global. Each location needs to have fewer capabilities - words are getting shorter. Countries now trade on syllables and it is easier to join the market.
I do find Hausmann's argument here fascinating. It does well to explain the difference in economic production abilities for countries, cities and companies. It is not a complete theory as I believe it misses the individual contributor though. Certainly much food for thought!
Great article by Sir Martin Sorrell on the Digital Revolution. Martin is the CEO of the Advertising agency WPP. I've known him for a few years and see him as one of the the UK's most powerful CEOs. His influence goes very deep. What is facinating is how he explains here that two thirds of WPP's revenue comes from 'Clicks and BRICs' - It goes to show the importance of both the emerging markets and the digital economy.
In these circumstances, traditional business approaches have to move quickly and change violently. Over the past dozen years, digital revenues at WPP have gone from a rounding error to a third of the business, through organic growth and acquisitions. In fact, almost two-thirds of our business now reflects those two techno-geographic changes - clicks and BRICs.
Such and awesome day today... I met the Silicon Valley legend Bill Hambrecht. He is the person that IPO'd Google, Apple, Genentech, Adobe, etc. He was great friends with Steve Jobs and told me lots of stories about how Steve innovated and disrupted industries. Amazingly Bill wants to apply his disruptive company analysis that he created with Clay Christensen of Innovators Dilema to BraveNewTalent. It is super exciting to have such an analysis and possibly see how much we could disrupt the professional learning system if we execute well. Spending time with such smart people makes moving to the Valley a dream!
I listened to this podcast from Bill earlier and recommend it to entrepreneurs: http://www.kauffman.org/entrepreneurship/a-conversation-with-bill-hambrecht.aspx
During a recent visit to the Kauffman Foundation, pioneering investment banker Bill Hambrecht sat down with the Foundation's Chief Investment Officer Harold Bradley to discuss Hambrecht's life and insights. We present the complete interview as a podcast, as well as a transcript, below. View video highlights from the interview as an installment in our Kauffman Conversations series.
Researchers have demonstrated a flat, "stretchy" battery that can be pulled to three times its size without a loss in performance. While flexible and stretchable electronics have been on the rise, powering them with equally stretchy energy sources has been problematic. The new idea in Nature Communications uses small "islands" of energy-storing materials dotted on a stretchy polymer.
THERE IS little doubt that the proliferation of taxi-booking apps is changing how people get around. Hailo, which is already used by more than half of all black-cab drivers in London, is also available in Dublin, Toronto, Boston, and Chicago. The firm, which recently raised $30 million in new capital, has now launched in New York City.
I'm at a fantastic talk from Sam Lessin on Identity + 30. Talking about what could be human identity online 30 years from now. Sam runs the identity team at Facebook so has a great perspective. Interesting thoughts on the world of atoms and the world of bits and hey they are evolving at different speeds. Question of how to 'Hybridize' atoms & bits. This will effect almost every aspect of our lives. He is arguing that in the future we won't need to own things but have on time use of products as information will be efficient enough to allow you to consume on demand rather than own.