IN the hunt for innovation, that elusive path to economic growth and corporate prosperity, try a little jazz as an inspirational metaphor. Enlarge This Image In business as in jazz, the tension between training and improvisation can result in great new works, says John Kao, the innovation adviser (and pianist). That’s the message that John Kao, an innovation adviser to corporations and governments — who is also a jazz pianist — was to deliver in a performance and talk on Saturday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Jazz, Mr. Kao says, demonstrates some of the tensions in innovation, between training and discipline on one side and improvised creativity on the other. In business, as in jazz, the interaction of those two sides, the yin and the yang of innovation, fuels new ideas and products. The mixture varies by company. Mr. Kao points to the very different models of innovation represented by Google and Apple, two powerhouses of Silicon Valley, the world’s epicenter of corporate creativity.
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Entries in Google (7)
Google Wave, It's Spin Into Being and It's Failure | A Great Case Study in Innovation Failure If Anyone Involved Will Talk.
This story is a particular interesting one because it had the support of some extremely high profile organisations in Australia, in particularly the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering that is wholely owned by the University of Sydney. Loudly proclaiming the success of Google Wave and its inventors. the Rasmussen brothers, the Warren Centre promoted it as their presitigious 2009 Innovation Lecture saying "...By attending the lecture you will not only gain a rare insider’s view of how this potentially world dominating technology has achieved what it has, you will also gain an insight into the very particular culture of Google that attracts, engages and inspires people to give of their best...." Here are some excerpts from this lecture. The video is worth viewing in light of what has occurred.
Of all the problems that plague the plugged-in, social worker, one of the simplest remains the hardest to solve: Syncing contacts. Most of us have so many contacts spread across so many networks we lose track of them, can't access them when and where we need to and miss opportunities to connect. All we want is to synchronize all of our contact lists. A master rolodex. Why is that so hard? Google offered to connect me with Joseph Smarr, the former CTO of Plaxo, a company that's been trying to create this for the past 8 years now; Smarr is now with Google on a team focused on the social Web. I asked Smarr to help me understand the limitations of contact syncing today, why something so simple is actually complex, and when we can expect it to get easier.
The search giant's former employees are seeding tech startups—and shaping another wave of innovation During the holidays last year, Aydin Senkut and Elad Gil gathered 50 of their friends at a health-food restaurant in Palo Alto. Over turkey burgers and tofu wraps, they talked about tech trends and how to get rich. Or, more precisely, how to get richer. Senkut, Gil, and their dining circle are alumni of Google (GOOG), one of the greatest engines of wealth creation the U.S. has ever known. Since going public six years ago, Google has generated more than $170 billion for its employees and investors. Many of the millionaires the company has produced are young, wired into the latest developments in tech, and at ease with risk. Which explains why so many Google alums—including many of those at Senkut and Gil's gatherings—are active angel investors, attempting to add another zero to their bank accounts and another innovative company to their list of accomplishments. "I feel like we have such a strong network, it's almost like we've recreated Google outside of the Google walls," says Andrea Zurek, a 39-year-old backer of 26 startups.
A Comparison in Corporate Innovation Between Google and Microsoft : From Beginning to End scripted by Employees
Here are two highly contrasting personal stories about innovation in major technology companies, Microsoft and Google - in Microsoft's case from a former Vice President and in Google's case, an employee who has been with the organisation for one month. This is a fascinating comparison between an idealistic starter at Google, eyes wide open as if experiencing the candy shop for the first time, where all before him seems like an unclimbed snow covered mountain peak full of wonder and awe offering the glorious challenges of a lifetime, not without its dangers, that can be conquered in the due process of time and a former Microsoft Vice President, who like many true innovators in organisations was thwarted over time not by his will or want to innovate or for that matter the organisation's publicly expressed desire to do so but by the organisation's internal culture and processes and the inherent power struggles which regularly conceal and undermine the inherent nuances and subtleties required for organisational innovation. These articles read together offer compelling examples of the importance of idealism, yet show its powerful constraints and undoing. The real mystery in innovation is seeking the balance between imagination and pragmatism. This piece begins with the untainted imaginationand ends...well read on.