Strategy. Innovation. Brand.


Sunday Shorts – 9

Fish gangs.

Fish gangs.

Interesting things I’ve spotted this week.

Boston Consulting Group highlights the most innovative companies of 2012. What makes them more innovative than your company?

What makes beautiful things beautiful? What’s the perfect ratio of fractals to non-fractals and how did Jackson Pollock know it? Maybe the secret of beauty is buried in our genes.

The rate of growth in health care costs has slowed dramatically over the past four years. Now why would that be?

Spending on health care construction has also dropped precipitously. See the most important health care chart that nobody is talking about.

Do you flush your Valium down the toilet? You could be causing fish to join gangs and drop out of schools.

What happens to the thermostat when it’s re-designed by the people who designed the iPhone and the iPod?

Mash, Mash, Innovation

Do the mashed potato with me!

What do DJ Danger Mouse and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have in common? They’re examples of one of the main engines of innovation: the mashup.  Some innovations involve the creation of something entirely new. More often, innovations combine existing concepts from different domains. The concepts are well understood. The innovation comes from mashing them up — combining concepts to create something new.

What do you get if you combine wheels with luggage?  Rollable luggage.  (Why did it take us so long to figure that out?)  What do you get if you add a power supply?  Self-propelled luggage. That sounds like a good business idea.

We even have jokes that follow the same pattern.  What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite. (I didn’t say they were good jokes).

Mashup thinking can lead to stunning new product development, devices, tools, and processes. What do you get when you cross an X-ray with data processing? The MRI. Mashup thinking is also fairly easy to master. You just add things together. Sometimes the result doesn’t make sense but often times, it leads you to an intriguing discovery. If you want to be more innovative, think about doing the mash.

So, what do DJ Danger Mouse and IEDs have in common?  Well, watch the video.

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