Sunday, 30 December 2012

3D Printing: Bigger than the Internet & the Future of Manufacturing

In 2007 in an address to the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore on the future of design in 2058 and how it will effect global economies the focus to the government of Singapore to pursue: Art, Design & Engineering and 3D Printing education and technologies for it's population. And this isn't anything that people haven't been aware of since 1986 when the 1st commercial 3D Printing company came into existence  The technology, developed many years earlier by who else? The military: for engineers in the field.

Art, 3D Design and Printing has been identified by Venture Beat as the technology of the future and FT has dubbed it "bigger than the internet" in a 10 minute video on how this will take place.

Of course the question is: how is your firm addressing or even embracing this technologies and design directions? Miss it and be in the same position as firms who didn't embrace the cotton gin during the beginning of the industrial revolution or companies who didn't embrace the internet in the late 90's.

The details on how this has occurred in 2012 and how it will continue to occur in 2013 and beyond plus  the companies involved in summary form is right here:

Thursday, 20 December 2012

McKinsey's Innovation Battle Test - Ignore Design: THE Game Changer

McKinsey, the bastion for strategy recently detailed how to "Battle Test Your Innovation Strategy". What did it end up detailing? Nothing related to innovation at all. Would Alessi or Bodum be surprised by McKinsey's mentality? No. Because innovation isn't about "lead or leap" it is about (design) disruption and McKinsey misses the mark.

Reactive questions posed by McKinsey focus on: competitive landscapes, price points supply-side dynamics vs. customer demand, geographies or segments, segment overlap, going out of business in 1-3yrs, responses to attackers, next versions and extensions and how to start building now? Living in the present.

Only one 9 questions discussed  address a Proactive, future oriented game changing mentality: How much of a lead or leap—technological or otherwise—must we make in the next generation of our product or service? and still only addressing the "next" iteration, not true "innovation" detailing how design, via physical products or virtual services will impact the direction of the firm. Does Bodun, Lacie, Alessi or any other design-centric firm ignore such factors? No. Ignoring the key factor of innovation: zigging when others zag, pushing when others are catching up and ignoring group think is what determines battle successful firms.

Has your firm embed these mentalities in its DNA? Is failure a mechanism for growth or a limiter of experimentation which ultimately drives trial and error - the battle scars of innovation because the rest, while absolutely necessarily is just good sense - strategic awareness not an embedded innovation mentality for battlefield success.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Why do developing nations innovate faster? They NEED to.

Mother is the necessity of invention and the famous TED talk, and one of the most inspirational given by William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind shows just how. With no food, no power, and not even able to speak English William innovated broken parts of garbage to build a windmill that saved his village, provided irrigation and actually generated enough power to charge peoples  cell phones for which he created a revenue stream again saving his family from starvation. How? He NEEDED to. Does your company have this need? Are your employees empowered to benefit from that which they disrupt, create and innovate?

This is why some developing nations innovate faster. They have to. Because if they don't those in need will perish. A recent fast company article on this demonstrates how in a simple progression of:
1) It must be directly relevant to the situation
2) Local fixes work faster than top down
3) Long term investment wins: the R&D model
4) Working with the government is actually good: increases roll-out

makes this possible and gives some clues how you can do this inside your organization as well.