Are you competing at cloud speed?

Are you competing at cloud speed?We live in an era of constant, accelerating change, and the only organizations that are equipped to keep pace are those that are capable of competing at cloud speed. Does trading out packaged software installed on your own servers for the cloud based versions offered by your vendor accelerate your organization to cloud speed?

Sorry, no.

So what the heck is cloud speed anyways?

Competing at cloud speed is a goal that every organization should have, and it requires learning fast not failing fast, it involves creating the flexibility to adapt to trends that spread globally faster than ever before, to respond to competition from unexpected sources, and provides a potential antidote to decreasing corporate lifespans.

Accelerating to cloud speed requires…

Continue reading on The Fast Track

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The Challenge of Autonomous Teaching Methods

The Challenge of Autonomous Teaching Methods

An estimated 250 million children around the world cannot read, write, or demonstrate basic arithmetic skills. Many of these children are in developing countries without regular access to quality schools or teachers. While programs exist to build schools and train teachers, traditional models of education are not able to scale fast enough to meet demand. We simply cannot build enough schools or train enough teachers to meet the need. We are at a pivotal moment where an innovative approach is necessary to eliminate existing barriers to learning, enabling the seeds of innovation to be imparted to every child, regardless of geographic location or economic status.

XPRIZE Chairman and CEO, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis announced the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE today to help solve these challenges. The Global Learning XPRIZE is a five-year competition challenging teams to develop an open source solution that can be iterated upon, scaled and deployed around the world, bringing quality learning experiences to children no matter where they live. Enabling children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.

At the same time, XPRIZE will launch an online crowdfunding campaign to mobilize a global street team of supporters to get involved with the Global Learning XPRIZE. Every dollar pledged will go towards optimizing the success of the prize, specifically focusing on supporting team recruitment globally and expanding field testing.

The Global Learning XPRIZE will launch with a six-month team registration period followed by 18 months of solution development. A panel of third-party expert judges will then evaluate and select the top five teams to proceed in the competition, and award each of them a $1M award. Solutions will be tested in the field with thousands of children in the developing world, over an 18-month period. The $10M top prize will ultimately be awarded to the team that develops a technology solution demonstrating the greatest levels of proficiency gains in reading, writing and arithmetic.

The learning solutions developed by this prize will enable a child to learn autonomously. And, those created by the finalists will be open-sourced for all to access, iterate and share. This technology could be deployed around the world, bringing learning experiences to children otherwise thought unreachable, who do not have access to quality education, and supplementing the learning experiences of children who do.

The impact will be exponential. Children with basic literacy skills have the potential to lift themselves out of poverty. And that’s not all. By enabling a child to learn how to learn, that child has opportunity – to live a healthy and productive life, to provide for their family and their community, as well as to contribute toward a peaceful, prosperous and abundant world.

XPRIZE believes that innovation can come from anywhere and that many of the greatest minds remain untapped.

What might the future look like with hundreds of millions of additional young minds unleashed to tackle the world’s Grand Challenges?

The Global Learning XPRIZE is funded by a group of donors, including the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation, the Anthony Robbins Foundation, the Econet Foundation, the Merkin Family Foundation, Scott Hassan, John Raymonds and Suzanne West.

For more information, visit http://learning.xprize.org.

COMMENTARY

I am very excited about this new effort, as I am a big believer that we should live in a world where the next Einstein could come from anywhere, but I have a few of concerns:

  • It seems to be focused on the use of technology
  • Five years is a long time (will they get a five-year-old solution?)
  • It doesn’t engage the target users in co-creation throughout the whole process (it’s outside in)
  • It seems to ignore the infrastructure in place in areas of the greatest need (where students don’t even have desks)
  • The most capable solutions may be too expensive to implement in the target areas
  • The goal should be to build an autonomous learning system that can be used for reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also extended to do much more
  • Teaching students skills autonomously is fine as long as there is social practice as part of the curriculum
  • An over-reliance on autonomous teaching will lead to less innovation not more
  • We are already seeing negative effects in first-world society from too much reliance on technology
  • If we want more innovation, we need to be teaching our kids ICE skills not just STEM, ICE being Invention, Collaboration, and Entrepreneurship – these are all social skills that don’t need technology (but can use it)

For more on my views on improving education (which doesn’t require education reform or new technology), please see my article Stop Praying for Education Reform.

For those of you who are going to enter a team, I look forward to seeing what you come up with and I hope that you’ll keep some of the above in mind!

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Innovation Culture Battle Royale

Innovation Culture Battle Royale

Earlier this month I wrote an innovation culture white paper for Planview titled “Five Ways to Make Your Innovation Culture Smell Better” that is getting a great response after my appearance as a keynote speaker at the Pipeline 2014 conference where I spoke on the same topic.

Then recently Jim Brown published a white paper with Planview titled “Creating the Environment to Innovate: How Industry Leaders Put People, Processes and Technology in Place to Drive Innovation” and now Planview wants to know which one people like better…

So I need your vote!

Click this link to go to a web page where you can not only download both white papers, but also cast your votes for mine! :-)

You might even win a $100 gift card!

Please vote for Braden Kelley now!

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Making People Dance Instead of Jaywalk

Making People Dance Instead of JaywalkI love anything that is fun and investigates human psychology, especially crowd psychology, and the investigation of how you can use fun to potentially influence human behavior for social good (i.e. the piano stairs example I’ve shared before).

Nobody likes to wait at pedestrian crossings. Traffic lights can be dangerous for impatient pedestrians trying to save a few seconds to cross the street (and willing to risk their lives in the process).

The folks at Smart created The Dancing Traffic Light, an experiential marketing concept providing a fun and safe way to keep people from venturing too early into the street. They started by placing a dance room on a square in Lisbon, Portugal and invited random pedestrians to go into the box and dance. Their movements were then displayed on a few traffic lights in real time. This resulted in 81% more people stopping and waiting at those red lights.

It’s a genius marketing gimmick because it reinforces the brand value of fun by making people dance in a box that looks, imagine that, a bit like a smart car.

The question brought up by this example of a marketing campaign that claims that fun can be used to achieve social good, is that it claims a benefit, that without an extended test could be attributed to novelty…

Does the benefit hold up over time?

Or does it stop being fun and impactful after people have seen it once or twice or the live video component goes away and it becomes a recording? Do people then start jaywalking again at the normal rate?

What do you think?

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A Simple Idea to Save Oil

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

Here is a great marketing campaign from S-Oil in South Korea which took the challenge of finding ways to decrease oil consumption in South Korea and turned it into a marketing campaign:

In this case the solution highlighted in the video is one potential solution of many to the challenge of decreasing oil consumption, and is focused on reducing the amount of oil consumed searching for a parking spot.

The one thing I didn’t understand was why “HERE” was in English instead of Korean characters…

But anyways…

What simple solution is hiding under your nose?

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What Do You Do When People Say Your Logo Looks Like *#&@?

Stikkee Number 4 - New Hershey Logo

Recently The Hershey Company decided to update their logo and since it’s launch they’ve been getting a lot of negative buzz surrounding the new logo because some people think that part of the logo looks like a steaming pile of *#&@.

The new branding was created in-house by Hershey Global Design, with assistance from goDutch and Alexander Design Associates, and on the one hand for Hershey I imagine all of the pile of excrement comments might be quite concerning, but on the other hand you have the age old mantra ‘all publicity is good publicity’.

Where do you stand on the controversy?

hersheys colorful kissPersonally I would have used the colorful kiss they developed instead in order to reinforce their global confection and snack company positioning and dropped the redundant “The Hershey Company”. In addition, I don’t think the pile of excrement comments will harm their sales or their brand because most people won’t even notice or care.

And after all, when it comes to marketing and advertising, you should really be doing WGAS Marketing anyways.

Not sure what that is?

Check out the article on Linkedin and follow along! :-)

Please note the following licensing terms for Stikkee Situations cartoons:

1. BLOGS – Link back to http://bradenkelley.com/category/stikkees/ and you can embed them for free
2. PRESENTATIONS, please send $25 to me on PayPal by clicking the button 3. NEWSLETTERS & WEB SITES, please send me $50 on PayPal by clicking the button
License for presentations - $25
License for newsletters and web sites - $50

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Speeding Innovation to Africa

I came across an interesting crowdfunding site called The 1% Club. What makes it interesting it that is designed to help launch improvement projects in Africa that will make it cleaner, safer, and/or friendlier through a partnership between charity (Dutch National Postcode Lottery) and the general public. Here is a video that describes itself:

The way that it works is that if the general public contributes the first 30% to back an idea (crowdfunding) in 30 days, then the Cheetah Fund will contribute the rest to fully fund the idea and launch it in Africa.

For an example of one of the projects, check out:

The Maternal Portal Project

The Maternal Portal project is a mobile health technology intervention that seeks to reduce maternal deaths, by using localized voice technology to reach out to expectant mothers in their local languages with relevant information pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth. The localized voice messages will educate women on basic malaria prevention, proper nutrition routines, and how, when and where to seek for medical assistance.

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Is there a market for Smartwatches? Can Apple create one?

Stikkee 3 - Apple Watch

Okay, it’s been a week since the Apple Watch was announced, and do you know what the world’s most popular wearable is likely to be for 2014/2015?

It’s not the iWatch, but the iPhone 6, which is breaking the pre-sales records of the iPhone 5.

No, it’s not an iWatch. Don’t you dare call it that!

We’re Apple and we’ve decided that it’s far too sophisticated and exclusive to be an iWatch.

Oh, and we’ve also decided that you must own at least an iPhone 5 to be privileged enough to wear an Apple Watch.

Okay, so instantly Apple has reduced the potential market size for the Apple Watch from 6 Billion people to about 100 million people (based on statisticbrain’s numbers).

Now, layer on top of this the fact that in a YPulse survey of millenials, only 32% stated that they wear a watch regularly.

$96 million of smartwatches were sold between October and July according to CNet at an average price of $189 (and dropping fast) – often bundled with a phone – and with Samsung wrapping up 78% of the market. If you do the math, that’s just over 500,000 units, less than 1% of the likely iPhone 5 sales over the same period.

The Apple Watch starts at $349.

But wait, we’re not done yet.

Consider that Samsung has become a faster, nimbler innovator in some ways than Apple and are shipping a new version of their smartwatch next month, up to six months before the Apple Watch is expected to be available – oh, and you’ll be able to use their new watch to make phone calls and run lots of wellness apps (including some from Nike). Plus Samsung will probably launch an even more capable version shortly after the Apple Watch starts shipping.

Apple’s already playing catchup in the smartphone market and they haven’t even shipped their first unit.

So if Apple is entering a small market with a declining average unit price against a more nimble competitor, what rabbit do they have up their sleeve to grow the market and increase their stock price?

What will make the Apple Watch a must have?

The iPod was a must have because it allowed you to carry your entire music library around with you after easily organizing it on your PC and syncing it to the iPod. After that you could then easily navigate thousands of songs on the device with the handy click wheel.

The iPhone was a must have because it became the world’s most widely adopted personal, wearable computer. The iPhone disrupted the balance of power in the mobile phone industry and allowed device makers to start offering whatever applications they wanted (unencumbered by the carriers). The iPhone also disrupted the digital camera market, the Flip (super portable, simple video cameras), and the dedicated GPS market.

Other wearables are on the decline.

iPod sales in Q4 2013 were down 52% from Q4 2012.

Google Glasses got a lot of buzz early on, but interest has fizzled.

Fitbits and Nike Fuelbands have lost their luster and momentum.

Even the iPad, which became a must have after Apple solved the Value Translation riddle and properly highlighted its benefits as a more relaxing and accessible computing device, has seen sales fall the past two quarters as the large screen phones have started to become big enough to begin decreasing the need for a separate tablet. If you’re keeping score the iPad disrupted the gaming industry and challenged people to think deeply about their computing device preferences.

Now back to the Apple Watch…

Can a smartwatch really unseat the mother of all wearables, the smartphone?

In an era of declining interest in watches, can Apple change people’s behavior and lead a resurgence in watch wearing?

These are all very tough questions, but they are not tough challenges that Apple hasn’t faced before.

It’s easy to forget that the iPod didn’t become a runaway success until two years after its launch (with the launch of the PC version of iTunes), and that it took a year for Apple to really ramp up sales of the iPhone (after the launch of the App Store), or that Apple got killed in the press after the announcement of the iPad but figured out how to translate its value by the time they started shipping it.

So, is Apple up to the challenge this time?

After their recent string of game-changing innovations the pressure is on!

Please note the following licensing terms for Stikkee Situations cartoons:

1. BLOGS – Link back to http://bradenkelley.com/category/stikkees/ and you can embed them for free
2. PRESENTATIONS, please send $25 to me on PayPal by clicking the button 3. NEWSLETTERS & WEB SITES, please send me $50 on PayPal by clicking the button
License for presentations - $25
License for newsletters and web sites - $50

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Improving Education for 20 Cents a Student

I love examples of simple, inexpensive solutions that solve important problems. Solutions like the water bottle light, the gravity light, etc., and Mike Freeston was kind enough to send this most recent example that I will share with you today. Thank you Mike!

The video details the work of a Non-Governmental Organization (aka NGO), that was created as a Community Service Center for marginalized families in rural areas an urban slums. It’s called Aarambh, and they wanted to help students who don’t even have the basic facilities, to be more comfortable and productive at school.

Most schools in rural India have two basic problems:

  1. Schools don’t have proper desks, which leads to poor eyesight, bad posture and bad writing.
  2. Students don’t have school bags.

Aarambh came up with a solution which tackled both these problems with a single, thoughtful design.

Aarambh came up with a design for portable desks made using discarded cardboard boxes (aka cartons). This choice for raw materials is both economical, and easily available. The stencil design, when cut and folded, creates a desk suitable for use by students whom must sit on the floor AND it also can serve as a school bag.

Brilliant!

Posted in Creativity, Design, education, Innovation, Social Innovation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Health Sensors Make iWatch the Must Have Wearable?

iWatch Concept with Health SensorsBack in the 1990′s NBC referred to Thursday night as must watch television, and when it comes to making the transformation from invention to innovation, an innovation often needs a ‘Must Have’ feature.

So, with rumors swirling about the potential introduction today of an Apple iWatch, will Health Sensors make the iWatch a ‘Must Have’ or a ‘Must Wear’?

Will the iWatch do to the Fitbit and Nike Fuelband what the iPhone did to the Flip video camera?

If so, it will be yet another example of how it is more important to build a product or service that moves people. Move them not in a spiritual way (although creating something akin to a spiritual experience can help), but in an emotional way where the product or service (through value creation, value access, and value translation) provides enough ‘Must Have’ (or at least ‘Must Try’) to move people to abandon their existing solution (even if it is the ‘Do Nothing’ solution) to try and ultimately adopt your new solution in large numbers.

Moving people in this way is what moves your product or service from being an invention, to being an innovation.

Will the purported ten sensors of the iWatch provide enough entertainment, functionality, and actionable information to make the iWatch a ‘Must Wear’, make it a device that you won’t want to take it off?

If Apple can pull that off, then they will have a huge hit on their hands.

Are they too early like Samsung?

Have they seeded an ecosystem to grow after the launch of the iWatch?

After all it was the ecosystem created around the App Store that turned the iPhone into the market leader, it was the ecosystem created around the iTunes Store (and a Windows version of the software to access it) that turned the iPod into the market leader.

Or is it too early for Apple to launch an iWatch?

What ten sensors would make an iWatch a ‘Must Wear’?

  1. Accelerometer
  2. Pulse monitor
  3. NFC
  4. Blood pressure monitor?
  5. Temperature sensor?
  6. Barometric pressure sensor?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?

I guess we’ll find out next year.

Image Credit: techradar

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