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.

Posted in Social Innovation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Apple, Design, Innovation, marketing, Stikkees, Strategy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Apple, Headlines, Innovation, Technology | Leave a comment

The Wonderful World of Downsizing

Stikkee Situations - Downsizing Cartoon

In Stikkee Situations we’ll try to take a humorous look at a lot of different serious business topics.

In this episode we poke fun at the wonderful world of downsizing.

Employees hate workforce reductions (aka downsizing), but some CEOs (even in profitable companies) seem to love these traumatic events as a tool to save their job and to drive short-term movements in the price of a company’s stock price, often coming on the heels of a company missing their earnings estimates.

But the positive short term stock price effects of an across the board workforce reduction come with heavy consequences, several of which greatly affect the innovation capacity of the organization, including:

  1. Destruction of trust within the organization
  2. Reduction in collaboration in the organization
  3. Loss of forward momentum on project work
  4. Loss of some of your best talent as they proactively find themselves jobs elsewhere
  5. Reduction in passion, creativity, and engagement among those who remain
  6. Elimination or reduction in the organization’s commitment to innovation

Now of course sometimes workforce reductions are necessary to avoid bankruptcy or for strategic realignment (removing human resources from business areas you are exiting), and they can be potentially healthy for the organization.

But, when downsizing is done purely to please wall street and in an untargeted way, in the long run I would assert that the organization suffers more than it benefits because any reduction in forward innovation momentum is an invitation to competitors and startups to speed past you.

So, keep innovating!

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

Posted in Stikkees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Chance to Help Overworked Entrepreneurs

Your Chance to Help Overworked Entrepreneurs

Life for a busy entrepreneur regular working 60 hours a week can lead to a struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. You may find that you are eating out for convenience and getting to the gym very infrequently (if at all). This lifestyle may have been fine through your twenties and early thirties, but after 35, it gets difficult to keep active and you might find those few extra pounds you’ve put on every year are really starting to add up.

Have you had similar struggles?

If you have a way to help motivate overworked entrepreneurs to lay off the takeout and introduce more physical activity into their busy lives, we at Premera would love to hear about it.

Simply post your idea to Premera’s Facebook or Twitter page using the hashtag #IGNITEchange, or as a comment to their stories. You are then automatically entered into a drawing to win a $200 Amazon gift card. Best of all, you have the chance to impact a real person’s life. There will be four chances to win, once every week from now until September 8, 2014 (terms and conditions).

Have a true game-changing idea that will spark families to make lasting, realistic improvements to their health?

Premera is rewarding that type of innovation as well through Premera’s Innovate to Motivate challenge, which offers a grand prize of $5,000!

Posted in collaboration, Creativity, Headlines, Heatlhcare, Innovation, Open Innovation, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you support #StrikeFastFood or not?

Stikkee Situations FightFor15

Today is the big day for the #StrikeFastFood movement (aka #FightFor15), during which fast food workers will walk off the job in search of a living wage – in this case they are hoping for $15 an hour.

What do you think of this movement?

Do you support it, or do you think the market should decide?

And do you think they’re foolish for changing the hashtag for their movement in the last 48hrs from #FightFor15 to #StrikeFastFood?

(You might notice the title for the cartoon is #FightFor15 because I created it yesterday)

Posted in Stikkees | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Announcing Stikkee Situations

Stikkee Situations Number 1

I am proud to announce the launch of my business cartoon series called Stikkee Situations. I will try and do at least one business cartoon a week on the themes of innovation, marketing, management, leadership, strategy, culture, human resources, entrepreneurship, and the occasional political cartoon just for fun.

You may notice changes over time as I take a rapid prototype, Lean Startup type approach to the creation and evolution of this strip.

Please send me your topic ideas if there is a particular cartoon you’d like to see (or leave a comment) and give me your feedback and be part of its hopeful growth and improvement over time!

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

I hope you enjoy the ‘toons!

Posted in Stikkees | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Apple iPhone 6 Killer App Revealed

Apple iPhone 6 Killer App RevealedWhile most people are focused on what the new Apple iPhone 6 hardware might look like and what new gizmos it might have, the real killer app for Apple’s latest refresh of their flagship mobile device will be an App and a little tiny NFC chipset.

Rumored for the iPhone 5 (rumors which were heightened by Apple’s acquisition and subsequent inclusion of fingerprint sensor technology), mobile payments may finally be a built in feature of the Apple’s newest handset, the iPhone 6.

Apple has been reportedly out talking to the likes of Visa, American Express, Nordstrom and others, and if that is all true then expect part of Apple’s Tuesday September 9th announcement to be focused on the new mobile payment capabilities of the iPhone 6.

I was one of those who thought that mobile payments might launch as part of the iPhone 5′s capabilities, but obviously the technology, or more likely the relationships and contracts, were not ready for prime time a year ago.

Will mobile payments authenticated by your fingerprint finally appear in the iPhone 6?

If so, soon we will finally be able to stop carrying around wallets and switch to money clips and mobile phones, as such a feature will not only replace credit cards, but loyalty cards, insurance cards, and more.

Yes, Samsung may have done it first with the Galaxy S5, but you know Apple will do it bigger (and better).

I guess we’ll find out next week.

Image credit: Ricardo Del Toro

Posted in Apple, Finance, Innovation, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Chance to Help Working Professionals

Your Chance to Help Working ProfessionalsToday life in our college years feels somehow more manageable than the hectic pace of the working professional. Somehow it feels like it was easier then to eat reasonably well and to stay in good shape. Recent college graduates feel the pressure to build a strong foundation for a career and a social life, then add in responsibilities like car payments, pets, rent, and student loan debt, and it’s no wonder many working professionals find a focus on a healthy lifestyle often comes last.

With time short, stress high, and energy running low after work, it is often easier to grab a burger or pizza than to make a kale salad, and skip the gym in favor of the siren’s song of Netflix and the couch.

Are you struggling with a similar issue or is this sounding like the problems of a younger you?

Then here is your chance to help working professionals everywhere!
(and possibly win some cash at the same time)

Simply post your idea to Premera’s Facebook or Twitter page using the hashtag #IGNITEchange, or as a comment to their stories. You are then automatically entered into a drawing to win a $200 Amazon gift card. Best of all, you have the chance to impact a real person’s life. There will be four chances to win, once every week from now until September 8, 2014 (terms and conditions).

Have a true game-changing idea that will spark families to make lasting, realistic improvements to their health?

Premera is rewarding that type of innovation as well through Premera’s Innovate to Motivate challenge, which offers a grand prize of $5,000!

Posted in collaboration, Creativity, Headlines, Heatlhcare, Innovation, Open Innovation, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment