29 December 2014
It must be my age, but meeting old friends and colleagues often dredges up the beginning of beliefs and insights I frequently use but whose provenance I had forgotten, and which have been added to over the years and repeatedly demonstrated their value. So it was that lunch with the (long ago) ex Group Communications Director of ICI took me back to the genesis of my interest in branding in unusual places!
09 December 2014
Being healthy is one of the basic needs of humanity. For centuries we have treated illness once it occurs but are increasingly aware that we could prevent it and preserve good health. Meanwhile the risks to health are changing, our understanding of diseases is increasing and the tools of technology are evolving to meet our needs, so we ought to have a plan.
11 November 2014
One of the joys of being out in the wild is that I meet a wider variety of people and learn more – and from a different perspective. Several recent conversations have caused a number of ideas I have run into over my career to converge. The final trigger was a presentation on “subtractive” manufacturing – it was about advanced machine tools. That we have to rename the past to accommodate a potential future struck me as worth thinking about.
22 September 2014
There seems to have been a revival of interest in “state intervention” lately. There are well-argued economics texts and derivative newspaper articles – and politicians vying to lead us into the new prosperity. What most seem to have in common is that they cite Concorde as an example of successful state involvement. Despite just spending 6 years working for a complete Concorde enthusiast, I am still not sure it represents the sort of state intervention that will lead directly to growth.
15 September 2014
I was speaking at the Ambient Assisted Living Forum in Bucharest recently and was wondering how add an extra 10 or so minutes to the Epidemiology of Innovation talk that I had been invited to present to fill my allotted time slot. A quick conversation with my 87-year-old Mother gave me all the information I needed, but I had to reach back to one of my first encounters I had with the dark arts of marketing to give her story a framework. The challenge as I understand it was of layered customers and choice editing.
22 August 2014
There are three main components for a successful business. The first is an understanding of a specific market need. The second is a capability to answer that need. The third is the resources to move from the idea to a sustainable business – which usually involves money!
30 July 2014
Since leaving the Technology Strategy Board, the most common question I get asked is for “the secret” of getting funded by them. In truth the answer is the same for getting any funding – you need to convince the person or organisation with the money that you can make a real impact – and a lot of money – from their investment/loan/grant. Given that when I worked for the TSB, I spent a lot of time trying to explain just this point, I find it slightly bizarre that I am now apparently more likely to give a useful answer!
24 June 2014
One of the problems that seem to worry people in both the public and private sectors is how to get more people interested in being innovative. Forget for a minute the hype that has been associated with the word and think about the basic idea – science builds an understanding of the world around us, and technology attempts to apply that understanding to solve societal and personal problems. Using new knowledge to develop new products and services can lead to growth, or at least change – and as a society or species we seem to be fascinated by change, albeit curiously scared of it at the same time.