Author Archives: Greg Satell

How Google Innovates

How Google Innovates

Steve Jobs built—and then revived—Apple by fusing technology with design. IBM has remained a top player in its industry for roughly a century by investing in research that is often a decade ahead of its time. Facebook “moves fast and maintains a stable infrastructure” (but apparently doesn’t break things anymore). Each of these companies, in its own way, is a superior innovator. ...

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IBM Has Created A Revolutionary New Model For Computing – The Human Brain

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Technology isn’t what it used to be. 40 years ago, computers were strange machines locked away in the bowels of large organizations, tended to by an exclusive priesthood who could speak their strange languages. They were mostly used for mundane work, like scientific computation and back office functions in major corporations. Yet by the 1980’s, technology had advanced enough to develop ...

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How Innovation Really Happens

Innovation Doubts

When Alexander Fleming, a brilliant but sometimes careless scientist, returned to his lab after a summer holiday in 1928, he found his work ruined. A bacteria culture he had been growing was contaminated by fungus and, as it grew, it killed all the colonies it touched. Most people would have simply started over, but Fleming switched his focus from the bacteria to ...

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Energy Storage Key to an Electric Future

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Why Energy Storage May Be The Most Important Technology In The World Right Now In 1882, Thomas Edison built the Pearl Street Station, his first steam powered electrical distribution plant. In the years that followed, intense competition broke out between he and George Westinghouse, which became known as the War of the Currents, and the technology improved markedly in the coming decades. As Robert Gordon pointed ...

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The One Big Reason Every Business Needs to Embrace Complexity

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The underlying premise of any organization is to create value. Historically, firms have done so through engineering ever greater efficiency. By honing internal processes, optimizing the supply chain and reducing product inventories, managers could improve margins and create a sustainable competitive advantage. That’s created a bias for simple, linear thinking. Adding extra variables to any process is bound to increase ...

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The Nature of Work has Changed!

The Real Work of Innovation

Are communication technologies like Slack, Yammer and Skype actually helping us, or just getting in the way? Certainly, they have made it easier to communicate, share information and collaborate with colleagues, but what if all that extra communication is actually preventing us from getting important work done?

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To Adapt, We Need To Evolve

To Adapt, We Need To Evolve

When scientists decoded the human genome in 2001, they found something astounding. While our DNA provides the blueprint for everything about us—from how we develop in the womb to eye color and personality traits—it takes only 20,000 genes to do so, less than one fifth of what had previously been thought. What was even more mindblowing was the reason that they ...

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Moore’s Law Will Soon End, but Progress Doesn’t Have to

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In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore published a remarkably prescient paper which observed that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit was doubling every two years and predicted that this pace would lead to computers becoming embedded in homes, cars and communication systems. That simple idea, known today as Moore’s Law, has helped power the digital revolution. As computing performance has become exponentially ...

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