Author Archives: Greg Satell

Innovation Is Never One Thing (Actually It’s 3 Things)

What is the Foundation of Innovation?

Every entrepreneur dreams of having that single moment of epiphany where everything falls into place. Many search for their entire careers for that one big idea that will make the difference between incredible success and frustrating mediocrity. Few ever find it and many that do end up crashing and burning along the way. The truth is that innovation is never ...

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Is It Time To Rethink The Scientific Method?

Designing an airplane has long been an exercise in tradeoffs. A larger airplane with more powerful engines can hold more people and go farther, but is costlier to run. A smaller one is more cost efficient, but lacks capacity. For decades, these have been nearly inviolable constraints that manufacturers just had to live with. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner is different. ...

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Can America Win The New Century?

Early 20 Century Women and Automobiles

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States was an industrial and technological backwater. Still mostly an agrarian nation, bright young students would often go to Europe to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences, because American universities were considered second rate. By the end of the century though, the United States had become the center of the technological ...

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Four Myths About Innovation That Gurus Love To Tell

myths

Go to any innovation conference and you’re sure to be amazed. Someone will stand up on stage and show you how to unleash creativity in your organization, develop pathbreaking products and run circles around your competition. Step by step, you will be walked through the principles by which you will achieve success. This won’t be idle talk either. You will ...

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Why You Need To Understand Noah Effects And Joseph Effects

In 1958, a brilliant young mathematician named Benoit Mandelbrot went to work as a researcher for IBM. His first assignment seemed like a straightforward problem, but turned out to be devilishly complex. He was tasked with figuring out how noise in communication lines arises and identifying some way of minimizing it. His solution was simple but ingenious. He realized that ...

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Is Big Data Doing More Harm Than Good?

In 1931, a 25 year-old Austrian named Kurt Gödel defied logic, literally, with his incompleteness theorems which proved that every formal system eventually fails. What made this discovery even more devastating was that Gödel himself was a logician and his theorems took the form of a logical proof. Essentially, he used logic to kill logic. Of course, the systems we rely on ...

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Here’s Why Your Innovation Strategy Will Fail

A decade ago, Apple looked unbeatable. It’s launch of the iPhone completely revolutionized mobile phones and made good on Steve Jobs’ vision of creating a hub of devices that connected people to technology. What’s more, he did it with just a fraction of the research budget of other tech giants. Yet now Apple seems stagnant. It’s still very profitable, but ...

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