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Many people write about the tremendous learning opportunities that failure can bring. They claim that failure should be embraced as it instructs us as to what doesn't work, and this helps us to learn what is necessary in order to achieve success. As this view has merit, in a perfect (corporate) world it would be the norm. But the world isn't perfect, is it?

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Companies new to external innovation can risk being seduced by the promise of significant time and resource savings from adopting fully developed products from outside sources. Are these savings realistic, or might it be more advantageous to acquire well-qualified performance ingredients and then develop products around them? Or, are there points in-between that are potentially more attractive than either extreme? The answer, as is often the case is: it depends.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends....

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There is (appropriately) much attention now being given to the problems of head injuries experienced by participants in high impact sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse at the undergraduate and pro sports levels. However, the problem is much more pervasive and extends to less obvious suspects such as basketball, volleyball gymnastics, and cheerleading.

While modifying rules for these sports can and will help reduce traumatic injuries, I sense that meaningfully addressing this challenge will require significant technical solutions to help create superior protective head gear for participants.

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Today, more companies than ever are seeking collaborative external business relationships. One of the most important foundations necessary for these relationships to work is a level of trust and shared values. This is not simply a cliche. If one or both parties are unable to set aside natural initial wariness of the other's intentions and or motivations, the collaboration will almost certainly fail.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

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With the end of the year upon us, most corporate workers are engaged in performance reviews where they and their managers reflect on performance and goals. Similarly, many consultants await their clients' and prospective clients' decisions regarding how they will direct their budgets in the coming year. The following thoughts are shared with these traditions in mind.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

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As we come to the end of the year, it can be helpful to reflect on opportunities to enhance our relationships with others. So, while this week's message should be pretty obvious, it is shared as a helpful reminder as failure to do so can potentially be very costly.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

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Many promising new technology developers lack funds necessary to achieve commercial readiness. Crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter have emerged to assist inventors and entrepreneurs, but they tend to focus on funding "products". Are there corresponding viable funding solutions for new technologies?

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

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Many companies are exploring the use of social media to help inform their innovation efforts. I submit that most are currently totally overlooking a very rich source of "social" inspiration: external innovation submissions.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

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There is a lot to be said about learning from initial missteps. At least as imporant is deciding and acting to change without abandoning your learning foundations. Thus, the art of the pivot.
Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

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Product upgrades and enhancements are a regular part of new product development work. It isn't always straightforward or easy.
Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

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Due to strong reader interest in "drilling down" further on the topic of building value propositons, we continue discussion this week.
Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

Greetings!

While history provides satisfying examples (e.g. Post-it Notes, Nutrasweet, Velcro...even Ivory bar soap) of how serendipity can create legendary new products...I'm certain that there are many, many more examples of cool technologies that never saw light of day because the technology alone didn't achieve necessary support within their organization. This week, we discuss some essential elements to help build internal advocacy for your new business idea.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

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