The SacBee today has a nice description of MicroMidas, UCD and Child Family Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship alum: Micromidas plans to turn cardboard into oil substitute.
A recent Kauffman report offers new and valuable insights into where venture-driven growth comes from. Literally. Not from what attributes of social media founders or which San Francisco coffee shops, but rather which sectors of the economy and which regions of the country. The findings are surprising and important for entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business, and policymakers thinking of helping them.
I’m not a big fan of ideas. Sure, ideas are great — some of my best friends are ideas. But managers tend to let our national obsession about having new ideas distract them from the hard work of building good products and successful ventures around what are almost always old ideas. So it was fun to see the great design OXO have at a competitor who claimed to “own” an idea that both had built products around.
Submitted for your consideration: the Nightingale Ratio as the number of people helping others do something to the number of people actually doing that thing. In this case, the number of people helping entrepreneurs start something relative to the number of entrepreneurs actually starting something.
I wrote yesterday on the race to the bottom — how corporations play states, and even cities, off one another in pursuit of the most lucrative benefits. At the same time, they complain about the burdensome taxes and regulations of California. But, as my colleague Martin Kenney so nicely notes in a recent column, California seems to be holding its own in spite of playing hard to get.
Black Friday and cyber Monday have kicked off a manic month of holiday shopping, with its seasonal flood of commercials, catalogs, pop-ups and newspaper inserts. But there’s a particular desperation this year. With the economy, the future of retail, and possibly our own happiness at stake, I offer some humble suggestions on how to vote with your dollars… Continue reading
The New York Times has written several great pieces on incentives state and local governments use to attract companies. Their goal: to bring new jobs. The outcome: as game theory would predict, a classic race to the bottom where everyone who plays loses. Except, of course, the corporations. The reason: you don’t want the kind of corporate love money can buy.
WSJ had a nice section recently on understanding entrepreneurs, Why Washington Has It Wrong on Small Business. In it, Professor Aaron Chatterji from Duke talks about how job growth comes from high-growth, not low-growth startups (companies younger than 5 years old). This insight mistakes hindsight for foresight but, more importantly, it puts the entrepreneurial cart before the horse.
Proposition 37, the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative, is on the November ballot here in California and the outcome will shape the path of innovation in food and agriculture for decades to come. Continue reading
I've talked earlier about something called the "Think/Do" cycle — the process of moving between thinking about what you should do and doing it. Most of the innovation literature has, to date, been focused on coming up with new ideas (thinking a lot; thinking better; thinking out of the box, etc…). Recently, thanks to design thinking, lean startups, lean launchpad, and other emerging conversations around innovation, popular advice is starting to emphasize words like doing, testing, experimentation, prototyping, and iterating. The challenge is finding the balance.