Brilliant Idea. Mobile Foundry

This is brilliant. It’s a mobile foundry that can be built from components readily available in the developing world which allows waste aluminum cans to be recycled into useful objects. Other than fire (which is fueled by scrap wood and paper and recycled cooking oil), the only energy requirement is for a hairdryer to boost the heat of the furnace. This innovation offers an opportunity for the street collectors to ‘create’ value by up-cycling the waste into new products rather than simply sell the collected aluminum cans to the large recycling plants for a pittance.

Really worth a watch, but the whole story is available here, http://www.humansinvent.com/#!/13754/can-city-the-mobile-foundry/

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Brilliant Idea. Re-thinking the global postcode systems

I’m writing this blog from the UK where we have a postcode (the equivalent to a zip code in the US) that comprises a two letter code for the nearest postal city then two numbers and two letters that locate my town and road. My postcode is shared by perhaps 40 homes closely packed on a suburban road. Postcodes in rural areas however can cover many miles, and big buildings can have one postcode at one end of the building and another at the other end.

Most of use are more likely to use a postcode to help us find a location with a GPS devise than we are to write a postcode on an envelope so postcode aren’t terribly useful!

What3Words.com have re-thought that and produced a global system that can describe any location to the nearest two meters with just 3 words!

Here’s where the Queen lives;

w3w

And here’s where the World famous Eden Project is using the w3w system.

w2w3

Ireland, interestingly doesn’t have a postcode system, so here’s where the famous Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is located using the W3W system

w2w4

I’m clueless as to how they can turn this idea into a business that truly disrupts the many systems around the World, but it really is a truly Brilliant Idea

Check it out here, http://what3words.com

Brilliant Idea #42. Idea Creche Service

Lots of large businesses have recognised the benefit of opening a creche for their worker’s children. It improves the work-life balance, increases productivity and loyalty and presumably gets new Parents back to work quicker.

Brilliant Idea #42 is an Idea Creche service.

The reality is that if you are reading this and you work for a large business, it is likely that someone in your organisation is taking what they know and have learnt from your business and developing an idea for a new start-up and in all probability they are working out how to get funding in order to leave your organisation to exploit the idea.

Why not provide a service where employees, rather than feeling as though they have to hide their idea and work on it out of hours (or worse, when the boss isn’t looking) get the ability to work on it at work?

Some of the most innovative organisations in the World – Google and LinkedIn being the most well known for offering employees the opportunity to work on their own projects for 10% of their time. The downside of this is that most ideas don’t come to anything so a lot of the 10% of time doesn’t result in a viable idea. This isn’t time wasted – it’s essential to go through the iterations of failure before finding that nugget of Gold, but this will be a BIG step for most organisations. The Idea Creche is actually about providing the space, support, mentoring and funding for employees to work on their ideas before, after and during lunch. If the idea passes the viability test, then can then request funding to extend the innovation activity further.

In the same way that in a Creche there are specially trained childcare assistants, the idea creche will offer specially trained ideators that will look after and nurture the ideas in their care (forgive the other childcare metaphor) – a business incubator.

Funding will come from the business (or businesses that potentially share an office building or park) because;
– nurturing and up-skilling innovative and entrepreneurial staff makes sense (rather than loosing them)
– it’s a great story to tell investors / customers / suppliers
– some of those ideas will provide a ROI
– it addresses the no.1 problem that organisations have around innovation – what I call the Innovators Paradox, “Survival today requires coherence, co-ordination and stability. Survival tomorrow requires the replacement of those erstwhile virtues”. We are simply providing the opportunity to focus on ideas away from the day to day business.

Brilliant Idea. Crowd-based testing

Another brilliant idea I wish I had thought of. Rainforestqa.com

rainforestqa

Brilliantly simple. You describe the action that you want to test. Rainforest QA then have a ‘crowd’ of people – real humans rather than scripts, who do the action that you requested and tell you (or show you in terms of screen shots) what happened.

Within 5 minutes I got 5 results. 3 out of five got the result that I expected, but crucially 2 of them gave me a different result proving that the way we assumed our Users would act was different to how they actually acted.

You can pay for 100 ‘actions’ per month for £65 / $100. Why wouldn’t anyone include this in their development and testing strategy? Brilliant.

http://www.rainforestqa.com .

Brilliant idea #36 Title for a debut album. Greatest Hit

Random I know, but I’m getting my ideation ‘gears’ back into motion following the Summer break (it’s absolutely true that the best way to have brilliant ideas is to have lots of ideas).

Brilliant Idea #36 is a title for a debut album. Greatest Hit.

Before you think, “how stupid”, here’s the genius;

Top selling albums in the UK from the 90’s

What’s the story, morning glory, Oasis

Stars, Simply Red

Spice, Spice Girls

Talk on Corners, The Corrs

Jagged lIttle Pill, Alanis Morisette

Urban Hymns, The Verve

Now tell me that those albums weren’t actually the artists’ Greatest hits!

Top selling albums of to naughties

Back to Bedlam, James Blunt

No Angel, Dido

White Ladder, David Gray

Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters

Hopes and Fears, Keane

Ditto, tell me, honestly, whether these artists released anything else after these albums to surpassed them. In other words, their debut album was their greatest hit.

So, why not just admit it, the first album is probably going to be their greatest hit. So call the album Greatest Hit.

Brilliant.

Will this innovation make the conventional camera obsolete?

We’ve long been aware that the mobile phone has been an enormously disruptive force on the digital camera market. Could this new innovation be the final nail in the camera’s coffin?

Although the smart phone in our pocket has become a pretty decent camera, it doesn’t do what a conventional camera does because it only has a digital zoom and we know that when we zoom in we loose image quality.

This innovation from Sony may change that. It’s a conventional lens that fits onto the phone.

lens

Another idea I wish I had thought of!

More information here. http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/04/meet-the-sony-qx10-and-qx100-smart-lenses-that-turn-phones-into-true-cameras/