Monthly Archives: November 2010

Transforming Reading – from Ideo

So you think the IPad and the Kindle are the future of reading? The innovation and design company IDEO, which has just released a short film on “The Future of the Book”, blows the binding off conventional notions of how we consume the written word. In Ideo’s telling, tomorrow’s books will let you join online discussions, fact-check, and even dictate the particulars of a plot — all in a tablet-friendly format. They’ve come up with three distinct reading concepts: Coupland, Nelson, and Alice.

Nelson
Nelson is all about expanding how we understand text. Think of it as CliffNotes on steroids. You can link to current news stories about your book, read up on debates it has sparked, and vet its accuracy through a community-run fact-checking feature. You can even look up how the discourse around it has changed over time.

Coupland
This concept is the social network of publishing. Designed to help people “keep up with the latest must-reads,” to quote the film, it suggests books based on what people in your company are reading. It also has features for creating book clubs and online reading discussions

Alice
Alice is a cross between a video game and Choose Your Own Adventure. Among other features, you can add to the narrative, talk to characters, and find keys to unlock plot twists. The idea here is to blur “the lines between reality and fiction,” as the film says

Watch the video here

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P&G expands Connect & Develop – very significant

P&G has always been my “pin up” company, as it has pioneered ideation not only internally, but with customers and suppliers in a way that has been transformational for the company. It is therefore especially interesting for me to learn that Procter & Gamble is stepping up efforts to find new ideas – wherever they might originate. The wave of Open Innovation continues to build, but some skeptics feel that it is a bubble. Well, not for P&G.

P&G wants to triple the revenue it earns from working with outside sources, including competitors, universities and entrepreneurs. In five years, P&G wants to earn $3 billion in sales from its partnerships with outside companies and researchers, tripling the impact of a program that began in 2000 to find and adapt new ideas from small firms, inventors and others.

“Connect and Develop has created a culture of open innovation that has already generated sustainable growth, but we know we can do more,” chairman and CEO Bob McDonald said. “We want the best minds in the world to work with us to create big ideas.”

In a company that once took years, even decades, to bring new products to market relying on in-house research, the program has helped P&G quickly get new products on store shelves.

Examples of products found through Connect and Develop include Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which came from technology licensed from German chemical company BASF, and Swiffer Dusters, adapted from a Japanese competitor called Unicharm Corp. P&G negotiated the rights to sell the product outside of Japan.

P&G will continue to look for similar opportunities, but will also step up its work with small- and mid-sized entrepreneurial companies, said Bruce Brown, P&G’s chief technology officer. The company plans to increase its work with universities, research institutions and government laboratories around the world, including “innovation hotspots” like California’s Silicon Valley, Boston, Israel and China, Brown said.

P&G employs dozens of international technology entrepreneurs whose job it is to find new products and technologies. The company already employs a small office in Silicon Valley and has employees working inside venture capital firms researching new businesses that P&G could invest in or even purchase outright.

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Filed under Innovation, Open Innovation