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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Made to Stick- why some ideas surive and others die

Most ideas die soon after birth- a shattering moment to all innovators. In this book, authors Chip Heath (Prof in OB from Graduate School of Business at Stanford University) and Dan Heath (consultant at Duke Corporate Education) give us 6 tips to make ideas survive. Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotional and Stories are the tools, illustrated with cases including one Indian case `Safexpress' . Read more about the book at:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Challenge patent and get paid

Article One Partners is a global science and technology firm that offers members premium compensation of up to $50,000 for submitting prior art evidence to support or challenge selected patents. Founded in November 2008, AOP has built a platform for a human-powered search for researching patent validity evidence.

Indian Innovators Association signs Partnering Agreement with Article One Partners, LLC, The Blue Chip Standard for Patent Validity Research. Article One Partners offers rewards ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 ($US) for technology experts who can deliver research (called “prior art”) which will validate or invalidate certain Intellectual Property patents.

You can learn more and register to begin earning rewards for your efforts at

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Global Innovation Networks (GIN): monograph on Electronics by Dieter Ernst

This monograph titled `A new geography of knowledge in the electronics industry? Asia's role in Global Innovation Networks' gives a detailed account of GIN, that integrates dispersed engineering, product developments and research activities across geographic borders. Innovative capabilities require R&D and patents and also soft capabilities such as:
  • sense and respond to market trends
  • recruit and retain knowledge workers
  • engage in global sourcing of knowledge from components to ideas
  • raise money
  • deliver unique and user friendly designs
  • develop innovation process management
  • manage knowledge exchange
  • participate in global standard setting
  • develop branding strategy
Obviously the `soft skills' are in short supply.

What ails Indian electronic industry. Has the downfall started with renaming `Department of Electronics' to `Department of Information Technology'?
Download the report from :

Returns for `Freedom to Fail' Innovators grant

I had an opportunity to articulate my views on this subject at APIN conference on 6th August. What returns are expected for a government program like TePP? Government is an investor like angel investor, VC firm, Bank. Unlike those financial instruments, TePP gives money as grant, i.e free money. Also the beneficiary retains all rights on IP and technology commercialisation.

Is picking winners the aim of the program? Obviously not. There are other programs targeting Indian innovations for showcasing in global market.

TePP aims to cover risks so that more and more innovators actually take the risk.Then the question is -can mindset of millions be changed by providing grants to hundreds. This addresses the thin line dividing `private good' and `public good'. If innovators benefit from liberal government grant and keep all benefit to themselves, the grant works like a subsidy to few. On the other hand, if supported innovators, inspire and motivate many others, then there will be `public good' in the form of reduced risk aversion. How can that be done? Tipping point, viral impact are come of the concepts that show the way.

Hundreds of supported innovators can influence the minds of millions if they are capable, committed and communicative.

From my experience, I have found the last is the most important factor. The beneficiaries need to talk about their innovation, the TePP program and supportive eco-system of the nation to one and all, at all times. They need to be ambassadors of good will for government.

We cannot build a national eco-system in an environment characterised by negative thought and cynical views of government. Let us learn the art of paying back to society.

Maker Faire Africa

An exhibition showcasing African ingenuity is held in Ghana from 14-16th August. Some of those innovations can be seen on their site