Tag Archives: Innovation

Innovation hubs in cities — do they negatively disrupt the status quo?

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There has been a trend in cities that old industrial parts of town get converted into hip, modern hubs for artistic folks and innovation. Sometimes this transition from decay to vibrancy experiences some growing pains. There are some who claim that these new innovation hubs are creating a negative disruption in established cities. Personally, I see this trend as a part of nature.

All organizations go through cycles
There is a birth cycle, growth, maturity, decay and death cycle — generally in that order. Countries, humans, companies, and other organizations go through these cycles. It is unclear how long a country might spend in each part of the cycle, but to give you a hint, the Roman empire lasted 507 years from start to finish while a human being generally lasts about 70 years depending on where they live and how healthy their habits are. Neighborhoods have a more unpredictable cycle as they can go uphill or downhill in a decade or so.

America used to be a very industrial country in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. But, after we became more technically evolved, and cheap labor became widely available overseas, it became more cost effective to outsource manufacturing to Taiwan, China, Japan, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Korea, and other countries. The result of this outsourcing was that many urban manufacturing areas in the United States experienced significant decay and neglect starting in the 1970’s onward. But, in the late 90’s, artists and technology afficionados started creating their own presence in urban hubs.

Many renovated industrial areas become ghost towns at 6pm sharp
It is common for industrial areas turned art and technology centers to become ghost towns at exactly 6pm. There are no places to live in many of these areas and few places to eat. You can’t have any real type of life in that type of environment, plus it might not be safe to hang out at night. If you are trying to attract younger workers to work in a renovated industrial area, you need it to have a more homey feeling.

Los Angeles is the exception to the rule.
Los Angeles’ downtown industrial area has evolved into a thriving place for artists. Some of the hippest restaurants including Japanese, bakeries, sausage specialists, cafe’s and more have locations in this hip art district. There is an abundance of places to live as manufacturing buildings have been turned into expensive and desirable lofts that have secured parking. The only downside to this area is that it is near skid row and a lot of homeless wander in although the locals consider the homeless to be harmless.

Should you create an innovation hub in your city?
I like the idea of having different districts for people of different mindsets. If you want to attract innovative thinkers, you need to create an environment where they will feel safe, attracted and at home. It might be better if city governments played a role in creating incentives for cool businesses to start up in these areas before the areas become fully established so as to quicken the pace. The long term reward comes when your innovation hub grows to the point where your city becomes internationally known as a destination for innovation. From that point on, anything is possible!

Best Motivational Quotes

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“Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you have always got.” — Sue Knight

“Winners don’t do different things; They do things differently” — Anonymous

“A journey of a thousand li begins with a single step.” — Lao Tze

“A journey to attain 1000 social media followers begins with a single stumble” — disgruntled Stumbleupon member

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it” — Henry David Thoreau

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” — Anonymous

“Don’t hate the playa, hate the game” — Unknown Rap Artist (sorry, had to add that one)

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” — Vaibhav Shah

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” — Bruce Feirstein

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” — Robert Collier

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” — Jim Rohn

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas Edison

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential” — John Maxwell.

“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself” — Robert E Lee.

“There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust” — Klaus Balkenhol.

“It is often the case that the person with the most authority in an organization speaks the least” — Myself

“He who conquers others achieves some success; But, he who conquers himself achieves the highest level of success” — Myself

The difference between a successful person and a very successful person is that a very successful person says no a higher percentage of the time — Concept from Warren Buffet

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein

“Leadership is an action, not a position” — Donald McGannon

“Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar” — Orrin Woodward.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” — Peter F. Drucker.

You become what you meditate upon. If you meditate on wealth, you’ll attain it. If you meditate on God, you’ll attain God. But, if you practice levitation instead of meditation, you’ll be in danger of being reincarnated as a bird! — Concept from spiritual Masters in India.

“Peace comes from within” — said by many Gurus in India

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

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Steve Jobs made this very true statement. I have observed many outsourcing houses and I will tell you one thing. The boss is always a charismatic and innovative genius. But, the workers seem to be a bunch of thoughtless drones. Many bosses don’t want their workers to think. But, for them to do good work and communicate, they need to care about their work and think. They might even need to innovate from time to time.

It’s hard to innovate when you don’t care about your work. The seed of innovation is frustration with the way things are. If you don’t care, or are very tolerant of poor conditions, you won’t be a good innovator. You need to be passionate, stubborn, genius, and driven like Steve Jobs to be good at it.

But, can you teach your workers to be innovators. They have brains that only need to be woken up. And besides, do you really want to be the only person at your company who thinks? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were others at your company who could deal with clients, strategize and make sure things get done? In the real world it doesn’t work this way, but maybe the real world needs to change… I’ll leave you with that thought.

Steve Jobs didn’t believe in “systems” for innovation

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading, “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs.” This book was refreshing and mentally stimulating to read. Steve was a guy who was passionate about the creative process and held his workers to the highest of standards. He made more than a dent in the universe, he changed the lives of billions of people. I can’t live without my i-phone, and my assistant has a desktop from Apple that she swears by.

Innovation Classes?
Many companies who create products try to find systems for innovating, or hold classes. To bring out the magic in a person, you need to fertilize their innate capabilities and help them to develop and shine. But, how do you do this? Steve Jobs didn’t like the idea of having principles of innovation and teaching someone the rules. He thought that would be like someone in school trying to be cool, who was not innately cool.

They started in a bedroom
Steve Wosniak of Apple started his operation in his bedroom, then moved to the kitchen, and finally to their garage. Apple started with a lot of passion, tinkering, and making do with the little that they had. If you want to be a successful innovator, does that mean you should start in your bedroom? Maybe, but the fact that innovation is such a zealous obsession would make it highly likely that you would!

Innovation is about creating new ideas to solve problems
It’s not about coming up with some weird new invention that nobody has seen. It’s about coming up with a new way to solve an old problem. But, Apple seems to do it in a very classy fun way. It is fun to open up the box and get out your visually attractive Apple i-phone. The icons look pretty, and the features are very thoughtful. So, it’s more about solving problems, it’s about offering an experience that people will love!

So, what is the secret of innovation?
Just innovate with an unstoppable desire to create something. You will create your own techniques for experimentation and refinement as you go along. There is no set road, and there are no set rules. Just start exploring and don’t stop when you get discouraged!