Archives mei 2015

Portfolio Management For Innovators

One of the hardest parts of managing innovation is picking the right projects and managing these at the same time correctly. In the literature about this subject the main discussions are about exploitation (using what you already have) vs. exploration (diving into new areas of business and hardcore innovation) and about stage-gate models for developing the right innovations.

Portfolio management is also an important subject in this, since this focusses on what projects are in your pipeline, and which one’s you are kicking out of it. This is usually done looking at the incremental/radical division and how far does is suit our strategy, but you can go much further.

In this new article by InnovationManagement.se the focus is on four different types of innovations to consider when doing portfolio management, including the two named above, but also focussing on business model innovation and new venture innovation, focussing on how the company should react when the entire market changes.

Really interesting stuff for any company to think about when setting up their innovation goals for the years to come. Especially since it forces you to think deeper about what you’re doing and where you’re going.


3 Steps From Idea To Innovation (According To An Incubator)

A week ago I presented my research to the people from KIC InnoEnergy; an incubator aimed specifically at sustainable energy innovations funded by the EU.

They helped me get further with my research by pointing out some things they believe are necessary for the succes of the product, but also we had a nice discussion about innovation in general.

Along the way of the discussion we came across their method of getting a person with an idea towards an innovation. They do this in three simple steps, which I kindly turned into this nice infographic which is now also decorating some walls in the office.

3stagesInnovation-01


Hurray For Adobe

Just a quick thing I found out last week. For the past few years I’ve been using the student edition of the Adobe suite of software for creating all kinds of designs related to my study.

Now, I’m moving forward to the next phase, where I’ll be using the software to create things I get paid for. And for a long time I thought I wasn’t allowed to use the Education version of Adobe Creative Cloud for commercial purposes, but as I was looking into buying another license for the commercial work I found in the Dutch FAQ of the student and teacher edition this sentence (which I kindly translated for you):

Can I use the Student and Teacher Edition-products commercially?

Yes, Student and Teacher Edition-products can be used commercially on your own computer. Resale is not allowed.

This means that I can happily use this software at a discounted price, while having all the options I need. And yes, I’m happy about that, and I think that this is very smart, since they create a kind of lock-in for you when using these products (they’re kind of awesome in their class, I think).

Anyway, for anybody in the Student field this is a very interesting option where you can earn back the costs of a year license by producing some commercial work. Yay us.

One thing: although I found this in the Dutch version at this moment, Adobe has the right to change their terms at any moment and they may differ per country. Check for yourself to see if this is (still) applicable in your case. I can not be held accountable for any issues following from this post. Keep thinking.


Home Battery Storage for Many More

This week Tesla has made an announcement that will really kickstart the battery storage at homes. The new Tesla Powerwall is a very well looking battery box that can be mounted to your wall and attached directly to your solar panels to store the power so you can use it when you need it.

Although they are not the first one to produce something like this, they aim at doing it a such an enormous scale (by opening a new factory which will instantly double the current world production of Li-Ion batteries), that it will have a big impact on energy storage.

The only issue with this is that it might lead to a lock-in of the inferior Lithium-Ion technology for batteries, whereas currently researchers are investigating many better options, with higher power densities at lower prices. The issue currently however is that these are by far not ready for the market, but it still means that research aimed at this should be funded in order to bring the world further (are you reading this European Commission?).

Still, for now I believe that this is a very good start for this, and that it will lead to a much bigger market for sustainable energy generation. So yay for Elon Musk and Tesla.