The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

•October 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable.

For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Some studies suggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, but others show that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with some studies showing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, but others arguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people…

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40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

•August 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on TwistedSifter:


If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.

Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.

If you enjoy this collection of maps, the Sifter highly recommends the r/MapPorn sub reddit. You should also check out There were also fantastic posts on Business Insider and Bored Panda earlier this year that are worth checking out. Enjoy!


1. Where Google Street View is Available


Map by Google



2. Countries That Do Not Use the Metric System


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What Most Schools Don’t Teach…

•February 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Great short film!

•February 25, 2013 • 1 Comment

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Kickstarter emerged the people’s winner at the 2013 Academy Awards, second only to Jennifer Lawrence, who earned millions of admirers (and several memes) when she tripped on her dress.

Kickstarter-backed Inocente won the Oscar last night for Documentary Short Subject (check out a promo for the film below). The movie raised a relatively modest $52,527 from 294 backers on the website, which lets people fund creative projects. On its Kickstarter page, the film is described as a heartwarming story of a “15-year-old homeless and undocumented girl in CA who refuses to give up her dream of being an artist.”

That’s an impressive win for Kickstarter, which raised $57.9 million for film and video projects in 2012, its second-biggest category after games.

Kickstarter’s founders originally envisioned it as a site dedicating to promoting and procuring funding for artsy projects, but it has expanded to include hardware and hi-tech. The site, founded…

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•February 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Tomorrow is the 10th annual “Safer Internet Day” celebration in more than 100 countries on six continents. The idea is that you’re supposed to take a step back and think about how you can do a better job of keeping your private information more secure and keep yourself and your loved ones safe while surfing the web.

Google is participating again, and has updated its “Good To Know” site to fit in with its latest “Googly” design choices, along with some updated information on how you can leverage Google products for safety.

This year’s theme for Safer Internet Day is “Connect with respect.” Its purpose is to teach people about their online rights and responsibilities and Google has been a leader in the initiative. Its Director of Privacy of Product and Engineering, Alma Whitten, had this to say:

Protecting our users is one of our top priorities…

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My WordPress 2012 In Review

•January 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Cultural Studies Observations on Facebook, Graph Search, Pay-to-Message

•January 16, 2013 • 2 Comments

The prequel to Facebook announcing Graph Search was an announcement that you could pay $100 to directly message Mark Zuckerberg in a project Facebook was testing to find optimal pay-to-message rates. I do not think these two announcements are unrelated. Soon you will probably search all of Facebook’s database, see people you don’t know who fit the bill for your query and have the opportunity to pay to communicate with them (without going through the Friending process…) [Similar to what you can do on LinkedIn]. Just a thought: so search queries like, “All single women in the Twin Cities who like beer” or “All single women in the Twin Cities who have been to Stellas”, men will now pay to message those ladies’ profiles. Will such behavior be seen as acceptable, or will the FB community think it is the evolution of “Creeper Status” having gone from looking at all of someone’s profile (pictures, etc) to trying to go around the self-built wall some have put up of not accepting all friend requests and using privacy settings to stay un-crept-on? Is paying to message someone just another tool for those who cannot “take a hint”? And if there is no guarantee the recipient will open (and “hopefully” respond), then Facebook is once again exploiting the human desire to have the attention of people who one currently does not have the attention of. You think people want to already meet Michael Jordan..? Wait till people can realize the many Facebook likes they have in common with MJ, further solidifying the fascination with Air Jordan and making them feel closer to ‘being like Mike’ (below).

So the idea of paying a $500 FB fee to message him on Facebook for a slim chance that he’d react seems like a no-brainer if you were already willing to stand in line for hours out in the cold for a slim chance of getting an autograph. #culturalstudies


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