I don’t remember exactly when my dad told me to “measure twice and cut once”, but it must have been right before I nearly sawed my fingers off doing one of our many tenement improvement projects. My family and I immigrated to the US from the Soviet Union. We lived in a small Brooklyn apartment where everything always broke, but would never know the joy of being fixed by a licensed professional. Instead, there we were – my engineer dad and I, wearing our irregular Fruit of the Loom T-shirts, poking, prodding and making sparks, like a pair of Iranian scientists trying to launch a chimp into space. We installed air conditioners, fixed pipes, and used a geriatric Soviet drill that would deafen Metallica. It’s only recently that I realized my dad’s advice was both the greatest and worst thing I ever got. And, it’s cast a huge shadow over my life and how I view business…and the world.
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I had a great conversation with Yifat Cohen about what I see happening in the global economy, the future of American Innovation and what you can do about it. It’s the first time I’ve spoken in such detail about some of the core ideas in my book, Econovation. Get ready for the end of consumerism and rise of what I call ‘producerism’. You can watch the video or listen to the audio podcast.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the IdeaFaktory podcast here.
At first, it was funny to hear insurers, IT firms, and startups with no revenues compare themselves to Apple. Since the iPod launched in 2001, I’ve seen hundreds of presentations that liberally use “learnings” from Apple. 1) The word is LESSONS, not “learnings”, my Hillbilly friend. 2) The comparison feels as fresh as that Michael Jackson impression your spouse has been doing since you started dating. 3) Drenching slides (or products) in an iconic brand’s juices won’t transmit innovation, like some benevolent plague. If that were possible, we’d never stop harvesting and packaging Brangelina extract. It’s time for an intervention. Here’s why brands must find their own voice (and scent)…and keep those synthetic Apple fumes from turning into laughing gas.
Cirque du Soleil’s Andy Levey joins Steve Faktor to discuss the business of social, including:
- Can you make Charmin cool on social media?
- Is Mark Cuban alone at being mad at Facebook?
- Do platforms have monopoly power?
- The economics and future of Twitter and Google+
- How actionable is social data?
- Is the social user a real human or a “subset of humanity”
- Is buying fake followers like paying for a stripper?
- Who is a real influencer or expert? How to use brand ambassadors.
- Can you sell through social media?
This is a repost of Steve Faktor’s original Forbes article
I’ll be first to admit that I’m a reforming “innovation” trollop. I’ve thrown the word around too lightly, at any old sailor. I need a hot shower and a Brillo pad… What’s so bad about “innovation”? It doesn’t mean much…and maybe never did. Today, we use it to describe an iPhone newsreader app and the reinvention of space travel by SpaceX. That’s more range than Meryl Streep. My business is about creating great products and services, so I look for great tech partners. Some are startups led by brilliant entrepreneurs, bursting with optimism and 5-Hour Energy. As they describe their app, game, or web service, their words scream Johnny Depp, but the reality is a bit more Judah Friedlander. No shame in that, but I sometimes wonder how we could get these brilliant minds to work on meatier problems. My concern isn’t for them, but for us. The US needs jobs and as I wrote in Econovation, the big numbers still come from physical, capital-intensive businesses. Here are three ways we can help make brilliant minds deliver bigger results.
This is a reprint of the original interview I did with the popular innovation blog from consultancy PSFK.
We talk to innovator, futurist, and author of the book ‘Econovation’ about how impermanence, gamification and sensory stimulation are crucial in today’s developing office culture.
As part of our Future of Work Series, PSFK reached out to experts to get their take on the changes we’ve identified that are currently going on in the workplace. We recently chatted with Steve Faktor (@ideafaktory), author of Econovation (Wiley), founder of the IdeaFaktory incubator, and former Vice President and head of the American Express Chairman’s Innovation Fund. Following Steve’s popular series of articles on work and happiness in Harvard Business Review, we asked his thoughts on how social, generation gaps, and what jobs we do will change the workplace.
This is a repost of Steve Faktor’s original article on Forbes
Writing “HP is in trouble” is like a newscast starting with “Trouble in the Middle East today…” A sad cliché. Lucky for HP, no one dies… But no one truly lives, either. The company just laid off 29,000 people, its stock dropped 50% in a year, and yet another turnaround is brewing. I do admire Meg Whitman for taking this on. She could easily have kicked back in Florida with a Honey Boo Boo marathon. Instead, her strategy announcement got the kind of reception typically reserved for Syrian dictators. That got me wondering – can a stagnating behemoth ever live again? Could HP lead the 3D Printing revolution?
Just me and my groupies. Eat your heart out, Justin Bieber!
Signing copies of Econovation after my speech at the CFO Magazine Conference in Orlando.
Video clips of speech and testimonials coming soon! Stay tuned…
Hyper-connected tech blogger Robert Scoble, recently wrote about treating startups more critically. Robert found himself meeting with lots of crappy, over-funded, digital startups that desperately need more time in the oven, an intervention by Dr. Drew, or more likely, Dr. Kevorkian. (My words, not Robert’s.) Not only am I seeing the same things, but I’d take it a step further. I believe this current crop of entrepreneurs might actually be hurting America - and perverting the very idea of innovation in the same way Beyonce’s Run The World is like kicking Aretha Franklin in the ribs…repeatedly. All is not lost. There are ways to take advantage of this situation, though it’s way too late to save this song: