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Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

My always insightful brother, wearing his hat as MD of Slingshot Studios, home of such films as the upcoming Infidel starring Omid Djalili, was asked for his advice on what it took to start innovative companies by Richard Wray of the Guardian… Here’s some of what he said:

Advice when starting an innovative company: work out what the points of industry and consumer resistance to your proposed innovation will be (i.e. vested interests, legacy technology or organisational structures, consumer behaviour etc). Assume they will be uncompromisingly disinterested or actively opposed to change.  Work out a SPECIFIC and TESTED plan as to how you will overcome that opposition. Put as much time into that as you do into the innovation itself.

A lot of the people with great ideas you see (on Dragon’s Den and elsewhere) only get as far as the innovation itself. Overcoming cultural change or the perception that things need to be done in a certain way is a massive challenge in all contexts, whether raising money for a startup or deploying a new process or technology within a business. Throw off the status quo, rebel against the man, man.

More on the Slingshot blog and perhaps in the Guardian this weekend. Keeping eyes peeled for brotherly fame.

Cross posted at Division6.

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That is something I’ve said to myself on a fair few occasions – take Facebook for example, simple but genius. However, even if I had had that lightbulb moment before Mr Zuckerberg, let’s face it, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. Instead I’d probably settle for ranting about my genius idea in the pub on a Friday night.

There was a ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ moment yesterday though and, delusional or not, it was something I do think I could’ve done – if I’d swotted up in the library for a few hours… According to TechWorld, TinyURL could be worth a huge $46 million! Now that coudn’t have been that hard to do, have you seen the site? For those of you not familiar with TinyURL it’s a link shortening service, particularly useful for meeting the 140 character limit on Twitter and as I’ve increasingly found, avoiding ridiculously long URLs in emails.

Ok so that figure is probably a gross overestimation based on some very lose mathematics (Bit.ly, a similar site, is apparently worth $8 million and TinyURL has 75% market share) but it’s clearly very popular and, to go back to my earlier example, Facebook has already shown that you don’t have to have a revenue model to make people want to spend millions buying you. I also think there’s a lot more to get out of the link shortening market – how many ‘real’ people (those not working in technology or media who are on the cusp of everything, sometimes) actually know about it? I’ll take the example of my brother, he’s always been the techy person in my family coming out with the latest web breakthroughs. Recently he mocked me for sending the wrong link to Streetmap because¬† it didn’t have the streetmap web address – uh don’t you know about TinyURL?!¬† For the first time my brother was actually impressed I knew about something like link shortening. Get that wider appeal and it could actually be worth $46 million. TinyURL isn’t the only link shortener either so unfortunately I’m too late to jump on the bandwagon. Back to the drawing board.

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