Thursday, November 16, 2006

My innovation motto

In thinking back on my experiences innovating, a couple of themes emerge that I've condensed into this motto:

When it comes to innovation, dream with your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

Actually bringing an idea from concept to implementation requires a breadth of thinking. For invention, you have to be willing to free your mind of constraints, to dream a little. But to actually get something done, you've got be willing to look at data and be realistic about how to implement a dream.

Hence the need to dream while also remaining grounded.

That's what I think anyway...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another air travel user innovation

I was in an airport this afternoon with a dead battery on my laptop. Hunting around for a plug, I finally found one. Sheesh I thought. It's so hard to find a plug in an airport these days. And then it didn't even have a place for me to sit down! I either had to sit on the floor or drag a row of chairs over to the plug. So I sit down, plug in, and begin to work. A few minutes later this guy--who looked like a much more seasoned traveler than I--rushed over, busted out an EXTENSION CORD, and proceeded to plug it into the wall, unwind to a length that allowed him to sit down comfortably (okay relatively speaking) at a bench, and work. I then overheard him talking on the phone to someone about how he had just been in 3 airports that day or something. It just goes to show that the most advanced users will find anything at their disposal to innovate.

So here's a business idea: set up kiosks selling overpriced extension cords in airports, only don't call them extension cords, call them airport life savers.

I'm reminded of user innovation yet again as I travel to Boston to present to the MIT Sloan School of Management where Professor Eric von Hippel et al. are conducting an executive education conference on innovation. MIT Sloan hosts a number of very high-quality executive education courses that I highly recommend. They select the best professors to spend an intense 2-5 days with managers, directors, VPs and more learning the latest and greatest in management science.

New, holistic thinking on business from Chesbrough

Professor Hank Chesbrough of UC Berkeley has done it again, another insightful book about modern thinking on business, Open Business Models. Building on his first book, Open Innovation, Chesbrough goes beyond innovation to put it in the broader context of strategic management. Granted, I have only had opportunity to read 1 pre-release chapter of the book, but I can tell it’s going to be an important book for managers—across an entire enterprise—to study.

I say it speaks to managers from across an entire enterprise because the book presents a holistic way of thinking about innovation. Chesbrough provides a definition of the Business Model of a corporation that integrates elements from Marketing, R&D, IP Management, Supply Chain Management, Competitive Intelligence, Strategy, Sales, Purchasing, Finance, and even University Relations. HR and accounting weren’t integrated, at least not in the chapter I got to read, nonetheless it’s an impressively comprehensive synthesis of a vast array of strategic management topics into one concise construct, the Business Model.

By having a single definition of a Business Model, managers within a corporation finally have a common language to relate to each other when changes need to occur. This common language is critical to ensuring that innovation happens holistically. For instance, from a company’s end-customer’s perspective, it doesn’t make sense for the company to innovate on its core technology if it doesn’t translate into new marketing messages the customer would care about. To pull off integrated innovation, departments in a corporation need to recognize when changes in other departments—that is to say innovation in other departments—should ripple through the organization as innovation in other functional areas of the business.

The shared language of a Business Model allows one department or job function such as R&D to suggest a new idea that will have a certain departmental benefit but entails a change to the company’s business model. Because all other departments are listening for potential changes to the business model, a signal from another department that a change is coming to the business model can spark cross-functional debate, planning, and cooperation to ensure the change is implemented for global, not local, departmental optimization.

Maybe there will even need to be a new profession called the Business Model Manager, akin to a Product Manager, that’s responsible for looking after the health of the business model. Will there be a new management association for these professionals? The Business Model Managers Association (BMMA), or will it become an extension of Product Development Management Association?

FutureTrends Conference - 11-08-06

Didn’t get a chance to blog as much today because my battery went dead. Here are some thoughts that are still fresh:

Everyone’s talked about and how much they were just sold for. Here’s a twist…suppose marketers bought the ability to doctor up YouTube videos in order to do product placement. So a popular video such as the laughing baby video might get a Huggies or Pampers box placed in the background. Is there enough 3D imaging capability to doctor an animated image into these videos? Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a sick idea, but it’s interesting.

Girls are taking pictures of their outfits in dressing rooms, emailing them to their girlfriends, and holding impromptu conference calls to get feedback from their friends. Are they going to give more credence to their girlfriends, the sales associate, or the messaging of the brand? and are spotting cool stuff and telling people about it. It’s like the friend you have who always has something new to tell you about.

A brain researcher discovered the brain is the most ‘lit up’ in your everyday life when you experience an Ah-Ha moment.

When Anthropologie, the womens’ clothing store, eliminated the restriction on the number of garments a customer could take into a dressing room, there was an immediate spike in sales.

In the past, marketers have looked at variables such as age, income, zip code, etc. for segmentation. Now they need to look at more sophisticated qualities:

My passions
My beliefs
What causes me despair
What inspires joy for me
My lineage and traditions
Goals and aspirations
Family & friends
Qualities I value most
Personal development

Faith Popcorn is known as the mother of Trend Scouting.

A few interesting tools from CScout, a Global Trends Research consultancy:

Trend Dashboard – Updates daily, similar to a blog, allowing employees to get involved to talk about a trend. It offers social ranking and crowdsourcing (employees uploading and commenting on ideas).

Trend Tours – This tool is about immersion and experiential innovation. It allows executives to experience a trend in order to “buy in”. They are a form of ethnography. For example, with BMW, they set up meetings for their senior managers to have in places where the trend is happening. This isn’t a tool with software like the Trend Dashboard, but more of a best practice.

Keywords in the Trend-scouting profession:

Driving forces
Trend Mapping
Trend Scouting
Unmet needs
the Future
Human values
Segments / segmentation
Qualitative data (I even heard “hard core qualitative data”)
Maturity (of a trend)
Rate of development (of a trend)
Core competencies
Innovation agenda
Futures thinking, futures work
Scenario Planning / Scenario Forecasting

FutureTrends Conference - 11-07-06

8:00 Chairperson’s Welcome & Opening Remarks
Despite the fact that most companies won’t say in detail what they’ve found regarding trends, the real skill is in being able to relate the data back to your company’s brand.

1. Brand Collaboration
2. Green is the new black – Hybrid cars, e.g.
3. The power of people – Utube, etc.
4. Cause Marketing – e.g. Red Campaign for Africa from Gap, Apple, etc.
5. Experiential – It’s not just about product features but about engaging all their senses
6. Contextual computing – E.g. GE’s demo smart kitchen
7. Connectivity
8. Long tail – You don’t have to be a global brand, you can make $ in niches

8:30 Lifestyle Trends: How People Live (Colin Cowie)
Look for inspiration broadly. He spends half his time seeking inspiration and half giving inspiration.

There’s a trend in affordable luxury.

I think the types of goods Colin Cowie provides to consumers contribute value by simply being new. It’s the contrast principle maybe. The benefit of something new is that it provides a contrast in appearance, texture, etc. It breaks up monotony. Maybe occasionally something new also provides a new intrinsic benefit, but I’m wondering if it’s mostly the element of newness. How else can fashion from one decade come back into vogue thirty years later? It doesn’t stop providing intrinsic benefits, it just stops looking new, goes away, and then looks new again decades later.

9:30 Understanding the Mind: Why the current marketing model will collapse the market
You have to understand some basics about people to understand trends.

A majority in the room works more than 1000 miles from where they were born. The US is a migrant population. It’s as much of a genetic experiment as a social and political one.

The US is the only country based on the pursuit of dreams.

The American business model is based on self interest, individualism, let the market do as it will (it’s self-regulating). It works.

11:30 Tapping into the power of the Internet to advance new trends (HP)
How to analyze industry implications for technologies?

- Assess how the digital transformation will play out in your industry.
- Develop a model that connects the implications of the Internet to your industry’s digital transformation.
- Build products and solutions to take advantage of the new economic model

Case Study: Printing
Implications of the digital transformation and the Internet on printing.

The evolution of printing…what’s the history of the technology and the pace of change in the industry. First inkjet printing happened 30K years ago by mixing saliva and pigments and spitting it on a cave wall. 25K years later, the Gutenberg Press was invented. It was the first time we were able to mass produce print. It led to an information explosion and the Europe becoming the “center of the world”. In the 1900’s the Offset Press was invented to allow a new scale of mass printing, this remains the primary mode of printing even today. Then Silver Halide came along, allowing photography, and the user to be involved in the creation of the image. We then saw Laser Jet and inkjet printing which allowed the user to have their own print factory.

There are 5 reasons people print:

1. Permanent
2. Portable
3. Personal
4. Price effective
5. Scalable

Two key models they use:

1. Supply Chain Model (create => distribute => consume)
2. 2 x 2: who generates the content (users vs. professional) x run length, ability to cost effectively produce something (short vs. long)

Traditionally movies were professional content with a long run length, but now with sites like you get user content with a short run length, not to mention you get more feedback.

1:45 Trending Process from Start to Finish: Getting Trends through the system (General Mills)

Trend Monitoring:
8 cross functional divisions:

1. Cereal
2. Pillsbury
3. Baking
4. Meals
5. Yoplait
6. Small Planet Foods
7. Snacks
8. Food Service

Cross functional teams involves not only R&D and Marketing but also functions such as finance.

Three audiences to speak to:

1. Company at Large
2. Established Products Brand Teams
3. New Product Brand Teams

They have to communicate to the whole company.

Consumer Insights is the name for consumer research at General Mills

There are a lot of internal definitions of trends, so they’ve developed a Trend Framework:

Macro Forces => Consumer values => Consumer behavior => Application for GMI

Macro Forces:
Natural Disaster
Tech Advances

Consumer Values:
Safety Security

Consumer Behavior:
Purchase of premium goods
Re-centering, time at home
Engagement in public service

The group has 8 people, which is part of a larger 180-person organization.

The 8 people are broken down by Growth Targets, Health

Four offerings from the group:

1. Companywide identification and communication of 4-6 trends
2. Deep content dives & divisional knowledge transfer
3. Trends speaker series & subscriptions
4. Agency outreach

Companywide identification and communication of 4-6 trends:
August 2005 presentation covered 5 trends: retail power, moms of today, wellness mindset, Hispanics, co-creation

With retail power they were looking at mindset. They were trying to point out the conundrum of where General Mills was focusing.

With moms of today, they were looking at a new way to think about moms. It’s easy to think “there’s mom, she’s making food, she’s giving it to her kids, she’s nurturing”. But their roles in the kitchen have changed. They’re delegating more: take-out, or having kids and dads help. How have the events of the last few decades changed how moms have approached nurturing.

With wellness, they were looking at products. How can you achieve indulgence with wellness? Consumers are learning that dark chocolate have beneficial antioxidants, for instance.

With Hispanics they were talking to the strategy group. The point was to “scare” senior management to commit to spending against Hispanics. So they showed demographic information to show how big the segment was. They were able to get senior management to commit to “use-it-or-lose-it” funding, meaning the BU had to use the funding on Hispanics or lose it at the end of the year.

With co-creation, we were looking at an innovation process change. We wanted consumers to become a part of the team.

Company Wide identify & communication of 4-6 key trends. They’d see the presentations, like it, do some brainstorming, applaud. So this year they did a trends exhibit. They had 1000 people from the company walk through. Each took an “ideation” pad. You’d walk through the exhibits and make notes, putting the notes on a wall at the end. Each exhibit had 2 monitors to show some ethnographic data, and a handout. Of the 6 stations, 3 were done by different groups. The organizer did the three others. For the audio tour component, they used their own A/V equipment and chose walkmen. They chose walkmen over DVD because they were afraid that the executives would accidentally press skip. They had 60 walkmen and were able to pull it off on the cheap.

For deep content dives, they offer Immersion Days. For 12-100 people, they give a presentation (either internal or external or a consumer panel). A ton of ideation exercises are offered to get the ideas flowing. In addition to Immersion Days, they’ll offer presentations, which include a discussion. Finally, they offer facilitated workshops to develop concepts. It’s one-time, lasting one-day.

They also offer trends speaker series. They have subscriptions to NPD, Yankelovich, GC Roper Reports, Mintel, iconoculture, etc.

Internal Innovation Consulting
The trends / insights team generates a lot of insights. The internal consulting group turns it into a business opportunity over 3-4 months.

The phases: Immersion > Integration > Synthesis

For their snacks division, the objective was to build a pipeline of healthy snacks.

* consumer interpretation of health trends
* Health mindset translated outside of food categories
* New healthy snack product & position ideas

For the Immersion phase, they leveraged existing knowledge both external and internal. It was leveraged through people, products, and printed material.

For external/internal data, the looked at newspapers, magazines, Gallup, Hartman, Mintel, Nielsen purchased reports, etc. They assigned 2 people for different sections (literally binders). They were given 1 week to read it and then get back together to synthesize the data.

They then used the Global New Products Database (GNPD). It consists of new products from all over the world. This uncovered global new snack search & examples and individual reviews.

For cutting edge, cross-category wellness products, they conducted competitive product review.

After Immersion came the Interact phase. In this phase, it’s important to do experiential learning. They look at extreme customers, such as Whole Foods (as opposed to like a Kroeger). One activity was to do the circle of friends activity. Each participant would do at-home circle of friends. They also conducted customer ethnography (in-store and in-home). Suddenly the seeds planted in the Immersion phase starts to sprout. They also conducted netnography, looking at blogs.

For the Synthesis phase, they conducted improvisation instruction. They used an improve instructor to help them get into the heads and bodies of the consumer. They then conducted some creative writing (hiring a Duke University Professor) exercise. The synthesis tools were designed to develop deeper empathy.

They put everything onto an opportunity map. Opportunities consist of short vignettes describing the problem from the consumer standpoint. They shared an example on heart health.

They come up with a pipeline of opportunities that will keep the division busy for the next 3 years.

2:35 Translating Trends into Actionable Business Opportunities

They were interested in the popularization of wine. It has traditionally represented aristocracy. But in the last 20 years it has become more commonplace.

Their approach was to get to know the category and identify the driving forces behind this trend. Their approach was to talk to a number of different people. They spread their net pretty wide to begin with.

Consumer drivers seemed to be home entertaining, life stresses, and wine education that is increasing. On the retail side, Wal-Mart introduced its own wine label in 2000 and the “2 buck chuck” from Trader Joe’s.

Industry drivers seemed to be the internationalization of wine. There’s Australia desire to dominate the US with Shiraz.

Other drivers included a recent supreme court rule being over turned and the movie Sideways.

This research gave them more confidence that this was an actual trend going on.

How could this leaning be turned into a business opportunity? It’s really about understanding the drivers of the trend and how the company’s capabilities can be leveraged.

They took a stab at segmentation. There’s the box-wine drinkers, the chardonnay drinkers, the label-buyers, the entertainer enthusiast, the wine lover, and the trophy collector.

They began to look then at products that existed out there. A lot of them looked very gadgety. There’s an electronic wine guide, telling them that consumers did want to learn more about wine. Consumers also wanted to learn more about the proper temperature for serving wine. They looked at problems with existing products. Consumers were are also looking to enhance the flavor of wine. Protecting opened bottles of wine was important too. But these preservation tools didn’t seem very sophisticated.

They then turned to the commercial environment. There were some devices that could perform more sophisticated functions, things that consumers wanted such as chilling, temperature monitoring, and preservation.

So how to address the needs of consumers in the home? Could the commercial equipment be housed in such a way as to be useful and non-gadgety for the home? So they invented a device for home use.

But that wasn’t considered a business, just a product, so they looked beyond wine. They learned that people were drinking for different reasons: stress relief, contentment, celebration, etc. Did the wine insights translate into other businesses? The real growth was in the high-end spirits (e.g. Kettle One).

They went out to confirm the consumer need through immersion. I bet that was fun.

They wrote a “business opportunity” consisting of a short business plan.

This process took 1.5 years ago and the product should be in the market next year.

3:50 Ethnography in Action (Pitney Bowes)
Pitney Bowes spent time watching people opening the mail. He noticed that managers would get interrupted all the time. Carry away: there are things to be learned by looking carefully.

Overview of talk:
- The innovation pipeline
- Ethnography
- Role of the ethnographer

They’re looking for business opportunities that:

1 – Fulfills customer needs
2 – Technically possible
3 – Financially worthwhile
4 – Fits the strategy and capabilities of Pitney Bowes

His group takes the lead on 1 and 2. The lines of business take the lead on 3 and 4. But there’s partnership at every step.

The Innovation Pipeline:
Business Unit frames a strategic question. For example a change occurs in the fed regulations or an unmet need is identified and the customer. They put 2 people on the project and it’s ready to test. Their Concept Studios of generate an idea. They then produce customer prototypes. A lot of ideas get put on the shelf along the way.

For example, there’s a problem with undeliverable mail. They’ve come up with a concepts to address this problem.

Customer-centered innovation – how we work:

1. Ethnography to understand needs.
2. Ideation centered on customer needs.
3. Prototype as the language of innovation
4. Iterates like mad

Ethnography: Making the strange familiar and the familiar strange.

Systematic Data collection:

Mix Techniques
* Interviewing
* Observation
* Collecting artifacts
* Use a framework (POSTA)* Person (ethnographer)
* Object
* Setting
* Time
* Activity

* Define elements (roles, knowledge)
* Sample across the system

Data => Patterns => Insights => Ideation

More effective than sending an ethnographer out to the customer is to send the whole team out to do the ethnography. The ethnographer’s role is to help keep the team observing.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

FutureTrends Conference - 11-06-06

FutureTrends Conference - 11-06-06
I’m attending the annual FutureTrends conference in South Beach, FL. A crucial component of sustainable innovation is the understanding of trends. At the core, innovation is about marrying “what’s needed” in the market with “what’s possible” to do with emerging technology. Add the dimension of time, and you can see why it’s important to understand not only what’s currently needed and what’s currently possible but also what’s going to be needed and going to be possible. As innovators, we need to be able to understand emerging market needs and technological capabilities.

Thankfully consumers are telling us what they want online and some of the worlds most innovative companies, such as Procter & Gamble, are willing to share their perspectives on where things are going in technology and markets.

Here are some interesting take aways from the conference that I can share with you.

8:30 AM Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble sees the following global trends coming down the pike:

1. Looking better, feeling better
2. Increased power of age-specific consumer groups
3. One world-one economy (thinking globally, tweaking locally)
4. Environment & safety
5. Mergers & Acquisitions

9:15 AM Starbucks
The VP of Global Creative, Stanley Hainsworth, Starbucks, shared a useful practice he used to understand the Starbucks brand when he was hired away from Legos. He went into the warehouse and pulled out all the old Starbucks marcom. He laid it out on a table and got the employees of Starbucks to give a thumbs up and thumbs down on the materials that did and did not accurately express the brand. He then worked with everyone to cluster the good materials in order to identify the 5 most critical elements of the Starbucks brand:

1. Handcrafted
2. Artistic
3. Sophisticated
4. Human
5. Enduring

He’s very true to these elements, frequently referring back to them in his entertaining talk.

10:30 Reebok
There is a new culture of “we” to replace the individualistic culture of yesteryear. Even Bill Gates has turned from capitalist to philanthrocapitalist.

1. New Caring Consumers: Affluent Activists – People flaunt their ethics, not their wealth. They champion sustainability, human and animal rights, corporate transparency, etc..

2. Do-it-Yourself: On-line creativity coming from young people. Check out for videos to help you acquire new skills.

3. Social Networking: Staying in is the new going-out.

Corporations, more and more, are tracking what consumers are saying about them online in blogs. This is becoming a big business. It’s difficult to stay on top of it all and to figure out what to do about it. But it’s essential and it has to be identified and responded to very fast.

Consumer priorities these days: social, ethical, environmental. Europeans will spend 5% more for products that espouse social responsibility in some way.

See where people express their deepest, darkest secrets.

“The major problems for corporations today is that despite living in Web 2.0, they are decisively still operating in Business 1.0”. She outlined the characteristics of Business 1.0 companies and 2.0.

11:15 Ford “What makes something a trend?”

Fad or Trend game?

Pet Rock (Fad) – Inventor tried to re-package it the second year for Valentine’s day and it flopped. He had originally invented it because he didn’t feel he could ever be a responsible pet owner. The first year it sold really well but the following (on the re-launch) it flopped.

Tattoos (Trend) – She thinks it’s a trend, not a fad.

Cell Phone (Trend) – The idea of mobile communication has been a developing.

iPod (Fad) – She thinks it’s a fad. Ford thinks that there will come a point where people will demand an integrated device that combines all the functions of portable digital devices. Others think the concept of the iPod is a trend though.

But a Fad or Trend is in the eye of the beholder (or the consumer, for that matter).

“If I had asked consumers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” (Henry Ford).

My personal perspective: If you’ve invented a car, and you know it’s better than a horse, then understand what problems people have with the horse, and convince them your invention solves those problems. Then be patient.

How does Ford monitor trends? They have an informal network of people. They monitor ~200 trends in a database. They talk to a lot of experts from think-tanks. They conduct ethnographies. They hire consultants. They talk to people from other industries for inspiration and to understand how products are changing. We try to understand the unmet needs of consumers.

They rank the 200 trends and look at these criteria:

Time frame
Industry impact?
Market impact?

They create a map of trends to understand the unmet need. For example aging populations and emerging technology are two trends. They showed commercials targeting older people to their engineers at Ford.

Key drivers of the Aging Population trend:

1. Medical advances
2. Active lifestyles
3. Delayed marriage
4. Delayed parenthood
5. Declining fertility

Some emerging technologies

1. Tremor-compensation for a computer mouse.
2. Urinalysis toilet-monitors your health without you having to go get tested all the time.

Ford has a tool called the Third Age Suit. Engineers put this on and it gives them the sensation of being older: blurred vision, overweight, difficult to move joints, etc. They use that to understand the consumers’ needs better.

Key drivers of the safety & security trend:

1. Rising crime
2. Sense of vulnerability
3. Media – A story on CNN about a small incident like a kidnapping magnifies the sentiment.
4. Mistrust in business and government
5. Technological advances – cool gadgets such as the Exmocare that monitors your moods electronically.

At Ford, they’ve shifted from inside-out thinking (how can we leverage our strengths) to outside-in thinking. What are the things that we have no control over? How could these things change our customers? How should these shifts in customers impact Ford? She had to stop there because that would get into proprietary information.

Email sconnell at ford dot com if you want to buy a Ford because she can get you an employee discount. Not sure if she meant people not at the conference or not but she seemed very generous in her offer. She gave everyone at the conference a Ford Fusion…it was just a toy care though but got a laugh.

How many people are in Connelly’s group? Well, it’s been downsized along with the rest of Ford. She has about 3 people plus an informal network of part-timers.

How is your function evaluated? When you go from a push operation to a pull operation. So, internal customers are coming to her for the futuring work she does.

Met another Chief Innovation Officer over lunch from AIG. The introduction of the Chief Innovation Officer—now that’s a trend.

1:15 John Maeda, MIT “10 Laws of Simplicity”
John noticed that simplicity is a trend. Is it good? Is it bad?

A simple sky is nice, but it’s also nice when it’s complex, like when there’s an intricate pattern of clothes.

John said he’s at MIT but he doesn’t like it. He likes to make fun of it.

siMplIciTy : coMplexITy

1. Reduce – shrink (iPod=>Nano), hide (clam shell phone hides keys), or embody (Motorlla’s phone is called the Pebble to evoke a meaningful connotation).
2. Organize
3. Time – iPod shuffle removes choice, saving you time = simplicity.
4. Learn – Knowledge makes everything simpler.
5. Differences
6. Context
7. Emotion – More emotions are better than less.
8. Trust – In simplicity we trust.
9. Failure
10. The one

3:00 IBM “Global Trending Process”
IBM is trying to grow beyond its core.

There’s been an invention period in IT ’96 – ’01, a crash, and then a deployment period (as for ’04). Source: Perez, C. “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital”, 2002

Core Business: Hardware, Software, IT services

We can innovate by going: to new offerings for existing markets, to new markets with existing offerings.

IBM is re-thinking what its business is. The largest part, and the fastest growing, is point services, or “solutions”. How can we bundle hardware, software, and services to create solutions?

They looked at external (emerging technologies/offerings, industry trends & VC/PE, gov’t, emerging geographies, societal adaptation) and internal resources. They ran all those insights through their triage process that they learned from Ford. That involved Business Opportunity Workshops, Collaborative Long-Term Planning. The outcome was new products and services. Their process is run by a cross functional group with representatives from Bus, corporate functions and different geographies.

One challenge was to get the business units to pop up and think about the future, rather than just worry about making numbers for the quarter.

Trends IBM has uncovered:
1. Shifting global demographics:
Aging populations – the median age 26 now, will be 36 by 2050
Urbanization – people moving to urban areas, new urban locales are popping up. They have similar challenges: resources, infrastructure, health, environment, housing, governance, quality of life, transportation, economy, security. In emerging regions, the issues are growing pains. In developing regions, though, the issue is sustainability.
Educating new citizens
Skills shortages
Changing migration patterns
Disaster prepardness
Exptended retirement ages
Global workers’ rights
Wireless cities

2. Accelerating globalization
Emerging global markets (e.g. China) are increasing production and export of goods and services. They’re also increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Developing regions contributing more to global labor force.
Protectionism and nationalism
Citites growing in global influence
Cultural assimulation

They do more than 2 megatrends for their internal clients. They show them this content and then they look at the intersections and how these trends impact the client.

Process for turning global trends into new growth opportunities:

Sharing Insight => Driving Innovation => Developing Opportunities

1. Sharing Insights
innovationJam – Their website for acquiring ideas from internal and external people. It was run by their Communications department. They’ve narrowed it down to 10 different initiatives. It’s now been handed to the group that presented to size it, scope out the solution, tec.

2. Driving Innovation
Focus this year: Energy & Utilities (she couldn’t reveal more)

3. Developing Opportunities (here are some examples)
medical imaging
road user charging - different fares at different times of the day for toll roads

IBM focuses on Innovation that Matters to make the world a better place

3:45 “Using Blogs to Market to Women” has 10K visitors per day, the speaker, Michelle Madhok (michelle at shefinds d0t com), was the founder. She has 40 bloggers writing for her.

62% of Internet users do not know what a blog is (Pew Internet & American Life Project).

Question: What is a blog?
Answer: A blog is a special kind of website where an individual can publish their thoughts. I write an innovation blog, for instance, because it is a topic I spend a lot of time thinking about. If you have something you want to talk to the world about and don’t want to have to go through the hassle of getting published, you can create a blog too at

“Women come late to technology because we want to see if it’s worth our attention.” Most top blogsites are written by men still.

Blogging, for those women who write them, is about being heard. They can finish their thoughts there.

77% percent of bloggers say they blog to express themselves creatively rather than get noticed or paid.

A big topic area for women to blog is about parenting issues. A big one is Heather Armstrong. Moms listen to other moms. Moms are 98% more likely to spread the word about something new/useful than other groups.

Dove did an ad on the Super Bowl and got 500 million impressions for a lot of money. They put it on youtube for $0 and got 1.7 million views. It’s a really good ad actually.

Flogvertising – Fake bloggers funded by corporates.

PR Posers – Companies hiring PR firms to go respond to blog postings about the company.

Other women-oriented blog networks:, adbrite, glam, blogherds

RSS – Really Simple Syndication. It allow you to skim through blogs you’re interested in.

Splogging – Fake blogs full of garbage.

Great presentation Michelle!

Thoughts on the Day
The FutureTrends conference has gotten off to a great start. Not every conference I go to is high quality, but I was very happy about the value I got out of today. I can tell the organizers kept the bar very high. Great location too, it’s my first time in South Beach.