Anyone in my position has seen somewhere in the low thousands of pitches. Everything from students to entrepreneurs to corporate intrapreneurs. I was struck by this recently, looking at someone present a chart of the size of their market and the rate at which customers would flock to this young venture’s offerings. When I questioned the numbers, he blustered on with full confidence.
LED lighting is clearly a path forward. The challenge, as with all "promising but currently too expensive" new clean energy technologies is how to get from here (low volume, high costs) to there (high volume, low costs). The bulk of cost reductions typically come from economies of scale, which moves industries down the learning curve. So what brings us the larger volumes? Is it more government subsidies for research? Is it regulations or rebates that drive market demand? In a recent Technology Review article (LEDs Are Getting Ready for the Spotlight), Josie Garthwaite describes another option, which follows on my earlier post about finding new problems for old solutions.
Following on my recent posts regarding the hypocrosies of college football (The Irony Bowl, and Irony Bowl II), a very nice article by Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post was brought to my attention today, On eve of BCS championship, a call for the NCAA to reform college football. Jenkins very nicely puts the burden for change squarely where it rests: on the shoulders of the University Presidents and Chancellors. The academic leaders sit in oversight of both the de facto governing body for intercollegiate athletics, the NCAA, and of their own individual athletic departments.
What if innovation was not about solving problems? This thought nags me whenever I'm forced to read about the grave responsibility of "innovation" to solve such persistent problems as climate change, healthcare, poverty, and education. Or listening to how innovation might solve all of Acme, Incorporated's problems but especially that gaping hole in Q3 revenues for 2012, their obsolete technology platform, or declining share values.
Most every bit of advice you’ll find for entrepreneurs is about making the leap, but leaping is not for everyone so it’s important to figure out whether it’s for you. Just beware of setting out to test your entrepreneurial DNA.
Our Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy (FHEA) is fast approaching. At the end of this month, university researchers studying aspects of food, health, and sustainability (e.g., developing innovations in agricultural practices, nutrition, safety, diet, transportation, processing, and consumption) come together to explore the opportunities for broadening the impact of their research. Conveniently, a number of major corporations are recognizing that both the market and Wall Street will be rewarding and punishing corporate performance in these areas.
After posting the Irony Bowl, a set of related articles have since come out in various publications and addressing various aspects of the university's amateur status.