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innovation DAILY

Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis.  These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.

email gmail boxEmail is a major time-suck for people in most workplaces, whether they realize it or not.

Mark Suster recently declared that email is toxic. And it's not hard to see why: our inboxes have become a suffocating reservoir of debris and to-do’s, when they’re really meant to be a tool for communication and better productivity.

“Email is killing companies,” Cameron Herold, CEO coach and founder of BackPocket COO, says adamantly.

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champagneEntrepreneurship is a game of ups and downs, so enjoy the moments when you accomplish something great.

Jack Welch noted in his book Winning that teams do not celebrate enough. It is an important point for entrepreneurs.

When you run a growing business your team gives blood, sweat and tears to meet each milestone. So celebrate when you hit them. Have fun. Build camaraderie. Create a team that knows they are in this together and are fighting for a reason.

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The World Economic Forum has announced its list of 31 Technology Pioneers for 2011. The Technology Pioneers are its list of up-and-coming startups. Last year’s list included Twitter, Playfish, and Boston Power. The year before, Mint, Etsy, and Brightcove were named.

Joining the pantheon this year are foursquare, Knewton, Layar, Scribd, and Spotify. However, greentech is equally strong on the list, particularly with smartgrid companies such as OPower and Tendril. Below is the full list of infotech companies that made it, with links to their Crunchbase profiles for more information:

Aster Data (big data)
Atlassian (product management)
Foursquare (Geo-location)
GetJar
Knewton (adaptive learning)
Layar (augmented reality)
NetQin Mobile (mobile security)
OpenDNS (domain names)
ReputationDefender (online reputation monitoring)
Scribd (online documents)
SecondMarket (private securities market)
Spotify (streaming music service)
Vortex Engineering (low-power ATMs)

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From coalition governments to teams of scientists, the notion that “two heads are better than one” is the en vogue approach to problem-solving these days.  

The premise is simple: We perform better and make more sensible decisions by putting our heads together than by working alone.  For example, let’s say that there are two stock traders – Warren and Ben.  The notion is that if they work together to pick stocks they will make more profit than if they work in isolation.

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Realities of VC Investment in Water TechWater is an enormous issue around the globe -- for drinking, farming and industry.  

There is a looming water crisis facing everyone on Earth as populations rise, pollution increases and climate and weather patterns change.  There is already a water crisis in many developing nations and in some not-so-developing regions, like Australia and California.  The stats for "embedded" or "virtual" water are sobering -- for example, the production of 1 kilogram of beef requires the use of 15,500 liters of water (see WaterFootprint.org).

And water is inextricably linked to energy -- California uses an extraordinary amount of power to move water around the state. In fact, a fifth of the electricity used in California is intertwined with water. So is 30 percent of the natural gas, according to the California Energy Commission. Most of that power is actually used to heat water for hot showers and clean hospital equipment, but around five percent to six percent of all of California's energy gets consumed simply by moving water.

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As psychologist Benjamin Scheibehenne and his wife left the restaurant where they had just finished dinner, they discussed whether to stop somewhere else for dessert. It was an everyday decision, one they had made countless times before, but this particular evening they could not make up their minds.

"When we came out of the restaurant, we didn't really know whether we were still hungry or not," Scheibehenne recalls. "We realized we were completely clueless about how much we actually consumed."

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The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession.

The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) tops the list for the second year in a row. His minimum net worth was $188.6 million at the end of 2009, up by more than $20 million from 2008, according to his financial disclosure form.

View the Slideshow

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Let's face it: Working for someone else is a great way to get started in the business world, but it is not where an entrepreneur with lofty goals will want to remain.

If you're tired of being just another cog, and you crave a sense of personal fulfillment and long-term passion, then it might be time to take the plunge. Here are seven signs you should quit your job and start your own business.

1. You're Extremely Confident

To be a truly successful entrepreneur, there can never be any doubt in your mind that you will accomplish your goals, even if you must occasionally alter your plans or refine your targets. Your success is as much a matter of your belief in yourself as it is of the skills you will develop on your journey.

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