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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.

Smart Business Stupid BusinessWhether you’ve just started your business or been in business for a while, “Smart Business Stupid Business” is a book you’ll want to have. This isn’t one of those books you read for entertainment – it’s a book you’ll want to have on your reference shelf because it answers many (if not all) the financial and administrative questions you might have around starting and running a smart business.

What’s the Difference Between a Smart Business and a Stupid Business?

According to authors Diane Kennedy and Megan Hughes, a smart business is one that can survive a downturn. That’s a rather simple answer, but it’s honest and a lot deeper than it looks. A growing economy might funnel a lot of money into your business, but it can also hide a lot of flaws. A smart business is one that is built on a solid foundation of being clear about the decisions that you make about the structure of your business, the purpose of your business and the systems in your business.

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The Association For Manufacturing Technology - AMT provides a link to the listings of those identified State Resources that are focused on helping companies within their respective states develop competitive proposals for various federal programs. Additionally, these state organizations have access to resources that can assist AMT members not only in research and development activities but also in procurement efforts with government prime contractors. These listings are updated as often as we receive information and are kept as current as possible.

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AROUND the time that Apple Computer was making it big in California, Andrey Shtorkh was getting a first-hand look at the Soviet approach to high tech: he guarded the fence keeping scientists inside Sverdlovsk-45, one of the country’s secret scientific cities, deep in the Ural Mountains.

Ostensibly, the cities were closed to guard against spies. Its walls also kept scientists inside, and everybody else in the Soviet Union out. While many people in the country went hungry, the scientific centers were islands of well-being, where store shelves groaned with imported food and other goodies.

Security in these scientific islands was so tight, though, that even children wore badges. Relatives had to apply months in advance for permission to visit. “It was a prison, a closed city in every sense,” recalls Mr. Shtorkh, then a young soldier.

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Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) is once again taking aim at the venture capital industry with a proposal that would require VC, private equity, and hedge funds with more than $30 million under management to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Reed proposed this legislation last year, but the Senate’s financial reform bill exempted venture and private equity funds, while requiring hedge funds with more than $100 million in assets to register. Politco reports Reed will offer a similar amendment to the bill, which is awaiting action by the full Senate.

The venture industry lobbied heavily against the registration requirement saying it is unnecessary and would be a burden, especially on small firms.

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James A Gardner - EzineArticles Expert AuthorIn most workplaces, there are three generations of workers. The first group we'll consider are the Traditionalists, those who were born some time before 1965. They are likely, at this stage of their careers, to be extremely influential and senior in their organizations. The name Traditionalists, though, is applied because this is a group which embodies the sets of values one most often sees amongst the "old school. They will, most likely, prefer to communicate through structured and rigid hierarchies, and will certainly prefer command-and-control mechanisms in the way they distribute tasks between themselves. As innovators, this group will normally prefer to solve problems they've been directed to examine, and will usually come up with solutions along trajectories which are well established by their organizations. This, naturally, makes them ideally suited to innovation teams which have elected to follow a Play-Not-2-Lose strategy, and whose primary focus is on incremental innovation.

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We recently covered the mobile web traffic of India (which stands next to US) and the emergence of non-US geographies has simply added to the fact that emerging economies will drive the next wave of web consumption.

A UK mobile analyst firm has predicted that there will be more than 1.4 billion mobile Internet users in Asia by 2015. The announcement indicates a significant growth that mobile industry is likely to witness on Asia’s developing landscape. Even the Telenor Group – whose investments include DTAC in Thailand, Uninor in India and DiGi in Malaysia – said at a press conference last week “Asia is the future”.

From the end of 2009 to the end of 2015, the number of mobile Internet users will increase by 233%, making mobile the primary Internet access channel for brands and businesses to communicate with customers. Asia has long been regarded a market with much potential for mobile internet. mobilesquared


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bullwithguyhidinghisface.jpgThere's a great post on the Harvard Business Review blog called "Should Entrepreneurs Lie?"

Chris Dixon tweeted it, saying "is this a joke? of course they'd shouldn't."

But everyone knows the reality is more complex, so I'm calling this "When Should Entrepreneurs Lie?"

Many times entrepreneurs lie because they expect that the people they're talking to will discount what they're saying in any case. This seems to be generally considered acceptable. The first time I did work for a startup I helped them sell advertising. I was shocked (shocked!) to discover that we weren't actually charging what we claimed we would charge. Our rate card was just a guideline, or rather a basis for a negotiation (and never negotiate up). And in fact, this is standard practice for selling online ads.

And of course there are many more businesses where nobody pays the list price. Consultants and investment bankers, especially in the wake of the econopocalypse, don't get paid what they claim to charge. Some of the big hushed stories are about the heavy discount such or such veeeery prestigious firm took to get a gig that would supposedly be beneath them.

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oceanA visitor to Eastern Europe after the fall of communism would have been awestruck by the massive posters touting Winston cigarettes as “the taste of freedom” that often plastered locations where posters of Chairman Stalin and his ilk has once fluttered. It looked as if Christo had wrapped the Iron Curtain in a project sponsored by R.J. Reynolds.

If there were a taste to energy freedom, it would be salt for sure. Our ancestral mother, the ocean, forms an almost unfathomable medium of mystery — astronaut Scott Carpenter once noted that we know more about the heavens than the sea — but for biofuels, there is every urgent reason to look carefully to salt-friendly projects that can utilize brackish water, or marshes, or the abundant three-dimensional world of the oceans.

Virtually all biofuels projects, at massive scale, run into problems of land and freshwater. A million gallons of this, or even a billion gallons of that, are generally achievable without material changes in land or water usage. Sandia tells us that 90 billion gallons of fuel in the US is feasible from biomass on a sustainable basis.

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MindMaps ZAMarla is the consummate creative entrepreneur. She’s a bright creative thinker who follows through and gets things done. Everybody loves her for a reason – she treats everyone she works with, big and small, as a valued collaborator and potential ally. And her creativity is not limited to the artistic sphere – her entrepreneurial vision allows her to conjure new opportunities out of thin air, and she has the business savvy to make her dreams a reality.

Her success – like yours – depends on her ability to master three critical skill-sets:

  • Creativity – generating new ideas, evaluating them effectively, taking action to turn them into new products and services.
  • Collaboration – connecting and working with partners, clients, and other significant players in your network, which will probably be scattered across the globe and contain more ‘virtual’ relationships than face-to-face ones.
  • Entrepreneurship – identifying opportunities in the marketplace and using business skills to turn ideas into products into profits.
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Washington State faces an unprecedented economic crisis and significant revenue shortfalls. Economic recovery and job creation are the top priority. The Commission’s first round recommendations released in February, 2009, focused on augmenting three interdependent components of the innovation ecosystem: talent, investment and infrastructure. Taken together these form the pillars of a new, comprehensive and integrated strategy for economic development. The 2010 legislative priorities adopted by the Commission advance the implementation of this cohesive strategy for the Washington Innovation Economy.

  • Commitment to an innovation based economic development strategy;
  • Aligning state agencies with the economic development strategy;
  • Strengthening local leadership and innovation ecosystems from the bottom‐up;
  • Investments in programs that yield a high return (and similarly reducing investments with low or no
  • return);
  • Well designed and timely outcome metrics;
  • Constant adaption to global trends, technologies and market conditions.

The Commission’s first round recommendations released in February, 2009, focused on augmenting three interdependent components of the ecosystem which innovation needs to thrive: talent, investment and infrastructure. Taken together these form the pillars of the comprehensive and integrated approach the Commission has adopted. Below are the 2010 legislative priorities supported by the Commission.

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As the economy skids along, and secure, rewarding employment remains out of reach for many, a few young women are creating their own dream jobs, working for themselves.

Erin Estell, 27, took that path when her sales job at Sealmaster Inc., a Northbrook-based fabric-protection company owned by a family friend, evaporated last year in the downturn.

Rather than encouraging her to find another job, Ms. Estell says, her husband pointed her in a different direction. "He said, 'Why don't you start selling your jewelry?' "

Erin Estell had planned on turning her hobby making jewelry into a  business years from now, but a layoff accelerated her schedule.
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Online Communities ImageToday, everything is social -– social commerce, social business, social CRM. The list goes on and on. But are consumer technologies like Twitter (Twitter) and Facebook (Facebook) strategic for implementing a social media business strategy? Can you measure the investment? What are the best options for getting tangible value?

Once you remove the shiny wrapper, there is an incredible amount of depth and value in using social technologies as a way to reach your customers. However, I personally find the word “social” to be a poor descriptor. Terms like community or collaboration tend to be more meaningful. Here are some ways that businesses and tap into the power of online community.

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