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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Small is beautiful…and useful, efficient now. Look at all those blue chips, coming from new economy, with light structures, skilled minds and clever intentions. We use to see big monoliths as never ending winners, champions in any industry. That used to…before the web. Web and linked technologies tumbled down lots of industries, because of disruptive ways of marketing, production, delivering. How can we consider software, technology or social networks could value so, in the middle of such big companies that build and need so much capital intensive? Past jobs disappeared on the effect of technological shifts or processes that completely changed the organizations, including big structures.

That makes this new subject about “size” of companies to be compared and valued, as new challenges in world commerce points out. But not only “size”, but also the ability of reaction facing the speed up of competition and focusing on abilities to compete on “time-to-market”, with great resources and know-how. In fact, the size might be the effect of several causes in growing up companies:

  • Raising the business and activity
  • Raising the R&D tasks
  • Complexity of processes, needs for controlling or middle management
  • In direct effect for human intensive resources needs

And we said “size” might be increased by the complexity of organizations, not directly focused on results and too much on means. To get an impression of what’s going on and the different leverages that could be used, it seems necessary to compare strengths and weaknesses of the two ways to do business. Having in mind that there is no “good” or “bad” but relevant with your activity, your business plan and the kind of business you’re in. You could be a startup in a whole big group and act as well. The simple fact to measure and value the differences between small and big structures make sense to the way you organize path to delivering.

And it seems startup models spread through all industries now, according to the fast moves from software and IT power. Having a different method to go faster and rethink the way doing “business” or simply create and deliver products or services. The “lean startup” or light structure company steps aside of traditional approach of:

  • Business plan
  • Financial goals
  • Design and building
  • Launch

Recovering some kind of instinct creativity with:

  • Hypothesis
  • Experience
  • Trials/samples/prototyping

Faster than ever in the creativity cycle and the way it can improve really on the go, the starting defaults and mistakes. No need to start with perfect products, but having in mind “testing and launching fast” instead of trying to do the best at first sight. The idea behind is to be more flexible and test any possibility, with several trials, formulas and prototypes to cover all situations before really launching. The different kinds of issues allow lots of consumer reactions, corrections and empower the experience cycle. Doing, building and destroying in short decision cycles make the whole creation experience more interesting and collaborative too. And these practices are particularly owned in startups spirit, where ideas run and go, as fast as the wind…Building, creating other combinations means agility and flexibility that big companies can envy, but don’t handle correctly.

This new method, named “pivoting”, in the lean startup concept, brings a new approach for innovation and collaboration between customers and teams, including fast innovation and reaction to dead end, studying more easily B plans. Big companies and schools, with the whole scrambled education system turn their eyesight to these behaviors as business cases and practices to hold, nurture and leverage. This makes another round for risk taking too, that is a huge danger in strong and long process for big companies, who then hesitate to innovate and launch new concepts. But we all know differences in appreciation of “risk” and failure: some fear and some learn, just this difference means a lot in an entrepreneurship environment and mindset. A culture where failure is considered only as a “bad side” is doomed to sleepers and followers. But meanwhile, if you risk often and fast, you’re in the know for an incredible venture of learning more efficiently than others. Because, instead of fearing yourself and your skills, you enforce them by example, mistakes and make it a “friend”. Not a loser, but a learning machine to enhance your creativity and trust potential.

The lean startup model knows to cope with it, so that it could be a strong model for biggest companies, out of order with creativity, flexibility and relevance.

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Design was made to be “beautiful”. But Design is often taken with high-class skill, upper income matter and modern life. What we call Design in industrial tracks seems particularly the crafting, building and a whole process to “define a creation environment that makes life and goods and services more smart, useful and profitable for the end-user”. Now some kinds of use are so simple that we think they don’t “need” Design at all, like something complicated and expensive.

Any doubt?

Check out at all these awesome initiatives done with the poor and above all, from the bottom roots…of desperate lands. No you can’t stop initiatives and control the path that guides to innovation. No wealth can replace the willingness and local solutions, facing misery, fell apart when you have no resources to use, but brain and collaboration. Simple ideas can sometimes burst poor’s destiny to help them, but especially when they have no other choice to cope with it, alone. And yes what we call “Design” can change their world. Using wastes to make in function local and shared open-air ovens, text messaging to prevent from disease, explain sanity or water use or like in Bangkok to replace old crap houses, they used recycled wood to build stronger and safer habitations.

But also facing a huge need for mobile work, the ability to build “mobile schools” on a bus or a boat, that can hold education, following the whole migration of households lead to rootless work to survive. Then, the famous design museum “Cooper-Hewitt” started with UN, a huge exposition “design with other 90 cities” with this tremendous thema, in NYC this fall. This exposition allows to introduce the design into several parts of communities, using it as: include (lose people, recovering the social link into ghettos), transform (wastes or the way to consider things and buildings for a better local welfare), exchange (a huge way to barter skills and local knowhow for moneyless people), reveal and adapt (habits make sometimes lazy, avoiding us to recreate new environment with less resources), prosper (with all the global dynamic through this whole initiative, leading to local economic raise and employment for new ways of “working”).

What called Schumpeter “innovation”, seems to drafted here as “something in pulse, moving economics and social, creating new products, things or services with the whole dynamics of organization (in this case local and poor groups, probably fell apart and helpless populations)”. He believed a lot in entrepreneurship as a real source of innovation for economic dynamization, and we can see in all these examples, the “force of nature” and the potential in the willingness to change their local world. But entrepreneurship doesn’t mean “a restricted way inside huge companies, brands or startups”. Some used it their own way, with lean management, aside with local communities to overcome their needs: kind of proud, willingness to live better and especially count only on their own…and destiny. It used to work with developping nations, when investment from richest countries disappeared, leading local groups to another way of subsistance: using and creating new oceans to live, with redesigning landscapes, habits and means.

Obviously, a particularly sharp and interesting lesson for us, balancing between bright, opportunism and ideas sourcing for a better world. Don’t miss the curve because it’s full of insights for developped world too, while earth is aching and resources seem to be compromised…

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