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Lean Startup Circle, An Article in Reuters

By Lou Carlozo Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:38pm EDT (Reuters) – Bernhard Kappe, the chief executive officer of Chicago’s Pathfinder Software, steps up to a dry erase board and draws a crude graph, its slope curves upward. Then he plots a point in the middle to show where the city’s web entrepreneurs stand in terms of growth and progress. “These things take 20 years to get to maturity, and theyR
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Talking Innovation with Allscripts, Allstate, Alcatel-Lucent and Wheels, Inc.

One of the exciting things about the Lean Startup approach is that it’s applicable not just to startups, but to innovation within large companies. As part of TechWeek, Pathfinder has organized a panel of “intrapreneurs” – entrepreneurs within larger companies who are charged with innovation and creating new products and services. In this case, the companies are all quite large, ranging from $1
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Lean User Experience: UX at Startup Speed

Bob Moll, Pathfinder Software’s Lead User Experience Designer, and I gave a talk on Lean User Experience at the Chicago Lean Startup Circle on June 30th. User Experience is critical to the success of a software product: Well designed apps get used and recommended, poorly designed ones get discarded. But traditional user experience is slow and expensive and doesn’t get high quality products to market faster. This is d
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Design Driven Innovation at the Chicago Product Management Association

I gave a talk at the Chicago Product Management Association meeting recently, based on the book Design Driven Innovation by Roberto Verganti, one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. The talk focuses on how to create innovations that customers do not expect, but that they eventually love, on how to create products and services, that are so distinct from those that dominate the market and so inevitable
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Agile Product Management: The Concept Phase

photo credit: NIOSH Academic research is incredibly inefficient when it comes to producing products and services. Grad students, post-docs and professors work on “problems” that some collection of graybeards has deemed “interesting.” Their “solutions” — sometimes successful, sometimes not — are published as research and then, occasionally, if the stars align, is turned
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Innovation and Punctuated Equilibrium

photo credit: belgianchocolate In my last post about innovation I referred to Clayton Christensen and his concepts of sustaining versus disruptive innovation. It reminded me a little bit of the concept of punctuated equilibrium in evolution. The idea is simple: suppose you have a bunch of monkeys working in an office. You have the executive monkeys who eat healthy meals and exercise at lunch time. Then you have the o
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Why the Behemoths Can't Innovate

photo credit: sanchom In some past posts I’ve looked at some of the cultural, organizational and process issues on why large companies find it hard to innovate with new, quality software. Today I want to take that process a step further and look at why established players have such a hard time innovating in general. First two anecdotes, where I will combine the topics of Susan Boyle, chess and the Kindle. First
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Innovation and Treating Developers Like Adults

Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?– Tom Smykowski photo credit: sdminor81 I get a lot of grief when I talk about agile practices and how it ends some inefficiencies, i.e. less personal activity during work hours
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Songbird 0.3: Why aren't Ajax folks more geeked about "the Firefox of media players"?

Songbird, the open-source, Mozilla-based media player, received its 0.3 "developer pre-release" on Oct. 30. The UI hasn't changed much since the 0.2.5 "developer preview," but things continue to evolve under the hood. Better yet, the documentation and demos keep getting...
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Open AJAX Initiative

Right now AJAX is in its Wild West phase. Every day brings a new framework, every week a new technique. This intellectual ferment is great for innovation, but it makes commercial product managers nervous. It is risky, adopting new and...
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