Sunday, June 3, 2007

Think Like an Inventor

The Essential Ingredients for Technological Innovation

Inventors at a recent panel discussion at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology identified these three qualities as most essential:

•A creative bent, sparked by "some catalyst" and aided by
collaboration. An Israeli inventor says in the Israeli Army "they teach
you from day one how to improvise…If the rope is too short, you find
the alternative."

•Unhappiness with the status quo. "The harder innovators work, the luckier they get," says a second panelist.

•Ability to bring two or more existing products or services together
to create a third. In Bangladesh, an important recent innovation was
exploiting cell phones and microcredit to create low-cost phone
service, says a third panelist.

View a video of the session.

College Studies Don't Factor into Business Startups

In a recent study
of university graduates in Greece, a highly entrepreneurial country,
nearly half of 249 students sampled "report that there is a low
correlation or there is no correlation at all between subjects of
studies with entrepreneur activity." The authors, Anastasios Vasiliadis
and Thomas Poulios, conclude that "qualified graduates unfortunately
cannot use the knowledge that they gain in university in their

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