This isn’t just another “Look at what we just did on Mars!” post. Well ok, it’s a little bit of that. But there’s something more out there, something that goes beyond this single achievement. Or for that matter, beyond all the accomplishments that led to a successful journey through “Seven Minutes of Terror” as NASA engineers referred to last week’s feat. NASA, a federal government agency, has pulled off some seismic innovations over the years and led to thousands of innovations and activities in the public sector. From Velcro to recently privatized shuttle services, the track record is certainly there but for some reason we usually don’t think of our government as a fount of forward thinking and innovative achievement. (more…)
Have you ever heard of the whippersnapper entrepreneur theory? The one where youngsters are supposedly more equipped for entrepreneurship than those with more experience? Well Malcolm Gladwell theorizes this in Lynchpin, and I’m generally a supporter of his fascinating findings. But this one, thanks to Babson College, finds me a little perplexed.
After some studies by the entrepreneur gods and goddesses at the Massachusetts-based school, it appears that experience trumps youth. Sure, there will always be those anomalies like Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who started at child prodigy-ages, but according to the data produced by Babson’s academics, for the most part successful entrepreneurs ignite their ventures around the age of 34 (which still sounds pretty young to me). (more…)
I recently stumbled upon a great article in The Atlantic about GM’s inability to make a product specifically for the consumer. That is, a product with every gadget the consumer would want without worrying about cost-efficiency. The article is called “Why GM Couldn’t Be Apple, According to a Former GM Exec,” and I think it’s spot-on.
It’s an insider’s view of the cookie cutter vehicle industry and the yearning for decent models, but more importantly, cost-efficient materials. Why have real Italian leather when we could have vinyl? and the like. The author, Alexis Madrigal, compares GM – a company that once upon a time had to be bailed out by the government – to Apple. (more…)