Archive for July, 2013

makers. Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, a Canadian blogger/author, at a...

makers. Cory Doctorow. 2011. One of my favorite sf writers ( especially since the stories do not always end well) , I picked this up as a companion to Chris Andersons recent book, Makers.  .  It is a terrific co read with Anderson as Doctorow is so prescient in his pictures of a 3d printer enabled makers future but he also weaves lots of  tech/geek and economic content into a compelling read.  You can read anyone else for character development – but no one holds up a better magnifying glass on society in general. He is right up there with William Gibson in that respect.

New Product Blueprinting. The handbook for B2B organic growth. Dan Adams.

English: The iPod family with, from the left t...

New Product Blueprinting. The handbook for B2B organic growth. Dan Adams.2008. ISBN 9780980112344. I was looking for this book for quite some time as it was referenced as the new bible for product development to take over from stage-gate methods (Cooper). I finally found the whole name/author in What Customers Want. This is a very valuable book as it will save product and services companies a lot of money and wasted effort. As the author says, manufacturers can produce a six sigma product routinely, yet R&D departments still have 3 out of 4 products fail in the marketplace – with the funds expended wasted. Using Product Blueprinting a company will find out early where there is a market need before the product is developed. And yes using this method, Apple would have still developed the Ipod. The major difference in this process is the increased amount of effort and time done at the front end in market research , innovative discovery interviews and so on, with the seventh stage being a business case. This book fits with Agile so well. If reading this book prevents your company from going off on a product build based on the statements of a few sales guys it is well worth the read. The easy reading style, with great illustrations really brings the topic to life. A must buy for the B2B product manager/CEO

Startup Communities. Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your city. Brad Feld.

Image representing TechStars as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Startup Communities. Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your city. Brad Feld. 2912. ISBN 9781118441541.  The author (founder of Techstars)  is a successful entrepreneur/investor who applied the lessons of Florida ( The Great Reset),  Moretti (the Geography of Jobs)  and Lautmann (When Boomers Bail)  yet I do not know if he ever read these books. Using Boulder Colo as a life lab he and a few friends set out to support a fledgling start-up high tech community. They succeeded very well, without govt help or other “support” types. They worked with other entrepreneurs to ensure that what was needed was provided, most often with no compensation. The book is a treasure as well as a field guide.  Be warned to do this well is a lot of hard work with as Feld says a 20 yr timeline.

The New Geography of Jobs. Enrico Moretti.

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

The New Geography of Jobs. Enrico Moretti. 2013. ISBN 9780547750118, Continuing on the theme of studies of innovation, this book by a noted economist pretty well puts the boots to most populist views of jobs and job creation.  From angst over  protecting old manufacturing jobs ( which “create” 1.2 more jobs) to having high tech jobs ( which each create 5 more jobs) , the answer is a slam dunk. Restrictive building bylaws are stupid.  ( So you are saying you want to create jobs but not places for the high value workers to live?)   Drives between cities to “buy” plants are too often a zero sum game – why not just give the same money the residents?   You will learn why clusters of innovation happens and how it is often due to a few “stars ‘ and not govt hand outs.   Seattle?  – Microsoft moved from AlbuquerqueHollywood – D.W. Griffiths and Birth of a NAtion.   Silicon ValleyFairchild Semiconductor.   Vancouver’s sky high housing ?  China took over Hong Kong.  A treat of a book which I read it in one sitting. Terrific complement to Why Boomers Bail. You will never look at govt programs again. Makes a great as why education should be a federal responsibility – as should be R&D.  Great ideas about smart immigration policies.

The Next Convergence. The future of economic growth in a multispeed world. Michael Spence.

Michael Spence

The Next Convergence. The future of economic growth in a multispeed world. Michael Spence. 2011. ISBN 9781429968713. The author is a Noble winner in economics and a well respected world economist He really looks at the differences of growth and hyper growth between developing  and advanced economies.  He clears away much of the useless dialoge and posturing among politicians and makes  strong case for what has happened and what has to happen.  Again we see that the US is not doing what it should to fix its own house in infrastructure, education and unemployment. Until it does it is acting as an anchor on its own and the world’s economies.  After you read this clearly written book, you will understand  much more what is going on and how countries are mis/behaving.   He also reiterates much of the warnings that are found in Why Boomers Bail.

When Boomers Bail. How demographics will sort communities into winners and losers. Mark Lautman.

Governor’s Technology and Economic Development...

When Boomers Bail. How demographics will sort communities into winners and losers. Mark Lautman. 2011. ISBN 9780981786933.  I volunteer with my City on an Economic Development Committee. In researching the topics I found Lautman’s book. To say this book blew my mind is to  say a tempest is a mild wind.  The author has earned his chops as an US Economic Development specialist for years.  He says that the shortage of trained , qualified people is the biggest threat to community prosperity there is.  We are approaching at time of zero labor – Where there are more jobs than the people to fill them and the rest of the population is unskilled, underage or retired.  Where the “supporting”  workers are much fewer than the ‘supported” ones.  The book clearly states out the issues, the obstacles, what will happen if nothing is done and things to do. I especially appreciated his data gathering and metrics for knowing where the community is and where it is going.   Quite a far sighted book , that a casual reader will pooh pooh – at his/her peril.  Public and private impacts are huge.  Quite a bargain book on the Kindle.

In-flight theft is on the rise


Beware: in-flight theft is on the rise. Top 5 Tips to avoid this happening to you

Of all the places you could lose your belongings during your travels, you would think that the last place to get stung is the overhead locker directly above you on a plane.
It appears that an aircraft is one of the best places for an opportunistic thief to target, simply because no one expects it. It’s a criminal phenomena that is on the rise. Why? More and more people are trying to avoid checking in their bags, because more and more airlines are introducing baggage fees. Ironically, one of the other reasons passengers give for not checking in their luggage is they believe there can be a lot of theft from baggage handlers. 
People generally carry their most valuable or fragile items as on-board luggage and that’s no secret. However, items like wallets, passports and cameras are usually tossed into overhead compartments or seat pockets and simply assumed safe. What many travelers don’t consider is that all it takes is one quick trip to the bathroom for thieves to strike, even if there are people around.
Ensuring your luggage can’t move around and get damaged during a flight, putting a lock on your bag and where possible, making sure your valuables never leave your sight are a few simple precautions you can take to keep your belongings safe. Just keep in mind that the plane is no different from the train or bus.
Here are our Top 5 Tips to avoid becoming the next victim:
1. Lock your bags, a thief needs to be quick and does not have time for locks
2. Place your bags in the overhead bin with the zipper, or access points facing
the wall and facing downward if your bag is unlocked; a thief on a flight will 
not remove a bag to spin it around to gain access.
3. Keep your wallet, cash and passport secure on you, or in a secure bag at 
your feet. Do not place these items in your jacket pocket (you may take it off).
4. Place a loose camera, which you may hang from your shoulder, under your 
5. If you’re in an aisle seat make sure your items, such as a laptop bag or small
backpack, are fully under the seat in front of you; positioned in the direction
of the window seat not the aisle side; or are in some way secured to you.
Remember that while a sealed airplane may seem like a safe place to forget the basics of protecting your personal property, there are professional thieves out there and you don’t want to be their next target. And of course — remember to take out travel insurance.

It’s Not About The Tights. Chris Brogan

Superman (comic book)

It’s Not About The Tights. An owners manual for bravery .Chris Brogan. 2013.  The author is prolific book writer, blogger and speaker. This is a book on how to be your own Superman. Short and to the point its a self motivation book for today.  Easy and quick to read , you will get some good take a ways. I enjoyed it as it gave me a few insights into fighting distraction

Makers. The new industrial revolution. Chris Anderson.

Chris Anderson during his presentation, The Ec...

Makers. The new industrial revolution. Chris Anderson. 2012. ISBN 9780307720979.  Another great analysis of an industry by Chris Anderson ( Wired) , This is the Internet of things – bits to atoms.  On top of his interest , Anderson has played with various parts of this ecosystem, CAD, CNC machines, 3D printers etc.  So what he has built is a book that gives a very good grounding to the rest of us on the future of manufacturing.  He is a good writer and pens a well put together book – so do not be surprised if you read this in one sitting. It is important to remember that no matter how big the Internet gets, the world of things is almost 10x its size.  I recommend this to all geeks (Along with Cory Doctorows fiction tale, Maker)  who still want to make a difference. Take it along for  your next coast to coast flight.