States of Invention

Research from the Kaufman Foundation looks for the areas of innovation across the US while publishing abroad New Economy Index. From the 2010 edition come a number of detailed statistics.  The top overall states will draw the most attention, yet more interesting are some of the smaller details. Here, then, are my top five categories (in no particular order) from…

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Get A Data-Driven Life

One of the most fascinating and dynamic sectors is pure information. Technological advances now enable immense databases, which in turn provide new insights on both simple and complex correlations, and the ability to spot (or debunk) trends.  A number of successful startups (most notably foursquare) are providing, slicing and dicing information as well as providing considerable analytical context, often in…

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Electric Car Policy — Stop Go Stop

The cleantech industry has been considered both highly promising for investors and a hopeful area of growth to counter the economic contraction of other industries.  But one of the peculiarities of cleantech is the intersection between federal dollars (both stimulus spending and grants) and private investment.  Perhaps no better example of the tangle of incentives and interests exists than the…

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Software Profits: where’s the App for that?

The phenomenon of the iPhone can't be disputed, with about 9 million sold and growing, with a reach and influence that has made Apple the most valuable technology company in the world.  The primary driver is the "i" not the "Phone" -- the versatile and expanding universe of individual applications available on the device. This, and the competitive expansion of…

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Lists: The Most Innovative Countries, and Colleges for Tech Leaders

Management consulting firm McKinsey conducted a study to find the most innovative regions (and nations) across the globe.  They helpfully present their findings with an interactive version (which, like true consultants, divides the world into analogous bodies of water, including "dynamic oceans" "silent lakes" and "shrinking pools" -- and no, I am not making this up). One can bail water…

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Winsome, feisty startup ISO customers, profits, cities…

A fundamental change for many early-stage companies is their increased capital efficiency: it simply takes less money (and time) to bring a product to market, and even to start to achieve scale.  An article in the New York Times highlights this trend towards lean-startups, with a fascinating quotation that details the transformation: "A start-up" says one practitioner, "is a temporary…

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The Madness of Ad Men?

Venture professionals have no life? Well, witness the always engaging Jeff Bussgang admit that he is just now starting to watch the television drama Mad Men, which is entering its fourth season.  However, Jeff uses the occasion to reflect on his recent dinner with Madison Avenue advertising CEOs, and finds four reasons why their companies are doomed: earning pressure on…

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The Mess of Success

A fascinating Wired magazine article about craigslist.  Everyone one knows craigslist - it is the lead suspect in the death of the newspaper industry, has more job postings that Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs combined, and gets more online traffic than eBay or Amazon, all with just 30 employees. Highly successful, except truth be told, the site soft of, um, sucks. …

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