Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Scalable Innovation. Figures for Section II.

This post continues with detailed figures from our book Scalable Innovation: A Guide for Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and IP Professionals.

Previously, on this blog:
- Introduction and Prologue: Unlearning What's Untrue.
- Section I. Using Systems Thinking for Understanding Technology, Inventions, and Patents.

In Section II, we introduce tools for thinking outside the box, considers the role of luck in success of inventions, and presents tools for flexible thinking and imagination development.

Chapter 6. Outside the Box: Developing Skills for Creative Thinking.

The picture below illustrates how even a minor change in perspective can make a great change in  life of a "surprised turkey" from the Nassim Taleb's parable:
A turkey is fed for 1,000 days - every day lulling it more and more into the feeling that the human feeders are acting in its best interest. Except that on the 1,001st day, the butcher shows up and there is a surprise. The surprise is for the turkey, not the butcher.

FIGURE 6.2    Expanding “turkey” perspective beyond 1,000 days.

Chapter 7. Seeing the Outlines of the Box: Discovering the Boundaries of a System.

We show how to use the system model for changing perspective systematically, moving between "boxes", thinking outside or inside the box at will. In the example below, we discover a major innovation opportunity by seeing Edison's implementation as an element of a bigger system.

FIGURE 7.1 A diagram of a coal-based energy distribution system, with electrified Manhattan plugged in as an instance of the Tool. (1) Various city blocks “plugged” into the larger system (instances of the Tool). (2) Coal mines (instances of the Source). (3) Railroad routes for coal delivery (an instance of the Distribution). (4a) A coal barge (an instance of the Packaged Payload). (4b) A coal train (an instance of the Packaged Payload). (5) Railroad time table (representing an instance of the Control).
Chapter 8. Inventor’s Luck: A System Perspective.
success = talent + luck 
great success = a little more talent + a lot of luck
—Daniel Kahneman, psychologist, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics

[F]or the first fifteen years after sliced bread was available no one bought it; no one knew about it; it was a complete and total failure.
—Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author of eleven books on marketing␣methods␣

We use the story of Otto Rohwedder, the inventor of the original bread slicing machine, to show how an invention, not necessarily the inventor, can become "lucky."

FIGURE 8.1    The original design of the early GE toaster. (Courtesy www.toaster. org.)

FIGURE 8.2 Contemporary Toastmaster advertisement. (Courtesy www.toaster. org)

FIGURE 8.3    Contemporary advertisement for a commercial Toastmaster. (Courtesy

Chapter 9. The Three Magicians: Tools for Flexible Thinking

Below is an example of how we can use the method to understand a diverse range of user scenarios without missing critically important details, while maintaining our flexibility of perspective.

FIGURE 9.1 Whiteboard Divide–Connect sketches during a practice invention session for a novel blood pressure device. Stanford University Continuous Studies Program. Principles of Invention and Innovation (BUS 74), summer 2012. Photo courtesy Silvia Ramos.

FIGURE 9.2    The 9-screen view. The turkey is preoccupied with the day-to-day supply of grain at the lower level. He doesn’t see the bigger picture at the higher level.

FIGURE 9.3    The 9-screen navigation logic. To understand the situation, the turkey needs to follow the top level (blue) arrows and see how the problem develops in space and time.

Chapter 10. Imagination Development: Seeing the World beyond Present-Day Constraints

An example of exponential thinking that lead to the creation of Kiva Systems, a company that develops robotic systems for warehouse automation (bought by Amazon for $775M).

FIGURE 10.1 From zero to in␣nity. Mick Mountz’s TED talk screen shot. (From Mick Mountz: Let the inventory walk and talk).

FIGURE 10.2    A bird’s eye view of a large-scale, distributed robotic warehouse. Each dot represents a mobile runner-robot that can hold and deliver a good to packing stations on the right. To reduce handling time, robots with popular items can stay closer to the packing stations.

An application of 10X thinking to the memristor technology.

FIGURE 10.3    Recon␣gurable multilayer circuit, US Patent Application 20120007038

Another example of exponential change: high-frequency stock trading.

FIGURE 10.4    High-frequency stock trading process. (From Charles Duhigg, Stock traders find speed pays, in milliseconds, New York Times, July 23, 2009, http://www. ).

(To be continued...)

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