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Sustainable Technology Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers Greg Graff, College of Agricultural sciences WEEK 2: IDEA GENERATION & ENTREPRENEURS.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Technology Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers Greg Graff, College of Agricultural sciences WEEK 2: IDEA GENERATION & ENTREPRENEURS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Technology Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers Greg Graff, College of Agricultural sciences WEEK 2: IDEA GENERATION & ENTREPRENEURS

2 Readings for today  Paul Polak, Out of Poverty, 2008  Chapter 1 “Twelve Steps to Practical Problem Solving”  Chapter 2 “The Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths”  Chapter 3 “It All Starts with Making More Money”  Thomas Byers, Technology Ventures, 2010  Chapter 1 “Economic Growth and the Technology Entrepreneur”

3 Being an ‘entrepreneur’ entrepreneur [fr. Old French entreprendre to undertake] 1. the organizer of an economic venture: one who organizes, owns, manages, and assumes the risks of a business 2. one that organizes, promotes, or manages an enterprise or activity of any kind: PRACTITIONER, PROMOTER 3. one who serves as an intermediary: MIDDLEMAN, GO- BETWEEN

4 Being an ‘innovator’ innovation [fr. Latin innovatus/innovare, renew, modify] 1. the act or an instance of introducing something new 2. deviation from established doctrine or practice 3. a shoot that arises at or near the apex of the stem of a plant

5 Some common typologies of technological innovation Product vs. Process Radicalvs.Incremental Technology-Pushvs.Demand-Pull

6 Traits of the innovative entrepreneur 1. Active desire to change the status quo 2. Willing to take risks to make such change happen. 3. Combine persistence in strategy with flexibility in tactics 4. Treats failure with respect and uses it as an opportunity to learn and try something new:  mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of  they are expected as a cost of doing business  if no mistakes, not trying hard enough Adapted from Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

7 “On A Mission for Change”  “Embracing a mission for change makes it much easier to take risks and make mistakes”  Innovators rely on their “courage to innovate”  active bias against the status quo  unflinching willingness to take risks …to “transform ideas into powerful impact.” Adapted from Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

8 The innovation skill set 1. Associating 2. Questioning 3. Observing 4. Experimenting 5. Networking From Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

9 1. Associating  “the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields”  “Creativity is connecting things.” – Steve Jobs  Pierre Omidyar launched eBay in 1996 after linking three unconnected dots: 1. a fascination with creating more efficient markets 2. his fiancée’s desire to locate hard-to-find collectible Pez dispensers 3. the ineffectiveness of local classified ads to find such things” From Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

10 1. Associating  “Thinking of poor people as customers instead of recipients of charity radically changes the design process.” -Paul Polak, Out of Poverty, pg 75

11 2. Questioning  “The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question.” -Peter Drucker  “question the unquestionable.” -Ratan Tata Adapted from Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

12 2. Questioning  “…simple but critical high-leverage interventions can generate significant positive impacts on multiple fronts.”  “many leaders in development continue to scorn the search for relatively simple, low-cost, high-leverage solutions to the complex problem of poverty.”  “I have no doubt that the most important low-cost, high-leverage solution to the complex issue of poverty is helping poor people increase their income.” -Paul Polak, Out of Poverty, pg 55

13 2. Questioning  “Where will the money be?”  [i.e. not “Where is it now?”] -Paul Pollak, Out of Poverty, pg 80

14 3. Observing  “Often the surprises that lead to new business ideas come from watching other people work and live their normal lives.” -Scott Cook, creator of Quicken financial software  Toyota’s philosophy of genchi genbutsu: “going to the spot and seeing for yourself.” From Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

15 3. Observing  Four of Paul Polak’s ‘Twelve Steps to Practical Problem Solving”: 1. Go to where the action is. 2.Talk to the people who have the problem and listen to what they say. 3.Learn everything you can about the problem’s specific context. 6. See and do the obvious “Each of the last twenty-five years I have interviewed at least a hundred of IDE’s small-acreage customers. All my ideas…came from what I learned from these small-acreage farmers…” -Paul Polak, Out of Poverty, pg. 23

16 4. Experimenting  “I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.”-Thomas Edison  “Like scientists, innovative entrepreneurs actively try out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots.”  One of the most powerful experiments in which innovators can engage is living and working overseas  “research has revealed that the more countries a person has lived in, the more likely he or she is to leverage that experience to deliver innovative products, processes, or businesses.” From Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

17 4. Experimenting  Paul Polak’s design principles:  MAKE A MULTITUDE OF PROTOTYPES “using local rural workshops to produce prototypes is an advantage because they incorporate solutions to constraints”  MAKE CHANGES BASED ON FIELD TESTS “Immediately try the new technology in at least 25 farms with different conditions”  ADAPT A TECHNOLOGY IF YOU MOVE IT “why would anyone consider exporting [technology] without first going through the relatively inexpensive process of field-testing and adaptation based on experience.” -Paul Pollak, Out of Poverty, pg 79-80

18 5. Networking  “Finding and testing ideas through a network of diverse individuals gives innovators a radically different perspective”  “Innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains” From Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, “The Innovator’s DNA,” Harvard Business Review, 2009

19 Networking is the Idea  Andrew Hargadon argues that innovation is more a process of “recombination” of existing things than inventing new ones:  ideas,  physical technologies,  people, companies, & relationships,  systems  Even apparently radical innovations, like the invention of the light bulb, are in themselves rather more incremental when you carefully examine the context of the “network” within which they occurred.  The radical change arises, rather, in how the system around the so-called breakthrough gets rearranged.  This cannot happen without the innovative entrepreneur being thoroughly engaged with that network. Andrew Hargadon, How Breakthroughs Happen, Harvard Business School Press: 2003

20 Idea Generation

21 Idea  Plato: an archetype or subsistent form  Aristotle: a form-giving cause  Locke: an immediate object [of the mind] or compound of immediate objects  Hume: a representation or construct of memory and association  Kant: a transcendent but non-empirical concept of reason  Hegel: the complete and final product of reason  The raw materials of innovation

22 Idea generation IDEAS INNOVATIONS

23 If an ‘innovation’, as a new way of doing things, is a potentially workable solution to a problem (step 3)…. …an ‘idea’ is a hypothesis about how to solve the problem; or even simply a way to generate hypotheses about how to solve the problem (step 2). Yet prior even to the idea, there must be a questioning, a conceptualization and formulation of the ‘problem’… even a realization, simply, that the problem exists (step 1).

24 Step 1. Problem Identification  What is a problem that, if alleviated, would have major impact for humanity? “An important question is always interesting, but an ‘interesting’ question is not always important.” - Bryan Willson

25 Problem Identification  Dean Kamen: rosthetic_arm.html this is very inspiring video! Marc Koska, 1.3 million reasons to re-invent the syringe: _of_syringe_reuse.html …opportunity recognition.

26 2. Idea Generation  What are all the possible ways we could approach solving the identified problem?

27 3. Innovation  Of the most promising ways to approach the problem, do we have—or could we create—a potentially workable solution?


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