Try to Top This Innovation — Students Bet on Their Grades

This new business has received a lot of press over the past week. Not surprisingly, there’s been a lot of criticism as opponents have labeled this as mere gambling. However, it appears that the company has found a loophole by positioning this as a game of skill versus a game of chance; the skill being the student’s ability to get a desired grade based on his effort/knowledge.

Regardless of your opinion about this concept, it truly is a novel idea…and one I wish was around when I was in school!

Looking forward to your thoughts!

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SEO: Past Present and Future

Good overview of SEO trends.  Large or small, companies need to be aware of this ever-changing landscape in order to get the most out of their e-initiatives.  Nice job by Hubspot in putting this together!

Billy Joel on Entrepreneurism? | Knowledgewebb.net

Good fundamental advice from…Billy Joel? Yes, even he started out knocking on doors as a budding entrepreneur, working hard to get his music heard by music industry executives (aka investors). Note his emphasis on:
1. persistence.
2. differentiating.
3. getting your unique selling proposition out quickly to potential investors.

Sounds like entrepreneurism 101! Enjoy.

Your Next Great Innovation? Look To Your Existing Product Line First

Redesigning the Health-Care System – BusinessWeek.

Another excellent example of how great innovation doesn’t just come from “white space” exploration.  As is the case with most of Apple’s product introductions over the past decade, your next great innovation may be the result of delivering your existing products or services in a better way.

Sure, it’s cliche to discuss Apple’s incredibly successful track record of delivering existing products in creative, brilliant ways.  Regardless, this article presents analagous disconnects in the typical patient experience that present countless opportunities to dramatically improve the delivery of healthcare in the US.   Can you draw parallels to your business?  Are there “pain points” in your customers’ experiences as they interact with your products or services?  The answers to these questions do not require rocket science; rather, it may be as simple as really connecting with your customers to find out.  Ask yourself:

   1.  When was the last time you conducted research on your customer experience? 
  2. If you have conducted research, was it unbiased?  Be honest with yourself; sometimes it’s worth spending the money to get an external objective perspective on how your customers feel about your offerings.
  3.  Did you act on your research findings?  Or, did it just go in a vault, never integrated into your planning process.

Stay close to your customers.  Get to know them intimately – before your competition does.

Entrepreneurs Enter the Commercial Space Race

Just another example of American entrepreneurism and ingenuity coming together to deliver against unmet needs! Interesting article by the NY Times, which also demonstrates how government can help guide entrepreneurial investments into areas that are strategically important for the US.

Creativity comes in many sizes: 90+ creative business cards

Innovation Comes in Any Size: A Military-Tough Flash Drive

In 2006, Dr. Anthony DuBose and two partners founded TAC Health in Redwood City; they spent the next two years researching, developing, and field testing the TAC Drive. Designed to meet military standards, the rugged metal USB flash drive has survived being run over by a fire truck, frozen in dry ice, heated to 270 degrees Fahrenheit, and submerged in 100 feet of water for an hour. It even emerged unscathed from a spin in DuBose’s centrifuge.

The device, which weighs less than an ounce, is intended primarily for storing medical information, though it can hold a variety of files. It can be engraved with vital stats such as blood type and drug allergies, and it comes with a free subscription to a website at which you can create a customized medical profile to sync with the TAC. Data can be encrypted with a military-grade security algorithm and password protected. The TAC starts at $25 for 1GB of storage, plus $10 for engraving.  via inc.com  By Sarah Kessler |  Mar 1, 2010