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BS: Studies in Innovation

Amos 17 May 03 - 10:32 AM
Peter T. 17 May 03 - 10:53 AM
Amos 17 May 03 - 12:25 PM
CarolC 17 May 03 - 12:33 PM
Peter T. 17 May 03 - 02:17 PM
GUEST 17 May 03 - 02:23 PM
Amos 17 May 03 - 03:02 PM
Amos 17 May 03 - 05:52 PM
Sam L 17 May 03 - 10:16 PM
CarolC 18 May 03 - 02:27 AM
Peter T. 18 May 03 - 10:42 AM
JennyO 18 May 03 - 12:21 PM
JohnInKansas 18 May 03 - 03:08 PM
sian, west wales 19 May 03 - 04:52 AM
Mr Happy 19 May 03 - 07:13 AM
Sam L 19 May 03 - 09:45 AM
Mr Red 19 May 03 - 10:01 AM
Bill D 19 May 03 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Johnny in OKC 19 May 03 - 07:56 PM
DonMeixner 19 May 03 - 09:47 PM
Doug_Remley 19 May 03 - 10:00 PM
Amos 20 May 03 - 12:35 AM
Doug_Remley 20 May 03 - 01:58 AM
Grab 20 May 03 - 08:34 AM
Mr Happy 09 Apr 06 - 04:57 PM
Mr Happy 09 Apr 06 - 05:36 PM
Bunnahabhain 09 Apr 06 - 06:30 PM

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Subject: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 03 - 10:32 AM

First, some humor:

Two studies in "Innovation":

28-Apr-03: Apple introduces revolutionary legal music service
(300,000 downloads @ .99/ea on the first day), releases iTunes4 (by
far the best jukebox software in the world), updates Quicktime to
encode AAC audio (superior to MP3).

30-Apr-03: Microsoft's MSN division introduces the iLoo, a portable
toilet with internet access. A week later, they claim it was "a hoax"
they played on themselves. A day after that, they admit it was a real
product but it's now been killed (and that they lied when they called
it a "April Fool's joke"). This from the company that wants to bring
you "Trustworthy Computing."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joke:

Q: How many Microsoft programmers does it take to write a great piece
of software?

A: More!



Innovation, when it is done well, is one of the most wonderfully human talents, and a kind of beauty to itself.

What makes it work? What innovations have you seen or come up with that were successful? Most important, what kind of environment makes successful innovation more likely?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 May 03 - 10:53 AM

Much as I revere you, Amos....."Innovation" is a word that should be burnt in a public place. It now infests public discourse, universities, governments, the latest virus word -- it seems to have replaced "excellence", which was an excellent word until crap people used it so often it made you want to puke. When I see the word "innovation" I reach for the airsick bag.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 03 - 12:25 PM

Yes, Peter, the poor thing has been mangled by the dogs who ruin fine words with yaps and barks.

But it is still one of the hardest things in the world to do well. It is an ability too lacking to do something which has not been done before, and often those who abuse the word are also obsessively abusing the act, degrading it into a mere dramatization. I am not talking about product innovation in the marketplace (see? I can talk MBA, even though I prefer pith!) (Some of these guys couldn't pour pith out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel...). I am talking about the rare grace of truly starting a new and better way, or design, or turn of thought or action in the world.

Anyway, it is a fine and beautiful word, left to its own devises. It rolls sweetly off the tongue like a sunrise rolling across Southern Italy. It warms the spirit. It is a well-formed and beautiful word, a zaftig word full of sloe-eyed promise. I decline to abandon it.

Fondest regards,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: CarolC
Date: 17 May 03 - 12:33 PM

But it is still one of the hardest things in the world to do well.

I beg to differ. Inovation is what lazy people do when they know there's another way to do things that involves less effort. And what adventurous people do when they know there's another way to do things that would be more fun. Bureaucracy hates innovation becuase it hates change. That's why you don't find many good innovators within bureaucracies, and why innovation seems difficult. All the good innovators are out in their garages modifying their snowboards to fly like helicopters, or figuring out a way to make their laptop computer do their laundry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 May 03 - 02:17 PM

Dawn is the oldest thing in the world, and the youngest. yours, Peter T>


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 03 - 02:23 PM

this is a really innovative thread, Amos... bg

'gin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 03 - 03:02 PM

Peter, you are a fountain of first-rate pith!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 03 - 05:52 PM

True, CC, good innovation is inspired by a desire to avoid effort but that doesn't make it easy. It isn't so much the dreaming up of new ways that is hard. The devil is always in the implementation, and especially in getting them added into the agreements that govern the world.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Sam L
Date: 17 May 03 - 10:16 PM

My favorite innovator invented the straw. He had to be the laziest person that ever lived, tilting a glass to drink, and thinking "there has to be a better way".

   My kids just finished their inventions for the invention convention at school, and it was quite fun, and difficult. But after their program, filled with stories of great innovation, what occurred to me is that every single particular thing is still an open question as to whether it's really good. Still just depends on what we do with it. We try and try, but can't escape our limitations, really, we just amplify them. Oooh--there's a folk idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: CarolC
Date: 18 May 03 - 02:27 AM

One of my favorite innovations is one I came up with myself. When I was weaving professionally, I needed a tool that could comb out the warp as I wound it onto the loom when I was using a standard warp beam, that could hold multiple strands in place against the warp beam when I was using a sectional beam and I needed my hands free to cut the ends and tie a knot and other things, and to do half a million (ok, I'm exagerating... a little) other useful and very necessary things. There wasn't any tool that I was (or am) aware of that could do all of the things I wanted it to. But I remembered a tool that I had used in a type of work I had done previously that I just knew would do the trick.

The tool was simply a Hartz Mountain dog grooming comb. The kind with the one piece molded metal tooth end, and the one piece molded plastic handle. Those combs were an indispensable tool for me, and I honestly don't know how I could have functioned without them. And yet, I've never heard of any other weavers using a dog grooming comb as an essential tool.

That's the heart of innovation. It doesn't have to be elaborate. Just something that you come up with by yourself that fills a need.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 May 03 - 10:42 AM

Sometimes an innovation is simply a more elegant way of doing something. For instance, Mudcat -- its structure and layout and design -- is so elegant it is an innovation. After all this time I remain puzzled that the world hasn't beaten a path to its doorstep. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: JennyO
Date: 18 May 03 - 12:21 PM

I'm a keen camper, and I like to camp in comfort. When I was setting myself up about ten years ago, I was looking for ways to save money, but still have everything I wanted.

My back doesn't like bending a lot to do things like washing-up at ground level, but an elevated basin seemed ridiculously expensive to me. On the other hand, stove stands were half the price. I already had a rectangular plastic basin and a tray, so I bought a draining rack and put it on the tray, next to the basin and they all fitted perfectly on the extra stove stand (I tried them out in the store)- they were even the same colour blue by a happy coincidence, and looked like they matched.

Now comes the real innovation. I needed something to hold the detergent, sponge, scourer etc, and I found in the store a "caddy" that is supposed to screw onto the inside of a cupboard door. I only had to scoop out a little bit of the plastic attachment at the back on each end, and it hooked over the end of the stove stand, next to the basin.

Now ten years later, I am still using this set up, and it works really well. I sometimes get favourable comments from people who see it, too. A lot of it was just luck that everything fitted, but I am kinda proud of the little hook-on caddy on the end.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 May 03 - 03:08 PM

My "innovation" that gets the most comment in camp is really nothing new, since there is a commercial product that "does the same thing."

If you take two of the "snapper" - or spring type - clothespins and fasten them together, with the ends "reversed," you get a "clip" that can attach to, for example, the little hang-down flap on your camper awning, with a separate clip on the other end that can hold up a sidewall canvas to shade your cooler. Also very handy for hanging a string of lights around your shade canvas - or to a "clothesline" rope strung up anywhere.

The "durable" version is made from heavy wooden clothespins with a "water resistant" carpenter's glue. For the "deluxe" version, yo press two plastic clips against a hot flatiron until the plastic starts to flow, and then just press them together until cool.

Don't make less than about 100 at a shot, because they're so handy you'll use a lot of them - if you use any. You'll want them about 12 - 18 inches apart to hang lights, or about every 6" for a plastic "tarp" of any size.

You can actually buy a "double clip" from Coleman Outdoor, but they're about $.90 per clip, and are too small to be really handy. They're also so small they take "two hands" to operate.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: sian, west wales
Date: 19 May 03 - 04:52 AM

I went on a study tour of some northern Sweden rural communities in March 2002 and was very impressed by the way very small communities provided film entertainment. I was only a few miles from the Arctic Circle in some cases - so it was "the Land of the Midnight Sun" which in winter is ... ummm ... would that be the Land of the High Noon Moon? Anyway - they built screens and seats (benches) outside, out of snow, quite like a mini drive-in movie; of course, it was dark enough to show films most of the day, in the depth of winter. Most villages seemed to have one. They also gave you a thin sheet of foam rubber, bum-sized. Innovation AND consideration!

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 May 03 - 07:13 AM

my latest innovation is the inflatable camping toilet.

i know there's a commercially available on but not only is this very expensive, its too high up to fit in a little dome & still have enough headroom when seated.

mine cost only £2.98p to make & is also adjustable.

i also invented the bottle handle guitar/banjo holder for use in crowded sessions to prevent falling over in the pub. cost only 50p to make.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Sam L
Date: 19 May 03 - 09:45 AM

y'all're underestimating your inventions. Just because there's a commercial product to do the same thing doesn't mean you don't have a full-blown invention. Costing less to make, working better in one way or another, all those kinds of arguments are recognised as substantial by the laws of inventing. You'll rarely find a patent of anything wholly novel--unless you look up mine--but most are particular improvements, and new-use things.

I'm always charmed by commercial objects re-invented to other uses. It can be so elegant. My daughter made a "lap-top" for calculating the elevation of a kite from a video case, a math kit, scientific calculator, a cream-cheese lid, a clock hand, various stuff that fit together as if it were meant to. She also wanted the kite to drop parachutes--she attached army-man parachutes to 35mm film canisters instead--and we found a kite at a Target store that does that, but not nearly as well as hers does. The Target kite has two in-force patents on it!

It would make a great subject for a book--things used for other things. It's really entertaining.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 May 03 - 10:01 AM

What environment helps innovation - well after years of banging my head against brick walls of many workplaces I can tell you the most devastating is the word NO. Closed minds. I'm talking more about designers not users, though it is still true to a lesser degree.
What helps innovation? Brainstorming, co-operation in design, broad minds, competion - witness MS v Apple, who can afford not to compete and who has to. Mind you I do remember when Apple was pre-eminent and wearing the NIH badge with pride.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Bill D
Date: 19 May 03 - 03:14 PM

there are 'innovations' that are truly new and breathtaking, no matter how obvious they seem afterwards (like the straw and the paperclip)...but the most common is the "Hints from Heloise" kind..(a newspaper column where readers send in clever things they have done to make life easier. This usually involves recognizing in a object a use it was never designed for (unwinding wire coathangers to make car key snaggers*grin*)

Since I do woodturning for a semi-living, my head is FULL of little tricks/inventions to hold, mark, fit, control...etc., wood and tools. This is MY answer to the question:
"what kind of environment makes successful innovation more likely? " need to address a situation never encountered before.

A high school physics teacher used to give his kids problems to solve to test this...one I remember was dropping a ping-pong ball down a pipe it barely fit into and challenging them to get it out without damage...all sorts or idea were put forth, some pretty complex and silly...until one student suddenly went to the sink, filled a beaker with water and poured it down the pipe and floated the ball out!

Who knows how these "ah-ha" experiences come from?...but as you have more & more, a pattern develops where you begin to 'see' things differently and nothing is ever JUST a widget anymore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: GUEST,Johnny in OKC
Date: 19 May 03 - 07:56 PM

MR HAPPY - more info please on the
the bottle handle guitar/banjo holder

My vote for the most innovative & useful
product of the XX'th century: the
microwave oven.

My own innovation: domino playing cards

Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: DonMeixner
Date: 19 May 03 - 09:47 PM

The truly innovative person would use knowledge like a tool and create amazingly inventive new stuff! Like, armed with the certain knowledge that cats alway land on their feet and toast always lands butter side down, by combining cat and toast in the correct order, when dropped from height the two opposing forces would hover or spin in the air just off the ground, each trying to do what it's historical imperative directs it to do. Harnasseing this power would be truly innovative.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Doug_Remley
Date: 19 May 03 - 10:00 PM

In ways I don't want to happen, this seems a bit of a wet sponge. What do you mean by "innovation?" Putting existing creations together in a different way to resolve a problem not earlier imagined? Or, the actual creation of something completely different than anything that existed before?

An acquaintance at the gallery sold a painting and we were both inviited to a grand afternoon soiree unveiling the piece. It was years ago and a man in his early thirties was beside himself with the creative passion and effort to paint. The lavish estate and wealth came from one product. He had invented the tiny plastic spray tip on so many products we see everyday.

Are Creation, Innovation and Invention the same thing? I've got a gut feeling something is wrong with that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Amos
Date: 20 May 03 - 12:35 AM

Interesting point, DOug. Chimps are brilliant inventors up to a point, too.

Dunno if it is a question of quality? Or merely one of scale?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Doug_Remley
Date: 20 May 03 - 01:58 AM

I haven't studied the point but it would seem Chimps et.al. are innovators rather than inventors. Using current material to resolve problems seems "innovative" as Carol's using an existing implement for an entirely new purpose, or purposes. Perhaps creativity is the harbinger of invention, and need is the mother of innovation. Talent is necessary as well.

If I say I can take a few dollars of linen, wood and pigment and create a "moving" image worth thousands to others, that is a talent and creation is a process. Others write books or poetry; an engineer fabricates or a violinist hears notes without frets. This is Creation. Each of us, like our forebears, innovate every day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Grab
Date: 20 May 03 - 08:34 AM

Mine is my guitar strap mod, using a couple of bootlaces. Acoustic guitars don't tend to hang too well for playing. They tend to hang so the face is away from you, which makes it harder to finger-pick; they're not held very securely bcos they don't conform to your body like an electric, so they can wobble a bit; and if you don't have a heel strap-button then tying the strap at the neck tends to result in it slipping off your left shoulder bcos the angle over your shoulder is very shallow.

But if you run a string from the base strap-button across the face of the guitar, and tie it off to the strap at your left shoulder, problem solved. The guitar is now held on both sides of your body so it can't move at all. Because the string runs across the top of the face of the guitar, the leverage pulls the guitar round so the face is more "upwards" and easier to play (it can also be used to provide better bracing for lap-style slide playing). And because the string pulls the guitar strap down at your left shoulder and holds it in place, it can no longer slip off.

Also useful if you're tying a strap to a guitar neck is to tie off behind the first set of tuners. If you tie off right behind the nut, the string tends to get in the way of your hand.

A thought for business trips. I get very bored in hotels, so I like to take my guitar with me. If your guitar case is a bit oversized for the guitar, it can act as a suitcase. It's long, wide and flat, so it's ideal for keeping shirts and trousers flat. And you can use the cutaway and waist areas for socks and underwear. If you're really desperate then you could destring the guitar and fill it with clothes as well, but I think that's going a bit too far! :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Apr 06 - 04:57 PM

Mr Happy's Latest Invention!

another type of camp toilet for big tents.

This Easter, me & chums; including 2 blind fiends are off camping & folkin about in the Peak District.

My latest innovation is a cumfy toilet for all.

Consists of one of those cheap folding armchairs with hole cut in seat with loo seat over top & binbag underneath.

Armchair's so handy - even has a bogroll holder in one arm! Yippee!


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Apr 06 - 05:36 PM

just bin readin' thru this thread again.

someone above talkin' about campin' washin' up & don't like bendin back.

I thought this long time ago & 'PING!!'.

Why stand for it?

When u can sit down!

I do all my camp cookin' & washin' up sat down -its brill!

relaxin' ||& cloo1


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Subject: RE: BS: Studies in Innovation
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 09 Apr 06 - 06:30 PM

I use a variant on a fishermans knot I've never seen anywhere else. It's tied on my tankard as a belt loop, and various other, less important things as well

If you tie a fishermans knot, using the two ends of a piece of rope, you have a loop. If you tie the two halves of the knot round the other side of the loop as you tie it*, you have two adjustable loops, which should be just as strong as a standard fishermans. I find it most useful tied as a double fishermans, so the rope will only move under real effort.


* if you want to know more, PM me, and I'll explain somehow...


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