The essence of the Lifehacker blog that I’m so fond of is that – for any given action or process, there must be a better way. One of my emerging passions as I watch one service, process or product of the other emerge that has an impact on the way I do things is to evangelise it to others.
After all, if we do five things that save a minute of our day each, in a week we’ve got the best part of half an hour back to other things. And a lot of the productivity-enhancing things I’ve seen emerge in products, services and OS tweaks – purely from a technological point of view – have the potential to save much more time than that.
A non-techie example – the Fiskars weed puller I bought a few weeks back. A simple technological innovation saving me hours of tedious weeding, easily worth the £30 it cost in time and effort saved.
So I’m pushing on with my mission of discovery. I want to learn, try, experiment with and potentially buy products, services and training that will help me and my teams at work save time, work ‘smarter’ (horrible, but precise), and dig our way out from under the growing mound of pointless information and legacy process endemic to the knowledge worker. I speak of email, non-collaborative workflows and the like.
And my personal mission – to do the same thing for life more generally – endures, as ever. If you know about it, I want to hear about it!
My always insightful brother, wearing his hat as MD of Slingshot Studios, home of such films as the upcoming Infidel starring Omid Djalili, was asked for his advice on what it took to start innovative companies by Richard Wray of the Guardian… Here’s some of what he said:
Advice when starting an innovative company: work out what the points of industry and consumer resistance to your proposed innovation will be (i.e. vested interests, legacy technology or organisational structures, consumer behaviour etc). Assume they will be uncompromisingly disinterested or actively opposed to change. Work out a SPECIFIC and TESTED plan as to how you will overcome that opposition. Put as much time into that as you do into the innovation itself.
A lot of the people with great ideas you see (on Dragon’s Den and elsewhere) only get as far as the innovation itself. Overcoming cultural change or the perception that things need to be done in a certain way is a massive challenge in all contexts, whether raising money for a startup or deploying a new process or technology within a business. Throw off the status quo, rebel against the man, man.
More on the Slingshot blog and perhaps in the Guardian this weekend. Keeping eyes peeled for brotherly fame.
Cross posted at Chivalry House.
Cisco is a client of mine, so you know.
I don’t ordinarily write about clients at the weekend. Pretty much never, actually. Buy we’ve been working on a cool project with a man called Ian Kennedy at Cisco, and I spotted that Ian Forrester had been involved with the Thinking Digital conference in Newcastle last week and caught Ian K’s talk on ‘Open Innovation’ on Blip.tv.
Much interesting insight. Ian Kennedy’s a very smart guy and if you’re interested in the ongoing development of technology (well, everything really) in the UK and how one of the very big, very innovative companies in the world is approaching it, have a view:
Update: Turns out Ian made it onto Sky News this weekend too, talking about future collaboration and meeting applications, amongst other things.