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Top 10 Innovation Lab Best Practices

The topic of innovation is critical in this age of digital disruption and transformation. How do companies and organizations plan for and deliver innovation, which often seems to be an illusive mirage? The answer is to include innovation in the strategic executive agenda and invest long term in an Innovation Lab.

image courtesy:

An Innovation Lab, if setup correctly, enables rapid and business value focused ideation and prototyping. When connected, end-to-end, from the origin of the opportunity/problem to final production, time-to-market is improved, speed-to-volume is accelerated, and more importantly makes it possible to bring that which is radically different to the market.

The term “radically different” is critical in an Innovation Lab-context. Business-as-usual development outside of the Innovation Lab needs to stay relevant and innovative. Innovation is not something that can or should be excluded anywhere, even if an Innovation Lab is implemented. However, an Innovation Lab must be challenged with the primary task: to design and bring to market that which is radically different, since this factor is what is at the heart of disruption and transformation. image courtesy:

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The Future of Storytelling: Step into the page

Glen Keane – Step into the Page from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.

“Over nearly four decades at Disney, Glen Keane animated some the most compelling characters of our time: Ariel from The Little Mermaid, the titular beast in Beauty and the Beast, and Disney’s Tarzan, to name just a few. The son of cartoonist Bil Keane (The Family Circus), Glen learned early on the importance of holding onto your childhood creativity—and how art can powerfully convey emotion. Keane has spent his career embracing new tools, from digital environments to 3D animation to today’s virtual reality, which finally enables him to step into his drawings and wander freely through his imagination.”

PaaS Is The New N-Tier

Do you pride yourself on your knowledge of modern application development?  I always did, and I kept my skills current—until recently, when I discovered that I was way behind.

Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) is a significantly different approach to custom application development.  It kicks n-tier to the curb, and I love it. Traditionally, applications were built in three tiers: UI, business logic and database.

image-1It was all custom code with may be some widgets or libraries for complex functionality.  The entire application was usually expected to run on a single server and we developed the system in a slow, waterfall approach.

Recently, SOA (service-oriented architecture) showed us how to encapsulate business critical functionality into services.  This enabled an application to be distributed across several services and orchestrated with special software.  Using agile methods, developers had access to pre-built objects specific to the business domain and users gained early visibility to the application.

[Read more…]

DeepStereo: Learning to Predict New Views from the World’s Imagery

Take a bunch of Google Street View photo’s and apply deep learning. The outcome is “a video” and something that’s called Deep Stereo. It’s and end-to-end trained system that fills in the gaps between the pictures and make you feel as if you can walk in the scene like 3D. Deep networks have recently enjoyed enormous success when applied to recognition and classification problems in computer vision, but their use in graphics problems has been limited.

IoT: Connect Physical and Digital Worlds for New Business Models

(This article is a review and summary of different white papers, books and courses referenced in the bibliography section, focusing on business models and some examples of them.)

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the vision that every object and location in the physical world can become part of the Internet: Objects and locations are generally equipped with network, storage and computing capacities and so they become smart objects that can take in information about their environment and communicate with the Internet and other smart objects. So, smart things are hybrids, composed of [Read more…]

I Will Kill You

“Have you ever wanted to kill someone? Do you want to get rid of your partner, your boss or your arch nemesis? Perhaps you want to enjoy your life insurance payout whilst you’re still alive. Do you have rich elderly parents that just won’t die quick enough? Or do you want a “Do Over” new identity.

Then, this presentation is for you! I’ll provide you with the insight and techniques on how to “kill” someone and obtain a real death certificate and shutdown their lives. It focuses on the lack of security controls that allow any of us to virtually kill off anyone or any number of people. Forget the Dexter way of killing someone, I’ll show you how to avoid the messy clean up and focusing in on the digital aspects. You could be dead right now and not even know it.”

Donald Trump Buying the World’s First Real AI?

Image 1What if Donald Trump were to buy the worlds first real ‘strong’ AI? What would he do with a thinking computer that would out-think everybody else? This was a question that crossed my mind when thinking about the ethics of AI. Or, along the same lines, what if Bill Gates (you know, from the Gates foundation) were to own one? Or the government of China? Or the Vatican? Different owners would surely lead to different scenarios of how this AI would be used and different outcomes for mankind.

There is a lot of discussion already about the dangers and opportunities of AI. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are among the famous people warning for what could go wrong. Automatic autonomous weapons, killing anybody who fits a certain description? It might just be possible for anyone to build in a few years time.

Or perhaps – hopefully – a real strong AI would quickly realize that to achieve the goals of any owner, progress for whole mankind would be best? Regardless if you pursue world peace, great fortune or to become the world’s leader, it probably helps if people are happy, healthy and productive. Although, another view says that any computer would quickly realize that the greatest threat to it’s own operation would be for someone to turn it off, and you don’t need to have a super-brain to reason this scenario through. (“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”)

On a more serious note, if you’re interested in the ethics of AI I can strongly recommend this video by Nick Bostrom, who also wrote a book on the same topic: Superintelligence.



Blockchain: Firing up the Crypto-economy

Welcome to the wondrous world of the complex, yet highly imaginative crypto-economy. The world of blockchain and bitcoin, of miners, sandboxes and hashes. If you are not familiar with this subject yet, you may easily fall under the spell of the fascinating and fast-growing crypto-environments. And even if you have already made a study of the subject, some elements of the crypto- economy may remain mysterious, and to some extent intangible. But just look of it this way:

Imagine that with every transaction you execute on the internet, a notary looks over your shoulder to make sure that nothing is wrong. That would be a very costly affair indeed. But it is an entirely different matter if it could be computerized. What you have then, basically, is a possibility to do frictionless business, as the control is already embedded in the transaction. This may well be the key to lots of new possibilities. Such a system exists. It is called blockchain, a strong chain without weak links offering a solution to numerous actual problems within the digital economy.

Download our new report Blockchain, Cryptoplatform for a frictionless economy

Inside you’ll find:

Crypto-economy 1.0

We outline the potential impact of this new application in three steps. The first step is the crypto- economy 1.0. It concerns the currency, the bitcoin, and financial transactions. It also provides a vital explanation of how the protocol operates. We list seven pros and cons of the bitcoin, dwell upon questions regarding the supervision of the system and wrap up with the official viewpoints of the financial authorities.

 Crypto-economy 2.0

When outlining the crypto-economy 2.0, we go more deeply into the other possibilities of the blockchain, also called “bitcoin without bitcoin.” This concerns two kinds of applications in particular: smart contracts and smart products, and how the economy can be made to run more smoothly; or, in other words, how wasting can be stamped out.

Crypto-economy 3.0

If we let our imagination run wild, the final result is the crypto-economy 3.0. Here we describe the DACs (Decentralized Autonomous Corporations), also called Robocorps. It is an Internet-of-Things scenario, where objects are increasingly getting a freehand to make decisions and stimulate the economy: a potential forerunner of a zero-marginal cost society. In such a case, blockchain will be part of a collaborative commons, an advanced form of blockchain technology in society.

When Innovation Changes the Meaning of Disability

Last winter, when I had a ski accident and broke my knee ligaments, my 6-year-old son said to me, “Don’t worry, they’ll fix it and you’ll become a robot”. What impressed me in that sentence was that, in his mind, the meaning of breaking things or disability was already changed: in some years, we will have to find a new term in the post-disability age.
Maxènce is french boy, born without a hand and that has been equipped with the first 3d printed [Read more…]

Design, Disrupt, and Do the Blockchain

Image 1How can you, as an organization, design your own disruptive market possibilities? “Doing the blockchain” might get you there. Read our new report Blockchain: cryptoplatform for a frictionless economy.

“Disruption is the New Normal.” This is the key message from the series of our reports on the “Design to Disrupt” project. We have outlined the [Read more…]

Testing Prevents Everything Nice

Image 1“We can’t share anything on public internet before completing security audit.”

“All changes made to an environment must be approved by managers.”

“Applications can be updated only during predefined times.”

Familiar statements … right? You might be wondering why I mentioned testing explicitly at the title. In fact, testing is implicitly included in all steps. Security audit is also just one kind of testing. Tester(s) are quite often the ones who get the blame if applications can’t go live due to the detection of bugs. So it’s preventing “everything nice”.

Luckily, there are some companies that think differently. In those companies it’s enough that the code is in version control and automated tests pass to install new version to production. Without any human intervention.  Also improvements or fixes for the application can be made quicker. It’s enough to notice something that needs to be changed (improvement, error) in the application and tell that to product team. The feature can be fixed or implemented to production much faster than most people can expect.

So, the good part is that we clearly see quick fixes and new features. This can be also seen as a problem. So first thing to do is to trust each other. E.g. that developers do not make mindless implementations, and are able to fix things successfully. And also that business people can make decisions, without getting approvals from some steering groups or committees.

So, in a nutshell:

  1. Trust people and let them do things that they’re good at
  2. Trust that people are doing things the correct way and verifying that the results of their work, works.
  3. Help people by removing obstacles instead of creating those.
  4. Use time for doing things, not for building (manual) safety nets.

All this is part of DevOps, so why not to try that yourselves?

Future Life with Pepper

Help! I just Inherited Code…

Image 1You just inherited someone else’s code and you feel like the task is going to be impossible. You are overwhelmed by the lack of documentation, you also find out that there are no tests in place and you wonder how on earth you will make the requested changes without breaking things. Yes you are scared!

I’ll try to help you with these 4 guidelines: [Read more…]

Replaceable Me

“From lab-grown lungs to mechanical eyes, the latest, and most realistic, artificial body parts.”

1314HEALTH_Bionics_lay [Print].indd

Infographic by Jeong Suh/Bryan Christie Design, New York Magazine

Service Virtualization: Why Bother?

Like it or not, we live in a world where expectations are high: development teams are asked to get more done, in less time, in the face of moving targets, last-minute design changes, and complex, difficult-to-understand systems.

And those are the easy engagements.

In managing software development projects for well over two decades (yes, I’m that old — you can check my LinkedIn profile) there’s one specific problem for which many solutions have been proposed — managerial, organizational, governance — and which seems to elude most approaches and slow-down most development teams. [Read more…]

Robot Tries to Escape from Children’s Abuse

Cable TV on Schedule to Die

Image 1According to the NY Times and US News there were 600,000 people that left cable in the first two quarters of 2015.  This year is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Cable TV.  I am cutting the cord this month after over twenty years subscribing to cable.  The price is simply out of control.  There are many streaming options that make it worthwhile to switch: [Read more…]

The suprising joy of virtual reality


ROFLOL. The worst cover of Time magazine. And it’s asking for a response from the online community.

Internet of Things; Going Out in the Storm

Image 1When I sit on my couch looking at my smartphone, the screen of the phone is my window to the digital world. No matter how much you do with a smartphone nowadays, it is still a very small, flat, one-dimensional gateway. Bypassing this small gateway, is in my opinion, one of the characteristics of Internet of Things. We are heading for a seamless integration between the physical and the digital world. [Read more…]