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by Alan Hargreaves



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Entries in ideas (4)

Wednesday
May182016

The best thing about equilibrium? We're never there.

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You're better off being here 

Equilibrium is embedded in the human psyche. Lurking behind science, culture and our daily lives is the idea that there can be a place where everything is in balance. 

In economics, it’s where demand equals supply. In physics, it’s where opposite forces cancel each other out. It is everywhere. Click here to watch Russell Crowe apply the Nash Equilibrium to speed dating. 

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Tuesday
Mar082016

Choosing ideas that get traction

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Why a marriage of convenience works

The test of any innovation is convenience. Does it make things easier? There are lots of inventions but few successes. Some are inspiring in their technical wizardry; others are aesthetically pleasing or inexpensive to produce. But they don’t get traction unless they make things more convenient.

For innovation to succeed, it has to mobilise either latent demand or latent supply, or both, and bring them together in a convenient package.

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Tuesday
May202014

Beware: Cliches Ahead.

Sometimes there’s a reason the road less travelled is not congested.

It’s easy to come up with slogans to explain success. Management commentary is full of them yet they often describe a singular success that isn’t easily transferred to another business.

“Sticking to your knitting” might be a successful strategy for one firm but not for a competitor. You could say it works for Walmart, but it didn’t for Sony. It stuck to the Walkman way past the arrival of the MP3 player. A better cliché might have been “when the horse is dead, get off”.

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Tuesday
Feb112014

Getting Lucky

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Sometimes, the flip side is the better track

In 1978 Gloria Gaynor was a moderately successful singer. That changed when she covered a Righteous Brothers number called “Substitute.” Few would remember the tune. That’s because it flopped. On the flip side was a new track no one had heard of. It was called “I Will Survive.” It went to the top of the charts and so did Gloria Gaynor.

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