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Innovation Ideas From Davos

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 02, 2006

I’m going to dump my notes on innovation and design that I took during the World Economic Forum in Davos. I think the best way is to simply list the concepts/quotes/information and sources from various sessions and people over the course of several days as I go through my reporter’s note books. I think there is a millions dollars worth of IP in these ideas. Here goes:

1—Income in Chinese cities is three times higher than in the countryside (RMB 10,000 vs. RMB 3,000—what is the conversion, 8.2 to the dollar?) Cheng Siwei, vice-chairman, standing committee, national people’s congress, China. This guy knows. Most questions at the “Emerging China” session went to and through him. And at the session, some guy got up and videotaped everyone in the audience. He was not from the media but appeared to be from the government. I didn’t like it.

2- Chinese companies will buy US brands in the months ahead, following Lenovo buying IBM’s ThinkPad. “Chinese believe the foreign moon is brighter and bigger,” said Victor Chu, Chairman and CEO, First Eastern Investment Group in Hongkong and a well-connected guy.

3- “I come from a country that is creatively rich and application poor.” Sir George Cox, chairman of the British Design Council. “We don’t make iPods but export people who design them—Johnnie Ives.”

4- “You need a beginners mind” for innovation. “We learn our way to our solutions.” “Find a problem never worked on and prototype quickly.” Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO.

5- “Constraints are very important to creativity. It should be balanced with a healthy disregard for the impossible.” Marissa Ann Mayer, Google.

6- “Perfection is a paralyzer.”

7- “Changing the frame of the problem is the first thing people do in being creative.” Tim Brown, IDEO.

8- “Small investments, small teams, free you from fear.” Marissa Ann Mayer, Google.

9- “Americans are pessimistic at Davos. The Chinese, Indians, Brazilians are optimistic.” In the Congress Hall.

10- “Age Rage.” Young angry at paying for the old.

11- “Google and Yahoo make judgements in China on what to run. These would be different judgements that the New York Times and the International Herald Tribue would make.” Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times Co.

12- I’ll be going to space. My parents and children will go with me.” Richard Branson on Virgin Galactica.

13- “Treat talent like you treat CEOs. Let them do other things outside the company.” Source unknown.

13- Arup Internation, A Danish architectural collective, is building an Olympic swimming building in Beijing that uses plastic bag technology. If there is a fire, it melts and people can wake to safety.


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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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