I have nothing to blog about ...

Thursday Brain Teaser ...

Imagine you have a shot glass of water, and a shot glass of Whiskey. How do you get the whiskey into the water glass, and the water into the whiskey glass. You can't use an extra glass, you can't use a straw, and you can't use your mouth .....

Can you play piano ?

I am sure a lot of you can. This guy plays it in a different way - He plays it with his balls =) A very clever and entertaining performance. Enjoy !

The Business of Innovation Series on CNBC

CNBC is running a 5-part series on "Business of innovation". The first two episodes (full one-hour) are now available online on the CNBC website. This is going to be an interesting series, each episode will explore different aspect of innovation and they will have innovation experts to collaborate on the topics. The series will cover:
  1. Innovators & Iconoclasts
  2. Revolution & Evolution
  3. New Tricks & Old Dogs
  4. People & Technology
  5. Loners & Teammates
There's also an online component to the series which includes related articles, podcasts and forums.

I have just finished the first episode and here are some interesting points that I learned:
  • Google has a CCO (Chief Culture Officer)
  • During the 12 years that Steve Job was gone, Apple's stock rose 120%. And the 10 years he's been back, it rose more than 2260%
  • Rite-Solution came up with an internal mock stock market called "Mutual Fun", in which employees can trade and invest on "ideas"
  • Participation is the key in generating innovative ideas. It may take many bad ideas and failure in order to come up with great ideas
  • There is a bias that innovation comes from big brains, the smartest or the boss.
  • An innovative leader should "walk in stupid everyday" and be prepared to learn from the crowd
Check it out if you have time, the one-hour program is actually broken down into 4 video clips.

The Bathroom Singing Effect ...

I read about the iCarta iPod Toilet Roll Holder few months ago. Some people may think spending oodles of time (watching tv / listening to music) in the bathroom is stupid. I did a little experiment this weekend and I would like to share what I found.

It was a lazy sunday morning, and I decided to run a nice hot bath. As the tub filled with steaming water, I took my Altec Lansing portable iPod speakers with me. It was such a relaxing experience listening to your favorite music in a nice hot tub ! And more important, the "Bathroom Effect" provided a great echo chamber to enrich the sound quality:

Many people sing in the bathroom because it acts as an echo chamber, especially with tiles installed. The multiple reflections from walls enriches the sound of one's voice, and "bathroom singers" enjoy themselves. Small dimensions and hard surfaces of a typical bathroom produce various kinds of standing waves, reverberation and echos, giving the voice "fullness and depth".

Now I couldn't find a better place in my room to put my speakers ...

Attracting and Retaining Top Talents

I have read several articles that mentioned "Talent Acquisition" has become a hot topic in HR and it will be on CEOs' agenda in the next decade. One of the main reasons is the growing mismatch between the large number of people retiring in the next few years and the number of new people entering the work-force. According to Business 2.0 magazine, for every two baby boomers who retire in the next decade, there will only be one college grad to take their place. But attracting them is only half the battle, it is also very important retain them by fostering an environment in which people are inspired to achieve their fullest potential. Here is an excerpt from the article "Leading Clever People" in the recent Harvard Business Review:

Seven Things You Need to Know about Clever People

1. They know their worth. The tacit skills of clever people are closer to those of medieval guilds than to the standardized, codifiable, and communicable skills that characterized the Industrial Revolution. This means you can’t transfer the knowledge without the people.

2. They are organizationally savvy. Clever people will find the company context in which their interests will be most generously funded. If the funding dries up, they have a couple of options: They can move on to a place where resources are plentiful, or they can dig in and engage in elaborate politics to advance their pet projects.

3. They ignore corporate hierarchy. If you seek to motivate clever people with titles or promotions, you will probably be met with cold disdain. But don’t assume this means they don’t care about status; they can be very particular about it, and may insist on being called “doctor” or “professor.”

4. They expect instant access. If clever people don’t get access to the CEO, they may think the organization does not take their work seriously.

5. They are well connected. Clever people are usually plugged into highly developed knowledge networks; who they know is often as important as what they know. These networks both increase their value to the organization and make them more of a flight risk.

6. They have a low boredom threshold. In an era of employee mobility, if you don’t engage your clever people intellectually and inspire them with organizational purpose, they will walk out the door.

7. They won’t thank you. Even when you’re leading them well, clever people will be unwilling to recognize your leadership. Remember, these creative individuals feel that they don’t need to be led. Measure your success by your ability to remain on the fringes of their radar.

Throw away your Excel Charts ...

Have you ever got frustrated when spending a huge effort in customizing your excel charts to make them look nice and more important - to convey findings from your data.

Here's Hans Rosling on TedTalk in which he debunks a few myths about the "developing" world. What impressed me is the Gapminder tool that he used to plot the animated charts. It provides much better understandings of the data and it is amazing to see how simple visualization can provide valuable insights.

Game 3.0: Second Life on PS3 ?

Sony unveiled two unique Playstation 3 games: "Home", a real-time, networked 3D avatar based community that serves as a meeting place for PS3 users from around the world. And the other one is "LittleBigPlanet", a community based game where users play, create and share what they build with other worldwide PS3 users. Doesn't it sound familar ? Take a closer look:

Wow ... That's basically Second Life with soup up graphics. And it looks like a better environment than second life for "socializing" and "entertainment". However, I don't think these two will compete directly with each other since they are quite different.

First, Sony is targeting the gamers market, even though this maybe a good attempt in reaching the non-gamers (currently dominated by Nitendo Wii), this feature probably won't sell the console by itself. Second, with Sony's long history of engineering proprietary solution (from Betamax to UMD), it's unlikely to have an open developer/business community. And it's also unlikely to have an economy like in Second Life, as I assume most money users spent will go to Sony directly. But on the other hand, I could see huge potential in advertising in this virtual world with PS3's superb graphics capability and gamer target audiences. The Yankee Group forecasted in-game ad revenue to reach $732 million by 2010.

Start off your Monday with some laughters =)

An array of laughter studies show that laughing can increase one's creativity. It is hard to be creative when you are stressed, and laughing can relax you and help your ideas flow. How about this little cutie to start off your Monday ? Laugh out Loud !

Magic and Innovation: Jason Latimer

I am a big fan of Magic Tricks, especially when people come up with new way of performing conventional magic. Here‘s Jason Latimer performing the classic “Cups N Balls” trick, but with clear glasses. Don‘t Blink !! =)