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Working in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades, I’m frequently exposed to the concept of innovation.  Sometimes even overexposed to the point of hype.  But what I’ve learned over the years is that innovation isn’t limited to technology companies, driven by a secret algorithm or framework yielding the next game changing software or hardware product.    Rather, innovation is all around us, perhaps equally generated by accident, or by trial and error, as it is from an organized innovation initiative.   It’s evident in all aspects of my daily life, from cooking, to music, to travel, and theater as well as technology and is globally true.    What I’ve observed though is that the universal factors in the entrepreneurial attitude that creates such innovation are curiosity and perseverance.     Curiosity to investigate multiple options and approaches and the perseverance to keep going when those initial options keep failing and conventional wisdom all around you is saying it won’t work.

As I reflect in my own diverse and seemingly unrelated interests just in the last two months, such innovative spirit is very evident.    Two examples in particular reinforced this to me. Continue Reading »

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I’ve been to India 8 times in first 40+ years of life and 8 times in last 3 years now that I have a job that requires frequent travel to India.      In all of those trips and now reinforced more than ever, it is the sound of India which is most embedded in my mind whether the 1980’s in Mumbai or 2016 in Hyderabad (picture from below – December 2016).

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To me, India is: Continue Reading »

Terms like Wearable Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) have forced itself into the mainstream.    In this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, IoT was all the rage.   Connected toothbrushes, home audio systems and thermostats were showcased.     Early adopters have embraced products like Google Glass, and there is even now a  backlash  in some places against the use of Google Glass.

As I think about uses for such devices, particularly a product like Google Glass or a Samsung smart watch, it makes me think of a possible use case from my own experience, and whether we’d really want such a use case.

A few years back, I had a job that I commuted to in San Francisco.  Living about 15 miles away, I would take public transportation on the Caltrain to the last stop in SF and then walk about 25 minutes one way to my office.   Typically taking the same train each day at the same time, I would always be making my walk to the office from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM.    I would take the same route each day and would pass hundreds of pedestrian commuters walking the other direction. Continue Reading »

I’ve been fascinated by Sugata Mitra’s self-direct learning methods, which I wrote about here http://bit.ly/OuXgcd and here http://bit.ly/1ddR9Pu. Now, he’s opened his first learning lab in India. More below

TED Blog

Kids at the Korakati School in the Cloud investigate the questions that matter to them online, with the assistance of a teacher via the Granny Cloud. Students at the School in the Cloud in Korakati, India, investigate the questions that matter to them online, with the assistance of a teacher via the Granny Cloud.

By Natasha Scripture

“Early one morning last February, a man turned up on my doorstep who had travelled through the night to get there,” said Sugata Mitra, the education reformer who received the 2013 TED Prize. “This schoolteacher wanted to do something positive for his village, which had no electricity, health care or primary education … It was just the kind of place I was looking for.”

Korakati is a remote village in one of the poorest parts of India, in the middle of a mangrove swamp. It’s hardly the place that most people would seek out to try to build a high-tech learning lab. But then again, Sugata Mitra is not most people. [ted_talkteaser id=1678]At TED2013, Mitra shared his long-standing…

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One of the most popular posts I’ve written for this blog was about my experience with the Indian Head Wiggle, (or Shake, or Bobble- many names for that most Indian of Indian gestures)  inspired by an analysis of the wiggle in the fantastic book Shantaram.  That post for many years was a cited reference in Wikipedia for the Indian Head Wiggle.   I even was interviewed on Canadian radio for my so called expert perspective on the Indian Head Wiggle.    Needless, to say, this gesture and topic has become important to me and something that I’ll pay attention to as I hear about in the media. Continue Reading »

As we all know, the Internet is a treasure trove of information- some useful, often useless; frequently educational, unfortunately, repeatedly ignorant.   Pick your favorite pair of opposite meaning adjectives, you can apply it to the information on the Internet.

But the good, educational, information is indeed abundant.  It’s overflowing and the trick is how to filter it, find it, and make time to read it and avoid the useless information.   My approach has evolved, with a current go to model consisting of multiple web and mobile social media and news applications coupled with multi-platform productivity and storage tools.  Here’s how it works. Continue Reading »

The other night, I was walking in downtown San Francisco after a work event near two other pedestrians, two men probably in their mid twenty’s.   I could overhear parts of their conversation when one of them said, “I hate technology.  I forwarded the email to her, and then she posted it on …….”.   It seemed to be a discussion about singles, dating, and technology and the first thing I thought about was, of course, Aziz Ansari!

On September 7, 2013, I attended a comedy show of acclaimed comedian and Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari at the Victoria Theater in Dayton, Ohio.   The evening started out with a funny bit where Ansari allows the audience to take a picture of him on stage, a practice that had just previously been announced as prohibited.   Ansari wondered why fans were so eager for a picture that would inevitably be blurry and sure enough here’s my requisite blurred photo. Continue Reading »

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