Tuesday, November 7, 2017

From Centralized to Decentralized Societies

1/13/2018: found the source file and stored it in

2017 updates:

I must have archived the source file of the talk at home so could not update it directly

     So, I list the major updates here

Update 1: What happens when the lights go out

Remember Hurricane Irma and Puerto Rico

        This is a "mild" example of the dangers of centralized electricity


                PR is *much* better able to function without electricity than, say NYC!

Update 2: Another recent addition to the most reputable collapse literature

        Peter Turchin

With these in mind, let's go to the talk

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Making the future: From invention to customer discovery

Two approaches to future technology

1) look at the past,
         predict the future

     Example: exponential "laws"

2) dream the future,
         make it happen

     Example: let's make some!

We'll do it workshop style...

A. Decide on your interest


     Write down some steps in

               a typical use of:

                       a faucet (or other water dispenser)


     Write down a few steps in

               a typical use of:

                       a smartphone

Let's hear a few...

Now, decide if you would prefer to improve




(Who chose which?)

B. Write down *more* steps

Lots of steps!

Then we'll compare notes

C. Find "pain points"

What step(s) are associated with







Find the pain points

Then we'll compare notes

You can update your steps if you like

D. Invent solution(s)!

Create solution(s) to pain point(s)

Then we'll compare notes

E. The lean canvas

Suppose we want to make a startup

The "Lean Canvas" is a new planning method

      A variation is the "Business Model Canvas"

It is a path forward on one sheet of paper

      Compare that to a 50-page "Business Plan"

One is much shorter

One is easier to change

      Startup ideas often do change!

One more realistically matches the startup process

One is rapidly growing more popular

Let's look at a lean canvas template now

In fact, let's fill it out together,

    one compartment at a time



    Unique value proposition

    Unfair advantage (if any)

    Customer segment(s)

        We'll focus on this more later


    Cost structure

    Revenue streams

F. Customer discovery

You think you know they want it

    But do they?

    You have to ask them!

Figure out some questions to ask them

Interview your neighbor

    Then we'll switch to new neighbors

G. Next time...

My other evening class

     Applied Innovation Project

     Will visit interview us

         Because they have inventions!

(Note: you may take that course
in a future semester)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Theories of Innovation and the National Robotics Initiative

###for next time: key the innovation theories more closely to the names given last time (actually, transfer the names in both directions). Also, for cone of uncertainty exercise, consdier specifying a whole-class one before the team one.

Robots and the Future...

If robots could do all the work

     We could all be on permanent vacation

     Would this be a good idea?

If robots could do all the work

     We could all be out of work and hungry

     What determines which scenario occurs?

Source: techcrunch.com/2017/03/31/we-need-a-new-deal-to-address-the-economic-risks-of-automation/

source: www.makeuseof.com/tag/happens-robots-can-jobs/

(I wanted an image of people
at an unemployment office
which is staffed by robots...)

What theory of innovation supports this?

Why Apply Innovation Theory to 
Inform Gov't Support of 
Robotics Research?

Economic growth depends on innovation

Spur robotics innovation to

           produce more jobs

           compete internationally

           increase the wealth of society

How does it increase wealth?

           Higher productivity per hour worked

                    There is then more to be spread around

Source: www.techcrates.com/robotics-research-review/


How compelling is that argument to you?

How does that fit with the Abernathy and Utterback model?


What might that be?


Abernathy and Utterback Model:

Theories of Innovation

(Updated slides are in Content\lectureTheoriesOfInnovation. Port them to here.)