MIT on innovation strategies

“Companies are increasingly looking beyond their boundaries for help with innovation – working with customers, research companies, business partners and universities, and even competitors.

Businesses today are using external sources for all phases of innovation, from discovery and development to commercialization and even product maintenance.

Unfortunately, despite the growing acceptance of external innovation, many companies lack a sourcing strategy to guide them in managing it.  They often take an ad hoc approach that produces uneven results, the very problem they are trying to avoid.

Instead of dealing with external sources one by one, companies should systematically examine and rationalize the increasingly important activity of innovation sourcing.”

What is Collective Wisdom

Originally conceived by Mark Abouzeid, Collective Wisdom applies technology, behavioral dynamics, micro-blog harvesting and market profile models to the principles of chaos and complexity theory to solve the greatest problem facing corporations today:

How can market disrupting innovation by spotted early enough to put effective strategies in place that exploit new opportunities and defend against threats.

While historically this has proved impossible, Abouzeid believes the answer lies in the Internet: a universal mirror for what we think, want, explore and need.

He is working with companies, agencies, scientists and venture capitalists to help better understand the dynamics of innovation, where it is most likely to develop and the threats and opportunities it poses.

Originally published September 2002 by Mark Abouzeid.  Copyright 2002, all rights reserved.

Chaos, complexity and Innovation…the internet as focus group

Few people realize that the Internet is one massive focus group, all expressing  their likes, wants, desires, opinions and ideas.  If it were possible to watch, listen, and learn from all this activity; to follow the changes in behaviour and relationships; then companies might be able to pinpoint shifting market landscapes, product trends and disruptive change before its too late.  However, sifting through the mountains of information to find something that you don’t even know you are looking for is virtually impossible…or is it? Continue reading

The Engagement Lifecycle.

A methodology for defining, producing and delivering successful engagements.

“E-business engagements can be extremely complex, requiring the deployment of different people of various disciplines. One of our most valuable assets is the proven process we’ve painstakingly developed to deliver projects on time, on budget and with a level of quality that exceeds project stakeholder expectations.” Continue reading

Theoretical Basis for Collective Wisdom, Innovation in Chaos

Originally published in Nov 20, 2003. Copyright Mark Abouzeid 2003 – 2011, all rights reserved.

The universe, seen from a far distance resembles chaos or random particles scattered, helter skelter.  In the center we see a core (with some order), a linear core which are the established markets, prevailing culture, our civilization…all aspects that currently exist in what would be considered a developed state.

Although markets all  stem from disruptive innovation or the seemingly random evolutionary pattern that follows disruption, by the time we view them as real markets they resemble the same linear path dynamics that we were taught Darwinian envisioned… survival of the fittest. Continue reading

Electronic invoicing and payments: Roadmap for the Region of Puglia

Originally published on the European eBusiness Lab website:

The Lab, with the assistance of Mark Abouzeid, completed an extensive study that shed light on the potential benefits of invoicing and payment automation, presenting a roadmap for the Region of Puglia which identified the advantages of such developments starting from a single company, to its supply chain and, finally, to the whole regional economy. Continue reading

Cultural Diversity and Global Sustainability

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day;  Teach a man to fish and he will feed his whole village!”


UNESCO and the world’s foundations have come to understand that current measures provide short term fixes, generally, and a more long term approach to solving the world’s various problems is required. UNESCO in their latest annual report dedicated all 454 pages to the importance of Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding Intangible World Heritages.  Why is UNESCO seeing these initiatives as the only viable strategies for protecting our communal, global future?

Continue reading

Soros, on philosophy

When successful businessman put pen to paper in order to enlighten the world on their philosophy of investing, conventional wisdom says, “Run Away!” (In the words of Monty Python).  George Soros’ The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means is without doubt the exception to the rule.

In less time than it will take you to receive the book from, you will understand fundamentals of a fallacy, endemic in our financial and social systems, that guarantees ‘bubbles’ and the crises that follow them. In essence, Soros explains, that the foundations of free market economics assumes an impossibility: the separation of knowledge and intent or, as he puts it, cognitive and manipulative processes.

In very simple terms, he explains that since man is an active participant in this world, it is fundamentally impossible for him to have perfect understanding of the space within which he occupies.  Instead, his understanding is tainted by his own perception and intention. Therefore, the perfect knowledge, that is required for market theory, cannot exist for sustainable periods of time.

A theologian once asked, “What kind of God can there be that we, his creations, could understand His mind? Not much of a God, I would think.”  Well, in essence, George Soros is posing the same question to philosophers and economists, alike, while offering us mere mortals a unique insight into the current crisis and what will be needed to avoid them in the future.

Those who hate business books…so do I!  This is a pleasant read, I assure you.

Who is focusing on innovation?

Everyone is.  We are looking at an recession environment where innovation is probably the greatest hope for companies and a time when innovation is most prevalent.  Companies like IBM, like google, even Accenture are all trying to find ways to use innovation, to use theories of innovation to create new markets, to actually find new markets.

Our belief is that one doesn’t use innovation.  Innovation is the process; innovation is the thread; the foundation.  We need to understand innovation, we need to find a way to observe innovation…then work with what is already happening; understand the motion that exists then enter into the field armed with understanding of those dynamics.

Human behavior, the internet and innovation

1 the internet reflects the thoughts, behaviour, ideas, opinions, desires and activities of a valid sample of the world population.

2 it is universally relevant and will become more so over time. 1/3 of all users are from lesser developed countries providing greater insight than ever possible prior into these countries.

3 new interests, ideas and innovation appear in this media, real-time

4 by watching human behaviour (search patterns) we can identify weak signals that are the early warning radar blips for new disruptive innovation, trends and ultimately, new markets.

5 current technologies are unable to accurately discern these weak signals because they generally attempt to digest with increasing depth, breadth and insight the entire mass of data (content rather than behaviour)

6 by observing human behaviour patterns we can more easily see weak signals represented by changes in habitual behaviour

7 changes in search term/subject volume is a leading indicator of weak signals when captured at the microscopic level,

8 qualification of possible weak signal involves triangulation of leading indicators with usage frequency distributions of raw information sources..,newsgroups, blogs, etc.

9 using algorithms from financial trading systems, effective trend analysis can help point out which are real signals and which are merely anomalies

10 once a weak signal is identified accurately, deep mining and text analytics can be precisely targeted to observe and truly understand the new market, innovation or behaviour pattern

11 this analysis will be more accurate than other market research because it involves watching the petri dish without participants knowledge…in effect being able to read their intentions and desires.