jueves, 29 de marzo de 2012

Fold It: ¡alucinante!


"Foldit is a revolutionary new computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research. This page describes the science behind Foldit and how your playing can help."

The Science Behind Foldit

Frequently Asked Questions

Lo que reporta Slate


"The Crowdsourcing of Talent
Scientists are using video games to make major breakthroughs. Are they revolutionizing how we manage labor at the same time?

By Jeff Howe|Posted Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, at 1:11 PM ET

This article arises from Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate. On Feb. 29, Future Tense will host an event on the Make movement and do-it-yourself innovation in Washington, D.C. For more information and to sign up for the event, please visit the NAF website.

In the summer of 2007, I went to Calgary, Canada, to report on a startup. It was a heady time: Venture capital was plentiful, and the company, Cambrian House, was generating a lot of excitement. The previous year I’d written an article in Wired called “The Rise of Crowdsourcing,” which proclaimed the dawn of a new era: The many would soon do the work of the few; the crowd would display its vast wisdom in every area of human endeavor; the community would replace the company.

In the wake of the article, crowdsourcing became a buzzword and a flood of specious business plans started arriving in my inbox. Cambrian House seemed different. CEO Michael Sikorsky had built a large community of some 5,000 would-be entrepreneurs. Ideas for new software programs were suggested, discussed, then carefully culled through a rigorous voting process. People would cheerfully volunteer to work on the winning projects. Designers would design; coders would code; the biz dev folks would do whatever the hell biz dev people do. They would all be compensated in royalty points, IOUs that could be cashed in once the dough started rolling.

It was a radical rethinking of one of capitalism’s central assumptions—that labor is best organized from the top down, which is to say, by management. “It’s like the dark ages before Newton, when we mistook physics for magic,” Sikorsky told me. “We know there’s magic in crowdsourcing. We know it works. We just don’t know how it works.”

Except that ultimately, it didn’t work. A year after my visit, Cambrian House had failed to bring a single product to market. Crowds might self-organize, it seemed, but they didn’t necessarily do it well. (The company found later success by reinventing itself as Chaordix, which essentially provides a backend computer system for crowdsourcing projects at large companies.)

But the idea of totally reorganizing a labor market from the bottom up remained elusive. Crowdsourcing has ushered in dramatic changes to fields as disparate as graphic design, journalism, and corporate R&D, but it has yet to fundamentally challenge the top-down, command-and-control paradigm of how most of the world does business. Instead, crowdsourcing has become a best practice to accomplish discrete, often rudimentary tasks, such as designing logos or scouring government documents for scandalous malfeasance.

Recently, though, I’ve begun to see glimmers of that old magic in some novel experiments that occupy the nexus where crowdsourcing, games, and big data all meet.

Last year, the prestigious journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology published an article that revealed the structure of an enzyme used by retroviruses similar to HIV. The achievement was widely viewed as a breakthrough. Who solved the riddle? A bunch of video gamers. Foldit, a novel experiment created by a group of scientists and game designers at the University of Washington, had asked the gamers—some still in middle school and few boasting a background in the sciences, much less microbiology—to determine the how proteins would fold in the enzyme. Within hours, thousands of people were both competing against (and collaborating with) one another. After three weeks, they had succeeded where the microbiologists and the computers had failed. “This is the first example I know of game players solving a long-standing scientific problem,” David Baker, a Foldit co-creator, wrote at the time.

It wasn’t to be the last. Foldit is humming along nicely and in January revealed an accurate model for another highly complex enzyme. Another of Foldit’s co-creators, Adrien Treuille, has gone on to start a similar game, eteRNA, in which gamers create designs for synthetic RNA. Every week eteRNA’s scientists actually create the top-scoring designs in the test tube. “When we can predict protein folding, we’re going to be able to build the equivalent of the airplane inside your body, and do amazing things.”

Foldit, eteRNA, and their ilk may well revolutionize how we treat disease. But they’re holding out another promise as well: a realization that conventional management practice is often dead wrong about who is best suited for a task. The best way to match talent to task, at least in the world of nanobiotechnology, isn’t to assign the fanciest degrees to the toughest jobs, but rather to observe the behavior of thousands of people and identify those who show the greatest aptitude for the cognitive skills that task requires.

“You’d think a Ph.D. in biochemistry would be very good at designing protein molecules,” says Zoran Popović, the University of Washington game designer behind Foldit. Not so. “Biochemists are good at other things. But Foldit requires a narrow, deeper expertise.”

Or as it turns out, more than one. Some gamers have a preternatural ability to recognize patterns, an innate form of spatial reasoning most of us lack. Others—often “grandmothers without a high school education,” says Popovic—exercise a particular social skill. “They’re good at getting people unstuck. They get them to approach the problem differently.” What big pharmaceutical company would have anticipated the need to hire uneducated grandmothers? (I know a few, if Eli Lilly HR is thinking of rejiggering its recruitment strategy.)

In a January speech, Treuille noted that he and his colleagues at eteRNA were able to “filter through hundreds of thousands of people who are experts at very esoteric tasks.” They are able, in other words, to match talent to task with exceptional efficiency. Not based on someone’s CV, and not based on the magic of “self-selection,” but rather through the thousands of data points generated by the gameplay.

The success of Foldit and Treuille’s eteRNA, then, depends on a far more sophisticated use of crowdsourcing than anyone was envisioning as recently as 2008, when I published my book on the subject. “In the future,” Treuille said in his speech, “I can imagine as grand challenges emerge we can come up with games and puzzles that essentially exploit the skills required and find people who are experts at these kinds of problems and the person who owns this network owns something very valuable.”

Popovich and his UW colleagues are at work on a new game in which people design motors that work at the molecular level. “We’re using nature’s tools to create designs that didn’t exist in nature for purposes of effectively fighting new diseases.” Currently, he says, there are 50 people, in the world, qualified to do this work. “I can increase that by two orders of magnitude,” Popovich says. “I can get to 5,000 people really easily.” "

miércoles, 28 de marzo de 2012

Khan Academy


"A free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge."

martes, 27 de marzo de 2012

Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize: Healthcare in the palm of your hand


"About the X PRIZE Foundation

The X PRIZE Foundation developed the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE to spur radical innovation in personal health care technology. The competition is designed to address the inefficient, expensive, and inertia-bound healthcare system in the United States and elsewhere.

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational (501c3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity, thereby inspiring the formation of new industries and the revitalization of markets that are currently stuck due to existing failures or a commonly-held belief that a solution is not possible. The Foundation addresses the world's Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. It motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital.

The X PRIZE Foundation conducts competitions in four Prize Groups: Education & Global Development; Energy & Environment; Life Sciences; and Exploration (Ocean & Deep Space). It is a U.S.-based organization led by Chairman and CEO Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Co-Chairman and President Robert K. Weiss, and governed by a group of visionary leaders including the Board of Trustees, Vision Circle members, Spirit of Innovation members, corporate partners, and sponsors. Today, the X PRIZE Foundation is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through incentivized competition."

lunes, 26 de marzo de 2012

Slingshot. By Dean Kamen.

Aquí una pequeña biografía de este inventor-innovador

Aquí la descripción de su invento: Slingshot (water vapor distillation system)

Aquí su compañía: DEKA

"Slingshot is a water purification device created by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway PT. Powered by a stirling engine running on a combustible fuel source, it claims to be able to produce clean water from almost any source.

Kamen came to develop the device on the basis of statistics that showed lack of access to clean water as a key public health issue. Statistics from the World Health Organization show that there are 900 million people worldwide without a readily available supply of drinking water and that some 3.5 million people die annually because of diseases resulting from the consumption of unsanitary water. Despite the fact that over two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered with water, only 1% of it is potable.

Kamen sought to develop a technology that would transform the 97% of water that is undrinkable into water that can be used and consumed on the spot, readily and inexpensively. The device takes contaminated water and runs it through a vapor compression distiller that produces clean water, producing 250 gallons daily, enough for 100 people. The test devices have been used with "anything that looks wet", including polluted river water, saline ocean water and raw sewage. In a demonstration at a technology conference in October 2004, Kamen ran his own urine through the machine and drank the clean water that came out.

By the end of 2000, a team of 200 at DEKA had produced 30 units, each the size of a compact refrigerator. A pair of Slingshot devices ran successfully for a month in a village in Honduras during the summer of 2006. While the initial devices cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Kamen hopes that increased economies of scale will allow production machines to be made available for $2,000 each.

The Slingshot process operates by means of vapor compression distillation, requires no filters, and can operate using cow dung as fuel. In addition to producing drinkable water, the Slingshot also generates enough electricity to light 70 energy-efficient light bulbs.

Kamen hopes to seed thousands of the units with local village entrepreneurs, in much the same way independent cell phone businesses have thrived and gradually changed the face of many impoverished areas around the globe. Future target price for the device is in the $1,000 to $2,000 range".

miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2012

Innosight y Procter&Gamble


"Due to its sheer size, Procter & Gamble faces an especially steep growth challenge. With a stated annual growth goal of between 4% and 6%, the world's largest consumer products company needs to boost sales on the scale of its Tide brand each and every year. P&G called on Innosight to help meet this challenge by turning innovation from a serendipitous activity into a systematic process."


¡Impresionante!; y lo mejor: disponible para toda organización que desee hacerlo.

Si usted está decidido, Latin Strategy Ltda., en Chile y en Colombia, le acompaña :-)

martes, 20 de marzo de 2012

Innovación en el emprendimiento


"What is TiE?

TiE is a global, not-for-profit network of entrepreneurs and professionals dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship. TiE provides a platform for mentoring, networking & education, to entrepreneurs & professionals. Each location of TiE offices is called a chapter. TiE has grown into a prominent, global, not-for-profit organization, which is inclusive and transparent in its governance and operations.

What does TiE stand for?

TiE stands for “The Indus Entrepreneurs”, reflecting the South Asian background of the individuals who chartered the organization in 1992. Over time, TiE has come to represent “Talent, ideas and Enterprise” or ‘The Innovative Ecosystems’ through its activities and influences.

How and when was TiE started?

The concept of TiE was born at the end of 1992 at a lunch meeting of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and professionals. The idea originated with the objective of sharing and giving back to society. Initially this small group of individuals launched monthly activities, which, in turn, attracted more members. By 1994, TiE had become a formal organization with a larger group of members and participants.
TiE remains a unique volunteer driven organization, with the single-minded focus on its objective.

What is the mission and objective of TiE?

TiE’s mission is to foster and advance entrepreneurship across the globe. Its principle objective is to provide a platform on which people with entrepreneurial spirit and those interested in economic value creation can come together to share ideas. TiE endeavors to cultivate and nurture the ecosystems of entrepreneurship and free-market economics everywhere, as it sees this to be the single most powerful instrument of prosperity.

What is TiE’s philosophical base?

TiE's philosophical base is a compatible blend of the Silicon Valley culture of economic value creation through Entrepreneurship, and the ancient South Asian tradition of Guru/Shishya or Teacher/Disciple relationship. This enables very productive networking and mentoring relationships among and between experienced and budding entrepreneurs and professionals through the two-way exchange of value in experience and knowledge.

TiE's Philosophical Framework is to:

* Create an open, inclusive, and transparent organization
* Provide positive leadership role models
* Emphasize value-creation through informed entrepreneurship
* Maintain high ethical standards
* Display rigorous, intellectually honest behavior
* Pursue a modern, scientific and forward looking approach
* Remain socially responsible
* Do not tolerate pettiness, divisiveness and corruption
* Strive to remain an idea and value-driven organization"



Una "fusión" del todo prometedora: "occidente" y el asia profunda :-)

viernes, 16 de marzo de 2012

Una "Todarquía": innovación de Colombia para el mundo

Aquí :-)

Extracto motivante:


"En Gaviotas, un paraje lejos de todo y cerca de nada, una comunidad decente organizada como una Todarquía, en donde todo está en todo, con diversidad y unidad (Universidad), hilos de distintos colores pero pertenecientes a un mismo tejido, con dinámica cultural, autoestima e ingeniosidad, cualidades que se han puesto a prueba aún en las más críticas circunstancias, elevando la conciencia, optamos por interactuar en armonía productiva con la naturaleza, con dignidad y responsabilidad, utilizando energías renovables desarrolladas por nosotros mismos, viviendo de los intereses de los activos ambientales, sin afectarlos negativamente, sino por el contrario, fortaleciéndolos, lo que hemos llamado capitalismo biológico. Uno de sus ejes, es un bosque tropical plantado, mezclado, biodiverso con intervalos de siembra y aprovechamientos parciales, que permitan tener siempre en crecimiento real del bosque para que sigan haciendo su aporte a los ciclos vitales. En su diseño y realización participaron tanto disciplinados como indisciplinados académicamente, para no depender del punto de vista y de la racionalidad de una sola disciplina; logrando armar un proyecto sistémico e integrado, en lo económico (sin hacer uso de capital especulativo), lo social y lo ambiental.

En Gaviotas, el vivir, es un arte: “El difícil arte de la sencillez”.

Adentrémonos un poco más, para explicar lo del bosque."


miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2012

Google está yendo más allá de la tecnología

Aquí una entrada en el blog oficial de Google presentando un caso en India.

Aquí el sitio oficial de la iniciativa.

Sin duda se trata de promover su oferta de AdWords... pero sin duda también es un modo diferente de promoverla :-)

jueves, 8 de marzo de 2012

Oil&Gas innovation

Aquí la compañía: Northern Oil and Gas

Aquí un perfil de su fundador: Michael Reger.

Aquí la historia de la oportunidad, y de la innovación.


martes, 6 de marzo de 2012

Optimismo e innovación

La entrada es de The Economist, del columnista "Schumpeter"; se titula: Now for some good news

Extracto inicial:

"THE lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a small device with a huge potential. It can run dozens of diagnostic tests on human DNA in a few minutes. Give the device a gob of spit or a drop of blood and it will tell you whether or not you are sick without any need to send your DNA to a laboratory. In poor countries LOCs could offer diagnostics to millions who lack access to expensive laboratories. In the rich world they may curb rising medical costs."

Otro extracto:

"They argue that four big forces are speeding these innovations from the drawing board to the supermarket. The first is the rise of a generation of philanthropists who believe that technology can rid the world of ancient evils. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is one of them. He sponsors “self-improvement” through schemes for social entrepreneurship and microfinance.

The second is the discovery of the “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (as C.K. Prahalad, a management guru, called it). Firms have realised that poor people collectively constitute a huge market. The key is to make things cheaper. DataWind, a British company, has produced a $35 tablet computer in partnership with the Indian government. Technology allows poor people to join the global market. For example, KAZI 560, a Kenyan job-placement service, connects job-seekers with potential employers via mobile phones.

The third is the proliferation of do-it-yourself innovators. DIY-ers helped to power the automobile and aviation revolutions. Now they are at work on every technological frontier: Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired (and a former Economist hack) and a group of fellow enthusiasts have produced a civilian drone for $300—about 1% of the cost of a military equivalent—that might be used to ferry supplies to places that lack good roads.

The fourth is the clever use of prizes. A combination of cash and glory goads the brainy to compete, and can focus a vast amount of brain power on a specific problem. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offers a $1m prize for progress in producing meat from cells. Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born telecoms tycoon, offers a $5m prize for African leaders who leave office with clean hands. Qualcomm, an American wireless firm, is offering $10m for a mobile app that can diagnose patients better than a group of doctors. Here Mr Diamandis knows whereof he speaks: he is the chairman of the X Prize Foundation, which rewards breakthrough innovations, and the co-founder of Singularity University, which tries to bring innovations to the boil."

lunes, 5 de marzo de 2012

Innovación y lealtad del cliente

Aquí su página web.

En su último lanzamiento-actualización, este producto vendió 6,5 millones de copias, en tan sólo dos países (USA y UK), ¡en tan sólo 24 horas!.

Aquí la fuente de lo anotado.

¡Guau! y ¡Re-guau! (sin más comentarios :-)

jueves, 1 de marzo de 2012

5 5 5 (en la relación cliente-vendedor :-)

5 “razones” para ser fiel (el cliente)

1. Me está yendo bien (toda dimensión, incluyendo la innovación en la oferta).
2. El miedo (riesgos) de comenzar con otro proveedor.
3. La identificación con la marca (tradición, estatus, filiación de grupo, etc.).
4. Me conocen y me atienden a mi medida.
5. Los costos (lock-in, búsqueda y selección, etc.) de comenzar con otro proveedor.

5 “razones” para ser infiel (el cliente)

1. No me está yendo tan bien con mi proveedor actual (cualquier dimensión; una o varias).
2. Me da curiosidad y quiero experimentar.
3. Me hace (otro proveedor) una “oferta que no puedo rechazar”.
4. Creo que mi proveedor actual me ha traicionado (me enteré de que me estaba cobrando “más de la cuenta”, se olvidó de algo importante sobre mí, etc.).
5. Yo era fiel al empleado del vendedor, no a la marca, y él está ahora con otra marca.

5 razones para cultivar la fidelidad (la organización); sólo el transcurso del tiempo permite:

1. La disposición a que nos paguen un mayor precio y/o que no nos discutan el precio solicitado.
2. Los ahorros en costos para servir a un cliente cuando este ya es conocido.
3. La posibilidad de personalizar en extremo la oferta y por tanto crear y capturar más valor.
4. La posibilidad de obtener “referidos”, valiosos, y a costo cero.
5. La posibilidad de la venta cruzada con la totalidad del portafolio.