Monday, 24 November 2008

Related Worlds Examples

Great Ormond Street Hospital improved post-op handover by looking at pit-stop crews.
Zopa's peer-to-peer lending was based on corporate bond market.
Aravind Eye Hospital massively reduced cost of eye operations inspired by McDonalds (all from Guardian 17/11/08).

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Zappos online shoes - extraordinary company

- Offers employees $1k to quit after 1-2 weeks ("The Offer") [confirmed with a sales rep on the phone at 7/1/09]. If you're willing to take the offer, you don't have the sense of commitment Zappos is looking for.

- Culture book with unedited comments by employees on what company culture means to them
- Warehouse open 24/7 for next day delivery even of orders made at 11pm
- Every new recruit spends 4 weeks answer phones in 'customer loyalty' dept
- No scripts when speaking to customers, and call not kep short
- People calling customer service line offered a 'joke of the day'

IDEO sponsored Guardian innovation supplement, 17 Nov 08

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Green Micro-Franchise Hub

A place for people thinking of starting a small business to come and get a ideas, advice, training and micro-finance for a small green franchise.

Franchises would be based on a skill simple enough to be trainable and quality-controlled, E.g. home insulation installation.

Paper Soap

I've been obsessed with water-free soap (reduces carbon emissions and need for preservatives). So this is interesting:

Paper soap:
Paper shampoo:

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Moleskine - supporting their fans

The US importer of Moleskine notebooks acquired the fan site, so they can support them spreading the message indefinitely. Otherwise the site remains unchanged.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Differentiating Commodities

Great marketing ideas that differentiate generics, commodities, or internal parts:
- Intel Inside (See case study at end:
- DeBeers diamonds

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Unused Capacity

One of the big themes in sustainability innovation is reducing waste, and therefore better utilising spare capacity in a system. A few thoughts/starter ideas:
- Public transport: a tiffin-wallah type system to use excess off-peak capacity
- Buildings: office-nightclubs to use buildings round the clock
- White vans: expanding

Or some kind of combined white van-cheroot-bus that takes stuff to places.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Topics and Episodes

A week or two ago the Technology Guardian supplement had an article from a US (New York?) professor arguing that we no longer have the appropriate unit of news - articles are too short with too little background, wikipedia not current enough, blogs too fragmented. We really need 'topic' pages combining the best of both, and using links to provide appropriate depth for different readers.

Same is true for fiction. The episode is old, going back at least as far as serialisation of Dickens novels. Now if I want to watch Heroes having not seen it before I don't want to watch each past episode in turn. And the 'last week on' pre-credit sequence is too much detail for regular viewers and not enough for a newbie. So we need to move beyond episodes to a constantly evolving, multi-media page that's up to date but gives you as much background as you need in an appropriately summarised way. The whole Sopranos in an hour anyone?

Cloud Computing and Green IT

Interesting FT article today interviewing Dan Ilett, Technical Strategy Manager at John Lewis. Says that server virtualisation has saved them money and reduced carbon - there must be an opportunity to roll this out everywhere.

He also says that the real prize is for IT to help the whole org reduce carbon - yes and no I think.