Innovation: Made in U.S.A.

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Italian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley: Timbuktu founders Cavallo (l.) and Favilli Why is it that groundbreaking, world-changing products so often originate in the United States? I’d argue the case of Aereo vs. Old-School Television provides a good clue. The founders of Aereo had a clever idea: give live television online to people who don’t want […]

Zeros and Ones

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How’s this for irony? The machine we invented to help us better manage the complexities of human life has somehow turned things around and is remaking our human world in its own image. More and more, it seems, we live in binary times. There are only two states – on and off – and we’re […]

Dr. Dre, Meet DJ. Eric

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As iPods and smartphones put music in every pocket, somewhere along the way headphones became a fashion statement. When I reviewed the original Beats by Dr. Dre for back in 2008, it was mostly die-hard audiophiles who were willing to fork over $300 or more for a really good set of personal on-ear musicians […]

A Heart for Invention

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Dr. Thomas Fogarty with a model of the human heart. Until fairly recently, trouble with the pump that keeps us going used to mean that surgeons had to cut the body open and try to fix the problem hands-on – a risky and traumatizing affair, even if all went well. Then a brilliant young heart […]

Futurist Paul Saffo in front of an ATM

The Future of Money

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The moment of truth for any analyst and forecaster comes when looking back: five years on, how true or false do your predictions turn out to be? Well, kudos to Paul Saffo, Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics and former Director of the Institute For the Future (as well as one of the smartest […]

Google’s First Steps

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When I rang the doorbell of a nondescript suburban home in Menlo Park, back in January 1999, I had to laugh: “Google World Headquarters,” said a handwritten sign next to the entrance. Inside were a handful of programmers, sitting in the kitchen, their PCs towering over the toaster and microwave oven. The garage, Silicon Valley’s […]

The Third Industrial Revolution

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What happens when cleantech meets peer-to-peer and the sharing economy? Imagine if we’d all have solar panels on the roofs of our homes, companies had green buildings, perhaps their own wind parks, and the electric grid were smart enough to handle traffic in both directions: from the utility to you, but also back into the […]