Apple and the art of innovation
It's time to prepare yourself for a deluge of Apple innovation articles over the next two weeks, timed to coincide with the launch of the Apple iPhone. According to The Economist, Apple has four important lessons to teach other companies. First and most importantly, companies need to dispense with the "not invented here" mentality:
"The first [lesson] is that innovation can come from without as well as\nwithin. Apple is widely assumed to be an innovator in the tradition of\nThomas Edison or Bell Laboratories, locking its engineers away to cook\nup new ideas and basing products on their moments of inspiration. In\nfact, its real skill lies in stitching together its own ideas with\ntechnologies from outside and then wrapping the results in elegant\nsoftware and stylish design. The idea for the iPod, for example, was\noriginally dreamt up by a consultant whom Apple hired to run the\nproject. It was assembled by combining off-the-shelf parts with\nin-house ingredients such as its distinctive, easily used system of\ncontrols. And it was designed to work closely with Apple's iTunes\njukebox software, which was also bought in and then overhauled and\nimproved. Apple is, in short, an orchestrator and integrator of\ntechnologies, unafraid to bring in ideas from outside but always adding\nits own twists.\n\n
This approach, known as "network innovation", is not limited to\nelectronics. It has also been embraced by companies such as Procter\n& Gamble, BT and several drugs giants,\nall of which have realised the power of admitting that not all good\nideas start at home. Making network innovation work involves\ncultivating contacts with start-ups and academic researchers,\nconstantly scouting for new ideas and ensuring that engineers do not\nfall prey to "not invented here" syndrome, which always values in-house\nideas over those from outside."
[image: The Economist]\n
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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