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Innovation & Creativity

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20 Lessons Of Innovation For 2015. What have you done for me lately? That is the demanding filter we use to assess candidates for our annual Most Innovative Companies list. It is a brutal, unyielding framework—directly in keeping with today’s business reality. Only a handful of companies repeat on our main Top 50 list year to year because the pace of change is so intense.

Successful enterprises struggle to outdo themselves; new entrants with new ideas and new momentum are constantly emerging, demanding attention. This year marks Fast Company’s 20th anniversary, but that benchmark means nothing if we aren’t challenging our own assumptions—and helping our readers challenge theirs. That’s one reason this year’s list includes only five repeats from a year ago. 1. As much as we extol Apple and Google for big breakthroughs like iPads and self-driving cars, these leaders often shine due to iterative innovation. 2. When Mark Zuckerberg graced March 2010’s Most Innovative Companies cover, Instagram (No. 5) didn’t exist. 4. 6. 7. The best examples of street art in 2012 (48 pictures. National Flags Created From the Foods Each Country Is Commonly Associated With. Feeling hungry? You will be after looking through this creative collection of food photography by Australian advertising agency WHYBIN\TBWA.

To promote the Sydney International Food Festival, which is Australia’s largest food festival which had almost a million attendees last year and chefs from all over the world, the imaginative team re-created 17 national flags using foods common to each nation. Basil, pasta, and tomatoes create the stripes on Italy’s flag, while hot dogs and buns were used for the U.S., olives and feta cheese for Greece, and curries with rice for India and Indonesia. See Also Man Follows Girlfriend All Around the World What’s even more impressive than the simpler striped flags is seeing the clever ways the team improvised stars and symbols of the more complex flags.

Above: Italy’s flag made from Basil, pasta, and tomatoes. Below: Australia’s flag made from meat pie and sauce. Brazil’s flag made from banana leaf, limes, pineapple and passion fruit. Finland has an education system the US should envy – and learn from | Linda Moore. A new book has attracted much interest in the Washington DC, especially on Capitol Hill, Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland?.

The book arrives after Finland scored first in science and second in reading and math on the standardized test administered by the Program for International Student Assessment. Conducted among industrialized nations every three years, American students finished 25th in math, 17th in science and 12th in reading on the latest PISA assessment. Obviously, in our global economy, this nation's international educational attainment is discouraging for our future prospects. What stands out to me is that Finnish students take only one mandatory standardized test, at age 16. Finland has the same number of teachers as New York City, but only 600,000 students compared to 1.1m in the Big Apple.

Some of Finland's students' outcomes should be especially interesting to US policy makers. Joe Stewart, Creative Director At Huge, On Making User Experience Pop. NYC Subways Deploy A Touch-Screen Network, Complete With Apps. Not so long ago, we featured a radical proposal for New York City’s payphones. The criticism we sensed was that this networked, touch-screen system--equipped with cameras and Wi-Fi--was too too sci-fi for a city of today. But the designers behind that vision--Control Group--have been hired by New York’s MTA to bring a very similar plan to their subways. Starting this year, 90 touch-screen kiosks will make their way to thoroughfares like Grand Central Station and hip stops like Bedford Avenue.

Together, they’ll make a beta network for 2 million commuters and tourists a day. The Beginnings Of A Mega Network “60 million people a month would be a really sizable website,” Control Group Partner Colin O’Donnell says. Each kiosk, designed by Antenna Design, is a 47-inch touch screen, encapsulated in rugged stainless steel, with an operational temperature up to 200 degrees (which is more than durable enough to handle 120-degree summer days in the subway). The Power Of Extra Sensors See more here. DNA Test for Ancestry from National Geographic | Genographic Project. Join the more than half a million people who have already taken part in National Geographic's groundbreaking Genographic Project—contribute to this real-time scientific effort and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. About the test National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and team designed Geno 2.0 based on the new technologies and insights that emerged since the launch of the Genographic Project in 2005.

Using an exclusive, custom-built genotyping chip, we test nearly 150,000 DNA markers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-related information. By participating, you will: What's included in the Geno 2.0 DNA Test kit: The Geno 2.0 kit contains everything you need to begin the journey into your past, including painless cheek swabs and instructions for submitting your DNA samples (return postage required). How your participation helps the Genographic Project: Kick-Ass Writer Mark Millar on Why Superhero Genre Was Due for Overhaul | Underwire.

Mark Millar messes with the superhero genre again in Supercrooks. By Liat Clark, Wired UK Mark Millar has been reduced to a schoolboy. On a particularly windy day in Glasgow he blusters down the phone to “My friends are down there and I want to be with them, but I have to do my homework first.” [partner id="wireduk"] If a foot-stamping tantrum were to follow, it would be entirely legitimate. Because the friends he’s speaking about include Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Matthew Vaughn and Jim Carrey, who are all filming Kick-Ass 2 down at Pinewood Studios.

On the upside, Millar says, he gets to fast-forward through the boring bits when he gets a daily Dropbox of the day’s filming. “And I’ve got a baby this year as well, and we’re planning more. Today is speaking with the Scottish writer about his latest project, Supercrooks, which sees a ragbag team of supervillains relocate to Spain for some crime and carnage. Millar: Oh a lot. Millar: Definitely. The amazing stories of the world’s most iconic cameras. Not all cameras are created equal.

We take a look at some that changed photography forever. Cameras are not just functioning things; a few have also gained iconic – even mythological – status. This has been either because of those who used them, the historic events they captured, their giant technological leaps or simply downright beautiful design. Everyone will have an opinion about their favourite camera, but here’s the ones we think make the grade. Bullet Proof… Literally First introduced in 1959, the Nikon F was partially responsible for the all conquering rise of the SLR and featured elements that stayed with the Nikon brand for the next fifty years.

It was legendary for its robustness and therefore unsurprisingly favoured by war photographers and photojournalists around the world. Now, Now, Now! In a climate of instant gratification, the Polaroid no longer holds the capacity to amaze that it once did. Tripping all the Way to the Eighties From Here to Eternity… Medium Format Perfection. The 11th Principle of Good Design | Wells Riley. I talk about Dieter Rams a lot. Partly because his (at the time) humble and understated work now defines the visual language of Apple’s entire product line, and partly because products he designed 52 years ago are still being made today. I mean, what the actual fuck is up with that. Vitsoe 606 Shelving system, designed in 1960 by Dieter Rams. They still make them today, and to the same spec. In 1970, Rams decided that he needed a way to objectively assess whether his work was “good design.”

No such metrics existed, so he created the now world-famous Ten Principles of Good Design: Good design is innovative Good design makes a product useful Good design is aesthetic Good design is understandable Good design is unobtrusive Good design is honest Good design is long-lasting Good design is thorough Good design is environmentally friendly Good design is as little design as possible There is, however, one flaw. We need another Principle of Design. For websites and huge companies, this is ok. 1. 7 Pearls Of Startup Wisdom From Investors and Innovators Who Matter. From the art of the pitch to a smooth sale and everything in between, these seven tenets come straight from the annals of successful startups. Last week, Vancouver's GROW 2012 conference convened some all-stars of the startup scene, stirring together corporate leads from Indiegogo, Eventbrite, Zite, Paypal, Cheezburger Inc. and more with infamous super angel Dave McClure and a smattering of high profile venture capitalists from firms like Bessemer and the Founders Fund.

We crunched it all up into seven bits of bite-sized startup wisdom that bear repeating: 1. Don't Be F*cking Boring Pitch with emotion. 2. Know your business model from the get-go. 3. If you say you built it, they will come. 4. At Grow 2012, everyone was buzzing about an unlikely Facebook game in which you battle roosters against one another (presumably to the death). 5. Don't be naive. 6. Focus on building a team, when it comes to skills and personalities. 7. By the book! The 5 best movies based on novels. Recently, the movie business has all been about comic books and Lycra.

But what about the much loved novel? The ability to check out countless books and films on your smartphone is one of the great things about living in the future. And if you’re a real movie book buff, what better way to spend the day than watching film adaptations. Hollywood has been plundering the literary treasure chest ever since director Erich von Stroheim attempted a literal adaptation of Frank Norris’s novel McTeague in 1924. Adapted from James Ellroy’s LA Confidential Ellroy was afraid that moviemakers would ‘screw it up beyond redemption.’ Adapted from Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club Film critic Rex Reed said ‘Maybe this film will find its audience in hell…’ In response, Palahniuk cheerfully said ‘I’m going to have to look him up in hell and buy him a drink some day.’

Adapted from Susan Orlean’s The Orchard Thief The swamp ape in the 2nd draft of Charlie Kaufman’s screenplay didn’t make the final cut. What Google Gets That Others Don’t: Innovation Evolves Customers. Customers don’t just adopt innovations; they alter them, adapt to them, and are changed by them. Like economic Charles Darwins, successful innovators strive to observe and understand how their customers evolve. Pick any product or service that matters. Google’s search engine. Credit cards. Boeing’s 747. The iPhone. Pick any innovator who matters: Jeff Bezos. Successful innovators don’t just ask customers and clients to do something different; they ask them to become someone different.

Facebook asks its users to become more open and sharing with their personal information, even if they might be less extroverted in real life. Successful innovators ask users to embrace--or at least tolerate--new values, new skills, new behaviors, new vocabularies, new ideas, new expectations, and new aspirations. Google provides an excellent example of understanding and acting on "The Ask. " O’Reilly is correct. Google is just as heavily committed to the "searcher" business. The result? Beta List. Innovation / Business Model Innovation. I attended Alex' workshop in Boston in oct 2011 on this. Phenomenal ! Started using this for my clients !


The best street art in Helsinki. Since today is Friday and I’m sure many of you are already looking forward to the weekend, I’ve decided to showcase some of the amazing street art I discussed in my last post about Helsinki. These avant-garde images are created by local graffiti artists in the Suvilahti neighborhood. My favorite thing about the artwork I found in Helsinki is the variety of styles used across the designated graffiti wall. There’s also a vibrancy to many of these images, which adds to the overall effect of each message being displayed. Wide-Eyed and Beautiful Dazed and Confused Looking A Recent 2012 Addition Vibrant and Striking A Mix of Old and New Graffiti An Intense Stare Interesting Proportions and Color Choice Artists at Work.

Why Branding Is An Artifact Of The Past. A short while ago, I wrote an article on this site suggesting that you can’t build a brand simply by setting out to build a brand. And in fact, thinking too much about brands can actually get in the way of the real business of your company. I suggested that you try an experiment: Stop talking about brands for a month, and see what happens.

The article got a lot of attention on Twitter, and provoked a lively debate in the post’s comments section. Almost all of the remarks were smart, good-humored, and well argued; the rest were mainly mine. Point #1: Brands are important. In Mary Poppins, we learn about Mr. He sat on a large chair in front of a large desk and made money.

It’s a charming way to describe something that only a small child, and possibly Robert Mugabe, could ever believe: That you can make money by literally making money. Yet many people seem happy to apply this Mary Poppins logic to branding: Brands are valuable, so you need to go to work to make brands. Inspirational Hand Painted Body Art | Gadgetfist. Cartoon time! A day in the life of an animator. The art of animation is a lot older than you think. Walt Disney might have brought it to the masses in the 1920s, but the first projected animation came courtesy of a machine called the magic lantern invented way back in 1650. Things have changed immeasurably since then.

These days animated films are breathtakingly detailed and beautifully created. Yet most of us have no idea how they’re made. First things first, so how do you kick off your working day? Well, right now I’m working on the 6th season of the television show Pasila, so it really depends on which stage of work we’re on in a given episode. How do you begin a new animation? Each show begins with the script, and the recorded dialogue. And how long does one episode take to create? Each twenty four minute episode takes roughly one month to complete.

Most people’s impression of animators is that they’re a bunch artists drawing. I guess it all depends on the type of animation you’re doing. The story of the ‘secret’ room at Pixar, frequented by Steve Jobs and many other celebrities. Truthfully, I thought everyone knew about the ‘Lucky 7 Lounge’. It’s a secret room at Pixar that’s really not so secret now. But I took a quick poll of some friends and coworkers and drew a blank, so here goes. It was a nook, really, created by the shape of the building around it and the needs of the air conditioning system when the company’s new headquarters were built. Animator Andrew Gordon discovered it while investigating a human-sized hatch in the back wall of his new office. In this clip from the Toy Story 3 bonus features, shared by Scott Myers at The Blacklist, Gordon details the discovery and decoration of the room. Later on, the room was modified to add a sliding bookshelf with a hidden button, for easier access to the lounge.

The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson also touches on it, but calls it The Love Lounge. The wackiest piece of serendipity was “The Love Lounge.” This is the room itself, with Gordon at center with the 2008 Oscar nominees for Animated Short: Creating Start-Up Success. Business Model Alchemist. 13 sites to get your creative juices flowing | dreambeaker. Does Creativity Require Constraints? Magic Hours: Tom Bissell on the Secrets of Creators and Creation.