innovative technology

Innovation Insight: The Car Next Door

One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO

At the World Innovation Convention in Cannes in September, a fascinating new British company came up in conversation: WhipCar. I had heard of the now global short-term rental phenomenon ZipCar, but WhipCar was new to me: peer-to-peer car rentals. The company describes itself as “the first service in the world where a car owner can rent out their vehicle for money, whenever they are not using it. WhipCar pairs approved drivers with spare car time. We screen all cars joining the service and all drivers booking cars.”

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The Right Climate for Innovation

By: Jeffrey Weiss,
Special to CNBC.com

Originally published on www.cnbc.com on Monday, September 19, 2011.

What a terrible time to try to sell an innovation. Oh, for the boom years of a decade ago, when investment capital was as plentiful as the dew.
Or maybe not. Yes, there are advantages to boom years. Historians of innovation say, however, there’s a lot to be said—maybe more to be said—about individuals and companies that come up with new ideas in hard times.

After all, there’s no guarantee that a boom-time company will succeed. Remember Pets.com? And CueCat? Hundreds of millions of dollars were burned through during the last technology boom by companies that are scarcely a footnote to business history.

And hard times? Reach back to 1938, the depths of the Great Depression. Hewlett-Packard started in a garage. In late 1982, the U.S. was just emerging from a recession . And two entrepreneurs left Xerox to found Adobe. In 2008, as markets crumbled and world economies teetered, Groupon sold its first bargain. Even questions now cropping up about Groupon don’t challenge the point that this rocket lit its fuse in the midst of the current downturn.

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Google’s Android Leverages Their Core (the second time around)

It was recently reported by industry tracker NPD that smartphones running Google’s Android software were the Q2 top sellers among consumers in the United States. It is an amazing feat for Google and it made me think about how innovative and savvy their move to the mobile market was…the second time around.

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