As Dlshad Othman, a 27-year-old software engineer and Internet activist, addressed a crowd of technologists in a downtown New York hotel Monday, the phone in his pocket was collecting urgent alerts from a world away, in his native Syria.
How Vocativ Mines The "Deep Web" For Storytelling Fast Company The startup, funded by security tech magnate Mati Kochavi, adapts technology used by hedge funds and intelligence agencies to find news all over the world.
NASA is awarding grants to 10 university-led projects that could help develop the advanced technologies needed for future science and long-duration manned missions. The Space Technology Research Grants Program will award $250,000 to teams.
We are on a brink of another evolution in technology - wearable comfortable quantifiable consumer products, I can already forsee the day when we get to a point of ingestible or absorbable technology, there are great examples of that already, but we are one decade away from that.
The Atlantic How Photographic Technology Shapes Our Understanding of War The Atlantic Civil unrest around the world – Egypt, Turkey, even Iran – is instantly available and shapes the perception of these events.
Sometimes buzzwords become so pervasive they’re almost inaudible, which is when we need to start listening to them. Disruptive is like that. It floats in the ether at ideas festivals and TED talks; it vanishes into the jargon cluttering the pages of Forbes and Harvard Business Review. There’s a quarterly called Disruptive Science and Technology; a Disruptive Health Technology Institute opened this summer. Disruptive doesn’t mean what it used to, of course. It’s no longer the adjective you hope not to hear in parent-teacher conferences. It’s what you want investors to say about your new social-media app. If it’s disruptive, it’s also innovative and transformational.1
We can’t often name the person who released a cliché into the linguistic ecosystem, but in this case we can, and we also know why he did it. He’s Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, and he wanted to explain why upstart enterprises drive better-established companies out of business. In his 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen launched the phrase that has transmogrified the English language: “disruptive innovation.”
Christensen’s theory goes like this. When a company succeeds at making and selling a gizmo, it commits itself to developing ever better gizmos, because their higher price yields larger profits. But that leaves a hole in the market quickly exploited by newcomers. They make stripped-down gizmos and sell them to consumers who hadn’t been able to afford them before. The strappy company, having found new people to market to, grows; the senior company, having narrowed its appeal, shrinks; the challenger overtakes the incumbent; and the cycle starts anew. An old example of disruptive innovation is the disk-drive market of the 1980s. As disk drives shrank, the bigger-disk makers went out of business, even though the smaller disks were arguably inferior: They held less data and cost more per byte. A newer example is the tablet, which may be relegating personal computers to history.
Christensen’s theory still has a powerful appeal, because it explains something we’ve all seen happen, even marked off our own decades by: the churning of businesses from start-ups to powerhouses to irrelevance or near-irrelevance.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is offering European cities millions of dollars to be government groundbreakers, tapping his personal fortune to extend his cities-as-civic-laboratories campaign overseas as the end of his own tenure nears.
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