Posts Tagged ‘prototyping’

Making new with old – Louvre Greek sculptures go hipster

June 15, 2013 1 comment

20130615-233230.jpg French photographer Léo Caillard has teamed up with digital imaging retoucher Alexis Persani to give the Louvre Greek sculptures a modern look. Of course, the museum would not let them do it for real, so they shot photos of dressed models posing like the statues and photoshopped the pics of clothed people and naked statues to get a stunning result. All of a sudden, statues that are masterpieces but antiquated come to life with amazing freshness. Judging by comments all over the web, it sounds like this would be a great way of reigniting the public’s interest for classical art.

After such a convincing prototype, will the Louvre let it happen for real?

Read more…


Measuring the ROI of R&D is illusory, but shortcutting Prototyping & Scaling-up will destroy it

Return On Investment of Innovation What is the Return On Investment (ROI) of R&D? The question regularly resurfaces but never seems to get a satisfactory answer. Here are two insights, one which explains why we cannot get a proper answer, the other what we can do to avoid destroying the ROI.

Insight 1. Samsung’s rule of thumb for R&D investment is: when spending $1 on R&D, they spend $4 on prototyping & scaling-up. Since all that follows R&D is necessary for the output of R&D to get to market and start generating a return, it becomes clear that the $1 investment in R&D has to be seen in combination with the $4 investment in ‘the rest’. So, calculating a return on the $1+$4 investment makes sense, but calculating a return purely on the $1 investment doesn’t.
Read more…

Henry Ford, June 4, 1896 – A story of Passion and Perseverance

June 4, 2012 1 comment

It was on a 4th of June – June 4, 1896 – that Henry Ford first drove his Quadricycle, an ethanol-powered proto-automobile. Ford was 32. He had left the family farm at 15. The quadricycle was the outcome of many years of passion for everything mechanical, from watches to industrial machines, and perseverance in experimenting with portable engines. Read more…

Leonardo Da Vinci: rapid prototyping

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Returning from the MIT Energy Initiative conference in Rome, I roam the small exhibition at Leonardo Da Vinci airport, where prototypes of some of Leonardo’s many flying machines have been built according to his designs.

As I study the last one, a curious device called ‘flapping wing’ (right) designed to lift the board and the person standing on it who actions the lever, I stumble on this instruction that Leonardo wrote next to his drawing:

Read more…

VW drives concept car through shrinking window of opportunity

At a corporate conference I attended earlier this year, a top-executive keynote speaker used the term “shrinking windows of opportunity” to describe a world where change is happening at such a fast pace on such a large scale that there is less and less time to think before you jump: if you think a minute too long, others will have already gone through the window of opportunity and closed it behind them. Read more…

When your analytical mind smiles down at you with an objection, all you have to do is smile back

February 27, 2011 3 comments

Today I continue my exploration of the interaction of the analytical mind and creativity with a recent real-life example.

People often regret not being creative enough. They think cannot generate novel ideas. More often than not, the issue is not an inability to generate ideas, but a stronger ability to kill them instantly, which stems from the analytical brain: when an idea pops up, timid and fragile as a late winter flower, stamping it down with all sorts of logical reasons why it will not work is easy. Dead easy. To shamelessly paraphrase Burke in reverse, all that is required for the demise of new ideas is for the analytical brain to do everything.

It is however possible to keep your analytical mind in check. The case presented itself to me in a mentoring discussion last Friday. Read more…

With Autolib’ the electric BlueCar accelerates

December 17, 2010 2 comments

This week, life-long entrepreneur Vincent Bollore and his BlueCar won the contract to run the Autolib’ scheme of the city of Paris. The story so far is rich of innovation lessons.

Firstly, Autolib’ builds on the success of Velib’ and replicates its business model. Launched in 2007 in Paris and now replicated in many other European cities, Velib’ is a bike rental scheme that allows customers to pick a bike from one of the 1,200 points in Paris (one every 300 meters) and return it to another, without having to worry Read more…