Why? “There is a reasonable hypothesis that areas that are fertile for startups are fertile at a point in time, such as Detroit in the 1890s,” says Ed Glaeser, Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard. “Startups come, they succeed, and then it becomes progressively less friendly as the area becomes wealthier. A few dominant firms emerge and they eventually end up pushing out startups. Areas then have to find a way to reinvent themselves.”
Only four days left to enter our INNOVATION BY DESIGN contest. Winners will be featured in the October design issue!
“We want to give innovators and businesses a record of the year’s most intriguing design ideas—and a catalogue of designers to hire. And we want to celebrate those designers whose influence rarely goes appreciated on a large, mainstream platform.”
We crunched the numbers, beginning by assessing the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ launch rate of all private-sector businesses, as well as the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity’s percentage of people who are starting new businesses and how that percentage changed over time. Then, to see the health of young firms in particular, we tallied the percentage of jobs contributed by those less than three years old and how that percentage changed over the past five years. To analyze the self-described startup community, we incorporated the health and growth rate of Startup America members and a tally of AngelList and Fundable members.
The result is a list with California near the top, as expected, but with new arrivals above it. Some developing startup cultures, like Iowa’s, weren’t yet reflected in the numbers, and some longtime hot spots like Massachusetts dropped down. “It used to be that there was only a small number of places like this, of which Boston and Silicon Valley have a long history of being leaders,” says Scott Stern, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. But as they multiply, “that’s a real bright spot if you want to have confidence in the economy.”
Read on to see how innovation is happening all over, and how your own community can learn from the winners.
Which states that are lesser known for their start up communities do think made the top ten?
GE Offering Thousands Of Its Patents In Exchange For Innovation
General Electric, the inventor of inventing, is reinventing inventing.
The company is teaming up with a crowdsourced social platform Quirky to release thousands of its patents to the public, starting next month with a few hundred searchable patents.
“People will be able to use GE’s technology in the creation of their own consumer product ideas,” the companies explained.
The move by GE follows in the footsteps of companies like Google, who recently contributed 10 patents to allow developers use. The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge not only offers open source software, but also cuts down on the chances of lawsuits.
This Helmet With Brake Lights And Turn Signals Lets Bikers Speak The Language Of Cars
Windshields and airbags are just two the of many safety features bicyclists don’t have, unlike their automobile driving comrades. And while there’s nothing designers can really do about those (other than design sexier velomobiles or install bicyclist-friendly airbags into the exterior of cars), a Hungarian designer has created a concept for a bicycle helmet with three safety features that no car would ever come without: a headlight, a taillight, and turning signals.
This Soccer Ball Generates Energy While You Play, And You Can Buy It Now
The Soccket is designed to replace kerosene lights in the developing world by converting games to electricity.
The Soccket, a soccer ball that generates and stores electricity during game play, was born in 2009. The ball was immediately a hit. For every 30 minutes of play, the ball can juice up an LED lamp for three hours, cutting down on toxic kerosene lamp use. Just plug an LED lamp into the light, and voila, free energy.
Uncharted Play has made some changes to the ball since it was first developed. The first iteration could be inflated and deflated, but it didn’t last long. The second ball was really heavy. The third ball wasn’t that heavy, but it was rigid and had a full-size gyroscope inside. The version available on Kickstarter (a standard Soccket and lamp goes for $99) is dense, water-resistant, made with a super light foam, and contains a fist-sized gyroscope.
“This version is significantly lighter and more efficient in terms of power generation. The only thing we couldn’t replicate in terms of a normal ball is the bounce. It was a tradeoff between wanting it to be hard or light with no bounce,” says Matthews.
In addition to the standard ball, Uncharted Play is offering tricked-out upgrades for backers if it reaches certain stretch goals in the Kickstarter campaign. One version has emergency cell phone charging capability, so users can charge their iPhones instead of a lamp. Another features a revision to the circuit board that tells players how much energy they have generated.
For the creators of Dark Sky, having a TV meteorologist predict the week’s weather wasn’t good enough. They needed something more personal. They needed something more immediate. So Jack Turner and Adam Grossman created an app that utilized government data to predict rainfall at a users exact location and at that exact moment.
IN INTERVIEWING SOME OF THE BIGGEST INNOVATION EXPERTS, INCLUDING CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN AND ERIC RIES, WARREN BERGER FOUND THAT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS CAN BE MORE CHALLENGING THAN FINDING ANSWERS.
1. WHAT IS OUR COMPANY’S PURPOSE ON THIS EARTH?
To arrive at a powerful sense of purpose, Yamashita says, companies today need “a fundamental orientation that is outward looking”—so they can understand what people out there in the world truly desire and need, and what’s standing in the way. At the same time, business leaders also must look inward, to try to clarify their own core values and larger ambitions.
2. WHAT SHOULD WE STOP DOING?
But the harder question has to do with what you’re willing to eliminate. If you can’t answer that question, Bergstrand maintains, “it lessens your chances of being successful at what you want to do next—because you’ll be sucking up resources doing what’s no longer needed and taking those resources away from what should be a top priority.”
4. IF WE DIDN’T HAVE AN EXISTING BUSINESS, HOW COULD WE BEST BUILD A NEW ONE?
“…Answering this question can point to future opportunities and help your share price to outperform the market by showing “that there’s more growth here than analysts may have thought.”
4. WHERE IS OUR PETRI DISH?
Ogilvie’s question is really asking, “Where in the company is it safe to ask radical questions? Where, within the company, can you explore heretical questions that could threaten the business as it is—without contaminating what you’re doing now?”
5. HOW CAN WE MAKE A BETTER EXPERIMENT?
“This means that instead of asking “What will we do?” or “What will we build?” the emphasis should be on “What will we learn?”
Grand Central Station is known for its historic beauty, and grandeur. What is less known is that the famous train station was ahead of its time in terms innovative design.
A new book by New York Times reporter Sam Roberts called Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America, talks about some of the innovations that went into building the iconic terminal.
Another Grand Central innovation was the ramp. “The place has virtually no staircases,” Roberts explains. “People realized that particularly long-distance travelers were coming in with suitcases, lots of luggage, and the ramps were built to accommodate them. Lots of people didn’t know what a ramp was, interestingly enough, so there was one explanation that pointed out that the word comes from ‘ramparts.’ “
For a the full story and images from Grand Central’s past and present, click here.