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Think 10x!

You must think to make things 10x better, faster, smaller, … don’t just set the goal to be ‘a little better’. Think beyond the next solution!

That’s what make the difference in company like Google for example.


Lately I had the chance to listen to a very good talk about Disruptive Innovation by Luke Williams (at Frontiers of Interaction). A lot has been said about innovation lately and this is a ‘flavor’ that deserve to be understood.

Disruptive Innovation is not about finding something ‘new’. We are leaving the information age to go to the creative age due to the high level of uncertainty so Disruptive Innovation is seldom a matter of technology.

We are obsessed, in business, to fix something that’s “broken”. We have learnt to be problem-solving machines: so we often intend innovation as something new that fixe something. With Disruptive Innovation we don’t want to start from what’s broken: we want to start from what’s ALREADY there … that’s often bad products and bad services. And then we want to brake the cliché: break the set of belief that govern the way we do stuff.

This can be done by reversing what everybody thinks it’s true or denying assumptions (or part of them) behind our beliefs.

No matter what technique you use, remember that if an idea doesn’t make you laugh at the beginning, it’s not disruptive enough!


During the Social Business Forum 2011 conference, I decided to take notes using twitter. Here is the list of my tweets for your convenience:

15:10 Even in the army command and control is no more used  #areyousure
15:07 Is there anything between failure and success?
15:04 ‘how do u teach employee not to fear loosing control?’ : I’m waiting for the answer 🙂
15:01 No speaker, in the sessions I’ve followed, has used twitter to check for comments, questions, ideas (also during panels). In yours?
14:59 (almost) no social app has a ‘tasking’ capability
14:51 Is social business a non-goal oriented activity?
14:48 mi sa che ho sbagliato sala “@Lavizzi: Virale é la condovisione sociale delle emozioni. Che bello il mandala delle emozioni!  #fdr”
13:44 Countries who have less to loose (Brazil? China?) are risking more: they will produce next years innovators and thinkers  #innovation
13:42 In big companies you cannot fail, sorry: they need certainty. How can we innovate?  #openinnovation
13:38 ‘I think your question is the wrong one’: let’s cross fingers with your answer 🙂
13:35 The definition of innovation gets out from this workshop as a set of contradictions and buzzwords  #maybeidontgetit
13:22 Europe is weak in innovation, Brazil, China are going great! We need to get to a more mature level of innovation
13:20 Can we efficiently spot real problems that need to be solved? Can we solve it? Does this produce value? That’s foundam question
13:17 If innovation is anything is solving problems #openinnovation
13:12 Concentrarsi solo sulle core competencies ha distrutto le aziende: x essere un sys integrator devi essere ridondante e competente
13:10 I sistemi organizzativi aperti consentono di imparare e quindi variare e quindi imparare e quindi variare … una specie di respiro
13:09 La varietà è basilare (ma ricordate che di varietà si può morire) #openinnovation
13:04 Innovation is not a discovery process is a knowledge creation process #openinnovation
13:04 Il system integrator è un creatore di complessità quindi deve abbandonare l’efficienza e andare verso l’efficacia e => ridondanza
13:01 Le strategie servono per battere l’avversario, l’innovazione serve per sostituirlo!  #openinnovation
13:00 You can’t share knowledge. You can share only a map of your knowledge and share it.  #openinnovation #nlp
12:58 La conoscenza è solo individuale ed è creazione del mondo
12:54 A system integrator is a firm that wants to DOMINATE the dynamic of CHANGE of its PRODUCTS/ORG/PROCESSES
12:51 La creazione è sempre creazione o interfaccia di complessità e va vista come un intero: chi la spezza peggio per se   #openinnovation
12:50 Complessità e complicazione … stiamo convergendo o divergendo?
12:48 Se vuoi avere un peso nella insostituibilità o se vuoi essere il leader in nuovi mercati devi integrare tecnologie e conoscenze
12:46 Massimo Paoli #openinnovation
12:42 They want to be competitively unpredictable – great goal 🙂  #openinnovation
12:34 If you ask questions like ‘what about your IP?’ this reveals a lot about your (low) level of innovation  #openinnovation
12:33 We need to move from defense of ideas to offense of ideas  #openinnovation
12:31 I’m more dressed like speakers than audience: am I in wrong side or do I have the wrong dresses? 🙂
12:30 We are too old, we just don’t get it .. that’s why we need help  #openinnovation
12:26 To have innovation you need to mix different kind of knowledge
12:24 Open innovation is when you integrate external input throughout the whole value chain
12:23 With open innovation you need access to great people but you don’t need to hire them
12:23 In 10 years open innovation will merge innovation when the mindset of getting more external input will be more established
12:21 Open Innovation is much more a mindset more than tools or processes
12:19 Stefan Lindeegard at – Open Innovation Meets Social Media
12:03 Ready for open innovation
11:18 Interactive wallet: like a gps of our day  (where is the employee empowerment ?)
11:17 IDEO – rest of the world : 3 – 0 (presentation wise)
11:15 Crowd Resonance Testing  #buzzwordoftheday
11:13 We want to eliminate barriers between physical and virtual working areas
11:12 Org matrix: groups (functions) VS projects VS research communities (kind of R&D)
11:11 Who belongs to a project sit together, as a team
11:09 Listening is not automatically understanding and making good choices
11:06 A lot of interaction design, not much employee empowerment in this third session
11:01 Questi designer che chiamano le sedi o uffici: studi 🙂
10:45 ‘Intanto le persone lo dicono lo stesso’
10:44 Le altre 4? “@IvanZenAttitude:  sempre più convinto che #IDEO sia tra le 5 aziende più innovative al mondo #in”
10:43 wePad prj: 5 weeks, 600 registered users, 2k posts, 7k FB views, 60k site views
10:39 Just one thing: FEAR “@andreaguetti: Why people stop to be social inside the organization? #belladomanda ”
10:38 The wePad project: 6 cervelloni e 30gg x definire una app per iPad che serva alla gente per risparmiare tempo. Molto #Designthinking
10:36 The wePad project
10:33 Il Product Management di #Webank analizza ogni settimana le idee inserite sul sito x la def / evo di prodotti
10:28 Il progetto: ‘La banca che vorrei’ #Webank
10:24 Twitter fa fatica a decollare per #Webank … è perché si parla di denaro?
10:22 +1 “@Lavizzi: Non so che ascoltare queste cose mi faccia bene:( .. le ali spuntano e la mente vola…una volta di +!! #ideo ”
10:20 Webank: 4 people answering to Twitter
10:17 To listen means to learn
10:16 Webank: out mission is to give time back to people   – and what about the money? 🙂
10:13 For collaborative tools that work
10:11 The Principles that I’ve written are the road to ‘collaborative tools that works’ for #ideo
10:09 Ideo at
10:06 Principle4: take the road more travelled (I LOVE this) #ideo
10:04 Principle3: demand intuitive interfaces #ideo
10:00 Recognition, Project staffing, career development  #ideo
9:58 Principle 2: reward individual participation = understand individual motivations #ideo
9:57 I take notes twitting: how can I get back all my tweets back lately?  #help
9:56 You need to find the right people in the org for your team: we organize info in term of people and projects #ideo
9:55 We are a project based org #ideo
9:55 Principle1: build pointers to people #ideo
9:54 Understand -> Explore -> Develop #Designthinking
9:52 Behaviors Motivation Social interaction
9:51 Design thinking starts with human being
9:51 Ooops, wrong name: @philipp_philipp
9:40 Ready for #IDEO
9:14 ROI
9:05 1 every 10 around me need a translation from English, 1 every 10 is live twitting (or similar). Same level of knowledge?
8:58 Per ora Dell – Oracle: 2 – 0
8:53 Right brainers have socialized technology   #sadtobeleftbrainer
8:53 Left brainers and right brainers approach
8:40 Ma gli Oracle bravi nel Social sono anche quelli che rendono nervosi i fan di Java?
8:35 Community engagement is oxygen: if you don’t have it you die
8:33 Your community live in many place
8:32 You need secure exec support & establish governance to win with your social media strategy
8:31 By the way also slides of @billjohnston are not visible from the back of the room
8:29 ROI sucks also for Social Media
8:25 Chatter is widely used in Dell – interesting
8:23 Evolving from The social suggestion box to IdeaStorm   … mmmm
8:22 Perplessitá e ammirazione comunque “@nelli: 15.000 corsi per i dipendenti #dell per farli diventare social ”
8:21 Centralized platform, distributed engagement at Dell
8:20 Social Media University & Social Media Certification at Dell. Shouldn’t it be more pull than push?
8:17 Listening: the heart of our social strategy – Dell
8:16 SMaC: social media & community team at Dell
8:15 5 yrs of investment in Dell about social
8:13 Internal communication – extranet – community – social
8:09 ‘business is inherently social’
8:02 From R&D to R&C (Connect)
8:01 Prezi on stage but not quite visible from the back of the room
7:58 ‘sii spontaneo’ #nlp
7:57 Peter Druker quoted at  (and Bateson and … )


I’m travelling in the US meeting relevant IT companies. Here are some of the things I’ve heard or noted:

  1. “sometimes IT guys are so passionate to their products that they forget these products have a purpose”
  2. “customers come here to understand how to save US money or increase productivity or grow the business” -> always about money
  3. “there are no more 18 month projects in IT”
  4. “if the users don’t use it, who cares how cheap it was to build it?”
  5. “top tech concerns for IT enterprise: virtualization, cloud, web2.0, network/voice, BA”
  6. “we will see more social inside cars”
  7. personal note: it’s incredible how product group executives of big IT companies are very competent if compared with Italian ones
  8. “awareness, interest and desire likely predate a purchase decision by years”
  9. “immersive consumer experience”
  10. “motivation for luxury goods are consistent: indulgence, exclusivity, status”
  11. “what’s the Bing web address? Search it on Google” 🙂
  12. “in US a vast % of people use a PC or a smartphone/tablet while watching TV” -> multi screen exposure
  13. personal note: Apple is not good because it’s too close, Android is not good because it’s too open … are these good excuses to build another proprietary solution?
  14. “Silverlight is the answer for Premium Experience, Enterprise and RIA applications over html5”
  15. “vision: stand from the couch!” (talking about gaming)
  16. “you are ‘against’ by definition” – yes against but against anything, I’m agnostic 🙂
  17. “we focus on problems that are culturally relevant”
  18. “we are working hard on digital photography problems”
  19. “one terabyte of storage can hold a picture of you per minute for your entire life”

Pick 3 and share in the comments!


Thanks to Antonio and his blog post (in italian) “Set your own drop box quota“, I’ve found a very interesting list of things that according to Drobpox managers should attract future employees.

You know what’s Dropbox, don’t you? 🙂 If not let me tell you that it’s a cult product  in these days and, as often happens for new companies of this kind, a cool place to work so, check the list:

  • Set your own Dropbox storage quota
  • Free lunches, snacks, coffee, and dinner if you’re up late
  • Competitive salaries
  • Build or buy your dream computer
  • Downtown SF office
  • Really flexible hours
  • Fifteen days of Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Paid holidays
  • 401(k)
  • Several health insurance options
  • Vision, dental, and life insurance too
  • Musical culture: Complete music studio equipped with drums, P.A., amplifiers, etc…
  • Whiskey Fridays
  • Gaming! Starcraft 2, Rock Band, DDR (yep, a real machine) and Laser Tag in the office

As Antonio point out (if my interpretation is correct), it seems an impossible list for an Italian (European?) company!!

I’m really interested in knowing what you think about this list and I have 3 specific question:

  1. what’s really motivating you in this list (top 3)
  2. what would motivate you but it’s NOT in the list
  3. what’s is feasible, of this list, in your current company (if any 🙂 )

Come on, don’t be shy 🙂


There’s something smelly about financing IT projects in return for a contracted return on investment. It’s not that there shouldn’t be some expectation about return. There absolutely should. But given the uncertainty and the risk, isn’t financing IT projects more like a funding venture? Isn’t it more about managing risk to achieve reward (the desired outcome or better) rather than managing cost and schedule? If it is, then the question to be asked more often is ‘what types of benefits are we seeing for this round of funding, and does the potential return at this stage warrant additional funding?’ rather than ‘are we on schedule and within budget?’

via Energized Work | Blog.

Another very good piece for my IT followers: stop managing assets (only), start making the difference!


Here is the list of the best posts of 2010 in the HBR blogs: a must read.

The Top 10 HBR Blog Posts of 2010 – Harvard Business Review.


In my las post Pairing can be Unconsciously Powerful, I commented an article (Research shows that two people can learn to cooperate intuitively, but larger groups need to communicate) and explained how …

working in pair you can create what’s called rapport: one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being “in sync” with, or being “on the same wavelength” as the person with whom you are talking. This goes beyond written rules or pre-set methods. As the sync is at the unconscious level, pairing can be unconsciously powerful

Now is this rapport what you really want when, for example, you are pairing in a pair programming session? Yes and no

Yes: if this means establishing a trustful and proactive relationship where the fight to achieve an excellent result takes place;

No: if this means not adding to the couple the necessary tension. This tension is the generative sparkle of the relationship. A good example of this deviation in the case of pair programming is what Francesco define with mamma programming where the two are looking for mutual protection and reciprocal approval.



Courtesy of NaturalBlu

Courtesy of NaturalBlu, Some Rights Reserved

Interesting how the Harvard Business Review site uses the Italian Soccer team and his last (poor) performance at the last World Championship as a good example of bad innovation strategy:

Because Lippi hadn’t invested in fresh talent or new schemes, he found himself in an innovation capability trap. Similarly, organizations can either get employees to work harder or improve how they work by modifying processes and improving capabilities. If they focus solely on the former, productivity will rise and short-term results may improve — but the system will break down at some stage. It’s impossible to deploy new capabilities when you need to if you haven’t already invested in developing them.

OK, the fact the the author of the post is Italian (Alessandro Di Fiore, CEO of the European Centre for Strategic Innovation) may explain something: may be he is a Cassano or Balotelli fan 🙂

Who knows how this post would have been titled if Italy had won the championship: may be ‘Team spirit to boost commitment’, ‘The team wins over turnover’, ‘Never change a winning team’.

So what’s your idea? Trust the winning team or change? Change a little, everything or nothing?


Nice piece of innovation in a simple idea here: Wall Plug Concept Warns of Wasted Watts : TreeHugger.

Designer Muhyeon Kim has created the “Insic Wall Socket” — an outlet that lights up to tell you just how many watts you’re pulling from the grid with whatever it is you just plugged in

Read the whole articole for more details.

(thanks to Alessandro Galetto)


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