What’s the billionaire founder of 5-Hour Energy up to now?

Social Organization and Change Change  What’s the billionaire founder of 5-Hour Energy up to now? > Water  Can connecting people of opposing views lower their inertia to change?  in general: personal discovery and development: hoffmaninstitute.org, motivational interviewing | You must learn every day for the rest of your life to keep pace with the world. sp | about | change management: Prosci | community: Harwood Institute, Staging Change Institute | Digital Darwinism | music: Changes Bowie |  percent-change | social change (advocacy): change, visualizing | speed of technological change: Dany Hillis TED books/articles: generation gap: The Next America Taylor | Data Portraits: Connecting People of Opposing Views Garrido | The Rational Optimist Ridley | What Technology Wants Kelly Confidence

Pop-Ups and “Citizen-Sourcing”

by scott pickard

Tom Peters, famous author of In Search of Excellence, coined the phrase “fast failures” which simply means corporations using modest amounts of capital to let employees rapidly test out new concepts, versus following a traditional deliberate corporate process to vet new product and service ideas. Fast forwarding to today, the idea of the “pop-up” has steadily been gaining traction in the retail and restaurant sectors as a way to quickly test the market, introduce new products and services, and gain some quick local market awareness.

When you think about it, the pop-up has been around for a long time, we just called it a booth at a tradeshow. What’s different now is the pop-up can happen anywhere, especially outside where people are walking, browsing, and congregating. In the tradeshow model you had to attract the people to your booth (one of hundreds) in a big event center. In the pop-up model you embed your story where the people are and often you are the only show at that location.

The pop-up is not just for big corporations. Any organization and any individual can pop-up their story on a budget that ranges from a table at a flea market in a mall, to an open-air stand at an art fair in a parking lot, to something more elaborate whether it is indoors or outdoors. The pop-up enables rapid prototyping (and fast failures), market introduction and awareness, brainstorming, customer feedback, crowd sourcing (“citizen-sourcing”), and more. And because it is such a cost-effective technique, we should encourage and enable pop-ups in our communities as much as possible because what we need in our communities is new thinking that leads to new companies and new jobs which can help backfill the substantial job losses we are experiencing by disruption across all sectors.

Just to pick one example, consider libraries which are being disrupted across the United States because of the digital revolution and declining state and municipal budgets. Public libraries across the nation are struggling to figure out how to redefine the mission of their libraries and develop a sustainable financial model.

The “elephant in the room” that people are afraid to talk about or step forward on is the question of do we still need to allocate that much space for books-on-shelves? It is such a revered and emotional tradition (some say “right” or “entitlement”) to have books-on-shelves in expansive quiet spaces, that some library directors have already lost their jobs trying to move in a different direction. But it will happen! We don’t need as much space allocated for books-on-shelves as we used to, so we will have to repurpose some amount of that library space and potentially have some of the space generate revenues which will help support the library.

A specific example of this is our own public library that has a 40,000 square-foot basement which is empty. The basement of our public library is nicer than the basement in my 90-year old home: well lit, dry, high ceilings, broadband wireless, plenty of power, smooth concrete floor, plenty of books and coffee and conference rooms and restrooms upstairs, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That’s a lot of space to be doing nothing when the library has been running a deficit budget for the last five years.

Why not mobilize the power of the crowd (the library patrons and the community at large) by letting them pop-up their ideas in the basement?

  • Design lab
  • Media lab
  • Art studio
  • Dance studio
  • Co-working area for budding entrepreneurs
  • Fablab, makery, hackerspace
  • And the list goes on…

Basement of the library is an excellent place for a pop-up fablab.

Give them some of that empty underutilized space, support them however you can, and unleash the creative energy of citizen-sourcing in your community because no single library director or board of trustees has the all-knowing crystal ball to build a roadmap to the future for their libraries. I have much more confidence in the power of diverse thinking from citizen-sourcing than I have in a library director either afraid of losing his or her job or stubborn to change; or a politicized board of trustees nervous about community blowback. I was on our library board so I’ve seen this group-think dynamic from the inside.

The library is only one of many institutions which are being disrupted (big university is another, for example) which we need to address, but we are failing our communities if we don’t fully utilize the power of citizen-sourcing.

Pop-ups are a great way to mobilize and tap the creative and problem-solving power in our communities and get on with it!

- sp -

Co-Working Space

by scott pickard

A co-working space in a library might look something like this:


The co-working program can offer the following:

  •  shared-office space:
    • parking
    • desk, chair, power
    • wireless broadband
    • cafe
    • library card and books, lots of books
    • conference rooms
    • bathrooms
    • comfortable easy chairs for reading and napping
  • a place to connect with other motivated:
    • entrepreneurs
    • small business owners
    • hackers
    • social-impact organizations
  • help with:
    • business support
    • fund-raising
    • looking for mentors
  • simply a collaborative space to brainstorm, design, create



How to get help with a patent if you’re a first-time inventor

by scott pickard

The first thing I would do is identify all the local startup business incubators and/or co-working facilities in your community, especially the ones that seem to be the best fit to your idea.  Usually these places have an open-door policy that allows people to come in with new ideas that have the potential to later on develop into new products/businesses. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of all the local attorneys who provide patent services, and in some cases you can get a sit-down session with one of these attorneys at no cost. See how far you can get without having to spend any money.

Another thing you should do is attend an entrepreneur’s mixer(s) at these incubators and do some social networking with the entrepreneurs and staff because they’ve been down this path before and they will know who to contact and who not to contact.

Reseearch Parks Co-Working Space THE CO-WORKING MANIFESTO inside the corporation, i compete against you, you compete against me, every person for themselves. inside the co-working mashup, you do not compete against me, I do not compete against you, rather, it is the Cheers effect: everybody knows your name, you are happy to see me, I’m happy to see you, you are interested in my ideas, I’m interested in yours, you want to help me, I want to help you, you learn from me, I learn from you, together, we design and build cool things that make an impact in people’s lives. sp in general: about | multidisciplinary mashups: Geekdom | pay-it-forward: gangplank | revenue: $50/sf/year hackerspaces: bio: biocurious, genspace.org | Case Western: thinkbox | hackerdojo | history: L0pht | hostels | how-to: www.mindbites.com, eHow, www.wonderhowto.com | makezine | 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse by Garth Johnson | tinkering: about, Artisan & Fab Lab, tinkering school incubators and accelerators: Chicago: 1871 | China: innovation-works | corporations: When Big Companies Support Start-ups… Mitra | food & restaurant: lacocinaf | FREE!: commnexus | health applicatons: rockhealth | IT: galvanize Denver | Orange County: OCTANe.org | tandementrepreneurs | USC: Viterbi Startup Garage | US-China: innospring.net | virtual: Incubator-In-A-Box libraries: My idea is to convert the basement of our library (40,000 sf, polished concrete floor, high ceiling, dry, well-lit, broadband wireless, plenty of power, and empty!) into a fablab, makery, hackerspace, design studio, and other creative uses that our patrons can come up with…..more sp | Launch Fishers articles and books : aStore | A Comprehensive Guide to Business Incubation Erlewine | Start Small: Why Tinkerers Get Things Done McGuinness | Startup Nation clusters Entrepreneurship | New Products | Collaboration

tapping the wisdom of the entrepreneurial crowd at your local co-working facility


Imagine H2O

Imagine H2O is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to solve water problems.

Hydrosphere Water We pay for water when we use it, and we pay for water when we get rid of it. GLOBAL: How are humans changing the global water cycle, the associated biochemical cycles, and the ecosystem function of the global water system?  What are the socio-economic and environmental feedbacks arising from these changes? Will a lack of water threaten energy production?  How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?  INDUSTRY: Is the water quality of the plant internally and externally in compliance with relevant environmental laws?  What percentage of the company's revenues does it spend to maintain water quality to mandated levels? Is it reasonable or getting out of control? in general: | about | catastrophes: West Virginia | conservation: Americans have no idea how much water they’re using Yoshida | images | point-of-use (POU) purification: www.halosource.com, hydronovation | serionix, SODIS solar disinfection | modeling: aquaveo, WaterML 2.0 | organizations: water.org |  rain  barrels | recycling: stillsuit | research: Global Water System Project | scarcity: When the well runs dry, we shall know the value of water. Franklin, The End of Abundance Zetland | smart sprinkler systems: www.cyber-rain.com | sponsored projects: bluewater.rbc, charitywater | underground lakes: Kenya | ventre capital: Imagine H2O > Venture Capital | water cycle: video, diagram | water from air: islandsky big ideas | waterless textile dyes: airdye | water rights: California Water Wars  top educational literacy: α (1 / diarrhea) α (clean drinking water) α (solar rays + water) water quality: arid environments: sand dams | rooftop tanks: Inside City’s Water Tanks, Layers of Neglect Rivera | filter mechansisms: drinksoma, puremadi, WaterBean |bottleless water coolers: quenchonline | denitrification: eosenvironmental | desalination: www.altelainc.com onsite, voltea | on-site potable water purification: www.clearwatercomplianceservices.com, www.miox.com | pool-in-a-river: pluspool |  USEPA Sole Source: Mahomet Aquifer | wastewater filtration: mmfwater books: The Big Thirst Fishman | The Great Lakes Water Wars | Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit Shiva Venture Capital | Sustainability

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Incubator hopes to help entrepreneurs

February 5, 1989

Four local business executives have left established forms to start their own management consulting network across firm the University of Illinois Beckman Institute.  Scott Pickard, Thomas Trone, Martin Widdowson, and Norman “Mac” MacGregor have joined forces in NorthCampus Ventures, a firm that provides services for start-up businesses.  Pickard, 39, was vice president of business development for Kuck & Associates, Inc., a Champaign supercomputer software firm, until November.

Left to right: Martin Widdowson, Scott Pickard, Mac MacGregor, Tom Trone

Left to right: Martin Widdowson, Scott Pickard, Mac MacGregor, Tom Trone


On spinning out (commercializing) a university research center

by scott pickard

Sitting there in the meeting this morning and my mind wandering a bit (been doing that since first grade), I thought: “When/if the research grant goes away, what happens?”

Does  the Research Center just go poof, everybody blowing away in the breeze to a new position, some repotted at the University in various departments; some going out to private industry; some retiring?

Then I thought about everything that is inside these walls. If you draw a box around this place and call it “Proprietary Intellectual Property (PIP),” it’s market value as a going concern is substantial when you include:

  • Documents in general
  • Templates
  • Spreadsheets
  • Software
  • Calculators, algorithms, rules-of-thumb
  • Archive of reports
  • Processes and procedures
  • Everything that’s on the web site: content, pictures, videos
  • Curriculum, courseware, workshop and presentation materials
  • Marketing and general collateral materials
  • Database(s) and data
  • Product info, specs, costs
  • The Center’s collective rolodex of professional, industry, governmental contacts
  • The Center’s brand identity and goodwill
  • The Center team and their collective expertise and experience
  • Continuing access to the best students

In a shutdown scenario, who “owns” the PIP?  The University?  The Funding Sponsor?  Would either even be interested?

Engineering and R&D Research and Development What’s likely to be the “next big thing?” What might be the most fertile areas for innovation? Where should countries and companies invest their limited research funds? What technology areas are a company’s competitors pursuing? How are projects chosen for R&D?  What is R&D’s past record for successful completion of projects to budget and schedule?  When does management expect products will reach the market from research projects currently underway?  Is the company working smart to optimize the FDA approval process?  How would management rate the company’s R&D operations against its competitors?  How well does R&D integrate its work with marketing?  End user?  Engineering?  Production?  Is R&D’s major emphasis applied or basic research?  How much do the company’s projected financials depend upon successful new products developed by R&D?  Does the company effectively protect the secrecy of R&D projects?  Is there sufficient federal financing to support R&D at adequate levels?  What is the company’s approach towards capitalization of R&D expenses?  Is management well informed of R&D activities?  Are the company’s research facilities adequate?  How confident is management that R&D’s team and plan will lead to the right product(s) at the right time?  Has management evaluated the cost-effectiveness of shifting some portion of R&D expenditures and operations to external sources? (a) venture capital funds; (b) R&D alliances; (c) government funding such as ATP in general: Chance favors the prepared mind. Pasteur | citations: zotero | crowd funding: experiment | design of experiments: about | electronic lab notebooks: www.intellichem.com | ethics: Integrity in Research and Publication | europe: cordis | www.evaluatingresearchcenters.com | incentivization: prize challenges | magazines: rdmag | matching problems with solutions: www.innocentive.com | molecular imaging: www.visenmedical.com | networks: internet2 | patents: mapping | pharmaceutical R&D: www.teranode.com, wingu | poster template | rent & read: deepdyve | research universities: www.aau.edu | videos: labtv academic: The traditional metric of academic capital is citations. | Should researchers make their source code available when submitting a research paper to a peer-reviewed scientific journal? | bio template: publications.ca | data sharing: figshare | funding opportunity announcements: grantforward | impact: h-index | news: futurity | scientific literature: Action Science Explorer | Association of Research Libraries | open access, peer-reviewed joournals: peerj, plusone.org  | social networking: academia.edu | Search: academic.research.microsoft federal labs: Argonne National Laboratory: www.anl.gov | Idaho National Laboratory: www.inl.gov | Kansas City Plant: www.kcp.com | Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: www.lbl.gov | Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: www.llnl.gov | Los Alamos National Laboratory: www.lanl.gov | National Renewable Energy Laboratory: www.nrel.gov | Oak Ridge National Laboratory: www.ornl.gov | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: www.pnl.gov | Sandia National Laboratory: www.sandia.gov | Y-12 National Security Complex Heilmeier Catechism: What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.  How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?  What's new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?  Who cares?  If you're successful, what difference will it make?  What are the risks and the payoffs?  How much will it cost?  How long will it take?  What are the midterm and final "exams" to check for success? | The Heilmeier Catechism Visits the University sp lab management: workflow management: accelrys | software: quartzy free multidisciplinary research: What are the top ten actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities and others could take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century? Stanford | synthesis centers: science incubators | World Café charrette translation of project results: To what extent do the research issues being pursued relate to challenges along the pathway towards achieving meaningful use?  How effective are the methods used to accelerate translation of research into application(s)?  To what extent has the project identified the salient, potentially breakthrough challenges?  Are innovative research methods being applied to meet the ultimate research agenda?  What problems have been encountered in implementing all of the required features of the project?  What relationships has the project established with industry to facilitate the translation of the research? | funding: action science: definitions | proof-of-concept books and articles: Breakthrough Stefik | Closing the Innovation Gap Estrin | Evaluating Research Centers & Institutes for Success! Tash | Scientists Popularizing Science: Characteristics/Impact of TED Presenters Sugimoto Sustainability | Wellness | Automobile | Innovation | Crowd | Science |The big idea I’m left with is you could develop a business plan for the inevitable and at that time, license out the entire PIP by mutual agreement with the University and/or the Sponsor, and reboot the Center as a commercial enterprise. If you chose to do it big, you could attract some equity capital to fund startup costs for space, equipment, and competitive industry salaries, benefits, etc.

And that begins a whole new story.