Archive for January, 2011

Tree Hugger uses crowdsourcing to green up crowded house

How does one “go green” with only 420 square feet of living space? The founder of and VP of Interactive Media at Discovery’s Planet Green is getting media attention this week for engaging hundreds of thousands of people in a contest that resulted in some truly innovative architectural solutions.

Graham Hill launched the contest back in October and promised entrants that he not only would pay for the winning design, he’d live in it.  The public was asked to design a fully functioning living space in a tiny New York apartment, complete with room for a sit-down dinner for a dozen people, space for two guests, a home office, a hideable kitchen and a bed, shower and bike storage.

Hill says he wanted consumers to think about how much we really need in terms of space and stuff. The contest was designed to inspire architects and others to think environmentally by reducing their eco-footprint. Hill received 304 submissions, 600,000 entry views and thousands of comments on his website.

The winner’s design is titled, One Size Fits All. Check it out, along with the photos from the runners up here.

CoDev 2011 a great success!

I’m just back from Scottsdale, Ariz., where we held our CoDev conference! Thanks to new friends and old for your participation.

This was our tenth year at CoDev and each year seems more exciting and engaging than the last. More than 300 attendees from all over the world came to take in the newest ideas for partnering to bring innovation to a higher level in their companies and universities. Many of the companies attending are partnering with other companies, universities, laboratories, consultants and manufacturers that have unique capabilities that they themselves don’t.

We compared notes among the many companies experimenting with social networking and cloud computing to get instant feedback from experts and consumers on their innovation efforts. Over these past ten years I am seeing more corporations advancing their level of maturity in the social media arena, and embracing the conversations that are happening about their industries and about their own brands. Even thought the event has come and gone, we’re still sharing in our social media area of the CoDev website, and you are welcome to check out our Tweets!

It was fascinating to hear how so many have leveraged their own experiences along their journey and learnings form past conferences to achieve success with open innovation. They shared similar but unique stories about what helped them succeed: Engaging global stakeholders; restructuring processes and capabilities; and developing partnerships with suppliers and research centers to access advanced technology solutions.

Partnering to deliver innovation isn’t just a fad, but is a sustainable way of doing business and developing new products.

Lessons from CoDev 2011: The Power of Crowdsourcing for Local Motors

During the CoDev 2011 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, I was impressed with a speech given by a local CEO, John (“Jay”) Rogers of Local Motors in Chandler, Arizona. This small company designs exciting new vehicles using design contests that are open to the public. “Crowdsourcing” is one of the trendy new approaches to innovation, but it’s more than just a buzzword. When managed with smart tools, good incentives, strong respect for the participants and a strong brand, it can add a vast amount of energy and brilliance to an innovation pipeline.

Local Motor’s rapidly growing community (12,000 participants so far) contributes designs and feedback to help in the selection of potentially successful aesthetic concepts for automobiles that Local Motors will then build locally in a microfactory, with final customization of the appearance being achieved with an environmentally friendly and durable vinyl wrap that eliminates the need for paint and gives the owner freedom to have a unique look. The final assembly is done with hands-on help from the new owner, who becomes intimately familiar with the vehicle and with its maintenance. (more…)

CoDev 2011 is underway!

January 24, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Open Innovation, Partnerships

CoDev is celebrating a decade of innovation!  The 10th  annual conference on Co-Development and Open Innovation: Accessing Networks & Knowledge to Create Business Value is happening right now in Scottsdale, Ariz., and I could not be more excited.  This year more than 250 of us are convening in the brand new Talking Stick Resort.

This morning we’re diving in to workshops, including one that my colleagues Jeff Lindsay and Pat Clusman are leading with me titled, Building the Open Innovation Pyramid.

One of the popular featured of CoDev is the community of innovators we build through social media. The ideas will flow from our attendees for months to come through shared videos, the forum, blogs, groups, a live chat and meet-ups.

Who is here with me?  chief technology officers, vice presidents, managers, and directors of Open Innovation, plus a host of specialists in innovation, product development, R&D, continuous improvement, engineering, manufacturing, and more from a cross section of industries including aerospace, food and beverage, medical devices, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, biotech, oil & gas, electronics, hi-tech, defense and more.

Digital oven brings the heat

January 23, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

Here’s an interesting innovation for your kitchen: an oven that is so automatic, it seems to have a brain.

Actually, it does have a brain, sort of. The IChef  is a touch-controlled computer that has an icon-driven touch screen. The oven is manufactured by European appliance-maker Gorenje. This unique computerized oven was featured this past weekend at the 2011 International LivingKitchen event premiering in Germany.

Imagine finding a recipie, estimating its weight and pressing GO to get cooking. There are apps like MyBake, ProBake and StepBake that allows you to program up to three cooking steps such as defrost, bake and hold warm.

The IChef also has a hot grill in case you wanted to add a sizzle to your food, and a temperature prope to make sure your food’s internal temp is right where you need it to be.  The first IChef ovens will ship in European this spring and overseas in the months to follow. No word yet on the pricetag!

A look at green consumerism in 2011

January 20, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Green Innovation, Sustainability

As Americans, we’re beginning to adopt green and sustainable fads like reusable shopping bags and refillable water bottles as everyday ordinary lifestyle habits, and that’s a trend that is expected to continue for years to come.

Today’ savvy “green” consumers are paying attention to the green marketing being pitched at them–everything from online data storage services, cookware and pet food are jumping on the eco-bandwagon. But consumers aren’t buying everything green they see. This year the Federal Trade Commission will revise its environmental marketing guidelines to combat something now called “Greenwashing,” or the misleading information and environmental benefits of products or practices many companies have advertised.

Consumers do look for these products as they become more and more caring of the environment, but they still want products that do the job. It isn’t good marketing to sell an environmentally-friendly dish detergent that leaves spots and streaks. According to, this is the year that people are looking for “eco-superior” products.

Quality also needs to last. A cheap disposable product has a short life cycle, and may give off a chemical gas as it sits in the landfill. Many people are embracing antiques and locally-made items like clothing and furniture. These products may last longer, but often cost a little more.

Social gaming soon to be a $1 Billion industry

January 18, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Social Media, Technology, Trends

If you are a software development entrepreneur, the hottest trend in the next few years appears to be the gaming industry for social media platforms.

I’ve not played too many games on social media, but I know a lot of people who do. And this year social gaming is predicted to become a $1 Billion  industry.

That’s according to a new study from eMarketer. The group says more than 62 million Internet  users in the United States — that’s almost a third of us — will play at least one game on a social network each month this year. That’s a huge surge from last year, when only a tenth of us used social media gaming to pass the time.

Check out the article and some very interesting statistics here. One thing the study does not touch on is the increase in mobile phone apps for gamers.

Top ten consumer trends for 2011

January 16, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos, Technology, Trends

I am an avid follower of consumer trends, and I advise my clients to be as well. 

Here is a terrific video I found on YouTube from JWT. It has several interesting elements I found particularly comforting, like the fact that human downtime and relationships still matter even as we become more and more attached to technology. (There’s even a mini-trend to de-tech!)

Comments are always welcomed! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Media trends in emerging markets

January 13, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Emerging markets, Technology, Trends

Media in emerging markets is changing the way people in what we often call “third-world nations’ consume technology.  I’m seeing some of the major trends mimic what we’ve experienced in the United States, while other media trends seem to be going in a different track.

An article titled Global Media Habits 2010, by Greg Lindsay, shows us how different types of media are being consumed around the globe, from television to newspapers to cell phones.

Among the trends is this fact: Even the most poor nations consider television a necessity. Lindsay writes,

In 2010, nearly half of Indian households have TV, up from less than one-third in 2001. But in urban areas, that figure jumps to 96%. (Compare that to 7% of Indians who use the internet.) In Kenya, the TV-penetration rate rose from roughly 60% to 70% from 2005 to 2009, even as the number of households measured increased by nearly half. Even in the slums of Sao Paulo, TVs are the top seller of Brazilian retail chain Casas Bahia, despite the fact that residents tend not to have electricity or running water.

Another interesting trend is in newspaper consumption. We know that in the U.S. newspaper circulation is declining, but not so in the rest of the world where the newspaper business is booming. There are 44 percent more paid dailys in India, with Asia, Africa and Latin America not far behind.

Facebook is another big media demand in emerging markets. Facebook’s user base is 517 million people, 70% of whom live outside the U.S. Interestingly, these users follow brands just as much as American users do:

According to a DDB study of 1,642 international Facebook users, the average self-avowed fan is 31 years old and follows nine brands. Three-quarters (76%) have already pressed “like” to signal they are a fan of a brand. In return, they expect special treatment (95%) and are willing to advocate for the brand if necessary (94%).

The invention of “cyber cafés” has been instrumental in online usage in emerging markets. But while access costs are often too high for the poorest of people to afford, cell phone costs are very reasonable, especially among the up and coming generation.

Cover Story: Cheryl Perkins, BizEd Magazine

January 11, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Media Coverage

Cheryl Perkins: On the Leading Edge of Innovation
BizEd Magazine, January/February 2011

If innovation is the go-to strategy of the decade, Cheryl Perkins wants to be the go-to consultant on the topic. She’s founder and president of Innovationedge, a consulting firm based in Neenah, Wisconsin, that helps companies and individuals develop innovations and business solutions.

Perkins was no stranger to innovation before she launched her own firm in 2007. She has held a variety of positions at consumer products company Kimberly-Clark, most recently as senior vice president and chief innovation officer. In that role, she was responsible for innovation and enterprise growth in areas such as R&D, engineering, design, safety, and environmental sustainability.

Full Article

Cheryl Perkins BizEd Magazine