Archive for November, 2016

NEAT certified products get sedentary users moving

November 22, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Health and Wellness

There are a growing number of products and devices designed to improve the health of those who are sedentary. Those who have desk jobs or have disabilities and must sit for long periods of time can face health risks. A few years ago, the Mayo Clinic began certifying products and services that facilitate, measure or incorporate the science of NEAT, a trademarked term which stands for the science of nonexercise activity thermogenesis. 

Products like HOVR are gaining in popularity, as they help users unconsciously burn more calories to promote healthier living.

HOVR is a crowdfunded product invented by two friends, Ron Mochizuki MD, a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician, and John Godoy, professional trainer.

Disruption: It’s Not the Tech, It’s the Timing

November 19, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Disruptive Innovation

wikipedia ecosystemWhy do some new technologies quickly replace their predecessors, while others do so more gradually?  Harvard Business Review says we need to think about things through the innovation ecosystem, and I agree!.   We ought to look not just at the technology itself but also at the broader ecosystem that supports it. Not only that, but HBR sasy we need to understand that competition may take place between the new and the old ecosystems, rather than between the technologies themselves. Read on:

For the past 30 years, “creative destruction” has been a source of fascination at top-tier business schools and in magazines like this one. The almost obsessive interest in this topic is unsurprising, given the ever-changing, never-ending list of transformative threats—which today include the internet of things, 3-D printing, cloud computing, personalized medicine, alternative energy, and virtual reality.

Our understanding of the shifts that disrupt businesses, industries, and sectors has profoundly improved over the past 20 years: We know far more about how to identify those shifts and what dangers they pose to incumbent firms. But the timing of technological change remains a mystery. Even as some technologies and enterprises seem to take off overnight (ride sharing and Uber; social networking and Twitter), others take decades to unfold (high-definition TV, cloud computing). For firms and their managers, this creates a problem: Although we have become quite savvy about determining whether a new innovation poses a threat, we have very poor tools for knowing when such a transition will happen.

The number-one fear is being ready too late and missing the revolution (consider Blockbuster, which failed because it ignored the shift from video rentals to streaming). But the number-two fear should probably be getting ready too soon and exhausting resources before the revolution begins (think of any dot-com firm that died in the 2001 technology crash, only to see its ideas reborn later as a profitable Web 2.0 venture). This fear of acting prematurely applies both to established incumbents being threatened by disruptive change and to innovating start-ups carrying the flag of disruption.

To understand why some new technologies quickly supplant their predecessors while others catch on only gradually, we need to think about two things differently. First, we must look not just at the technology itself but also at the broader ecosystem that supports it. Second, we need to understand that competition may take place between the new and the old ecosystems, rather than between the technologies themselves. This perspective can help managers better predict the timing of transitions, craft more-coherent strategies for prioritizing threats and opportunities, and ultimately make wiser decisions about when and where to allocate organizational resources.

You’re Only as Good as Your Ecosystem

Both established and disruptive initiatives depend on an array of complementary elements—technologies, services, standards, regulations—to deliver on their value propositions. The strength and maturity of the elements that make up the ecosystem play a key role in the success of new technologies—and the continued relevance of old ones.

Read the rest of this article here:

Friday fun: Shoes that transform from flats to heels

November 18, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

These are made by a German company called Mime et moi. Its website says:

The heels can be exchanged in height, shape and color, and can be easily stored in any handbag. Depending on your mood, the look, comfort and style can be changed.

They aren’t available in the United States yet, but the company says it hopes to start shipping in 2017.


New Gluten tester can improve quality of life

November 15, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Health and Wellness

Eating gluten free is certainly a trend, but for many people, it’s a crucial necessity. Those with Celiac disease become very sick when ingesting even the slightest amount of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barleyCeliac is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  

Restaurants must be very careful when preparing meals advertised as gluten free, but the onus to consume foots safely ultimately falls on the patrons with gluten intolerance.

Here’s an innovative device that can help.  Nima is the company and the name of the portable tester that allows you to test your food for unwanted ingredients, starting with gluten. Users can test for other ingredients as well. Here’s how it works:

The starter kit is about $275. There’s also an app and a lively online community for users.

Expert advice: How much screen time for kids?

November 10, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Alpha Moms

Wikimedia Commons

Moms are experts in the art of sharing information across social media. I’ve been following the “mommy blogging” trend since Innovationedge first launched in 2007, but it was a great way to network long before that.  Yes, mommy blogging is still a thing, although these days you’ll find niche blogs for moms.  In case you missed it, the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with recommendations for parents on the amount of screen time (any digital media), for kids at each age. And bloggers are adding their own recommendations, such as this tidbit from DigitalMomBlog:

Each of our 4 kids is in school. We cut off the internet at 6:30 pm for our younger kids (5 and 6-years old) and 8:00pm for our older kids (11 and 13-years old.) On the weekends, it’s 10:00 pm for our younger kids and midnight for our older kids.

Check out the screen time recommendations from the DigitalMomBlog here:

    • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
    • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
    • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
    • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
    • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.



Do Crowdsourced Products Sell Better When They’re Marketed That Way?

November 8, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Crowdsourcing
Wiki Commons

Wiki Commons

As more and more companies leverage crowdsourcing to market and sell their products, Harvard Business Review wanted to know if customers would be more eager to buy if they knew folks like themselves helped come up with the innovation or marketing:

We decided to look at how consumers perceive crowdsourced new products and in particular how the inferences they make impact their choices. We found that labeling crowdsourced new products as such — that is, marketing the product as “customer-ideated” at the point of purchase (POP) — increased the product’s market performance by up to 20%.

The findings are based on two randomized field experiments conducted with Muji. One study was run in its food division and one in its consumer electronics department. In both cases, crowdsourcing was used to generate a new product (a flavored pretzel and a security buzzer, respectively). We then manipulated the POP display as the product was introduced to market. In one set of stores the POP display was silent about the product’s source of design. The other stores’ POP displays sold the product explicitly as customer-ideated. The latter set of stores sold substantially more of the product.

What makes this cue sell so well? A series of more controlled follow-up studies revealed…

Read the rest of the findings here.

Channel blurring evolves the way we shop

November 7, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Food & Restaurant trends

free photo

When it comes to the convenience of shopping, we have so many options today that the lines between where and how we shop are blurring as retailers scramble for our dollars. This is called “Channel Blurring,” and it’s a trend I’ve been watching with interest for several years now.

One of the industry watchers for this trend is The Hartman Group, who reported that, “consumers no longer confine food shopping to the traditional grocery store. They now selectively pick from a variety of formats and outlets, depending on the occasion, type of food and channel that best meet their needs and expectations.” (Check out this great infographic the Hartman Group put together.)

For instance, think of all the ways you could restock your fridge today:  You could go to the grocery store, or a super bib-box store, or even a smaller convenience store. Or, you could try online home delivery, your department store or drug store’s new grocery aisle, indoor farmer’s market, or any number of new channels able to fill your grocery list.

That’s great news for us as consumers, but not great news for traditional grocery stores when those channels blur.

“Today, more than 80% of shoppers visit three or more channels to carry out their C.P.G. shopping journey. And, as more nodes crop up along the path to purchase, capturing shoppers’ attention and wallet will become increasingly complex. Retailers and manufacturers must provide value to each and every shopper through individualized targeting and flawless execution,”says Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership for  Information Resources, Inc.  (source)

How are retail outlets jockeying for better position? One example is Yesway stores. The C-store chain recently transformed its shopping experience, rebranding a few dozen of its stores across the U.S. to create a positive name that would resonate with consumers. Yesway said it would acquire 100 stores by the end this year and between 600 and 1,000 stores in three or four years, which will make the convenience store chain a strong player.


Safety on the road

November 3, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Drivers who find themselves behind a semi-trailer truck can often become impatient, and try to pass when they should wait. Now Samsung has developed a solution hat helps motorists see what’s in front of the truck, designed with saving lives in mind.

It’s called the Safety Truck, and it employs a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, connected to a giant screen – actually four screens, on the back of the truck. It’s like a giant television, that gives motorists a clear view of things to come.

Right now the Safety Truck is in the prototype stage.