Archive for the "Innovation" category

Tourist arrivals in Spain are beating records, but do we really know what they are interested in?

September 4, 2014

Tourism in Spain is in high demand. Almost 22 million travellers have passed through Spanish airports in July, the second best month for Tourism in Spain’s history. According to official data, this year has so far also beaten the national record for tourist arrivals.

This is all fine and well, but many of these travellers have simply come and gone. We know they have spent money in the country, but know very little about their stay in Spain.

Isn’t it a pity to squander such wealth of information?
Did they like the breakfast buffet at the hotel where they stayed? Were they comfortable in the airplane seats of the airline they chose?

Any business needs to know its clients and in the new digital environment it is essential for brands to maintain a conversation with them. Not only will they stand out from the competition, their survival may depend on it, too.

This is where ideas social networks come into play, such as our own innovation agora. They are based on open innovation, i.e. companies ‘open up’ to their clients and allow them to contribute ideas. A clear example can be seen in ideas4all, our showcase ideas social network where users have submitted, throughout these past years, many ideas to improve the Tourism sector.

Let us turn back now to those airlines who have carried millions of tourists this summer. It is great that they sold so many tickets, but do they know what it is about their planes that their clients like? Or better still, what is it they don’t like and would like to see change? If they do find out, it will probably be because of an unpleasant experience and a complaint form.

But with an ideas social network, passengers of the airline can avoid complaints forms and directly suggest solutions such as these:

- Weight sensors to count occupied seats in a plane
- Order menus before the flight to reduce food wasted on planes

What about hotel clients? They may have had a great few days and are looking forward to their next stay in the hotel. And they may be even more convinced to do so if they can share their ideas on how to improve their experience during their stay, like in these examples:

- Menus for diabetics
- See your hotel invoice in your room’s TV

Any company in the Tourism sector should, at least, consider the need of having their own ideas social network to share experiences with their clients, whether they travel for business or pleasure, in order to continue growing: because apart from being useful, sharing ideas and improving is fun.

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The 20 world cities with the greatest concentration of Startups

September 3, 2013

This computer graphic generated by the company Intuit shows the twenty world cities with the largest concentration of startups. As usual, clearly in the foreground is Silicon Valley, followed by Tel Aviv in second place and Los Angeles in third position. Oddly enough, there are only four European cities in the Top 20: London (7), Paris (11), Moscow (14) and Berlin (15).

Another piece of interesting data that can be interpreted from the graphic is that the only city with a greater percentage of women entrepreneurs is Santiago de Chile.

And although each entrepreneurial ecosystem is unique depending on the city’s tradition, the cities on the list do have some points in common, among which are:

- Differentiation
- Government support
- Presence and interest in art

Recommended reading is the book The Creative Class by Richard Florida, economist and creativity guru who, in the book, shares his conclusions after an in-depth study of the reasons behind the development of some North American cities and not others. He came to question the reasons behind this development and analyzed companies that moved to areas with a greater concentration of talented people, as well as those very people who had decided to live in those cities rather than others.

His main theory defends that “metropolitan regions with a high concentration of workers in the leading edge technology sector, artists, musicians, lesbians and homosexuals,” and a group he describes as “high bohemians”, “have a high rate of economic development.”

This could lead us to ask the question: do companies choose cities in which to establish themselves, or is it cities that choose the companies they want to develop?

María Mazariegos from ideas4all

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Let’s talk about Social Business, because business is social

August 26, 2013

The new book by Stephan Fuetterer has been presented: “Social Business”. Fuetterer is Director of bestrelations.com, and the book can be downloaded for free from his website.

The book is an in-depth study of Social Business, defined by its author as the “set of procedures that generate profitability based on the collaborative characteristics of social media”. The work’s main objective is therefore to help us understand “how to use social media platforms to optimize our profitability in the different areas of our company”, given that within a company, and even within a department, there can be a lack of contact and collaboration so great that it can end up damaging profitability.

The book covers the history of social business, its current moment and its implications, which can help give us clues as to the near future. It also covers several case studies, such as the example of insurance company Mutua Madrileña and its open innovation community, Soyinnovador.com, developed by ideas4all with great success.

Very interesting reading that can help us understand how important, or necessary, internal transformation can be for companies that wish to exploit the potential of everything “social” as a revenue generator and a motivating element for employees, thus becoming a key element in the strengthening of a company’s internal culture.

María Mazariegos from ideas4all

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Apps and tools that will help you draw up your business plan: no more excuses

June 4, 2013

Photo Lera Blog

If developing your business plan seems complicated to you, if you don’t quite know where to start, or what exactly you need to define, you could probably do with a little help.

Here is a list of both web-based and mobile apps that can give you that help you need in creating a business plan to go with your idea:

  • Web-based

Enloop
Is a comprehensive web-based tool that takes the information you provide to automatically generate sales and income data, cash flow, balance sheet, etc.
Price: there is one free version and three payment options

Live Plan
Online app that creates everything you need to illustrate and complete your business plan, simply by entering data step by step. It also includes many examples.
Price: from 11.66$

Crea tu Plan de negocio
This is a business plan simulator provided by the Spanish Government, for entrepreneurs with projects in the Culture sector, focusing on the prior analysis before starting up the business.
Price: free

BSPlan
A compilation of over 500 business plans that serve as examples for all sectors.
Price: free

  • Mobile apps

Plan de Negocio
This app is based on a book that answers the key concerns when drawing up a business plan. Also includes examples.
Price: 2.99$

StratPad
This app is only for iOS devices. An assistant that guides you step by step and helps you easily draw up your business plan.
Precio: free

Premiere Business Plan
This is an iPad app that not only helps you create a detailed business plan, but also lets you present it to over 3,000 investors.
Price: 7.99$, but there is a free version called Business Plan Life.


Need more help? Here are 63 business applications that can also help and be very useful.

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Innovating in scarcity, now is the time: Frugal Innovation

May 28, 2013

Photo Tlt-swg

We are currently living in times of economic difficulty in many of the world’s financial systems, something that has a direct impact on companies faced with the challenge of continued innovation with far less resources than what they had at their disposal until now. What to do? Probably the only thing we can do: continue to innovate using whatever resources we have, or even with no resources at all.

In his blog, Javier Megias shares an interesting perspective under “Scarcity is the foundation of innovation (because necessity is the mother of invention)” Some may not agree with the statement, but there are an increasing number of examples that seem to prove it correct.

The following is a small extract from his post regarding an increasingly popular concept, “frugal innovation”:

“A movement arose some years ago in India that has come to be called frugal innovation or inverse innovation and that is based on the concept of jugaad, a pioneering attitude that one could translate as “make the best of what you have”, which in a broad sense refers to:

Using an alternative option or path, or improvising in order to rapidly solve a problem without resources.

This philosophy is behind the creation of products that were considered unfeasible beforehand, such as a car for $2,500 or a portable electrocardiogram that costs $1,000 (when the price of a normal one is $10,000)… working on the basis that there are few resources and some restrictions (money, portability…) rather than starting off by summing up the cost of materials and adding the profit margin.”


Google has also written on this concept in “Jugaad Innovation: How to Disrupt-it-Yourself”, another name for Frugal Innovation. The key therefore lies in being capable of applying the jugaad philosophy in the business world and turning a circumstance that results in scarce resources and funding into a driving force rather than an obstacle, helping us improve the product or service by eliminating everything that is actually superfluous and dispensable, and looking for alternative solutions that may very well be far more creative while making us focus more clearly on our objective.

If you are interested in reading further on the subject, you can find the book by Indian Professor Jaideep Prabhu “Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth” online.

María Mazariegos from ideas4all

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Today is the public launch of the ideas platform Santander City Brain

March 21, 2013

Today sees the official launch of the ideas platform created by Santander’s City Council: enter www.santandercitybrain.com and take a look! You can sign up and help improve the city of Santander with your ideas.

The platform kicks off with a competition in search of “ideas that use current technology (Internet, Smartphones, Geolocation) to find solutions, improvements and suggestions that are original, innovative or useful. These ideas can be meant for any of the services, products or spaces that Santander provides for its citizens.” An iPad will go to the winner, and the three runners-up will win an iPhone 5.

Tell your friends and take part with your ideas!

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Here is Santander City Brain, the ideas platform launched by Santander’s City Council in collaboration with ideas4all

March 6, 2013

We are pleased to announce the official launch, the next week, of the Santander City Brain, a platform created in collaboration with ideas4all.

The Santander City Brain will look to become an open and transparent space where all of Santander’s citizens can share ideas and projects that will help improve the city.

Apart from Santander’s City Council, the initiative has also enjoyed the support of IBM and Banco Santander, through its technology services company, ISBAN.

Smart cities are key to innovation in urban spaces and we are very glad to be able to take part in a pioneering project such as Santander City Brain. We encourage all of you to come and visit this new amazing platform.

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Our cities are becoming intelligent and you can become part of the brain

January 30, 2013

Image seen on Ingeniería para optimistas

The large cities we know and live in are constantly growing and overrunning rural areas, but this unstoppable growth may have found a point of equilibrium thanks to the technology that will make major urban areas intelligent. This will help reduce excessive population and will make living together easier, as well as processes like distribution and resource allocation. We’re talking about Smart Cities.

New technology has finally reached a stage of development in which it can significantly improve the lives of a city’s inhabitants. A Smart City is one in which technology is made completely available to citizens through intelligent administration, government, economy, mobility, buildings…

There are already examples of Smart Cities like Málaga, Amsterdam, Boston, and rankings like the Top 10 Smart Cities in North America, or the Top 10 Smart Cities in Europe.

There is no unique model for a Smart City, and each city approaches the concept in its own particular way, with different projects and objectives.

The example we want to share here is Santander, a city that is looking to pioneer the movement in Spain inviting its citizens and entrepreneurs to take part in “Santander City Brain”, an open community of ideas in which citizens will be able to participate and, above all, submit projects to improve their city, which may be developed and put into practice.

We are very happy to announce that ideas4all will be the chosen platform for “Santander City Brain”, taking part in this innovative and pioneering project along with Santander’s City Council, ISBAN and IBM. For example, competitions will be organized for entrepreneurs with business projects for the city, with prizes and support to get them started. Now it will be Santander’s own citizens who will continue making their city one of the most intelligent in Spain, thanks to their ideas in different categories such as: energy efficiency, environment, sustainable mobility, city planning and building, etc.

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Drive The surprising truth about what motivates us

November 7, 2012

Funny animation created for this great speech about motivation of Daniel Pink. He demonstrates that the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, is not working to motivate people for today’s challenges. You can also read the full Drive The surprising truth about what motivates us.


Maria Mazariegos from ideas4all

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Rediscover the creativity of the child you once were

September 5, 2012

They say, “A creative adult is a child who has survived”, and that just might be true. Often, the number of creative limitations that are, unfortunately, forced upon us by our environment or even by ourselves, make us forget−like Peter Pan−that wonderful creativity and imagination that overwhelmed us when we were little.

Javier Megias shares a great post with 20 things we can learn from children in order to be more creative. I believe these five are of the kind we should never forget:

“Leave your prejudices behind. If you forget your preconceived ideas, you may discover the world is much easier and more attractive, filled with opportunities.” Which is to say, “Learn to un-learn”.

“The world is filled with amazing things. The wonder of discovering them is one of the best kinds of motivation there is.”

“Don’t worry about making a fool of yourself. That is self-imposed censorship, which only results in keeping you from doing things”

“Your limits are in your mind. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do, the first limitations you’ll encounter are in your own mind”

“Look for simplicity. Don’t waste time on complicated or useless things.”

Here is a fantastic example in this video:

No wonder Wired magazine included “Think like a child” in its list of 9 rules to foster creativity, after seeing how marvelously creative children can be.

Like Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to continue being an artist when we grow up.” Let’s try to rescue and unleash that artist, it will let you create without limits or prejudice.

 

Maria Mazariegos from ideas4all

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