Tag Archives: innovation

Can the structure for innovation planning be used to disrupt itself?

This diagram is from Vijay Kumar’s 101 Design Methods. It is the basis for his structured approach for innovation planning, and the essence of what is taught at the methods driven human centered design program at the Institute of Design, IIT Chicago. Today I want to question some of the fundamental assumptions that underlie it […]

Posted in Design, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Systems | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Open-Source on Hyperspeed: Next generation innovation lessons from Shenzhen

In Shenzhen, 山寨 (shanzhai) has a different meaning than mountain stronghold—yet the term so eloquently expresses a continuity, a history, and a genesis. Shanzhai is a Cantonese term, originally used as a derogatory word for knock-offs — because people from rural mountain villages couldn’t afford real Louis Vuitton or officially produced DVDs of Friends. As a result, […]

Posted in Perspective | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shopping for Innovation: What you need to know before hiring a design firm

This guide was written for Core77 in late 2006, co-authored with Steve Portigal. I was looking for it today, as I wanted to share the distinction between a Vendor of innovation and design services and a Partner who goes beyond the requested task to discern and perceive the real challenge to be solved. I couldn’t […]

Posted in Articles on Design and Innovation, Design, Innovation Planning | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Implications of Mobile Money Interoperability in Kenya?

Mobile money pioneer Kenya, has finally gone live this month with account to account interoperability between mobile money services. Neighbouring Tanzania pioneered interoperability between the mobile money services offered by local telcos with a soft launch back in 2014. Fears of cannibalization and zero sum scenarios were unfounded, as documented in an early evaluation report […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Tanzania, Technology | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How do we make a business case for an innovative concept given the data scarcity for the African mass market?

Anzetse Were writes some thoughtful points on the challenges facing private sector innovation in Kenya, and Africa. Two of her points caught my attention, in particular: With regards to the private sector, an interesting point raised is that innovation targeting it must have a business case for adoption otherwise the innovation won’t be absorbed. Innovation […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Risk, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Loans, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Risk, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, UCSD, Uganda, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovation, Ingenuity and Opportunity under Conditions of Scarcity (Download PDF)

In July 2009, I was inspired by working in the Research wing of the Aalto University’s Design Factory in Espoo, Finland, to launch a group blog called REculture: Exploring the post-consumption economy of repair, reuse, repurpose and recycle by informal businesses at the Base of the Pyramid*. Within a year, this research interest evolved into […]

Posted in Africa, Design, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Scarcity, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 examples of the breadth of African led human-centered design and thinking and planning

The other day I was searching for news on design from the African continent and noted on Twitter that it seemed as though only the South Africans were consistently talking about their various creative outputs. Having long been part of the crowd that believed in the indigenous creativity and innovation in the less visible parts […]

Posted in Africa, Design, Fashionomics, Innovation Planning, Kenya, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

@Prepaid Africa Connecting Dots – October 2015

October was a busy month for us – The African Development Bank hosted their first Innovation Weekend in Abidjan from the 9th to the 11th of October. Our contribution was thinking about the problems we face as the starting point for new venture design. Savvy young people from across Francophone West Africa gathered to conceptualize […]

Posted in Monthly Insights, Perspective, Photography, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tsunami of change – design, brands, marketing and the mobile phone

In the 10 short months since I wrote on the market forces influencing the global mobile phone market, and the implications of the democratization of innovation whose early, weak signals I could already foresee, matters have come to a head. I had written: The locus of innovation in handset design, product planning and market strategy […]

Posted in Analysis, Consumer Behaviour, Design, global, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Systems, Technology, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment