Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, shares his optimism for emerging innovation in the midst of economic turmoil, and the story of his own entrepreneurial path. He also speaks of his company's continued investment in Internet-ready hardware and software that seeks progress in healthcare, education, and science.
When orders for Tesla cars outshine orders for the GM Saturn, Steve Westly takes this as a sign that clean technologies are going to help lift America from the recession of 2008/2009. He points to other indicators, such as that abundance of clean tech company IPO's, that will also help add new stems and leaves to the economy. As an aside, he also parallels the difference between US start-ups, enabled by the safety net of a VC-backed ecosystem, and their Chinese counterparts, who are forced to be profitable immediately or shutter.
Stanford Technology Ventures Program's Executive Director Tina Seelig shares rich insights in creative thinking and the entrepreneurial mindset. Her talk, based on her 2009 book, What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20, cites numerous classroom successes of applied problem-solving and the lessons of failure.
R&D in a Tight Economy
When the economy slows from a bubble to a blip, is it time to put the breaks on research and development? To the contrary, many practiced entrepreneurs say it is the time to ramp up efforts even further. No matter what the market condition, there is no substitute for furthering knowledge of product and market.
Touch, voice, natural language input, smart hardware, and new platforms: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, outlines the company's $9 million path of product research for 2009. Overall, he states that the company is optimistic for what can be created in the future. In this clip, he talks about the company's strong need to create and innovate just like a start-up - despite the fact that they're one of the largest names in the industry.
Founder of the Palm Jeff Hawkins shares his story of graffiti, a handwriting recognition software, and the intuitive leap of using a keyboard to show that users can and will adopt to new technology. He elaborates on the role of market research, as well as how to listen to customers and follow your intuition and vision for the future.
Katie Rodan of Proactiv Solutions discusses a personal anecdote with a critical session of market research. The experience sent her team back to the drawing board to revamp a product for adult acne - after revealing that women surveyed didn't think they had acne and didn't care for the product's fragrance. Rodan also discusses her initial resistance to conduct the survey, and the tremendous benefits that it can yield for the entrepreneur.
There is no substitute for actually watching your users use the products, proclaims Cooliris Product Manager Josh Schwarzapel. Viewing your web tools across multiple platforms with a multitude of configurations is an indispensable component of product research. And, adds Schwarzapel, developers and staffers who live and breathe product development in-house often become blind to its intricacies, and only a fresh set of eyes can provide the kind of clarity necessary for forward vision.