What Dell tells us about the entrepreneur’s endless fight

What Dell tells us about the entrepreneur’s endless fight

BY KEVIN KELLEHER 
ON JUNE 14, 2013

What is it about the barrier between public markets and private companies? Traversing it in either direction seems fraught with peril. Facebook, Zynga, Groupon, and others saw their fortunes take a turn for the worse once they became public. And Dell is nowundergoing a battle to take the company private again.

Entrepreneurs are used to fighting for the companies they are building, and Michael Dell’s recent experience shows that in many respects that fight is never really over. To recap: After announcing a leveraged buyout intended to take Dell private and retool the company for a long-term recovery (free from those vexing quarterly performance targets), Michael Dell faced a counter-bid from longtime activist investor Carl Icahn. Read more of this post

Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results

Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results [Hardcover]

Drew Boyd (Author), Jacob Goldenberg (Author)

inside-the-box-a-proven-system-of-creativity-for-breakthrough-results

Release date: June 11, 2013

Want a truly creative organization? Then think Inside the Box. The traditional view says that creativity is unstructured and doesn’t follow rules or patterns. That you need to think “outside the box” to be truly original and innovative. That you should start with a problem and then “brainstorm” ideas without restraint until you find a solution. Inside the Box shows that more innovation— and better and quicker innovation—happens when you work inside your familiar world (yes, inside the box) using a set of templates that channel the creative process in a way that makes us more—not less—creative. These techniques were derived from research that discovered a surprising set of common patterns shared by all inventive solutions. They form the basis for Systematic Inventive Thinking, or SIT, now used by hundreds of corporations throughout the world, including industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, GE, Procter & Gamble, SAP, and Philips. Many other books discuss how to make creativity a part of corporate culture, but none of them uses the innovative and unconventional SIT approach described in this book. With “inside the box” thinking, companies and organizations of any size can creatively solve problems before they develop—and innovate on an ongoing, systematic basis. This system really works! Read more of this post

Think Inside the Box: Forget brainstorming: People are at their most innovative when they work within the constraints of what they know

June 14, 2013, 6:59 p.m. ET

Think Inside the Box

Forget brainstorming: People are at their most innovative when they work within the constraints of what they already know.

By DREW BOYD and JACOB GOLDENBERG

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The most consequential ideas are often right under our noses.

When most CEOs hear the word “innovation,” they roll their eyes. It conjures up images of employees wasting hours, even days, sitting in beanbag chairs, tossing Frisbees and regurgitating ideas they had already considered. “Brainstorming” has become a byword for tedium and frustration. Read more of this post

In Glittering Gems, Reading Earth’s Story; Gems — each forged with its own recipe of elements, temperature and pressure — offer precious clues to some of the most profound questions about the life of our planet.

June 13, 2013

In Glittering Gems, Reading Earth’s Story

By CARL ZIMMER

A jewelry store is an archive of the Earth. Every gem fixed to every ring or necklace was forged deep inside our planet, according to its own recipe of elements, temperature and pressure. But it has taken a while for geologists to decode the cookbook for gems. Jade, for example, puzzled geologists for decades. “For a long time people looked at this crazy rock, and it didn’t make any sense,” said George Harlow, a geologist at the American Museum of Natural History. But thanks to the research of Dr. Harlow and other geologists, jade now has a back story: It formed in dying oceans. The discovery of gems like rubies and jade thus signifies more than just a new supply of bling in jewelry stores. It tells geologists some important things about the planet.

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From spiders, a material to rival Kevlar; Synthesizing spider thread—which is stronger than nylon and even some metals—has been a vexing problem. Until now

From spiders, a material to rival Kevlar

June 14, 2013: 12:40 PM ET

Synthesizing spider thread—which is stronger than nylon and even some metals—has been a vexing problem. Until now.

By Michael Fitzpatrick

FORTUNE — A Japanese startup claims it has cracked the knotty problem of commercializing the production of spider thread, which, gram for gram, is stronger than nylon and even many metals. As one of nature’s super-substances — tougher than Kevlar yet significantly more elastic — scientists have been trying to recreate it in significant quantities in labs but failed for over a decade. By using synthetic biology techniques and a new spinning technology, Spiber Inc. says it is now able to produce many hundreds of grams of synthetic spider silk protein where past efforts have produced less than a few grams over a day. One gram of the special protein produces about 9,000 meters (29,527 feet) of silk.

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Diminutive Dads of the Animal Kingdom; Fathers in many species play a minor role—and they don’t always survive the act of mating

June 14, 2013, 7:24 p.m. ET

Diminutive Dads of the Animal Kingdom

Fathers in many species play a minor role—and they don’t always survive the act of mating

By DAPHNE FAIRBAIRN

This weekend, children across the country will honor their dads with the usual assortment of cards, tools and ties, thus paying tribute to the influential role that fathers play in our lives. But human dads are unusual in their devotion to family, especially when compared with the rest of the animal kingdom. Though most bird fathers help care for their offspring, absentee dads are the rule in 90% of mammal species. Fatherly care is even less common in other animal groups. Also atypical is our expectation that the dad is the larger and stronger parent. Males are the larger sex in most birds and mammals, but among the vast majority of other animal groups, females are usually larger—often very much larger. Female deep-sea anglerfish, for example, outweigh males by a multiple of as much as 500,000. This makes sense when you think about the biology. Most female animals produce tens to hundreds of thousands of eggs at one time. Their bodies have to be large enough to accommodate these eggs, which can comprise as much as 25% to 75% of the mother’s weight. By contrast, reproductive tissues generally make up less than 1% of a male’s body weight.

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Lululemon Posts Hilarious Open Call For CEO Position

Lululemon Posts Hilarious Open Call For CEO Position

ASHLEY LUTZ JUN. 14, 2013, 12:27 PM 9,377 6

Lululemon CEO Christine Day announced this week that she’s leaving. Now, the yoga-wear retailer must find her replacement. Where is Lululemon recruiting for one of the most sought-after jobs in retail? The Internet.  The company posted a job description on its website calling for CEO applicants. Check it out:

description

You report to no one, you are the CEO (duh). You are passionate about doing chief executive officer type stuff like making decisions, having a vision and being the head boss person.

a day in the life of a chief executive officer

-You communicate powerfully, often through Sanskrit

-You are disciplined, focused and can hold headstand for at least 10 minutes

-You’re a long-term thinker. You already have a plan to bring yoga and luon to Mars by 2018

-You break all the rules like getting your OM-on (loudly) whenever the urge arises

-You elevate and cultivate the level of talent within the senior leadership team by holding The Bachelor lululemon. Only one successful SVP will get the final rose

-Not only do you lead the organization to create components for people to live long, healthy and fun lives, you know the secret to how they got the caramel in the Caramilk bar

-You wear The Mansy to lead our company-wide morning chant and kombucha ritual

the finer print 

-Your go-to party trick is your dead-on impression of the yogi in “Sh*T Yogis Say”

-You voted for Pedro

-You have Chip Wilson, Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey on speed dial

-You actively live and breathe the lululemon culture – on Friday afternoons you hit up wheatgrass and tequila shots (it’s called work/life balance)

-You use your third eye to channel innovation

-Your lineage is directly related to Phidippides

-You own yoga

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