Category Archives: Innovation

Innovators and Genius in Ohio – Ron Ponder

by Andrew R. Spriegel
March 23, 2011

Ron Ponder – Radio Personality

Ron hosts a talk show “POINTS TO PONDER”, News-Talk 1480 WHBC – Canton, Ohio.  WHBC is the oldest full-time AM radio station in Canton, Ohio.  The website http://www.whbc.com is popular in numerous countries, particularly in the US.

“Points to Ponder” is known as “the fastest 2 hours in radio!!!” Ron covers topics from local news, politics & sports to the world and there are very few topics he is afraid to tackle (and I am sure he pisses a “few” people off).  His show airs Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. with his contact information (330) 450-1480 or rponder@whbc.com (www.whbc.com).

Ron Ponder was born in Lafayette, Georgia, raised both there and in Akron Ohio.  He is often called “one of the world’s last remaining renaissance men” and/or a “corny guy” owning Ponder Systems media and marketing.

Ron has interviewed and/or discussed:

1.      Greg Gray, author of “Dad from a Distance”, a wide ranging interview that addresses everything from the biggest mistake non-custodial fathers can make to what these dads can do when they are an “unwelcome” presence.

2.      Democrat John Boccieri and Republican Jim Renacci

3.      YMCA gets Homeless Grant

4.      Affordable Housing Project in Canton

5.      Barack’s Speech

6.      The Jim Brown Saga in Cleveland

7.      Canton City Schools

8.      Congressman James Clyburn to call in about Voting Rights Act

9.      and on and on…

As an independent television producer (producer of programs for PBS affiliates, network affiliates, cable systems, corporate clients…television programs, commercials, documentaries, such as the history of Stark County; producer of the weekly program, and “The ESPN2 Local Sports Break”

Ron serves as the Chairman of the Board for Coming Together Stark County (formerly the Town Hall on Race Relations) and is a Board member of the President William McKinley National Presidential Library.

Ron has acted as a speechwriter for various national personalities, served as Deputy Mayor City of Canton and is a former publisher/part owner of “The Stark County Advantage” newspaper.

Ron served as a cardiac surgical assistant at Aultman Hospital.

He is the former president of Stark County branch NAACP and a guest columnist “The Canton Repository”

His favorite movies are: High Noon, King Kong, Cabin in the Sky, The Bourne series, Malcolm X, Captain Blood; favorite music: jazz, blues, country (old), clean hip hop and rap, zydeco, Motown, oldies; favorite books: Lord of the Rings trilogy

Ron attended both The University of Akron and Kent State University.

If you get a chance, tune into 1480 WHBC, Monday thru Friday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  You will be glad you did or as least enlightened/entertained.

By the way don’t forget Stephon King, Ron’s assistant/manager/”boss” that makes it all seem effortless. (Normally he is smiling)

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Seth Godin: 30%, the long tail and a future of serialized content

Seth Godin: 30%, the long tail and a future of serialized content
February 25, 2011

Republished with permission of Seth Godin

The 1960s and 70s were the golden age of magazines. Why?

  • Lots of people wanted to read them
  • The newsstand could only hold a few of them (barrier to entry permits some to win)
  • The winners had no trouble selling ads because they had motivated readers, in quantity
  • The cost of making one more edition of the magazine was relatively low

Enter tablets. To some, it feels like the dawn of a new golden age. People page through apps like Wired and gasp at the pretty pictures and cool features. Surely, we’re going to recreate that moment.

Here’s the problem, and here’s how Apple is making it much worse:

The newsstand is infinite. That means that far more titles will have far fewer subscribers. There are more than 60,000 apps on the newsstand. Hard to be in the short head when the long tail is so long…

plus, the cost of each issue is far higher, because it costs a lot more to pay a videographer, a video editor, a programmer, etc. than it does to pay John Updike to write 4,000 words…

plus, advertisers are harder to come by, because the number of readers is always going to be lower than it was back then, and the ads are easier to skip.

Of course, the good news is that the publisher doesn’t have to pay for paper, so the profit on each subscriber ought to be way higher. Except…

Except Apple has announced that they want to tax each subscription made via the iPad at 30%. Yes, it’s a tax, because what it does is dramatically decrease the incremental revenue from each subscriber. An intelligent publisher only has two choices: raise the price (punishing the reader and further cutting down readership) or make it free and hope for mass (see my point above about the infinite newsstand). When you make it free, it’s all about the ads, and if you don’t reach tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers, you’ll fail.

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How to Promote Innovative Behavior

How to Promote Innovative Behavior
By John Gabrick

For far too long, innovation management has been the poor stepchild of business processes. Relegated to a simple ‘idea submission form’ or similar, ideas have been collected and then thrown into the pot to see what would happen.

With the advent of Web 2.0, innovation management became more social, with many vendors providing innovation communities to “sort through” the best ideas and let the crowd determine the best. While this new philosophy is better than the first, it too, yielded few results. First, getting your ideas from the “crowd” typically does not work as advertised. There are far too many issues involved with sharing your ideas in a public forum, and anything of real value will probably not be discussed. While you may get improvements to your products, you have to deal with volumes of junk, with the realization that you’ll spend a great deal of time finding the gems. Proponents of the “open” social methodologies are hard-pressed to provide any examples of true innovation that came from these methods.

Consider the results of American Idol, the ultimate crowdsourcing experiment. Each week, one or more contestants are eliminated based on the opinion of the audience. However, according to a recent article in USA Today, while the crowd has picked winners that have been successful, they have more often than not picked less than spectacular winners. And, note that the original group of participants, numbering nearly 70,000 for each season, is initially picked by “qualified” judges, further underscoring the fact that you cannot rely on the crowd even to pick the initial list of participants with only several hundred actually being selected to perform on television-or about 0.2%. As a final comment, realize that industry executives (and otherwise small numbers of people) have been picking hit songs and artists for decades-all without the help of the crowd. So, how do you utilize innovation management and social networking to your advantage? By tightly controlling it with a closed process. Seems counterintuitive, but it works. I’ll give you several steps to consider:

  1. Define a specific question that you want answered. Instead of looking for general ideas, you should seek to narrow your innovative efforts. If I walked into a room with 100 people and simply asked them for good ideas, I’d get a range of answers from changing the way I dress (probably a good one), to how to cure cancer. While many might be good, I’d be hard pressed to weed through all of the answers and then appropriately review each one.
  2. Target a specific audience. By targeting, you need to achieve two things. First, you need to go after a group that will have at least some understanding of the question that you want answered-I’m not suggesting that only engineers can answer engineering problems, however, if you are asking people with no environmental or domain expertise, then you’re going to be disappointed. Second, you need to have some measure of control over this group. This means that the audience has to have some incentive to provide you with good ideas, whether it is promotions, recognition, or something else. If you are going after a purely external group of people, then you’re going to have to look more toward the “something else”, because you can’t offer promotions, rewards, or recognition-the most highly regarded aspects of innovation from an internal group.
  3. Get experts to help you. Once you’ve defined your question and begin to get possible solutions, you are going to need experts to help you evaluate them. How else would you be able to credibility analyze the suggestions? And credibility is a big part of the equation. Submitters like to feel that their contributions are fairly and accurately judged. You don’t want the baseball commissioner umpiring a game. Umpires have the experience and judgment (except when it’s your team) to make calls. Can you imagine the problems if you had one of the fans acting as the umpire-which happens in elementary school to everyone’s demise-umpiring a game. The players, coaches, and spectators would be crying foul. It’s no different in innovation.
  4. Leadership. An intangible by critical element of innovation, you won’t have success without it. It ties directly with item #2, ‘Target a specific audience,’ because as mentioned, there needs to be some element of control. Think about the captain of a Navy boat. He (or she) has the authority and respect to make things happen, but also has the ability to provide rewards and promotions. So, on one hand, they can encourage participation in innovation and on the other hand, provide the recognition that comes with success. How do you provide leadership? Well, you could probably write a whole book on that subject, but in essence in boils down to: Does this person really believe that innovation is important, and are they demonstrating the importance with not only words, but also actions.

Can you get innovation without following these steps? Sure, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The problem with not using these steps is that your innovation process will be unpredictable and unreliable, and you’ll have a hard time justifying it. Today, more than ever, it’s critical to have a constant supply of new initiatives to remain competitive. That constant supply is only going to come by following a repeatable process.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved

With over 25 years experience in a variety of industries, Mr. Gabrick is an industry-seasoned professional in innovation business processes. This experience provided an education of unprecedented depths, first-hand exposure to the relevant issues, and ultimately served to fuel his passion to drive positive change related to innovation management, both at the corporate and employee levels. He has been dedicated exclusively to helping organizations to understand, design, and implement innovation processes across the enterprise. For information on his book about innovation, go to www.stepbystepinnovation.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Gabrick

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Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?

Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?
by Andrew Spriegel
January 12, 2011

Many of the advances made in firefighting and EMS equipment and training have been made by firefighters and paramedics.  So if you are one of the numerous firefighter/EMS inventors, who do you go to write a patent to protect your idea?  Paul Filon, full-time lieutenant and paramedic in the Strongsville Fire Department and a licensed and registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Paul works at Spriegel & Associates, LLC (Patent & Trademark Attorneys) in Hudson, Ohio, http://www.Smart2Patent.com.

In addition to working as an EMT/paramedic for 22 years and a firefighter for 16 years, Mr. Filon is also chemistry specialist and Haz-Mat technician for the regional Haz-Mat and bomb teams.  He is experienced in several technical rescue disciplines and teaches a variety of firefighter and EMS classes.

Spriegel & Associates, LLC is gaining a reputation as working with firefighters, Captain Phil McLean is one of their clients and one of those inventor/firefighter types that owns Sensible Products Inc. (www.senpro.net), in Richfield, Ohio.  Phil and his business partner, retired Fire Chief, Russ English are quality manufacturers of unique holders and bracketry for fittings, adapters, brass goods and tools mounted on fire trucks.  Here is what Phil has to say about working with Paul:

I have worked with Paul Filon on several occasions related to product development. With his Fire Service background and knowledge of Emergency Services it made the development and patent process easy for me and my company as we were developing a new product in the business. He is an energetic worker and has a passion for all the work and all of his professions.  His multi-professional experience was and continues to be an asset to our project.

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Peas of Mind Veggie Wedgies in High Demand among Moms

Peas of Mind Veggie Wedgies in High Demand among Moms
The Perfect Food Option for Growing Kids
www.peasofmind.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – It’s been more than four years since San Francisco based company Peas of Mind hit Bay Area grocery shelves and, today, demand for their newest product line has fueled interest in the company to an all-time high. Peas of Mind recently launched Veggie Wedgies, baked crispy french fries made from real vegetables, to accompany their original product line of wholesome frozen meals called Puffets.

“Parents are increasingly vigilant about what their children eat, especially in cities where organic and natural foods are readily available. At the same time, there seems to be less time than ever to cook,” said Jill Litw, owner of Peas of Mind. “Our mission is to provide a solution for health-conscious parents who want to feed their kids delicious, nourishing and affordable foods, but who lack the time, energy or expertise to create them from scratch.”

Veggie Wedgies are baked, crispy french fries made from REAL vegetables! There are four unique flavors in the line which include Baked Broccoli, Baked Carrot, Baked Cauliflower and Baked Apple. All flavors are vegan, fat free and completely allergen free, making them a great snack or side dish for the whole family. Furthermore, Peas of Mind was named R&D Team of The Year for the innovation used to develop Veggie Wedgies!

Soundbites for Veggie Wedgies:

• Unlike regular french fries which are filled with oil and sodium, Veggie Wedgie are baked full of vitamins and nutrients!

• 1 serving of Veggie Wedgies (14 fries) contains over a serving of fruits or vegetables (per the USDA guidelines).

• 1 serving of Veggie Wedgies (14 fries) contains more than 1/2 the recommended daily intake of fruit or vegetable for growing kids (per the American Heart Association guidelines).

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More organizations virtualize computer stations, enabling users to access software remotely

More organizations virtualize computer stations, enabling users to access software remotely

By CHUCK SODER
4:30 am, January 10, 2011

(Reprinted with Author’s permission)

 

Most of the employees who will populate the new University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center will work on computers shaped like tissue boxes.

They won’t be alone: A growing number of companies and organizations in Northeast Ohio are working to “virtualize” their desktops, and even more are thinking about it.

For University Hospitals, the Ahuja Medical Center is just the beginning. The hospital system plans to replace most of its personal computers with those “tissue boxes” — referred to as “thin client” computers — over the next few years, said Brad Chilton, chief technology officer in the hospital system’s information technology department.

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America’s revival begins in its cities

Edward L. Glaeser

America’s revival begins in its cities

By Edward L. Glaeser December 30, 2010
Reprinted with permission

DURING ECONOMIC downturns, we begin to fear that we are entering a permanent period of decline. But we can avoid that depressing prospect if we recognize that a revival will not come from federal spending or another building boom. Reinvention requires a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship, which can emerge from our dense metropolitan areas and their skilled residents. America must stop treating its cities as ugly stepchildren, and should instead cherish them as the engines that power our economy.

America’s 12 largest metropolitan areas collectively produced 37 percent of the country’s output in 2008, the last year with available data. Per capita productivity was particularly high in large, skilled areas such as Boston, where output per person was 39 percent higher than the nation’s metropolitan average. New York and San Francisco enjoy similar per capita productivity advantages. Boston also seems to be moving past the current recession, with an unemployment rate well below the national average of 9.8 percent.

Since 1948, the national unemployment rate has exceeded 9 percent only one other time: the grave 1982 recession. During the 1980s, we looked at Japan and saw an economy that seemed to be surpassing our own. Today, we watch with unease as China surges.

Yet American decline is not inevitable. During the 25 years after 1982, our real gross domestic product increased by 3.3 percent per year, which was also the rate of growth during the quarter century before 1982. Our post-1982 growth involved massive economic restructuring. Manufacturing employment fell by 39 percent from its peak of 19.4 million jobs in 1979. The 1979-2009 manufacturing decline was more than offset by the 126 percent increase in employment in “professional and business services” and the 184 percent increase in education and health jobs.

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