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Crowdsourcing for Innovation


Boom! Studios should have little trouble turning ideas into products. The comic book and graphic novel publisher has a stable of award-winning work and licenses with WWE, Cartoon Network, and the Jim Henson Company. It also has agreements with 20th Century Fox and Fox Television to bring its comic book stories to both big and small screens. And yet when the company wanted to create a new comic...

What’s Really In a Name


It was one of the biggest—and at the time, one of the most head-scratching—brand re-naming events ever. In 1993, rock star Prince declared that he was changing his name… to an unpronounceable love symbol. Faced with having to mime a combination of gender ideograms whenever anyone wanted to talk about the man behind Purple Rain and Sign O The Times, people soon started calling him “the artist...

Top the App Store in 2021


For mobile app developers in 2009, life was easy. The iPhone was just two years old and had sold little more than 40 million units. The App Store had launched the year before, with an initial offer of just 500 applications. By November 2009, the store had generated two billion downloads from only 100,000 apps. The number of apps available varied from region to region though. So when Rovio, a...

What Makes Teams Productive


People in China are used to seeing new constructions rise quickly. Sites are filled with workers, noise, sparks, shouting, and the constant movement of multiple cranes swinging heavy loads to high floors. Within a few weeks, what started as an empty plot has developed into a deep hole, then tall scaffolding, and finally the skeleton of a building, waiting for cladding. Few buildings, though, have...

You’re Missing Your Best Ideas


Kate Mills’s job is to assess ideas. As an editor at Orion Publishing, she receives fiction manuscripts sent to her by literary agents and determines whether a market will buy them. The authors believe that they have created something that other people will enjoy reading. Their agents believe that they’re representing a winner. Kate Mills, like other editors has to decide whether they’re right...

The Rise and Rise of the Virtual Influencer


Grime’s gestation lasted more than a year. In November 2018, the Canadian techno star registered a Twitter account called WarNymph. It wasn’t until January 2020, though, that the account received a matching Instagram stream and its first post. WarNymph, the world learned, was a winged baby with pixie ears and a bow and arrow. She grew up quickly. A few weeks after recording a message predicting...

Scaling Your Business Without VC Funds


In a 2018 interview with Recode, Moiz Ali, founder of deodorant start-up Native, described how out-of-place he felt at Silicon Valley parties. Entrepreneurs, he said, would talk about how many people they had employed and how quickly they were adding staff. Ali’s small company consisted of just him. “In Silicon Valley, it’s often embarrassing when you haven’t raised money,” he told the magazine...

The Hit and Run of Guerrilla Marketing


In 2018, Olly Bolton and Tom Proctor, co-founders of drinks company, What a Melon, entered a business competition run by Richard Branson’s Virgin Voom. They won the crowdfunding part of the contest and received as part of their prize… a double-decker bus. Instead of selling the bus and using the funds to grow their new business, the pair modified it. They wrapped it in watermelon colors, removed...

The Right Way to Manage Your Time


Elon Musk wasn’t happy. The team building his Starship rocket system, which is intended to fly to Mars, weren’t working hard enough. It was one o’clock on a Sunday morning and they weren’t in the workshops, hammering steel, and designing thrusters. So he called an all-hands meeting. In the middle of a weekend night, he had everyone assemble at SpaceX’s south Texas site and demanded to know why...

Podcasting Is Still HAVING ITS DAY


It started in a basement. Sarah Koenig, a producer on This American Life, a weekly radio program, had pitched a new kind of show. Instead of choosing a different theme for each episode and creating stories related to that theme, Koenig and her colleague Julie Snyder would tell a single, long story over multiple episodes. The show would follow a format as old as Dickens. Each episode would build...

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