Innovation

Gustavo Ballvé on October 3rd, 2013

An CNN interview with illusionist Franz Harary, which seems so out of place in this blog, actually resonated deeply with me: Mr. Harary is very honest about what glitches in how we think he taps into, and describes his work/craft very interestingly as “a catalyst for creativity”, imagination and curiosity.

Read more about Illusions, or magic, as a catalyst for creativity

Gustavo Ballvé on September 16th, 2013

As long-term investors, we are always trying to understand where the companies we cover are competition-wise. We have to try to understand for years, sometimes decades into the future, something that very well-educated, intelligent and experienced company executives, industry consultants, academics (and so on) can get oh-so-wrong, so often. All this from reading a NY Times’ article about the semi-conductor industry, whose products power so many of our beloved consumer gadgets that make the likes of Apple so rich, and what they could do to change the game – if anything. Very interesting read, especially when you consider the technology-induced pickle in which the New York Times itself is in!

Read more about Innovation and competition

Gustavo Ballvé on July 4th, 2013

Joseph Calhoun of Alhambra Capital in the US reminds us of the basics of Value Investing, in a quick post with some funny moments. Worth the read if only for the laugh. The follow-up regards Zynga, profiled here on Dec. 31st 2009. After that initial post I’ve come back to discuss the company before and after its IPO. I’ve also done the same with Groupon after a larger, initial post. Zynga has just followed the path of Groupon and the founder CEO has left the post after a collapse in share prices.

Read more about A reminder and a follow-up

Gustavo Ballvé on May 17th, 2013

CNBC has a very interesting series of articles and videos on what they call the CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of 50 “disruptors” in several industries, including Healthcare, Travel, Transport, Retail, IT, Financial Services and others. Any disruptors creeping up on your portfolio companies yet?

Read more about CNBC’s Disruptor 50 series

Gustavo Ballvé on March 25th, 2013

H/T to My Investing Notebook, and his emphasis on what Buffett says of Jeff Bezos is spot-on as the best part of an altogether interesting interview. Just yesterday I had read an interesting piece on how well Amazon Prime is doing, so this connected immediately. Disrupting innovation indeed.

Read more about Buffett on Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos

Gustavo Ballvé on January 21st, 2013

Very interesting Wired interview with Google’s CEO, Larry Page. I love the “moon shot” reference in the title, and he apparently means it and tries to structure his company to allow for this sort of disruptive innovation. Does that translate into a bright future for GOOG shareholders? I have no clue, but companies like this are always in the radar, always teaching us something one way or the other.

Read more about Moon shots and disruptive innovation

Gustavo Ballvé on November 6th, 2012

Prof. Clayton Christensen had a very thought-provoking op-ed in the NYT. He starts by saying that it matters very little who wins the US presidential election. He then hints on the Capitalist’s dilemma: “Capitalists seem almost uninterested in capitalism, even as entrepreneurs eager to start companies find that they can’t get financing.” Next, he discusses 3 types of innovations and says that the US needs more innovations of the empowering kind. Finally, he gives three ideas to kick-start a debate on how the US can solve the “empowering innovation” problem.

Read more about A capitalist’s dilemma

Gustavo Ballvé on June 11th, 2012

Reading the beginning of David Brooks’ article “The Creative Monopoly”, I was immediately drawn to Prof. Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive innovation. Then the article took an unexpected turn and I have a couple of gripes with his conclusion, but it’s still worth the mention here.

Read more about Disruptive innovation and competition

Gustavo Ballvé on May 11th, 2012

While at Harvard for the Program for Leadership Development earlier this year, I had the privilege of a whole day of lectures by Prof. Clayton Christensen. The main subject was, of course, disruptive innovation – he is the influential author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma” and follow-up books. However, he also took the time to teach us a valuable and extremely humbling lesson.

Read more about Clayton Christensen’s new book

Gustavo Ballvé on April 9th, 2012

A recent article by Jonah Lehrer shows how intelligent design helped change the game for the gambling industry. Challenging convention generated a new type of Vegas hotel that seems more successful than previous models. And this – an article with innovation, behavioral traps, money-making through independent and analytical thinking! – could mean “happy ending” for Buysiders.com readers if it wasn’t for one thing: it’s never this easy.

Read more about Designing Las Vegas

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