Archives For collaboration

Yesterday the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to multiple people, inviting discussion of why two (or more) brains are often better than one. History is full of creative pairs whose impact stemmed from collaboration – from Watson and Crick, to Lennon and McCartney, to Langer and McGuire. How can creative tension drive success in the innovation and start-up worlds?

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In the nascent “sharing economy,” ownership is highly fractional and consumption is collaborative. Individuals have caught on, giving rise to new ways of sharing bikes, cars, and even homes in exchange for value. Diverse healthcare corporations are beginning to understand the value proposition inherent in this model as well—offering a sneak peek into a vision of the future healthcare R&D model.

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It’s remarkable how often, when asked to reflect on how to spur innovation, the most successful inventors wind up talking about architecture.

At its peak Bell Labs housed 1,200 Ph.D.s who worked in an ingeniously designed space created by modernist architect Eero Saarinen. As Jon Gertner’s book The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation points out, Bell Labs understood even back in the early 1940s that they would increase their odds of success by creating a space in which smart people naturally bumped into other smart people to have unplanned but potentially productive discussions.

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