Posts Tagged innovation

Innovation Isn’t Only for High-tech Businesses

In Maine, the legislature is currently debating slowing or eliminating an increase in the minimum wage enacted last year after a citizen initiative passed. Small businesses came to Augusta to argue that they couldn’t raise their prices, and so the increase in their labor costs was too high. For small businesses who sell products based […]

Are Rural Economies Terminal?

In December, the New York Times published an article about rural America that painted a bleak picture of declining populations, declining employment, increasing opioid addiction and death. The article suggested that the decline is inevitable and perhaps irreversible. “This is the inescapable reality of agglomeration, one of the most powerful forces shaping the American economy […]

Needed: A New Approach to Economic Development

Do you think it’s a coincidence that there’s a 1:1 correlation between states that rank in the bottom 50 percentile on the New Economy and states that voted for Trump? I don’t. It makes sense that the populist fervor is coming from places that feel left behind in our decades-long transition to the New Economy. […]

Innovation and entrepreneurship are core beliefs

I’ll admit it. I’m not a happy camper. I went to bed on election night with the realization that Trump was going to win, and when I woke up in the morning, it wasn’t just a bad dream. You can count me among the 64 million Americans who voted for a different outcome. But, in my […]

How to Avoid Ugly Babies

One of the most difficult challenges in my business is when you have to tell a client that their baby is ugly. By that I mean, some clients get an idea in their head, and start telling people about it, and before you know it, the idea has a lot of traction and emotional support. […]

What Would an Innovative Community Look Like?

For twenty-five years, I’ve thought about innovative states. For the past five years, I’ve also thought about innovative companies through the Innovation EngineeringTM discipline. Recently, I’ve started to think about innovative communities, and what would that look like. We have thirty Main Street Maine communities in the state where with funding from the National Center […]

The Power of Diversity

This week I was reminded of diversity’s value to innovation. As innovation engineering pioneers, we are taught that meaningfully unique ideas are a function of the amount and diversity of stimulus explored. Typically, we are considering diversity of thought – adding many new ideas to our innovation pipeline at the beginning to increase our chances […]

Leadership is the Single Most Important Thing

I get asked all the time, What is the single thing we could do to move Maine toward an Innovation Economy? In some ways, this is a great question because it is thought provoking, and forces you to think about how to prioritize actions. However, it’s also a dangerous question because it implies that there […]

Thirteen Stories

Thirteen. That’s the number of Maine companies in INC.’s annual list of the fastest growing 5000 companies in the US. Not a big number, but bigger than any year in recent memory by a factor of ten! Usually we have only one or two. So hurray for us! They are Vet’s First Choice, Provider Power, […]

The Good Old Days Aren’t Coming Back

In the last few weeks, I have seen two Maine leaders who ought to know better opine that the solution to our economic woes is to revert to our natural resource base and focus on agriculture, fishing, forestry and tourism! I was shocked. This is the same as saying that we ought to be in […]