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Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvard Innovation Lab

Harvard starts a technology lab.   There was an IBM ad some time ago which made fun of having to set aside a place to do innovation.  Certainly it can be done anywhere?  But I found in my own experience that having a lab to establish the context of innovation can be very valuable.  I was intrigued early in my career when I saw a place set aside in the enterprise where standard grocery shelves and lighting were set up.  Later this was expanded.  If you can do the shelves in a conference room, why not expand the contextual ideas to aisles, displays, checkouts and more?  The result can be used for testing with consumers, training employees and exploring the possibilities.   It was done and turned out to be very successful.

It is not clear if the Harvard innovation lab will be any more than an office building, but they should think about the value of clear context.

" ... The Harvard innovation lab is a new and innovative initiative that will foster team-based and entrepreneurial activities and deepen interactions among students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and members of the Allston and Greater Boston community ...

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