At the Lift Conference 2015 in Geneva Adrian Hon made a compelling case against gamification. Hon – who amongst others developed the highly popular running game Zombies Run! – argued that leaderboards, achievements and challenges are often used to make a basically uninteresting thing ‘fun’. A good product doesn’t need gamification. A great book doesn’t need it, a smart game doesn’t, an intrinsically useful product doesn’t. Later the same day,


Aug 2014

100 projects

This week I realised that in my active career I will do approximately 100 different projects. Fifty working years, six months for a decent project, two projects per year. Presentations don’t count, nor do blogposts and most of my portfolio; they’re not substantial enough. 100 real projects. It’s an estimate, but it must be close. Currently I’m at project #25: Developing a toolkit and approach for consumer-centric innovation at a


May 2014

Free space

What is the value of free space, the space to experiment and pursue curiosity? And what is it worth? Free space is costly. A square metre in the heart of London easily sets you back 15k. One hour of brainstorming with your team probably somewhere around 500 euros (or much, much more). A company like Intel spends over 10 billion dollars per year on R&D, which is comparable with the

Jung Chang’s new book about Empress Dowager Cixi challenges the view that China’s first lady in the late 19th and early 20th century was a autocratic despot. The book portrays the (once) concubine as an empathic political master mind who through wit and charm brings modernisation to the ancient empire. It’s a highly insightful book for anyone working on innovation in institutions and larger organisation. In the 19th century the

The problem with dinosaurs is that they have been pretty much the same for many million years, give or take a few feathers. That’s a problem, because as a result there is no urgency to them. Dinosaurs are super exciting, but they will still be so next year. (Of course, you grow up, but at the age you like dinosaurs best there’s no urgency in that either.) In the digital