Tide TIPS: Technology, Innovation, Patents, Startups Volume 49


Tide TIPS: Volume 49

You are reading Tide TIPS, a weekly round-up of all things Technology, Innovation, Patent, and Startup related.


The Unfortunate Turn for the Fidget Spinner

I’m sure by now that you have heard of the fidget spinner. The toy every kid wants, and many adults have. What you may not know about the toy, is how it was created and its subsequent patent. The inventor, Catherine Hettinger, thought of the toy after a trip to India to help keep troublemaking little boys out of trouble. After she returned from her trip, Hettinger filed and received a patent in 1997. Unfortunately, she didn’t pay a necessary fee to maintain her patent and it was dropped. This means that earlier this year when the toy exploded in popularity, it wasn’t covered under her patent. Sometimes the spin stops at the most inopportune times. (IP.com)

Dealing with the Trials and Tribs of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is far from easy. Heck, if it was, then everyone would do it and be successful. In my experience, it isn’t the obvious things like getting funding or developing the idea that is the real struggles. Of course, those are difficult, but they are the fun challenges that draw people into entrepreneurship. The real trials are working odd and late hours without a steady paycheck, forming a team that is actually committed and reliable, and maintaining a life away from what other people just look as “just another science project.” This was an outstanding short and concise article on how to handle all of the above. (Forbes)

Tell Positive Stories About Your Colleagues

It’s no secret that people like to hear positive things about themselves from others. It is especially valuable when those positive things come from your colleagues. Why? Because it helps to give purpose and value to your work. The easiest way to talk up your colleagues is when you are making introductions to others. How you introduce someone can say a lot about your perception of that co-worker. While this colleague may not remember exactly what you said about them, they will remember how it made them feel, both good and bad. So, be sure to make introductions positive and interesting. Express them in a way that makes people want to learn more about the person and your company as a whole. From the guy who closed the big deal to the one that brings donuts in the morning, everyone just wants to know they are valued. (Harvard Business Review)

Facebook Made Computers that Created their Own Language

Last week, there were some crazy stories popping up about Facebook and some Artificial Intelligence programs they created. By reading the internet you would have thought Skynet was coming true and our only hope was a modified version of Arnold (Pronounced AHHH-nald). Well, Facebook did give the robots the hasta la vista treatment and shut them down, but not because they were in danger of taking over the world. It was mainly because they started using the English language in a machine efficient way to communicate, that wasn’t beneficial to the people they were created to interact with. Facebook’s AI ambitions aren’t done, so I think it’s safe for the robots to “I’ll be back.” Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’m done now. (BBC)

Never miss a tip!

Subscribe to our list to get Tide TIPS straight to your inbox!

Have a tip? Let us know by sending the link to Ben, at bhbickerstaff@ua.edu