Tide TIPS: Technology, Innovation, Patents, Startups Volume 9


Tide TIPS: Volume 9

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


Why We Don’t Have Better Batteries

50 years ago, people thought that by now we would have flying cars. Well, they were wrong. You would, however, think that we would have better batteries than we do now. I mean seriously scientists, get your priorities in order. Well, as the MIT Technology Review points out, it isn’t necessarily about prioritizing the research, but more about funding said research. According to the article, most research groups and startups looking for disruptive new energy storing technology don’t get the funding they need for wide-scale testing. For example, it could cost $500 million for a small manufacturing line to test new technology, while most of the research groups only have $5 million in funding. Additionally, the large battery manufacturers and automakers don’t want disruptive tech, but gradual improvements to the existing batteries. Lithium-ion, the industry standard, keeps getting incrementally better, which makes larger players and investors hesitant on taking a chance on new tech. Eventually, though, something will come along and zap the industry into a new tech field. (MIT Technology Review)

Forget Glass Half Empty or Full, be a GHEAL

Are you a GHEAL? If so, you’re in high demand in the corporate world. Let’s translate- a GHEAL is an individual that looks at the “glass half empty and leaking”. These individuals have the ability to look at an existing process or product and identify hidden problems. Additionally, they assume that in a fast-changing world, all current solutions, tools, and programs will soon become obsolete. GHEALs drive innovation and continuous improvement through these special perspectives. No firm is exempt from the need to innovate, so if you’re a pessimist, it just might pay off – literally– to highlight that in your next interview. (ERE)

Drones Aren’t Just for the Air Anymore

When you think drone, your first thought is probably an unmanned air vehicle or UAV. What if I told you that there are now UWVs, unmanned water vehicles? Yes, robotic sailboats, or saildrones, are a real thing. These vessels are used for a range of things including: examining fish populations, studying feeding patterns, measuring the temperature of the oceans, or continuing Ahab’s search for the great white whale. The mission for these boats is to gather valid and tangible data to more accurately assess oceanic health and global warming. Overall, the goal is for these issues to become less political, and more a discussion of fact. There is another Moby Dick joke here somewhere, but I can’t spend a lifetime all day searching for it. So, oh whale. (The New York Times)

To Bootstrap or Crowdfund? That is the question.

At any given moment, your social media feed is probably chock full of three things: puppy videos, political rants, and crowd-funding websites. Crowd-funding has taken center-stage in the world of funding new businesses. It is a quick and relatively painless way to raise capital from several small investors, and serves a secondary purpose of building a customer base for the business. Before crowd-funding’s popularity skyrocketed alongside social media’s popularity, there was only bootstrapping. Although it moves at a slightly slower pace since there is no need for a ready-made product, bootstrapping remains a popular manner to raise capital for businesses. Through bootstrapping, entrepreneurs build their businesses from the ground up with little to no additional capital. Both options yield good results, but the key to choosing the right one for your start-up lies in a complete understanding of each. (Entrepreneur)

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