The Five Websites You Should Visit That Are Probably News to You

When I chose the tag line for this blog – services and support for innovators and creators – it was because that was what I really, really wanted to do. Not to pontificate from a soapbox (sorry, that should read “just pontificate”), but to provide content that would be of use to those smarter and more skilled than I in their pursuit of their excellence. The logic being, if I can’t make the world better by an idea, technology, creation or innovation, my contribution can be making it easier for those ideas, technologies, creations and innovations to make it to said world.

Which brings us to this post, in which I jeopardise my future value to the reader, by giving away all some of my most treasured sources, in the hopes that giving you a direct route won’t necessarily mean you’ll cut out the middle man. Screw it; consider it a sign of how much I believe my own tag line…. 

  • www.strategyzer.com this company is the commercial home of Dr Alex Osterwalder, whose story is fantastic and inspiring and useful on so many levels, it almost makes you (read: me) want to give up cos you’re just not in the same league.  Not only did he take his PhD thesis and turn it into a successful career, not only does he make a lot of his ideas available publicly (google him and watch some of the youtube videos) but he did something not only innovative and genius, and made it both beautiful and beautifully, he did it with Business Models. I know, insane; but the Business Model Canvas and the more recent Value Proposition Canvas are not just elegant, not just walk-what-they-talk productions, but are an excellent and simple way to understand the holistic and interconnected system that is commerce.
  • www.inc.com – so many sections, so little time – actually that’s a good point, this place can become something of a black hole: one’s perception of time passing can become seriously distorted, and it is possible to never emerge. That said, dipping a toe in can be very rewarding if you can do it – the pieces are accessible, cover a range of topics, are concise but practical and remarkable for their insight on commerce as it lives.  Me? I follow it on Twitter and control my exposure by only clicking when I have time – yes, I have quite the reading list.
  • notsofreakyuniversity.com the only Australian entry on this list, NSFU is not what you would call a shy and retiring website. That is, however, part of its appeal and approach so if you find their enthusiasm irking your cynical nerve, hang in there: it’s usually worth it. The information is practical, useful and current, and created by active and respected practitioners in their fields – BTW, it’s not about universities, it is a “university” – with a reasonably large selection of material available for free with no sign-up. Yes, I have a subscription; no, I don’t get a cut if you take one up.
  • theleanstartup.com   this one comes with a caveat: start-ups are not the answer to everything. Even in the US, 75% of start-ups don’t succeed; there are serious theoretical questions about the return on investment in economies where a lot of initial research is done with public sector money (like, oh Here in Australia); and a lot of people are not interested, suited and/or realistic about running a business, let alone setting one up from scratch. But even if you’re in that last group, its principles (most obviously the power of the pivot and living Steve Blank’s “get out of the building” mantra) have application and value for ideas and innovation waaaaay beyond start-ups.  And those who are interested in start-ups clicked on the link as soon as they saw the word, so moving on –
  • www.aaas.org okay, you’ve probably heard of this one, but bear with me. Once you’re there, peruse the career development sections for some great information on building a career including the value and pitfalls of collaborations, industry internships and externships, and mentoring, as well as the skill development you need to participate in these and more career enhancing activities. And Don’t miss myIDP, a fantastic tool for building an individual development plan that has value whether you actually fully complete it or not.

But don’t forget, the magic happens when I analyse, scrutinise and synthesise these fabulous resources into my own humble perspectives… no, really……

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