Innovation Reads - Week of October 21, 2019

A weekly dose of innovation insights…

  • So You Ran a Design Thinking Workshop. What’s Next? - Shayan Namdarian

  • What Should Your Mindset Be As You Begin Your Journey As A Startup CEO? - The Startup

  • Five Innovation Workshop Questions - Innovation Management

  • China Digital Consumer Trends in 2019 - McKinsey

  • Why Companies Do “Innovation Theater” Instead of Actual Innovation - HBR

  • Hershey shifting from ‘huge bets on innovation’ strategy - FoodBusiness

  • Integrating the Science of How We Learn into Education Technology - HBR

  • The Passion Economy and the Future of Work - a16z

  • Creating High-Performing and Faster-moving Teams - Innovation Excellence

  • How Real is the Rental Economy? Azeem Azhar

Bonus +1

  • Monty Python at 50: a half-century of silly walks, edible props and dead parrots - The Guardian


Brian Ardinger
Grab a Team and Join Us at BuildFest November 14th & 15th

Announcing BuildFest 2019

Nelnet Value #2, "Create an awesome work environment."  What does that value mean to you?  We got to thinking, what would be part of an awesome work environment?  What about having 24 hours to focus your time on creating or building anything you want?  That is exactly what Buildfest is all about.  Buildfest is an event where self-formed teams work together for 24 hours on an idea or concept.  It's about teamwork and innovation.  The only ask is that after 24 hours you present your project to your peers!  Last spring Buildfest was a success and now NDS IT would like to invite all Nelnet associates to participate!  Former Great Lakes associates may know this event as Innovation Day.  So why not combine the best of both into this year's Buildfest?  Well, that is exactly what we are doing!

The What

  •  Submit your idea you are passionate about

  • Assemble your Team

  • Execute / Build your idea within a 24 hour period

  • Present your idea to your peers

The Who

  • All Nelnet Associates are welcome to participate.

  • Talk to your manager about participating.

The When

  • Informational Meeting - Friday, October 25 - 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM CST

  • WebEx:  Buildfest Informational Meeting

  • Event:  Thursday, November 14-15

  • Kick-off Thursday, November 14 at 10:00 AM CST

  • 24 Hours starts - Nov 14 at 11:AM CST

  •  24 Hours ends - Friday, Nov 15 at 12:00 PM CST

  • Presentations, Voting, Winners - Friday, Nov 15 at 1:00 PM CST

  • Event Happy Hour - Friday, Nov 15 after Presentations

The Why

  • You have great ideas!

  • You can make a difference!

  • Innovation pushes us forward!

  • Innovation is a great draw for new associates and retainer for existing associates

  • Opportunity to meet new associates across Nelnet!

The How

  • To learn more check out our website on Confluence at:  Buildfest 2019.  There you will find where to submit your idea, join a team and our FAQ's.

  • For those of you that do not have access to the links provided, please, submit your idea, team members and/or any questions to Buildfest@nelnet.net.



Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of October 14, 2019

10+ innovation reads to kick start your week.

  • How To Know If Your Minimum Viable Product is Actually Viable - Getting Past the False Positives - Joe Procopio

  • The Four Types Of People Your Startup Can't Live Without - Forbes

  • Five Strengths of Innovation Leaders - Innovation Management

  • Why Naval Ravikant Thinks Remote Work Is The Future - AngelList

  • The Top 20 Business Transformations of the Last Decade - HBR

  • GV’s Guide to UX Research for Startups - Google Ventures

  • The Critical Role of “The Expert” in Internal Innovation - Future Shapers

  • How Do You Know If Your Great Startup Idea Is A Winner? - The Startup

  • 5 Things Leaders Do That Stifle Innovation - HBR

  • Gen Z Finances - JWT Intelligence

Bonus +1

  • Why Music Has Such Profound Effects on the Brain - PBS

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of October 7, 2019

Enjoy a few of this week’s innovation reads.

  • It’s Time for a C-Level Role Dedicated to Reskilling Workers - HBR

  • 6 Signs Your Corporate Innovation Studio Is Actually A Theatre - Bas Wenneker

  • Amazon Suddenly Became a Massive Threat to Target. Then Target Did Something Brilliant - Inc.

  • How to Double the Odds that Your Change Program Will Succeed - McKinsey

  • Apple Card: What vs How - Jean-Louis Gassée

  • The Coming Hyper-verticalization of Labor Marketplaces - Craft Ventures

  • The Corporate Capital Correlation in 2019 - Selina Troesch

  • Agtech Landscape: Tracking 1,600+ Startups Innovating on the Farm and in the Supply Chain - Forbes

  • Complete Guide to Raising Capital in Emerging Cities - Alex Iskold

  • AI 50: America's most promising artificial intelligence companies - Forbes

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of September 30, 2019

A couple of articles to sink your teeth into before we flip the calendar to October.

  • It’s Time for a C-Level Role Dedicated to Reskilling Workers - HBR

  • 6 Signs Your Corporate Innovation Studio Is Actually A Theatre - Bas Wenneker

  • Amazon Suddenly Became a Massive Threat to Target. Then Target Did Something Brilliant - Inc.

  • How to Double the Odds that Your Change Program Will Succeed - McKinsey

  • Apple Card: What vs How - Jean-Louis Gassée

  • The Coming Hyper-verticalization of Labor Marketplaces - Craft Ventures

  • The Corporate Capital Correlation in 2019 - Selina Troesch

  • Agtech Landscape: Tracking 1,600+ Startups Innovating on the Farm and in the Supply Chain - Forbes

  • Complete Guide to Raising Capital in Emerging Cities - Alex Iskold

  • AI 50: America's Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies - Forbes

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of September 23, 2019

Innovation reads for the week. Enjoy…

  • 40 Favorite Interview Questions from Some of the Sharpest Folks We Know - First Round

  • 20 Practical Ways to Implement Data Science in Marketing - Towards Data Science

  • Business Model Patterns: A Sneak Peek at the Invincible Company - Strategyzer

  • What People Hate About Being Managed by Algorithms, According to a Study of Uber Drivers - HBR

  • The Art of Blooming Late - HBR

  • Scaling In Lower Cost Locations - AVC

  • Amazon Certifies Syntiant Chips for Alexa Devices (Microchips for Alexa Devices) - Voicebot.ai

  • The Robots Are Coming - and Men Should Be More Worried Than Women - TheJournal.ie

  • For Startups to Bridge Banks’ Fintech Gap, Innovation Execution Needs a Reality Check - Bank Innovation

  • At Booking.com, Innovation Means Constant Failure - HBR

+1 Bonus

The IO Summit - Nelnet has a limited number of sponsor tickets available. Ping me if you or members of your team are interested in attending at brian.ardinger@nelnet.net

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of September 16, 2019

Here are this week’s highlights from the world of talent, technology, and the future of innovation to feed your bias for learning.

  • The Future of Credit Cards: Entering the Age of Hyper Personalization with Gen Z - Ben Soppitt

  • How Technology Powers Hong Kong Activists - CBC

  • 7 Tools Connecting Innovation Teams with External Innovation - SwitchPitch

  • Human-Centered Design Dies at Launch - Modus

  • How To Recruit Customers For Your Minimum Viable Product - Joe Procopio

  • Why Accessibility Is the Future of Tech - Modus

  • 6 Investor-Worthy Technology Innovations to Beat Climate Change - Gabe Zichermann

  • 7 Tech Trends to Watch Out for In 2020 - Entrepreneur

  • Using Incubation to Unlock Your True Creative Potential - Better Humans

  • From Zero to IPO: How Growth Needs to Evolve at Every Startup Stage - First Round

If you have any interesting articles, research, or insights to share, feel free to send them my way at brian.ardinger@nelnet.net

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of September 9, 2019

This week’s articles and insights

  • How Workplace Tech Learned to Win Friends and Influence People - Dawn Capital

  • Can We Avoid the Internet of Trash? Pete Warden

  • Estée Lauder now spends a huge portion of its marketing budget on influencers - The Drum

  • The “Everything as a Service” (XaaS) Era is Here - AMEinfo

  • The Most Successful Startup Teams are Curious - GAN

  • Agents of Change: How Do You Innovate from the Inside? Marc Andreessen

  • What Will Drive Utility Revenue When Electricity Is Free? - Forbes

  • Top 12 Things That Destroy Developer Productivity - Hackernoon

  • Most VR Is Total Bullsh*t - GEN

  • The Eight Reason VCs Don’t Want To Invest In Your Startup - Brett Fox



Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of September 3, 2019

Welcome back from the Labor Day break. Here are some articles and insights to kick off the new month.

  • How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward - HBR

  • If You Want Engaged Employees, Offer Them Stability - HBR

  • Resources for the Venture Capital Industry - Arnaud Bonzom 

  • The Remote Work Report - fyi

  • What Will The Investors of 2040, Wish They Had Been Doing in 2019 - Ali Hamed

  • How Amazon Alexa works? Your guide to Natural Language Processing (AI) - Towards Data Science

  • Data From 3.5 Million Employees Shows How Innovation Really Works - HBR

  • Large Companies Will Be The Biggest Beneficiaries Of The Lean Startup Movement - Forbes

  • Optimizing Your Team’s Velocity (of Learning) - Jeff Gothelf

  • 5 Steps To Make Experimentation A Repeatable Process - David Bland

    If you've read or written something great, let me know at brian.ardinger@nelnet.net

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads Week of August 26, 2019

This week’s highlights from the world of innovation.

  • Is It Time to Regulate Biohacking? - VOX

  • 3 Ways to Build a Culture of Collaborative Innovation - HBR

  • The Future of the Open Office Means Saying Goodbye to Your Desk - 2069

  • Customer Experience is the Ultimate Marketing Tool - Jay Baer

  • Apple Card Is Apple-Like - Everything is Ablaze

  • Chase Commits to AI After Machines Outperform Humans in Copywriting Trials - AdAge

  • Self-Driving Cars Are Out. Micromobility Is In - Medium Transportation

  • How to Become Insanely Well-Connected - First Round Review

  • 3 Trends in Digital Transformation Analytics Every Leader Should Be Aware Of - Inc.

  • The Future of Work in America: People and Places, Today and Tomorrow - McKinsey

Brian Ardinger
Attend Nelnet Spark on 8/21 - Featuring Jessica Schumacher

Diversification and innovation are at the core of who we are and what we do. Nelnet Spark is a monthly event where innovators from across the organization share and discuss new trends, concepts, and developments in all of Nelnet’s business lines. The event allows a diverse group of innovators the opportunity to share key insights, incubate new ideas, and ultimately use technology to fulfill Nelnet’s mission to create opportunities where we live, learn, and work.

At each event, a selected Nelnet leader gives a short presentation about innovation taking place in his or her business area. This could be an update about a project his or her team is currently working on, takeaway learnings from an external event, etc. The presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of Q&A and then networking and idea sharing.

August’s Nelnet Spark event will be held in Lincoln, and feature Jessica Schumacher, who will present on Nelnet’s successful and distinctive internship programs.

Nelnet Spark August Event

Wednesday, August 21

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Central)

Nelnet Haymarket Tesla Room

If you are not based in Lincoln but will be on-site for business travel, you are welcome and encouraged to attend. The event will also be livestreamed at this link, and a recording of the event will be available on the Portal afterward.

For more information about Nelnet Spark or to apply to be a featured speaker, email Nelnet.Communications@Nelnet.net.



Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of August 19, 2019

This week’s articles and insights to take a look at…

  • We Need a New Science of Progress - The Atlantic

  • Speed Matters: Why Working Quickly is More Important Than It Seems - the jsomers.net blog

  • Don’t Put a Digital Expert in Charge of Your Digital Transformation - HBR

  • How To Build A Model Portfolio - Forbes

  • The Science Behind Eureka Moments - Elemental+

  • How Established Companies Can Foster A Culture Of Innovation - Forbes

  • Business Leaders Gird for ‘Organizational Explosions’ - MIT

  • Innovation: Too Much Talk and Not Enough Thinking - The Irish Times

  • IoT Applications in Agriculture - Data Driven Investor

  • Leading Change in a Company That’s Historically Bad At It - HBR

  • Corporate to College Learning - Corporations Take a Proactive Stance in Shaping Tomorrows Leaders - Ameritas

+1 Bonus

  • MakerPad - Whatever tool you want to build, you can do it without code


Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of August 12, 2019

This week’s top stories and insights in the world of innovation…

  • Space as a Business Model - Strategyzer

  • Why Innovation Labs Fail, and How to Ensure Yours Doesn’t - HBR

  • The 4 Scenarios of Startup Timing - Gabor Cselle

  • The Mirage of Cloud Gaming (And How to Reach the Oasis) - Redef

  • Gestural Packaging - J. Walter Thompson Intelligence

  • The Hidden Bias in Iterative Product Development - UX Collective

  • How Blockchain Will Change Construction - HBR

  • The 50 best workplaces for innovators - Fast Company

  • What Companies Should Know When Shopping for AI - WSJ

  • The Unbelievable Scale of Fortnite's $30 Million World Cup - Wired 



Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of July 28, 2019

A few articles to kick off the week.

  • AI 101: Understanding Customer Churn Management - Towards Data Science

  • Top AI Trends of 2019 - Artificial Intelligence Network

  • China Internet Report Reveals How Tech Firms Have Gone from Copycats to Trailblazers - SCMP

  • Urban, Innovative, Sustainable - VW Looks at Micromobility - VW

  • The Most Overlooked Skill In Corporate Innovation - Forbes

  • NPS is a Waste of Time. Use These Metrics Instead - Jeff Gothelf

  • Leading Women In STEM Share Five Keys To Unlocking Innovation - Forbes

  • Why Did We Wait So Long for the Bicycle? - The Roots of Progress

  • How the American Work Day Changed in 15 Years - Flowing Data

  • Yes, You Actually Should Be Using Emojis at Work - WSJ


Bonus +1

  • Tribe of Mentors: Most Impactful Purchases of $100 or Less - Tim Ferris

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of July 22, 2019

This week’s innovation nuggets to chew on.

  • How Leading AI Companies Strategically Use Data - Predict

  • Product innovation is not enough to beat a competitor’s network effects - Lightspeed

  • Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think - The Atlantic

  • The Future Of Work Will Be Told In Pictures - David Nour

  • 5 Questions to Consider When Pricing Smart Products - HBR

  • Business Model Innovation - AVC

  • Maps Reveal Where the Creative Class Is Growing - CityLab

  • Facebook is Going to Start Testing a Bunch of Experimental Apps Under a Different Name - CNBC

  • Walmart Uses Virtual Reality to Test New Store Managers - USA Today

  • Amazon Is Watching - OneZero



Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of July 15, 2019

A few curated articles and insights for this week.

  • Great Design Vs Good Design: What’s The Difference? Here’s The Truth - Truth About Design

  • How Asking Works: A Crash Course in Customer Discovery Questions - Grasshopper Herder

  • Alibaba Experiments with Behavior Modification - TechNode

  • Fusing Data and Design to Supercharge Innovation—in Products and Processes - McKinsey

  • ‘True Gen’: Generation Z and Its Implications for Companies - McKinsey

  • Four Essential Techniques to Understand Your Customer - The Founder Coach

  • You Can Make Millions Counting Cars in Parking Lots from Space - Quartz

  • These Are The World's Best Sonic Brands - Forbes

  • Understanding Startup Valuation -  Data Driven Investor

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Rise Of The Autonomous Economy - Altcoin Magazine

Bonus +1

  • Top 30 Innovation Audio Podcasts & Radio You Must Subscribe and Listen to in 2019 - Feedspot

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of July 8, 2019

Your weekly dose of innovation reads. Enjoy!

  • How Beacon Technology is Being Used in Retail - NYT

  • Big Data & Smart Cities: How can we prepare for them? - DataSeries

  • Amazon’s Biggest Acquisitions [Infographic] - CB Insights

  • What Startup Employees Can Teach the Rest of Us About Work - HBR

  • How to Keep Employees Connected to Customers - HBR

  • College Towns Are The Next Big Thing For Startups - Forbes

  • Steps to Autonomy - Benedict Evans

  • The Drumbeat of Digital: How Winning Teams Play - McKinsey

  • Understanding Products Through Storytelling - Sequoia

  • How Cultural Norms Affect Innovation - Innovation Management


Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of July 1, 2019

Enjoy the Holiday week with a few reading options by the pool, lake, or fireworks!

  • 20 Sublime Retreats You Need to Visit For Creative Inspiration - Dwell

  • At Work, Expertise Is Falling Out of Favor - The Atlantic

  • The Ambitious Plan Behind Facebook’s Cryptocurrency, Libra - Wired

  • 100 Radical Innovation Breakthroughs for the Future [PDF] - European Commission

  • Why You Need Innovation Capital — And How to Get It - HBR

  • Why Startups Are Hard — The Math Of Venture Capital Returns Tells The Story - Andrew Chen

  • How Startups Negotiate with Giants and Win - Joe Procopio

  • The State of Tech: From Seed Investment to IPO - RSM

  • Joining the Libra Association - Union Square Ventures

  • People Hate Flying, and It Could Lead to the Demise of the Airline Industry - Fast Company

  • 8 Ways to Grab Attention (and Hold onto It) - CXL

Bonus +1

  • 20 Sublime Retreats You Need to Visit For Creative Inspiration - Dwell

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of June 24, 2019

A few curated innovation articles to explore this week…

  • 50 Retail Innovation Stats That Prove The Power Of Customer Experience - Forbes

  • Why Qualitative Market Research Belongs in Your Startup Toolkit — and How to Wield it Effectively - First Round

  • The Science of Memory: Top 10 Proven Techniques to Remember More and Learn Faster - Zapier

  • How Amazon Became Agile - Forbes

  • How Corporations Can Better Work With Startups - HBR

  • Top 5 Insights After I Spent 100 Days Learning About Artificial Intelligence - Jamie Beach

  • Disruption Starts with Unhappy Customers, Not Technology - HBR

  • In the Future, Will We Acquire Skills, Not Degrees? - Big Think

  • Markets Are 10X Bigger Than Ever - Elad Blog

  • When Employees Are Using Software That IT Hasn’t Approved - HBR

Bonus +1

  • Perfect Playlists for Your Design Sprint or Design Thinking Workshop - Voltage Control

Brian Ardinger
Innovation Reads - Week of June 17, 2019

A sample of some of the best reads about talent, technology, and the future of innovation. Enjoy!

  • A Study of More Than 250 Platforms Reveals Why Most Fail - HBR

  • 50 Ways to Fight Bias - Lean In

  • Investing in ‘magnet’ teams is the key to enterprise innovation - TNW

  • Here’s How Much Airbnb Is Lowering Hotel Prices and Occupancy - CityLab

  • Jeff Bezos: Big Things Start Small - Farnam Street

  • Because of AI, the value of a computer science degree will “diminish over time,” says investor Mark Cuban - Vox

  • The Dynamics of Network Effects - a16z

  • Five Mistakes Intrapreneurs Make When Trying To Change Their Companies - Tendayi Viki

  • Top 5 Insights After I Spent 100 Days Learning About Artificial Intelligence - Jamie Beach

  • Amazon’s Plan to Move In toYour Next Apartment Before You Do - WSJ

Bonus

  • A woman is recording her commuter train delays by knitting them on a scarf - CNN

  • Nelnet is sponsoring The IO Innovation Summit coming to Lincoln - Talent, Technology, & The Future of Innovation -  October 20-22

Brian Ardinger