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The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

10 things in tech you need to know today

china robot
Here's the tech news you need to know to start your week.
1. Another big European startup just delayed its IPO plans.HelloFresh, which is worth $3 billion (£2 billion), is postponing the flotation "because of "concern about investor demand and valuation, and general 'market volatility,'" Tech.eu reports.
2. Snapchat is closing the gap on Facebook video with a reported 6 billion views to Facebook's 8 billion. Snapchat has confirmed the view count but declined to comment further.
3. Apple has defeated a class action lawsuit brought against it by its retail employees. Employees are subject to searches to ensure they haven't stolen anything, and argued they should be reimbursed for the time spent doing so.
4. A mysterious electric car startup is building a $1 billion factory in California. Faraday Future has been searching for a site for its new manufacturing plant.
5. Europe is trying to reach a new data transfer pact by early 2016, The New York Times reports. The Safe Harbor agreement was previously used to legitimise the transfer of user data across the Atlantic, but was struck down by Europe's highest court following revelations about US spying.
6. A nude texting scandal in Colorado is drawing attention to "ghost apps" that can hide nude pictures. These apps disguise themselves as calculators and other innocuous tools, and reveal their true purpose when a certain code is entered.
7. Google's robot group is struggling to fill a leadership vacuum before an ambitious launch in 2020. Replicant is attempting to build consumer robot technology before the end of the decade.
8. The hackers who broke into the email account of the director of the CIA claim to have hacked a police law enforcement portal. Wired reports this gives them access to arrest records, a chat tool for officers, and more.
9. A leaked memo reportedly proves that Comcast's data cap isn't about improving network performance. The Verge reports that a purported Comcast customer service rep has leaked a memo saying that a new 300GB cap "is not" about dealing with congestion.
10. A 15-year-old arrested over the TalkTalk hack is suing three newspapers for an alleged breach of privacy. The Guardian reports that Google and Twitter are also facing legal action.

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