My Half Bakery....  

This page takes inspiration - as I do regularly! - from the excellent site, I recommend it to any one stimulated by fantastic ideas from people not afraid to challenge the status quo, and ask - "what if?".

On a more prosaic note, here are some of the ideas I have evolved to a more-or-less half-baked standard. These ideas relate expressly to business opportunities. Not one do I regard as "far fetched". Obviously the right ingredients have not yet presented to bring me to the point of turning these into reality. I know that each of these is exploited in various forms today, but not, I believe, to the degree deserved. If you have ideas on how these could be exploited or developed, please send me email!

  Play computer games to get fit Receive good health
rather than a cure
Windows through the world
- a cafe destination
New display technologies Better employee review processes
  Play computer games ... to get fit!

Extend the exercycle into a competitive gaming product: Excercise, competition and fun - incentives based excercise games. The concept is simple: design a device which provides an interface between an exercycle and a visual and audio simulation. The exercycle connections might be very basic - pedal rotation speed, pressure sensor on pedal, upward and/or sideways pressure on handle bars, etc., where pressures are recorded via inexpensive strain guages attached to the surface of the component. These different inputs could be managed by a simple peice of hardware combining calibration with multiplexing function. The output of this device could be connected to many alternative PC based software programs offering various simulations.

  Your good health

Subscribe to good health: A system which provides effective longitudinal care management - specialty case 1 - elderly, specialty case 2 - high value individuals complete with insurance etc. The principle should be to reward good health - by paying a subscription and meeting the strict guidelines of the clinic, a consumer can expect

In an extension of this idea: The health industry has been crying out for many years for a case management system on ASP, for special case of distributed health care organisations. Some special "micro-verticals" apply: Maori health, mental health, community health. This will provide longitudinal case management capacities in ways no current system can emulate.

  Windows through the world: A cafe concept

Windows through the World: Imagine going to a cafe - with a difference, being that this cafe is linked into a world-wide network of others, through an internet enabled audio-visual connection. Large screens in the cafe - and by large I mean cafe window-sized, so probably of the order of 2 meters by 2 meters minimum - displays a real-time view of a street or cafe scene to a corresponding cafe in another part of the world - say, San Francisco / New York / Paris / Rome / Bangkok / Singapore / Sydney. Alternatively, the screens are smaller and positioned next to each table, to provide a more intimate context. Each cafe would be equipped with a broadband connection to enable near real-time video connection to other locations. The quality need not be very high - conventional web-cam would suffice - the value lies in the destination nature of the cafe.

With appropriate promotion, the cafe would become an international destination - and a franchisable business opportunity with great brand value.

  New display technologies

I have been fascinated for many years by the notion of display systems being delivered in new innovative ways. When combined with an ASP service offering content management and bandwidth over a secure VPN, these solutions would transform our landscape - literally (it would naturally open up new challenges in controlling the visual pollution arising from proliferation of such solutions).

For instance, imagine very low cost LCD tiles which connect together via edge strips, and are controlled via a specialised controller. These would be used in very large screens, or for mosaics, or flooring ort ceilings to present different lighting and colour effects, or for decoration or information provision purposes. The principle is exactly the same as conventional tiles - contoured to fit together seamlessly so as to give the illusion of a single uninterrupted surface.

A variation on this would be large displays on glass surfaces, probably by attaching polarising films to the glass which light up when receiving projected images at a steep angle of incidence. I have watched this effect recently and have been very impressed by the intensity (and impact) of the image cast. However the films I have sourced to date have been far too expensive to make this technology accessible.

  Automated Objectives Matrix

For a number of years I have been using my own method for reviewing performance of employees and reports. My "Objectives Matrix" simply consists of a single page on which the employee's objectives for the period (never more than 6 months) are stated. These are explicit in time and should feature measured outcomes spread over the 6 months so as to defer the risk of non-attainment. Goals are ranked and weighted to reflect their importance. Ideally the expected achievements are linked to OTE payments. The employee is rewarded on over-achievement as well as receiving the inevitable disincentive upon under-achieving. Repeated or extreme under achievement is a signal of underperformance - either in the employee or in the employer.

So far this is not particularly innovative - its just another way of tying oganisational outcomes to a review process. But just imagine - if the process could be automated through some regular questionnaire and supporting reports structure. This strcutre would receive inputs as part of the organisational planning process and would enable shared objectives to be proactively managed and updated wherever necessary. A diligent manager would receive regular feedback from employees through a simple questionnaire (rank your progress against each goal this week - 1 to 5), based on progress against objectives, thus defending the "no surprises" principle at review time and also enabling an early intervention should the goal need to be revised or the employee's workload scrutinised or prioritised.