Watching commencement speeches is always a good combination of inspiration humour and thought provoking. Today I watched one by David Foster Wallace. In summary the speech is about consciousness and the importance of a conscious choice when thinking. Highly recommendable 22 minute watch
This post is just a quick demonstration of why desktop 3D printers are hopefully going to be a major part in reducing waste. I’ll stress the fact that its desktop 3D printers that is going to lead this front, as the name suggests you can have them at home without requiring too much space, thus reducing thresholds and barriers of use. It’s the access to the technology that is the innovation.
So, I will dive right into the issue that arose few weeks back. The fridge shelf at home, consisting of a piece of glass supported with six plastic hooks that slide above and underneath the glass and into the interior wall of the fridge. As with most things wear and tear does lead to failure. So, two of these hooks broke. Resulting in the shelf being not supportive and more of a a see-saw, pivoting around the middle support.
Fixing this would require buying spare parts if they are held in stock. and they were not. Now, how I went forward in fixing this is by simply modelling a replacement in SolidWorks where I started out with the critical dimensions of the glass: Thickness, depth of the “pocket” in the fridge wall and other surfaces that were in some way constrained. (Instead of modelling this I could also 3D scan the functional parts, but I don’t have a scanner, yet) With the software Cura, I imported a .STL file for generating the tool path for the Makerbot (3D printer). After test printing a few versions, alterations were made to the 3D model, and finally I printed 6 new spare parts. All in all the time spent from holding the broken piece to having the printed spare part in my hand was 1,5 hours or so. Mostly due to the print time, as each were about 6-8 minutes each, about 10 prints in total.. you do the math. You can see in the top right photo attached, how the print quality was poor with exception of the right most print. Mainly due to temperature of the nozzle being to high and plastic dripping/smudging/getting everywhere The filament(plastic polymer) is a PLA polymer which is easily recycled. so zero waste!
I am confident that as society realises that waste is a major issue we are forced to think in the ways of reuse, recycle and repairing. If you by any chance have a part that is broken, or a pen cap that’s missing from your favourite pen, comment and I might just get time to do this for you too.
Firstly, I recommend watching this TEDx talk before reading onwards, not because this post is solely on the project. But because it is challenging perceptions we all have about why and how we do work . I’ll allow work to be a fairly loose definition as of now, but will touch on volunteering to some extent later. If you want, watch the video now (17mins). If you really can not be bothered, “too-long-didn’t-watch”: The Ugly Indian is simply a movement where a group of people anonymously goes and clean up public spaces, posting a before and after photo for the world to see.
So, what I want to state in the beginning is that this example of result oriented work culture is lacking, in my opinion. I think society has its large inefficiencies that goes by many names. To solve these inefficiencies we are having a rise in ways to challenge and beat the system. Simple examples (which I may elaborate/discuss in later posts); Uber as a taxi service, ZipCar on car ownership and Taleris on aircraft engines.Tim Orily put it brilliantly; “jobs aren’t disappearing, they are changing, and there will always be a need for people to do work”. Google thinks so too, regarding the way we work as an area of of improvement. It seems we need to change the way we work, in line with the fact that jobs are changing this may be challenging. A few weeks ago I stumbled across the phrase Meetnapping. Having no corporate life experience, I still find this amusing as I can relate to pointless group meetings, again I bring up Google. I believe that we are steadily progressing towards a work culture where one’s ability to complete a task is valued more and therefor we can discuss the validity of the 40 hour work week. Which of course Tim Ferriss famously targeted in his book: The 4 Hour Workweek.
So, if The Ugly Indian is such an effective method of working towards solving problems, what can we learn and hopefully take with us to another place of “deployment”. Especially considering that the problems being solved seemingly never had any functioning or viable solution from before. Volunteering can’t be sustained as nothing is free. But how about commission? A pure reward by output model? I doubt it. Having worked in such an environment before I can safely say motivation and quality of work becomes a far too easy to sacrifice. Which I would say is why The Ugly Indian has its principles as it mentions in the video; no money, no identity and no talk. Meet up get things done and move on. To close I’ll quote Harry S Truman. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit”. (Almost as amazing as Truman’s middle name is S, and does not stand for anything. )
Airbnb is a fairly known start-up. Making anyone a kind of hotelowner, providing a platform for short term rental of rooms, houses, apartments or castels. They are growing rappidly. Transferwise has also entered as fairly large, with Sir Richard Branson’s investing in them. Essentially a service that makes international money transfers “fair and cheap”, the simple solution saves money for people who do international money transfers at any scale. Watch how it works here. Typically, the bank will firstly make you pay a fixed fee depending on which country you are sending money to, then they will use an exchange rate that benefits the bank at a few percent charge. It all adds up, and is not very transparent.
However, why these two startups are not integrated with each other I hope is only a question of time. Because, as I recently used Airbnb for the first time I really missed the transparency of Transferwise. I was required to pay a sum in Euros with my Norwegian card. So consequently I was charged 3% comparing Airbnb’s rates with Transferwise. This adds up. So thinking aloud, I would like to see a future where Airbnb uses Transferwise to conduct its payments. Essentially it would require some reworking of how Airbnb does its authentication and cancellations. But there are clearly many benefits of partnering with each other.
I have reflected over work and readings that I’ve been doing lately, and thought I should put them down on paper.
Firstly these remarks are made from observing the work at Innovation@altinn since early September, both in Oslo and in Tronheim. Combined with reading ‘Great By Choice’ a book by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen.
The book explains choices and behavior “10x-companies” have. These companies have beaten the stock market by at least 10 times, so called 10-xers. Southwest Airlines, Microsoft and Intel are repeatedly used as examples. Highly recommend reading this book, one chapter at a time to fully see the case studies and the concepts. Innovation@altinn is on the other hand, is an innovation program focused on creating working prototypes based on ideas sourced from participants of the program. It is a living example of Open Innovation  in the public sector. What the program specifically aims to do, is show how government can be digital. Using the national IT platform Altinn, the citizen of the future should enjoy better services and improve communication with government via this platform. Currently this platform is underused, where most Norwegians are only aware of Altinn when they do their taxes online. This has already saved Norwegian businesses estimated to above one billion kroner per year, just from time savings. But there is a capacity for doing a lot more.
My reflections that tie these two together:
In the program, it is surprisingly well aligned with the book. Using open innovation techniques, it is easy to have a mindset that “we know what the customer wants” due to incorporating as many points of view as possible. But to have ongoing testing / Q&A / probing is essential. To make sure a “full fledged cannonball” becomes a success, the tuning and validation from bullets are needed. Backed and calibrated from feedback is the only way to have a grasp on what problem you’re solving. The book has in its numerous examples found that firing cannonballs, often identified as expensive and distracting tasks need a proper backing of empirical data and validation. For the bullets, however, they can be seen as the opposite, a Minimal Viable Product  to some extent that allows to correct mistakes early on. Book standard project management, but complicated due to having an increase in parties with certain ownership of the idea.
You can read more about Innovation@altinn at https://altinn.induct.no/login , and if you would like to read the book http://www.amazon.com/Great-Choice-Uncertainty-Luck-Why-Despite/dp/0062120999,
2 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Government
4 – https://twitter.com/AndresDSilva/status/520862217336815616
My friend Sven Ekert and myself have outlined a plan for a 55 day trip through Europe. We recently marketed this on social media (FB&Twitter) and consequently were placed on the Staff Picks ( http://goo.gl/3jYJsu ) , we would like to share our idea here as well. Any amount of help (in financial means or in kind ) are much appreciated, we believe this trip is more than a summer break and invite you all to please take a look at our plan and aim here
Previous semester was a breeze, 3 exams, no biggie. Well that means only one thing work has piled up. Significantly.
I am taking modules of my interest and therefore they happened to land on this semester. I will be taking:
- Management 3
- Renewable Energy Systems
- Sustainable Development
- Advanced Production Processes
- Solids, Structures & Integrity
- Design 3
And of course writing my dissertation on the feasibility of shipping water, due to the on set of climate change and growth in NICs and LDCs.
I have decided to work hard from the start, so I can attempt to finish my dissertation asap, to enable my coursework and labs to go well when they start. I am almost scared of the work, as I have AIESEC too, and will be planning parts of my Gap Year.
Methods to learn is by devoting time to study consistently, and while i have a range of goals they all need planning and monitoring.
I think this will be a semester I will remember throughout my life, and week 1 of 12 has already finished. I can not believe im graduating on 18th July.
This post is to clear mind, soul and thought. Much expected after a trip to India. The “Meme”; “Waldo goes to India, to find himself” comes to mind..
So how can one even come to the senses after an impactful and content-ful journey. With 4 days in Goa and 12 in Mumbai. Seeing family after 3 years. Missing two grandparents who have now gone to heaven, and now a cousin getting married. Words are not descriptive enough, and thanks to the 16GB SD card, pictures, well, there are too many.
My first reflection is that I have developed the sense of psychology. While reading Thinking, Fast and Slow. The topic of Priming, and Illusion aswell as the concept of cognitive ease. I will attend some MOOC’s in my gap year on these topics for sure. And hope anyone reading will be able to recommend any.
2) Is the whole idea of becoming the best. Why does a few percent of the population make it. And what does it take. Talent? Hard work? Smart work? i think and have been reading to reconfirm.this. I need to find a space where I can search more about my genuine strengths and weaknesses. Not ones that have come across due to an environmental response.
3) Physical struggle is subjective. To pluck strings of a guitar is painful to the one who does not play often. The feeling of thirst or hunger and the pains developed over longer time are similar, yet different depending on people experiencing them.
4) if you celebrate each day as a new years eve, minus the alcohol consumption, what is there to learn. Perhaps you should start living the life one seeks, when you’re too busy writing the to do’s down. Then again, who am I to talk writing bullet points and mind maps about my gap year without a clear action to achieve these. Well, it’s my life and I’ll rather go bigger than stay thinking “what if”.