Thursday, July 24, 2008

Head in the Clouds

Matt Flannery, the founder of, a microfinance site that brings individual borrowers and lenders together, talks about the process that eventually led to kiva:

I spent a good deal of my time dreaming up new business ideas. I’m the kind of person who always has a new idea, and is always talking about it. I started to have a new business idea every day; 365 ideas was my goal. My friends and family were extremely patient to suffer through this with me.

This is one of the fundamental traits of successful entrepreneurs and it's also the reason why so many successful entrepreneurs have success in more than one endeavor (serial entrepreneurship). The quote is from an article Flannery wrote for the journal Innovations.

New Research on Innovation

Try telling a bunch of economists that it's summertime and the livin' is supposed to be easy. Instead of going fishing or sipping sweet drinks by the pool, for the month of July they'll be up in Boston for NBER's annual Summer Institute. Fortunately for you, the schedule is online and you can browse the sessions and read their new papers at your leisure. Here is the main page. There are several sessions that are dedicated to innovation policy, but two of the most interesting papers were presented at the session on the Development of the American Economy.

The first, by Dhanoos Sutthiphisal of McGill University is titled, Location, Location, Location: Why do Inventors Move to Technology Centers? The other paper that caught my attention is by Liam Brunt, Josh Lerner, and Tom Nichols. Their paper is Inducement Prizes and Innovations. Both papers are available for free here or you can just follow the links above. But be sure to browse the main page since there is a lot of cutting edge work buried on these pages.