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Tools for Innovation

Tools for Innovation

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Published by Hewlett-Packard

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Hewlett-Packard on Sep 01, 2011
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07/09/2012

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TOOLS FORINNOVATION
 
BEAT YOUR RIVALS THROUGH INNOVATION
It’s easier for small businesses to innovate and adapt. So usecreative tools and techniques to keep ahead of bigger, morecumbersome competition.
 
Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation inthe U.S. and/or other countries.
 
 
Top tools for innovation
Page
1
 
Tools for innovation
 
BEAT YOUR RIVALS THROUGH INNOVATION
 
Entrenched in process and bureaucracy, larger companies can be slow to respond to changing needs.Conversely, the smaller, more agile company can more easily innovate its way to success: ultimatelyoutflanking the behemoths.
Innovation doesn’t apply speci
fically to creating new products or services though. It can be just asinnovative to do what your competitors are doing faster and more affordably by embracing new techniques.
Much like Japanese electronics and automotive companies did during the 1980’s. T
hey aped existing designand technology but their manufacturing techniques produced products more affordably and made themmore reliable.
Also consider ‘smoothie’ drinks maker Innocent Drinks. They began as a 3
-man team in 1999 and are nowvalued at over 1
00 million pounds. They weren’t the first company to be offering freshly squeezed juice(the larger PJ’s had been for some time before them). However, their branding, ethos and communications
were innovative and they subsequently ingrained themselves into
the buying publics’ psyche.
 
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things”,
the famous economist TheodoreLevitt once said.
So whilst it’s one thing to imagine new ways to solve a problem or need, putting that idea
into practice is
what actually defines innovation. As a small business, it’s therefore imperative to take the
initiative. Embracing new technology, techniques and services can provide a competitive advantage overlarger but slower competitors.
Here’s a collection of products, technologies and websites that can help aid innovation:
 1.
 
Invest in speed.
It may seem paradoxical but investing in new computers can actually save money.Selected HP ProBook and HP EliteBook computers include 2nd Generation Intel® Core
i7 processors,which have made strides in speed and low power performance. To exemplifythe benefits, consider accounting, tax and advisory company, Grant Thornton LLP who estimated
that by upgrading the companies’ laptops every two years, it would
save around £388 per user fromimprovements to user productivity
and IT efficiency over the laptops’ two
-year lifetime.2.
 
Get colour combinations right
 Adobe Kuler is a free online tool to explore, create and share colour themes and combinations. You
can search for inspiration by keywords e.g. ‘calm’ or create colour themes based on uploaded
images. If the interface appears a little daunting at first, Adobe provide a quick tutorial video to get you up and running.
 
Top tools for innovation
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2
 
3.
 
Use Skype
Besides saving money on traditional call charges, using Skype for calls also provides a consolidated list of whom you called, when and for how long. Relative start-up, Moo Print even used it onoccasion for an inexpensive method of interviewing potenti
al employees. “The quality of Skype toSkype calls, versus mobile phone to mobile phone is vastly superior,” argues Moo CEO Richard
Moross.
4.
 
Picking the best fonts for your documents
It’s a time consuming and thankless task to find font combinations that actually look ‘right’ together
.Save the time and hassle by referring
to the
chart. It provides a
simple way of choosi
ng a matching ‘heading’ and ‘body’ text combination.
5.
 
StumbleUpon new inspirational websites
There may be hundreds of great websites but s
adly it’s not always easy to find them.
 StumbleUpon.com makes it easy and fast to discover relevant and interesting web sites by basing
recommendations on your preferences. Results can be voted up or down so the service ‘learns’
what you like, providing better results each time.
6.
 
Get Inspiration for your next website
There are plenty of web site showcase websites but where patterntap.com differs is that the elements of a web page (footer, typography, header, navigation, sidebar etc.) are split into relevantsections. Instea
d of looking at websites as a whole for inspiration, simply view the sections you’restruggling with. You can then create custom ‘user sets’ of your favourites for easy access later.
 
7.
 
Easily create screencasts for free
Screencast-O-Matic.com is a free browser-based screen casting service. It can be used to produceinexpensive training material, provide feedback on projects or offer personalised technical support.The resultant videos can be shared directly through Screencast-O-
Matic’s own service, direct to
youtube.com or downloaded as a stand-alone video file.8.
 
Use Windows Live Skydrive to sync and share files
 Windows Live Skydrive is a free tool that allows users to upload and share files, includingdocuments, video and photos. Microsoft Office Web apps are also integrated into Windows LiveSkydrive, so you can share and collaborate with other users on Office documents. The real bonusbeing that even users without any version of Microsoft Office can still use the service to view andedit Microsoft Office files.9.
 
Find out what that Font is
 
Seen an attractive font you’d like to use but have no idea what it is? 
WhatTheFont allows you toupload an image, or point to a web address containing the font in question and then reveals theclosest match. If the font avoids detection there is also a related forum where you can post the

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