Extension Engine

Social Entrepreneurship at Harvard

Come join the launch of the second President’s Challenge at Harvard! Professor David Edwards of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will be speaking on the promise of social entrepreneurship. There will be food served, and students from across the University will be here to share ideas, find teams, and generally mix it up.

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Strategy Moves Toward Excess Capacity

15 years ago I took a management strategy class at Harvard Business School being taught by Professor Clayton Christensen who was mostly talking about disruptive innovation. At the time Christensen was wildly famous, at least as far as business thinkers can be. He had recently published Innovators Dilemma and was on the cover of popular business magazines. Now I had been cold-called three times in as many days so I was really paying attention. What Christensen then proffered was this gem of management advice:


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Don’t Just Count Every Hour, Make Every Hour Count

Each day at ExtensionEngine we track about 1,000 hours of our employees' labor of love across about 40 billable client projects and another dozen or so non-billable projects that are for either sales, training, development, philanthropy, etc.. That works out to more than a quarter million hours …

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New Web Standards Resource Launches

Hoping to create the definitive resource for all open Web technologies, Apple, Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, and Opera have joined the W3C to launch a new website called Web Platform. The new website, which just launched into alpha, will serve a a single source of relevant, up-to-date and quality information on the latest HTML5, CSS3, and other Web standards, offering tips on web development and best practises for the technologies. According to the W3C, the website will also display the status of a particular technology’s standardisation and cross-browser implementation. The site is also a wiki that allows users to ask, answer and rate questions similar to Stack Overflow, which seems the closes competitor. Originally, the site was open to just employees of the sponsor, but it seems to have opened to all registered users now. All documents posted to the Web Platform website are licensed under creative commons. While the initial content was provided by the member companies, website visitors are encouraged to share code examples, tips and tricks or any other relevant information using the Wiki. Building and maintaining interoperable systems on the web is a community effort and one that we at ExtensionEngine participate in on a daily basis. We look forward to engaging on Webplatform.org and contributing to ensure a bright, interoperable future!

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Innovation at Harvard

Late in 2011, Harvard embarked upon a new experiment: build a laboratory to foster multidisciplinary innovation across the university. The result? The Harvard iLab. The iLab is part incubator, part accelerator and part flex office space, but all of none of these. Like a flex office space, there is work space, a kitchen and conference rooms galore for the use of residents, but there isn't the commercial infrastructure you see at places like the Cambridge Innovation Center or Regus. And the space is much more flexible than typical with almost everything literally on wheels to better support instant reconfiguration. The iLab is also similar to incubators like Ycombinator in that the staff goes to great efforts to provide an abundance of resources for the residents ranging from legal advisors, technical advisors, business consultants and more. And finally, like an accelerator such as the Microsoft Accelerator, the iLab provides access to capital but not directly through a captive fund but instead through tireless matchmaking and coaching.

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