Heading to GRAPHISOFT Japan on the train on Monday I caught a glimpse of a garden in amongst the high rises. On further investigation later in the week it turned out to be Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, a former imperial garden in Minato.
The garden was absolutely amazing and considering its high rise neighbours was a still and tranquil place.
This morning I had one last walk around Tokyo before heading out to the airport for my flight home and I came across the Tokyo International Forum. This building contains a 5,000 seat hall along with 7 other halls. The structure was quite stunning when viewed from both inside and out.
Below are a few more shots of the two places above along with some other architecture that caught my eye.
I am currently in Tokyo for the GRAPHISOFT Asia Pacific Key Client Conference (AP KCC) and have had a chance to see some of this enormous city.
My welcome was less than ideal with a sizable earthquake shortly after my arrival at the hotel but things have calmed down since.
The Yoyogi National Gymnasium built for the Swimming and Diving events of the 1964 Olympics was a recommended place to visit and while it was on dusk and I couldn’t see inside, it was quite incredible with its suspension roof design. The Gymnasium is also going to hold the Handball competition for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Tokyo Sky Tree, which opened more recently in 2012 was quite stunning to see but following my welcome I was a little less inclined to visit the Observation levels at close to 500m, so stuck to the free viewing on level 45 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
It was great to see in such an enormous city large parks and greenery which helps gives the city a very welcoming feel.
Larry was an excellent presenter with deep knowledge and a number interesting well researched examples.
The key message was:
Modern innovation is more about elegant integration than invention…
Larry suggested that most recent innovations are not new products per se, but more integrations of a number of existing products in new and innovative ways.
Larry has been researching Innovation with his team for a couple of decades and during this time they have developed the Ten Types of Innovation – the Discipline of Building Breakthroughs.
I first came across these Ten Types in the earlier Doblin Model of Innovation and while the principles remain the same the updated model is, in my opinion, far clearer and easier to use.
Most companies spend too much time in the middle (orange) cells focusing on the product, without spending time working on the other areas. A simple rule of thumb for the model above is to focus on five of the ten types, with at least one from each colour – refer to their website for a full run down on each section.
Larry illustrated which areas a number of both NZ and International companies are working on with what one can only describe as some disturbing results for some of NZ’s up and coming companies. That said, the model helps point out where these companies are lacking and is the perfect starting point to review and improve from.
Overall it was a most enjoyable presentation and I am sure Larry’s other New Zealand presentations have been equally well received.
Having produced this animation solely using email communication, this morning it was great to actually meet Ben Skinner and Fraser Davidson the founders of Cub Studio.
Cub Studio actually work out of a shipping container for an office so we had agreed to meet at Shoreditch House.
Before heading off, I was going to iron a shirt. I then decided better of it. Heading to Shore Ditch – London Start Up Central – and meeting with creatives, I figured my IceBreaker Hoodie would be sufficient. My reasoning was confirmed when I arrived and was confronted with a large poster declaring “no suits” and subsequently found very casual attire.
On entering and being told to head up to the 6th floor I was somewhat taken aback to see a swimming pool as I exited the lift. Shoreditch House is one of a series of clubs providing facilities from bedrooms, to workspaces, a restaurant and a pool. The environment was addictive and buzzing and overall based on the number of facilities these guys run, it appears to be a great business.
Fraser has previously lived in NZ and Ben visited a number of years ago. It was a really great time to meet them and talk about our businesses and our next project we are doing with them.
Not surprisingly, it confirmed again that even though we can work virtually on other sides of the world, it can never be a replacement for actually meeting people face to face.
The theme for the night was Pricing and Revenue Models and as the oldest company there I was the last to speak so was wondering how much I’d have to add to the topic after hearing from Dale from Weirdly and Vaughan from Vend.
As it turned out while we were all on the same page, we had all got there in different ways. This in essence sums up pricing in my mind – experiment, experiment experiment.
Dale explained how they had continued testing different pricing and even updated what service they actually sell (though not as a result of changing the product).
Vaughan talked about Negative Churn as the holy grail for a SaS business and how to set about achieving this – or at least trying to.
I talked about the history of our Cadimage pricing over the last 10 years and how we recently moved from a perpetual model to a SaS model.
Overall it seemed that the biggest questions for the night revolved around the assumptions required to get a SaS business started. All three of us were asked the question in different ways but ultimately the message was, you have to make some assumptions (and various rules of thumb were suggested) and then you just need to get started, experiment and evolve. The more you get into it the more you can tweak your original assumptions.
It is impossible to have studied Architecture in New Zealand and not have heard of Ath. His work across the country and most concentrated in Wellington will be a constant reminder of his contribution to our built environment.
Big Data – Kennet Cuklet and Viktor Mayer-Schonberger
The Virgin Way – Richard Branson
Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
I recently received a book celebrating 75 years of Air New Zealand which was a good look back on the development of a world-class airline and also read a couple of dozen novels which I won’t bore you with here.
…her crew helped to popularize the terms bug and debugging. The Mark II version of the Harvard computer was in a building without window screens. One night the machine conked out, and the crew began looking for the problem. They found a moth with a wingspan of four inches that had gotten smashed in one of the electromechanical relays. It was retrieved and paster into the log book with Scotch tape. “Panel F (moth) in relay,” the entry noted. “First actual case of bug being found.” From then on, they referred to ferreting out glitches as “debugging the machine”
From: The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson