Recently, the wearable devices maker Jawbone went into liquidation. Some speak of “death by overfunding” (e.g. Business Insider). Using Mergeflow’s recently developed size-growth-matrix, which lets you track technologies and topics over time, I compared Jawbone to Fitbit, another wearable devices maker. I wanted to see whether our matrix shows the quite different development that these two companies have taken over the last few years.
“It’s too cold, it’s too warm, it’s too rainy, it’s too windy”. How often do you hear people complaining about the weather? Everybody talks about it all the time, but nobody really does anything about it. At Mergeflow, we were curious to learn more about innovations in the area of weather forecasting. Are there significant VC investments? What type of patents or new devices are particularly relevant?
In the recent years, 3D printing has increasingly being used for rapid manufacturing, a new method where the printed objects are not prototypes but the actual end user product. Since our new office is located on the third floor of a building with two floors of dentist’s office, our natural curiosity pushed us to further investigate into this topic.
“In-silico” is an expression used to run experiments simulating things on computers. This method, besides having the potential to speed the rate of discovery and reduce the costs of expensive lab work and clinical trials, has the benefit of avoiding animal experiments, for example in pharmacology. Inspired by Materials Project, which provides open web-based access to computer information on predicted materials, we looked at results via Mergeflow searching for <in-silico | “in silico”>.
Storytelling, “the activity of telling or writing stories”, is often used in education or media-related contexts. As we often do at Mergeflow, we talked about various topics, looking for a more unusual angle, off the trodden path. In this case, we wondered: outside education and media, what do people and companies do with storytelling?
The term “serendipity”, coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, means “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. In the past, the term has been used in literary and religious books, for example in the bible, where many circumstances in Christian life are considered serendipitous experiences. The main idea is that events which happen by chance can turn out to be extremely beneficial. In recent years, especially in the business world, serendipity is often used to persuade consumers to experience a feeling of unexpected happiness if purchasing a certain product or service. Using Mergeflow, we looked at businesses based on serendipity.
A few weeks ago, Siemens Healthineers were named finalists for the European Pantent’s Office‘s 2017 Inventor Award. They had developed a new, automated method for detecting malaria, based on their Advia 2120i hematology system. Malaria is a life-threatening disease, responsible for more than 1 million annual deaths globally.
We were curious to see if there are also other new methods for malaria detection. Using Mergeflow, we looked for companies, technologies, and products.
A few weeks ago, we launched a new tool, the Topics Matrix. The Topics Matrix lets you generate growth-share matrices automatically. We described in a previous blog post how it works. As we said in this previous blog post, when people saw the Topics Matrix, they usually asked:
“Interesting! I can do this for any of my topics on-the-fly, and the data will always be real-time. But can I also see how the data points have evolved over time?”
Microlenses are very small lenses. ‘Small’ means that they are less than 1mm in diameter, and sometimes as small as 10µm. According to an entry in Wikipedia, microlenses “can give good optical quality but sometimes unwanted effects arise due to optical diffraction as small features”. Microlenses are used in different sectors and for different purposes. We used Mergeflow to find out more, and here are some examples of what we found:
Estimating the importance and dynamics of a topic
Idea triage plays an important role in business strategy, particularly in resource allocation. For instance, imagine that there are 10 technology fields or business areas that all sound promising, but you only have the resources to actually get into 3 of these topics. Which 3 out of your 10 technology fields should you select, and why?