Storytelling: how is it used in contexts outside education and media?


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?

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Turning serendipity into business models


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.

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New methods for malaria testing


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.

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Tracing technologies over time


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?”

Yes, now you can! Continue Reading

What can you do with microlenses?


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: Continue Reading

Machine-augmented idea triage


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? Continue Reading

Blockchain beyond finance


I recently read an article on how digitalization affects the energy sector. The article was written by Fabian Reetz at the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, a Berlin-based think tank “at the intersection of technology and society”. Not very surprisingly, given the topic, the article talks about blockchain a lot. Now, I was quite surprised when I saw this screenshot in the article (“Suchergebnisse” means “search results”):

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Waste disposal: using garbage as a valuable resource


The average person generates 1,9 kg of waste per day, which multiplied by the world population is 13,6 billion kg per day. What could be done to process solid waste and use garbage as a valuable resource? In order to answer this question, we used Mergeflow to find out more about innovative waste management solutions. Continue Reading

Superfoods: are they really super?


The food industry wants to persuade us that eating some foods can slow down the ageing process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence. “Superfood” is the marketing term used to describe these foods that promise almost magical healing powers. But are these claims too good to be true? Pushed by our sense of curiosity, we searched via Merfeflow to find out the most recently discussed superfoods. Continue Reading

Medical devices for $0.01: A glimmer of hope for developing countries


Many places in the world, especially developing countries, don’t have access to early medical diagnostics. They are often affected by diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. In addition, illiteracy is wide-spread in these areas (which makes it hard to train people on sophisticated medical equipment, even if the high cost of this equipment were not an issue). Given these extreme challenges, what could be done in order to improve medical care and diagnostics? Continue Reading