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?
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”):
Imagine you want to find out information about a certain market; its size, relevant players, and its projected growth rate (measured as CAGR for instance). If you have ever done this manually, you probably know that this involves a lot of manual work (searching, data cleansing, plotting, etc.). All of this of course eats into the time you have available for evaluating the information, and for drawing actionable conclusions.
Finding the most relevant people, companies or other entities in a given technology field is a task that many of our users face all the time.
Now, the ‘most relevant person’, for instance, may not necessarily be the person who has the most scientific publications or the most patents. Rather, a person may be more relevant if they are active in science as well as in business, and not ‘just’ in one of these areas.
Many mergeflow users are analysts, scouts, or other intelligence professionals who collect, edit, and share content with others. However, while mergeflow Search helps you find content, so far we have not provided anything that lets you share your findings with others. One “fallback option” then is to share findings via email, for example. Below, I describe why this usually does not work.
Open approaches to innovation have been around for hundreds of years. The story of Galileo Galilei and the telescope from the 17th century is a great example of how connecting people and ideas led to significant scientific, technological, and business progress.
For this article we looked at the recent patent landscape for seismic data technologies (recent = roughly the last four years). We simply searched for “seismic data” and narrowed down our results to patents (from worldwide patent offices).
First we looked at the companies and people (inventors) network in this space. There do not seem to be many connections between companies, with the exception of Schlumberger and Westerngeco (which was acquired by Schlumberger, which in turn should explain the co-patenting seen in the graph below — cf. blue arrows).
What companies are working on smart grid software?
For this article, we first wanted to know what companies are working on smart grid software. Smart grids use advanced metering, energy production and distribution methods in order to adapt to changes in energy demand or production (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_grid). Smart grids heavily depend on (new) software solutions, for instance for…
Biochips are “miniaturized laboratories” that can run biochemical reactions e.g. for medical diagnostics (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochip).
For this article, we wanted to know:
- What kinds of diagnostics can biochips do? I.e. what diseases can biochips diagnose?
- Who are innovative small companies in this field?
Heatmap matrices in mergeflow visualize how different objects identified by mergeflow (e.g. companies, experts, investors, technologies) relate to each other. Here we describe an example of a heatmap matrix.
For our example, we wanted to know what companies are working on specific technologies related to smart grid systems. So we searched for “smart grid” and selected “company” as tag type.