Category Archives: Creativity and Innovation

VIRGIN hyperloop pod transport test first passenger journey

Virgin Hyperloop has trialed its first ever journey with passengers, in the desert of Nevada. The futuristic transport concept involves pods inside vacuum tubes carrying passengers at high speeds. In the trial, two passengers – both company staff – travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds, reaching 107mph (172km/h). However, this is a fraction of Virgin’s ambitions for travel speeds of more than 1,000km/h. Virgin Hyperloop is not the only firm developing the concept but nobody has carried passengers before. Their speed was hampered by the length of the track and acceleration required. The concept, which has spent years in development, builds on a proposal by Tesla founder Elon Musk. Some critics have described it as science fiction. It is based on the world’s fastest magnetic levitation (maglev) trains, then made faster by speeding along inside vacuum tubes. The Maglev train speed world record was set in 2015 when a Japanese train reached 374mph in a test run near Mount Fuji. Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop is also exploring concepts in other countries, including a hypothetical 12 minute connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which takes more than an hour by existing public transport. Read More >>


Innovation is considered to be a sport for interdisciplinary brokers and boundary spanners these days. However, contrary to trends in the business literature, creativity is not always developed through a broad network. For winners of the highest accolades, like the Nobel Prize or the Fields Medal, deep commitment to narrow questions and a thorough understanding of a particular topic are essential to push boundaries into new frontiers. There is a missing piece in our understanding of creativity by highlighting that the world is not a static environment where people simply recombine local (i.e. from the same field) or distant (i.e. from other fields) components. Creative work is more complex than the often-discussed trade-off between exploitation and exploration. There is a third type of recombination. One that involves components that are neither distant, nor local; they are new to the world. Specialists perform relatively better than generalists as the pace of change increases because their narrow focus allows them to keep track of the frontier more easily. As a result, they are better able to take advantage of the new components emerging at the frontier. In contrast, generalists straddle different fields and have therefore a more superficial understanding of the frontier in each field. They find it more difficult to adapt to rapid changes. Although there is a temptation to call most businesses “cutting edge”, an honest evaluation of how much real change has recently occurred in your firm’s knowledge domain can help evaluate if you have the right blend of generalists and specialists.  Read More >>