David Pescovitz, Mike Love and I joined Bob Johansen at SQUID Labs today, where Bob talked about IFTF, our foresight/insight/action mantra, and his book, Get There Early. SQUID Labs is a unique breeding ground for innovation with a social bent.
David Pescovitz, Mike Love and I joined Bob Johansen at SQUID Labs today, where Bob talked about IFTF, our foresight/insight/action mantra, and his book, Get There Early. SQUID Labs is a unique breeding ground for innovation with a social bent. From their website:
At SQUID Labs we develop breakthrough technologies and find solutions to unique engineering problems. Our exceptional team has expertise in a wide range of technical fields: from chip design and electronics to robotics, materials, embedded systems and manufacturing. We have created a highly dynamic and creative work environment which helps to inspire our consulting and contract research efforts.
In the course of our work (and play) we have developed novel and diverse technologies for a wide range of applications including printed electronics, lens molding, and high performance kites.
SQUID Labs is characterized by our multidisciplinary skill set and our ability to combine those diverse skills to create novel solutions.
"We're not a think tank, we're a do tank"
While we at IFTF spend most of our time thinking about the future, the guys over at SQUID Labs are doing the future. IFTF is about foresight; SQUID Labs is about action. As one of the SQUID guys said today, you might think of them as the Institute for Doing the Future.
A great example of something to come out of their work is a SQUID spinoff company, Potenco. SQUID Labs co-founder Colin Bulthaup is the company's CEO. Their product is a pull-cord generator, intended for use with the XO Laptop (One Laptop Per Child Project). Check out their website for the specs. It's a great solution to the problem of providing electricity to places that lack an energy infrastructure.
One of the most interesting things that came out of today was an understanding of how the two organizations could really work together. We would be able to provide an idea of what areas or technology or engineering will present problems or dilemmas potentially needing solutions, and the SQUID Labs team could take cues from our forecasts to start working on these solutions before the problems really become problems.
They also happen to have a very cool location, in the control tower on the Alameda Naval Air Station.
— Jess Hemerly, September 2007