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More media innovation: The Economist's Project Red Stripe

Since we started the on an innovation tip today with the BBC Innovation Labs thing, here's another approach, this time by the Economist, as told by Jeff Jarvis:

I had breakfast this morning with the leadership of TimesOnline.co.uk talking about innovation and the subject was the same yesterday morning at breakfast with the Project Red Stripe team at the Economist: six people — from editorial, classified, marketing, data sales, technology — who have been given six months, $200,000, and the freedom to use any content from any Economist property to come up with something new for the magapaper. They made it onto the team by applying and sharing their ideas. Their only instructions: to make it innovative and put it on the web. They say they will know they have succeeded when they present their big idea and get someone saying, “I don’t get this at all.”

Nice approach, crazy success metric - they've got it all. One of the team gives a clear reason why every company needs a skunk works-like team:

One of the reasons I think Project Red Stripe exists is because, in general, companies are slow at doing anything other than normal business - and they are probably slow at doing that. It’s just that they have competition that is also slow so they get away with it.

It sounds fascinating. You can subscribe to the Project Red Stripe blog to hear more about their progress. Apparently their first project is going live today, but I've not found it yet... maybe later this afternoon?

It goes without saying, in media and communications innovation has never been more important. The future hasn't been invented yet - there are just some strong trends, useful platforms and some ideas which just might make. More innovation, please: more!

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The first project is actually the idea collection thing where we solicit the world for things they think The Economist could do online. Perhaps someone out there has a killer idea that is only possible with The Economist's people, content and customers.

Well I'll have a think then... cheers, Stewart.

Well I'll have a think then... cheers, Stewart.

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