Red Dirt RubyConf 2011

  • Keynote
    Aaron Patterson
    Open source contributions include:
    ARel, Nokogiri, and Mechanize
    Aaron Patterson - AT&T Interactive
  • Keynote
    Dr Nic Williams
    Open source contributions include:
    Hudson.rb, RoR Textmate Bundle, and ChocTop
    Dr Nic Williams - Engine Yard
  • Conference Themes
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    ´╗┐Business leaders get lesson in innovation In a technology connected world where business competition is no longer just local but global, new and original ideas are the key to continuing success. Classically, innovation has been a bit of a random game, said Doug Hall, founder of Eureka! Ranch. Hall came to Bismarck Thursday and Friday to share his innovation as a system concept with some of North Dakota's business leaders. The purpose of systematic innovation is to increase the speed of turning an idea into a marketable product and decrease risk. The approximately 20 people in attendance were from North Dakota companies, such as Bobcat and Steffes Corporation. The attendees were given practical tips to apply to their business. Hall said the two day workshop allowed them to experience as different way of working to find out if it could be adapted for their company. "I'm very impressed by the people here today," said Hall, adding that it was a pioneer spirit that settled North Dakota nike kwazi and that spirit needs to be reactivated. "At Bobcat, we believe innovation is at our core," said Matt Sagaser, director of Bobcat's North America Acceleration Center in Bismarck, where the workshop was held. Bobcat recently invested $28 million in the Acceleration Center, a building designed for the purpose of increasing the speed of getting ideas to market. "The world we live in, with technology changing so fast, we have to be on our toes," Sagaser said. "We have the building, now we're working on the process." Sagaser said the building is an innovation enabler for the company. The building's technology allows employees to prototype ideas quickly and inexpensively. It's something Bobcat didn't have before and it's up to the company to take advantage of it now. "We can always be faster," Hall said. Sagaser said Bobcat believes in Hall's concept that innovation is not just a buzz word. "It's a frame of mind, it's a way to work and it needs to be part of our everyday work," he said. Sagaser said Bobcat approached Hall's workshop the same way it approached the design of its building. It is bringing in people who are "doing it right" and taking ideas from them that would also work for Bobcat. He said Bobcat understands innovation may not always be a new product, it may be a new way of doing things. Randy Schwartz, CEO of Dakota MEP, said he asked Hall to come because, nike 4.0 flyknit even though North Dakota's economy is good now, the state's future is its people. He said companies will be looking for innovative people. "If you can be innovative as an individual, you will have a more happy, successful life," he said. By encouraging innovation by everyone in the workplace, Schwartz said employees also will become more invested in the company. "It's not just one or two people who innovate anymore; it's the whole company," said Todd Mayer, new product development manager at Steffes. Mayer said Steffes' founder Paul Steffes tells his employees that, to survive, Steffes needs to reinvent itself every five years. In recent years, Steffes has been growing rapidly and hiring more people. Mayer said, in order to nike shoes black and red continue Steffes' tradition of innovation, the company wants to make innovation part of its system. He said the rate of innovation also will likely have to increase as the company grows.