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Innovation & Entrepreneurship Go Marching On

After all, necessity is the mother of invention, and apparently there may be no better way out of a recession than to innovate your way out. This means you, you, and you at the back there. But how does one get going in the midst of: continuing job losses, corporate blood letting, and Swine Flu?

Weeeell, certainly not an easy one to answer, but one good approach may be to take a close look at whatever’s still going on out there, in spite the gloom. For example, technology innovation appears to be doing great (or Business-As-Usual) especially considering the recent parade of big player initiatives and announcements like: Google’s WaveMicrosoft’s Bing, and Apple’s iPhone 3G S launch etc. But what about the smaller guys, the start-ups and venture backed innovators? That may best be illustrated by a few examples, admittedly from my own acquaintance and / or interest, specifically in the areas of digital content business and enablers, such as:

1. ImageRights – A chance encounter with the CEO of this innovative company at the World Copyright Summit led to an overview of their recently launched service for online digital image providers and users (see:Imagerights.com). This service provides both photographers and publishers with the ability to source the right images for their projects. The killer application will be an extensive and global rights registry for images on this service – so I guess it can be done after all. Watch this space.

2. Audio Recognition – BMAT (or Barcelona, Music & Audio Technologies) is a prize winning technology start-up, that has just announced the launch of a new audio recognition / tracking service that can identify not only master recordings, but also the plethora of adaptations, interpretations and derivations (e.g. cover versions) that can often be found on the Internet. According to this report, this service will enable rights holders identify / capture revenue from a source that has proved too difficult to police and monetise hitherto now. Another innovative application from BMAT is the popular Skore, an online application that can analyse and evaluate singing performances (i.e. a virtual Simon Cowell). Whatever next, I wonder?

3. Music Valuation Service – Detica & SoundExchange developed this online tool which allows artists and rights owners to model and predict the impact of various strategies for generating revenue on their assets. According to this Music Tank article, the service (A Price For Music) this tool will stimulate debate over the potential financial impact of various services, over time.

4. Entrepreneur Country – Where have the VCs gone, and how easy is it to raise start-up funds in this current economic climate? Well the answer is not very far away, and if you really want to know, then head over to Entrepreneur Country and find out more. This networking organisation, founded by Julie Meyer (ofFirstTuesday fame), champions the belief that Entrepreneurship is the best way to economic growth in the UK. More power to them, I say.

So there you have it, a tiny glimpse at the constant push for ever more innovative services and businesses, even in harsh economic times. This to me is an encouraging sign of optimism and faith that things will eventually get better, and when it does, the sky will be the limit for those innovators left standing.

To quote Bachman Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.

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Note: This post was previously published on my BCS DRM Blog, where you can find the original post, and reader comments, in the archives.

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