Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harvard Business IdeaCast - podcast review

Good ideas are lurking all over the place. The trick is to recognize them and mostly they look too banal or too weird to be right. The Harvard Business IdeaCast explored a couple of the wacky business ideas in the 112th issue of their podcast. There are two ideas that you can apply to driving and it just knocks me off my feet to think how odd, simple and unbelievable they are, yet effective.

Idea #1: no left turns. This works especially well for people who have to make a lot of rides in urban areas. Left turns involve more waiting time and are more accident prone. Frequently, if you have various options for a route to choose, you have alternatives that involve fewer left turns. Delivery companies that adjusted their pathfinding systems to weigh in the amount of left turns saved time, money on fuel and accidents.

Idea #2: never drive faster than 60 mph (alternately 90 kph). A lot of the speeding does not translate into time gain. It only is spent on more maneuvering between lanes and such. It is also more accident prone and it uses more gas. The latter is not only consuming more money, eventually it implies also waiting time for refueling. Hence, sticking to the speed limit means safer, cheaper and even faster transport. Out of my own experience I might add: it is also less stressing for the driver.

The podcast also offers seemingly good ideas that did not work. In other editions numerous other business ideas are reviewed. The episodes usually last around 10 minutes and can therefore be very leisurely be consumed.

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