My Favourite Readings in July: Cycling In The Eurotunnel & The Cost Of Top Academic Papers


Image via @HistoricalPics

Image via @HistoricalPics

Here are 10 tweets from July, which are my preferred articles and readings of the month. You’ll notice that cycling is more present than usually – July is the month of the Tour de France – but innovation, academia and creativity are also featured in this month’s favourite links.

I also had the chance to attend the 12th Open & User Innovation Conference at Harvard Business School, which was a great event to meet fellow researchers and stay up to date with trends around crowdsourcing. Now I’m back in Paris and look forward to a couple of easy summer weeks in the city, which is much more quiet when everyone is away for holidays on the beach.

Enjoy the links.

Is Japan’s culture, marked by high hierarchical distance and respect to superiors, beneficial or detrimental to business? That’s a simple (even simplistic) question that Nick Thomson, strategy director for engagement at Brand Union, asks in a column in The Guardian. “Time will tell who of the Japanese giants survive and fail,” he says, “my view is that the ones who survive will look very different to how we now see them.” An interesting article which I recommend, as well as – of course – my blog post about crowdsourcing in Japan 😉

In May this year, the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships crowned an underdog: SmartStop’s Eric Marcotte, 34 years old. After the race, he explained: “It doesn’t even seem real because I certainly was an underdog and probably not even on the radar at all — of anybody. I’m sure a lot of people are like, ‘Who is this guy?’ But I’ve been doing my homework to stay healthy and well to be able to compete at this level.” The above tweet links to a post by Marcotte’s trainer, and it’s really a cool read.

A promotional spot for Jaguar, sponsor of Chris Froome’s Team Sky, shows the champion cycling through the Eurotunnel. It’s a well-timed PR initiative, as the Tour de France started in the UK and continued in France after 3 days of racing on British soil. But I think an even cooler PR stunt was the announcement of a concept car to follow the team’s leader at the final time trial. The problem was that Chris Froome, who was supposed to preceed this gorgeous F-Type on the penultimate stage of the Tour, abandonned the race 2 weeks earlier… leaving room for 2 Frenchmen on the Tour podium.

A propos Tour de France, this is a cool post by Kristoffer Tjalve. He watched The Armstrong Lie and thought about 5 lessons that innovators and entrepreneurs can learn from watching Tour de France.

This is also pretty cool: Dutch artist Telmo Pieper took some of his childhood drawings and recreated them to be as realistic as possible 20 years later. Hilarious stuff!

Here’s a great post shared by Henry Chesbrough, the father of open innovation, about start-up founders’ dilemma whether or not to ask for non-disclosure deals before revealing their ideas to venture capitalists. “Today the agreements are largely considered a thing of the past. In fact, some investors say they walk away from a founder who even suggests signing one,” NYTimes’ Eilene Zimmerman explains.

In a study released on July 16th, two academics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business estimate that the cost of a single scholarly article written by Business-school professors is an astounding $400,000. “It’s an exorbitant number, especially considering that many faculty articles are read only by a limited number of scholars in a discipline and often have little to no value to practicing mangers and leaders,” the article rightly says.

On July 25th, Luc Besson’s action film Lucy was released in the United States. Here’s a making-of that explains that part of the movie has been shot at the Sorbonne buildings, home of my university Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. Whu did they shoot there? Just watch the clip.

When I was in Boston for OUI2014, I stumled upon this cool article about the city’s lost “prizes” like the 1885 World’s Fair, the big NASA space center (now in Houston), the 1976 World Expo and the 1980 Freedom Games, an alternative olympic games. The article was written by @historyauthor as part of the newspaper’s coverage of the announcement that Boston had made the short list of four cities for a possible American bid to host the 2024 Summer Games.

Have you ever seen these “futuristic” drawings made by a French artist in 1910, which depict the world in the year 2000 as he imagined it? I had the impression to see something similar when I saw the results of a project initiated by Koryo Tours, one of the only companies to bring foreign travelers to North Korea (a country cut off from the rest of the world since 1948). The commpany invited a North Korean architect to imagine the future of local design for travel, and here’s what came out. Is it just a different type of creative expresson, of does it really look like the 70s?

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