The Pile for February 22, 2010

Last week at TED, I wrote about Nathan Myhrvold’s latest anti-malaria plan, which involves shooting mosquitoes with lasers (we promise to direct you to a video of his talk and demonstration when it becomes available). Myhrvold, a former Microsoft executive and amateur paleontologist, does his inventing work as part of his company Intellectual Ventures, which is, depending on how you look at it, the future of intellectual property, a particularly noxious patent troll, or both. In the latest Harvard Business Review, Mhyrvold makes the argument for his company. Regardless of whether you agree with him, it’s a fascinating read, climaxing with an argument for “patent-backed securities.”

Those who read our special report on design thinking may be wondering where design is going, particularly as it affects your business. Paola Antonelli, senior curator of design and architecture at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, knows. In A New Map for Design, an essay in Seed, she argues that ideas are becoming more important than products. She says this is happening in more traditional areas of design, but it’s also true as experimentation takes hold in more and more companies, as we’ve covered.

Finally, this will be my last Pile because I’m leaving MIT Sloan Management Review shortly.