The 7 Sources Of Innovation

The 7 Sources of Innovation help you to look systematically for innovative Ideas. It doesn’t matter if you

  • want to start a new open source project
  • are searching for interesting topic for your next thesis
  • are looking for innovative business idea or
  • you want to put up an effective social project.

It neither doesn’t matter, if you are looking for technical or social innovation. The point rather is to find out about demand, feasibility and timing of an innovation.

Ideas are not found by accident

To find new ideas, you are normally advised to do some creativity techniques like brainstorming or you are told to build a product for yourself. Ironically there is much advice to test your idea or business model – finding the idea in the first place is something accidental.

This approach is not systematic. It is not useful to find promising ideas for startups, open-source or social projects. It is just based on the principle: Try to generate as many ideas as you can, maybe someday there will be a useful one.

The result: There are lots people out there, that say: Ideas are worthless! The only thing that counts is execution.

Good Ideas are not worthless

I would like to contradict this claim: No, good ideas are not worthless!

We need good ideas. And to find good ideas you need to know where to look.

The inventor of management, Peter Drucker, detected 7 sources of innovation:

  1. The Unexpected
  2. Incongruities
  3. Process-Need
  4. Change Of Market Or Industry
  5. Demographics
  6. Change In Perception
  7. Knowledge-Based Innovation

Drucker chose the order of the sources not randomly:

  1. The risk of the sources increases.
  2. Innovation opportunities that lie in the sources 1 – 4 are easier discovered by insiders of an industry, opportunities that lie in the sources 5 – 7 easier by outsiders.

7 And A Half Sources Of Innovation
If you find Drucker’s concept helpful, you can download this canvas as cheat sheet.
CC-share alike licenced. Feel free to download, if you want to share: please link back to this post.

The sources

Before we dive into the sources of innovation, keep in mind, that the sources of innovation are not mutually exclusive. Electric vehicles are a culmination of New Knowledge and Changes in Perception.

Source of Innovation: The Unexpected

Summary: Innovation often emerges from unforeseen disruptions or unexpected events that challenge the status quo and compel individuals and organizations to adapt and innovate.

Detailed Explanation: “The Unexpected” source of innovation underscores the profound notion that pioneering breakthroughs frequently stem from circumstances or events that deviate from the anticipated norm. These unanticipated occurrences serve as catalysts for fresh thinking and inventive solutions. They prompt individuals to explore uncharted territories, adapt swiftly, and unearth unconventional solutions.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. Post-it Notes (3M): In 1968, chemist Spencer Silver’s pursuit of a robust adhesive yielded an unexpectedly weak one. This serendipity eventually led to the iconic Post-it Notes, revolutionizing the way people communicate and share information.
  2. Penicillin (Alexander Fleming): In 1928, a fortuitous discovery by Alexander Fleming, a Scottish bacteriologist, of mold spores with bactericidal properties became the genesis of penicillin, the pioneering antibiotic that transformed the landscape of medicine.
  3. Zoom Video Conferencing: The widespread adoption of Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies how an unforeseen circumstance, in this case, the need for remote communication, can propel a tool into mainstream use.

Source of Innovation: Incongruities

Summary: Innovation frequently arises from recognizing discrepancies or misalignments between existing circumstances and desired outcomes.

Detailed Explanation: “Incongruities” as a source of innovation centers on the identification and harnessing of inconsistencies, contradictions, or unmet needs. When a perceptible incongruity exists between the prevailing situation and the aspired state, it serves as a potent impetus for innovation. Bridging these incongruities leads to inventive solutions that harmonize disparities.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. Tesla’s Electric Vehicles: Tesla’s innovative approach addressed the incongruity between environmental concerns and traditional gasoline-powered vehicles by offering high-performance electric alternatives, revolutionizing the automotive industry.
  2. Airbnb: Recognizing the incongruity between underutilized living spaces and travelers’ need for accommodation, Airbnb introduced a platform that effectively bridged the gap, disrupting the conventional hospitality industry.
  3. Smartphones: The unification of communication, photography, computing, and entertainment within a single device exemplifies the amalgamation of multiple incongruities, offering users a streamlined and multifunctional tool.

Source of Innovation: Process Need

Summary: Innovations often stem from recognizing opportunities to optimize or streamline existing processes.

Detailed Explanation: The “Process Need” source of innovation accentuates the importance of identifying prospects for refining current processes to enhance efficiency and efficacy. By identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies within the existing workflow, organizations are inspired to seek inventive solutions that ameliorate operational performance.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. Lean Manufacturing (Toyota): Toyota’s implementation of lean manufacturing principles ushered in a transformative era. This involved a relentless focus on process enhancement, waste reduction, quality improvement, and operational efficiency. These refinements reshaped the manufacturing landscape.
  2. Amazon’s Supply Chain Innovation: Amazon’s continuous innovation in supply chain and logistics operations is typified by advancements like warehouse robotics and drone delivery. These innovations optimize the supply chain, translating into swifter and more efficient services for customers.
  3. Lean Startup Methodology: The lean startup methodology champions rapid iteration, feedback-driven development, and the minimization of wastage in the product development process. This approach has become a cornerstone of entrepreneurial ventures, particularly in the technology sector.

Source of Innovation: Industry & Market Changes

Summary: Innovation often arises from shifts in industry and market dynamics, driven by factors such as regulatory changes, evolving consumer preferences, or shifting demographics.

Detailed Explanation: “Industry & Market Changes” as a source of innovation underscores the role of disruptions in reshaping the business landscape. Whether emanating from regulatory amendments, evolving consumer tastes, or changing demographic compositions, these shifts generate opportunities for innovative products or services. Adapting to these evolving dynamics can result in significant advances.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. Electric Vehicles: The automotive industry’s transformation was triggered by industry changes, including environmental regulations and heightened consumer demand for eco-friendly transportation options. This transition led to the emergence of electric vehicles, with companies like Tesla spearheading the movement.
  2. Plant-Based and Lab-Grown Meat: A shift in dietary preferences towards ethical and sustainable food choices has propelled the growth of plant-based and lab-grown meat products, which align with changing consumer demands.
  3. Telemedicine: Industry and market changes, driven by the need for remote healthcare access, catalyzed the expansion of telemedicine services, offering accessible and convenient healthcare solutions.

Source of Innovation: Demographics

Summary: Innovations can be inspired by changes in the age, size, or composition of populations, as these shifts necessitate tailored solutions.

Detailed Explanation: The “Demographics” source of innovation emphasizes the significance of understanding and addressing the distinctive needs and preferences of diverse demographic groups. As populations evolve with respect to age, size, and composition, entrepreneurial endeavors and businesses can seize opportunities by devising products and services that resonate with these evolving demographics.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. Baby Boomer Retirement Planning: The aging of the baby boomer generation has created a demand for tailored financial and healthcare services. Innovations in retirement planning and senior care have emerged to address this demographic shift.
  2. Online Learning Platforms: Online learning platforms like Coursera and edX cater to learners of all ages, offering diverse courses and programs that accommodate the varied educational needs of different demographics.
  3. Apps and Products for Aging Populations: The development of applications and products aimed at addressing the health, mobility, and accessibility requirements of aging populations, such as medication reminder apps and senior-friendly smartphones, is in response to demographic changes.

Source of Innovation: Changes in Perception

Summary: Innovations can originate from shifts in cultural norms, attitudes, and values, as these changing perceptions create opportunities for novel products and services.

Detailed Explanation: “Changes in Perception” as a source of innovation accentuates the dynamic nature of cultural norms, attitudes, and values. When societal perspectives undergo transformation, it paves the way for innovative products and services that align with these evolving perceptions. Recognizing and capitalizing on these shifts can lead to pioneering and impactful innovations.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. Plant-Based Diets: The increased acceptance of plant-based diets, driven by health and environmental concerns, has given rise to a variety of vegan and vegetarian food products that cater to the changing perception of ethical and sustainable eating.
  2. Eco-Friendly Products: Heightened environmental consciousness has ushered in the era of eco-friendly and sustainable products across various industries, reflecting shifting perceptions of environmental responsibility.
  3. Digital Art and NFTs: The art world is currently undergoing a transformation as digital art and NFTs challenge traditional notions of art ownership and value. This shift in perception has opened up new avenues for artists and collectors.

Source of Innovation: New Knowledge

Summary: Innovations often result from advances in scientific or technical knowledge, with breakthroughs and discoveries creating opportunities for revolutionary innovations.

Detailed Explanation: The “New Knowledge” source of innovation underscores the profound role of breakthroughs and advancements in scientific and technical knowledge. When researchers unlock new insights or principles, it unveils opportunities for revolutionary innovations across a spectrum of fields. The application of this fresh knowledge drives transformative change.

Contemporary Examples:

  1. CRISPR Gene-Editing Technology: The advent of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary gene-editing technology, is a product of breakthroughs in molecular biology. Its potential to transform medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology by enabling precise gene editing exemplifies the power of new knowledge.
  2. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: Ongoing progress in AI and machine learning has resulted in innovations such as autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics, virtual assistants, and a myriad of applications across diverse industries.
  3. Nanotechnology in Materials Science: Innovations in nanotechnology have facilitated the creation of novel materials with unique properties. These materials find applications in electronics, medicine, and materials engineering, ushering in novel product development possibilities.

This language and style are intended to reflect the spirit and terminology of Peter Drucker, helping convey the significance and potential of these sources of innovation in the contemporary business and technological landscape.

Getting Organized as a Solopreneur

In the following, I present to you my daily way of working, with which I, on the one hand, achieve my projects and on the other hand do not lose sight of my daily tasks.


When you work as an employee in a company, it is usually the case that your tasks are clearly defined. Usually, there is a project management software from which it is clear what needs to be done next.

If you are a freelancer, solopreneur, or part-time, the situation is usually different.

When I started out on my own with my affiliate websites, I didn’t have a system that I couldn’t follow. I had currently opted for a simple Kanban board for entering my tasks.

After a short time, I was struggling to find a balance between new features that needed to be implemented and regularly recurring tasks.

My background as a product owner on a Scrum team was of limited help. While I was clear on how to prioritize and work through tasks, I was overwhelmed with classifying recurring tasks and working on them regularly.

So I started looking for a planning system that would help me. I interviewed friends and studied several organizational systems and created my own planning system.

My planning system should help me with the following requirements:

  • Important features and tasks should be highly prioritized and implemented in as timely a manner as possible.
  • Recurring tasks that need to be implemented regularly should not clutter up my backlog, nor did I want them in my head.
  • In addition, I wanted my notoriously cluttered inbox to go away. (In the past, I liked to use my inbox as a filing system for tasks to be done later).


Based on my experience and research, I developed the following system. Essentially, it is a love child of Getting Things Done, Scrum, and Kanban.

The core of the system is a task board, as in most agile project management systems.

Currently, it is divided into four columns: Backlog, Todo, Doing, Done. The taskboard is deliberately kept simple. People who frequently delegate tasks or depend on others for completion should still consider an On-Hold or Delegated column.

However, the taskboard does not yet help me with recurring tasks. These have to be entered over and over again. If you work in sprints, as soon as you have completed a recurring task, you could always re-populate it into the backlog. However, I find this extremely cumbersome and it doesn’t really correspond to a backlog. After all, I want to work through my backlog and not let it grow automatically.

That’s why I decided to create a separate list of recurring tasks in addition to the task board. The tasks in this list are characterized by the fact that they are recurring and limited in scope. Typical entries are “Read emails” or “Check Google Analytics”. Basically, no recurring task is too small not to end up on this list. The main thing is that the things are out of your head and don’t occupy any capacity in your brain.

I still use a calendar to manage my appointments.

My work desktop looks like this

CURRENT Procedure

My daily routine is structured as follows:

First, I check my appointments and then read emails and other messages that have been sent to me. If new tasks arise from these, they are added to the backlog.

Next, I get an overview of my task board and the recurring tasks that may have popped up. From here, I can then start completing all the tasks.

I usually start with the tasks that need to be repeated, as these are done quickly and I then have time for the taskboard.

I revise my backlog at least once a week. In doing so, I re-sort the features if necessary and make sure they are described in such a way that I know exactly what to do during implementation. In Scrum, this would be called a backlog refinement, in GTD it’s the reflecting step.

Every 14 days I do a retrospective where I review the past 2 weeks, decide which ways of working worked well and which I want to change to move forward more effectively.

I don’t do real sprints with fixed Scrum events, because they are not compatible with my current life and I am naturally a bit more flexible on my own than a team of 5 to 10 people.


In the following, I would like to introduce you to the tools that I currently use and that suit me well.

As a to-do list with repeating tasks, I use Google Tasks. Since Google Tasks can’t actually be displayed on its own in a browser, I wrote myself a little workaround: Google Tasks in the browser. Just use this link if you want to use Google Tasks independently from Gmail or Calendar.

As a board solution, I use a self-programmed tool: Metado. The crucial advantage for me: Metado shows Google Tasks and GitHub-issues of selected projects. So I can see different projects side by side without having to transfer them manually or maintain multiple tools at the same time.

For the calendar, I use Google Calendar because I like working in the Google ecosystem.

Of course, if you feel comfortable with other tools that are better suited for your purposes, you can use those.

Now it’s time for me to let you have your say. How do you structure your work? Do you have any tips for the rest of us? Do share your insights in the comments.

Windows Survival Guide for React and Web Developers

Introduction or why I wrote a survival guide

As a lifelong Linux user I started a job in a company where I had to use a Windows laptop. My job is to create a React frontend. Not knowing Windows I wondered about the best way to do my development work.

2 Routes

During my research I discovered two ways for emulating a Linux/macOS like workflow in Windows. 

The first way creates a minimal bash environment to emulate a Linux command line. You will run Windows alternatives of your development tools.

The second route uses the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (or short WSL 2) to create a Linux environment inside your Windows system. This way you can use all your Linux tools like in your Linux distro. On the downside it uses more system resources and needs more work to set up.

Which route to choose?

If you have admin rights to your Windows machine and prefer Linux over Windows I would recommend going with WSL.

Fast Route


  • easy to setup
  • doesn’t need admin right
  • uses fewer resources


  • it doesn’t have to full power of a Linux distribution 
  • your dev-environment will probably differ from your prod-environment
  • IO-operations with Yarn/NPM are slower

The fast route works fine for developers who want to get started quickly or don’t have admin rights on their development machine. It will imitate a Linux or Mac dev-environment with a package manager for Windows called Scoop.

The apps we install later are selected because they work without admin rights. For that reason I opted to install Node.js directly instead of using nvm-windows which needs admin rights to set the default node version.

To start, open a PowerShell and install scoop first. Paste the following lines in your PowerShell:

set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope currentUser
Invoke-Expression (New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('')
 # If you get an error 'https is not supported try typing it by hand. Windows screws up URLs.
scoop help
 # for usage information
scoop search # this will show all available packages
scoop search git # this will show all available packages with git in their name

Now that we installed scoop, we can install our dev-environment:

scoop install git
scoop install nodejs-lts
scoop install yarn

Now it’s time to test our dev-environment. Assuming you come from a Bash background, it makes sense you are using Git Bash now, which was installed with git automatically. Open up Git Bash and create a React app:

git install # If you get an error 'https is not supported try typing it by hand. Windows screws up URLs.
cd bmi-calculator.git
yarn # this will take some time
yarn start # this should start your default browser on http://localhost:3000

Bonus: Installing an editor

Assuming that you don’t want to use notepad or vim for your development. It makes sense to install a different editor. Therefore we need to add another repository (called bucket) to scoop, then we can install most editors available (Atom, VScode, Notepad++).

For fans of Jetbrains products there is an additional bucket called jetbrains.

scoop bucket add extra
scoop install vscode # or notepadplusplus or atom

If you are using Git Bash it makes sense to restart it, because otherwise the editor will not available in your path. Other than that you are now good to go.

Rockstar Route


  • dev-environment is the same as the prod-environment
  • has access to all Linux tools
  • very fast IO with NPM
  • can even run Linux GUI programs


  • uses more system resources
  • needs more work to set up

Check if you have the right windows version

If you want to install WSL 2 you need Windows build 18917 or higher. You can check your Windows version with the shortcut Win+R and enter winver in the entry field. If you don’t have a suitable build you need to join the Windows Insider Programm in your Settings. I recommend the Slow track, where you get updates about once a week.

Install WSL2

First, we need to enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux and enable the Virtual Machine Platform.

Open a PowerShell as administrator:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux # is this really needed
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

Restart your system.

Install a Linux Distribution (Assumes that you install Ubuntu)

First set WSL 2 as default. In a PowerShell enter:

wsl --set-default-version 2

After that, go to the Microsoft Store and search for the Linux distro you like. I will assume you chose Ubuntu.

Open the Ubuntu from the Start menu and create a new user. The full installation of Ubuntu will need a view minutes.

When the installation has finished, update the packages.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Now you have a fully functional Ubuntu at your fingertips. And can install your development tools analog to our solution above.

By the way, if you want to open your current Ubuntu directory in Windows just type:

explorer.exe .

An Explorer window will open on your screen.

Install VSCode on Windows

To develop comfortably on Windows you should install VSCode on Windows. I personally had problems with the Scoop version. So install the version from their website.

Similar to the file explorer you can then open Ubuntu directories with

code .

Install NodeJS and Yarn on Ubuntu

Open up an Ubuntu window and enter the following code to install Yarn

curl -sS | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list
sudo apt update && sudo apt install yarn

Then install NodeJS with Node Version Manager.

wget -qO- | bash
source ~/.bashrc
nvm install --lts

Use Linux tools to develop

Now you should be able to use the development tools you need. To test your new environment try

npx create-react-app my-app
cd my-app
yarn start

A browser tab should open and you are able to start developing.

Which way to develop do you prefer? Let me know if you are interested running Linux GUI programs with WSL 2.


33 Linux Apps You Will Love

Icon: Apps for Linux

Starting with Linux on your laptop and want to know which apps you should use? Or you want to find better alternatives for the apps you already use? This guide gives you apps for almost everything you need on a Linux machine.

I have listed apps I use personally on my Linux laptop – they are a mostly open source, all free of charge and completely awesome.

To install these apps refer to your distro’s package manager.

Right now I have no apps included for tasks I don’t need to do. For this reason there is no video editor app and no instant messaging – feel free to add them in the comments. Also, I didn’t include websites I use, like Google Calendar and Gmail – tell me
if you want me to cover them.

I also didn’t include apps that are usually an integral part of your Linux distribution like your desktop environment and your file manager. Personally, I like KDE, but the apps I listed work great with any desktop environment.



Firefox is the free web browser of the Mozilla project. It has a lot of extensions to customize your web experience and feels more lightweight than Chromium.


Chromium is the free variant of Chrome. It is a slick web browser with a minimal user interface and tons of extensions. Unlike Chrome, it doesn’t come with Flash and closed source codecs. A nice feature is
that you can save a specific website to your application menu.


Thunderbird is the free E-Mail-Client from Mozilla. Like Firefox, Thunderbird is very customizable and has a lot of extensions.



LibreOffice is the office suite for Linux. All alternatives leave a lot to be desired for serious work. Since it’s fork from OpenOffice LibreOffice’s development pace is growing steadily. If you are searching
for OpenOffice, use LibreOffice.


Typora is a very sleek looking Markdown editor. Unlike most other Markdown editors it has no preview window the edit view, but a What You See Is What You Get interface.


StarDict is a dictionary app that can access different dictionaries. I use it to look up German words. To do that, you mark the words you want to translate. A pop-up window will appear. A Qt-alternative is GoldenDict.

Text Editors

Visual Studio Code

Similar to Atom VSCode is built with web Technologies. You can customize VSCode to your liking and extend it with a great amount of add-ons. VSCode feels faster and less resources hungry than Atom. On the downside, its user interface is less polished than Atom’s. Contrasts and headings are too small in my opinion. A good example of that is the search form.


Atom is a text editor created with web technologies. It is very customizable, has a lot of extensions available and should be more familiar to a new user than Emacs. On the downside, it is quite heavy on your system’s resources;
especially if you are using a lot of extensions like I do.


Emacs is an extensible, customizable editor from the GNU project. It is probably the most powerful text editor there. On the other side, emacs started in 1984 and therefore has a lot of idiosyncrasies. This is why
the learning curve is steep. I recommend looking into Spacemacs or ErgoEmacs for easing the experience.



This is a shameless plug; I am the author of Akiee, but I really think Akiee is one of the best task managers out there. It is based on the Kanban method and makes it easy to prioritize your tasks and on concentrating
on what to do next.


Org-Mode is a special mode in Emacs that gives you the possibility of note-taking, planning and outlining. Many say it alone makes it worth to learn Emacs. For people who don’t use Emacs, it is a considerable time investment
to learn Emacs and Org-mode.



Zim is a personal wiki that makes it very easy to keep your notes. It makes it very easy to connect and organize your notes. It comes with several extensions for your documentation needs.


Leo is an outlining application, that looks very interesting for people who have to write a lot of text. Use it for note-taking, outlining and even literate programming. Like a lot of powerful tools, it needs
some time to get into it.


Basket is a very potent note-taking application. It comes with a lot more features than Zim but has a steeper learning curve.


FreeMind is a powerful Mindmapping software that is easy to use and available for all major platforms. If you are into Mindmaps, FreeMind is for you.



If you need a virtualization solution on your desktop VirtualBox is the easiest way to get one. There are other solutions for Linux, but they are not as easy to use.


SmartGit in an easy to use, full-featured Git GUI. It is not open source but free for personal use.



Using a password manager is probably the number one action you can do to improve your security on the Internet. KeePassX is the best working solution for me so far.



VLC is one of the most famous multimedia players out there. And for a reason. It plays almost every kind of multimedia file. If you have trouble with your pre-installed media player give VLC a try.


Spotify desktop is not a great piece of software, but if you are a Spotify user, there is no better option out there.



Gimp is your solution for an in depth-graphics editor for Linux. It can do most things Photoshop can do. Most people need to get used to the user interface if they come from other graphics software.


Inkscape is a vector graphics editor, that you can use for professional designs. It has flexible drawing tools, can import a lot of file formats (including pdf) and has a powerful text tool.


Scribus is a professional desktop publishing system to create booklets, brochures, magazines and everything that’s printed.



Anki is an intelligent flashcard app, which makes it easy to repeat and to remember things. With Anki, you can learn much more efficiently languages and facts.



Steam is a distribution platform for computer games. You can get about 160 commercial games for Linux on Steam. If you want serious gaming on Linux, you need Steam.


Frozen Bubble is a cute and colorful logical game. It has a high-quality soundtrack and can be quite addictive.


FreeCiv is a free and open source Civilization clone. If you like the original, you will like Freevic.



ClipIt is a lightweight clipboard manager. If your desktop environment doesn’t have one included like Gnome, you definitely should use one. It will do wonders for your productivity.


Albert is a productivity app that will boost your efficiency for launching apps, searching files, browse your bookmark and even calculate simple arithmetic.


AutoKey is a desktop automation utility. It allows you to manage a collection of scripts and phrases, and assign abbreviations and hotkeys to these. AutoKey will enable you to execute a script or insert text
on demand in whatever program you are using.


QTerminal is a very lightweight tiling terminal emulator. Its highlight is that you can create multiple planes by splitting them into any layout you want. QTerminal is very practical if you need several terminal
windows open. Gnome, Xfce, Ubuntu and Mint users can use Tilix, that is better integrated with their desktop environment.


Yukuake is a terminal that drops down from the top of the screen when pressing a specific shortcut. Yukuake is very useful if you want to type a short command in your terminal without opening
a new window on your desktop. Gnome, Xfce, Ubuntu and Mint users can look at Guake, that is better integrated their desktop environment.


Synergy is a special tool you can use to share the mouse and keyboard of different computers. Just go to the edge of your computer with your mouse pointer and move it seamlessly to your next computer – like a
second screen.


Wine Icon


Wine is a Windows-compatible runtime environment for Linux. That means you can run a lot of Windows-software on your Linux machine. I use it to run an old version of OpenOffice that I need for using a particular German
spell checker.

PlayOnLinux Icon


PlayOnLinux is a graphical user interface for Wine. It makes it much easier to install software and administer different Wine versions.

Akiee Release 0.0.4

Akiee Welcome-Screen

I have released Akiee Version 0.0.4. This release focuses on improving the user experience.

The source code view and the board view got moved to the menu, cause in tests they would not be used often and personal view is, that they should not be used often in an efficient workflow.

Repeating tasks will now be set to TODO after they are finished. Finished tasks get a finishing date, to give the user an overview when she finished which task. This also works for repeating tasks – they get the finishing date of the last repetition.

The DONE view now shows all finished tasks in chronological order, to make it easy for the user to see what he has done recently.

To simplify backlog management it is now possible to move tasks to the end or start of a view with one click.

For users who want to sync their tasks via cloud storage services like DropboxOwnCloud or Syncthing, can now do this. Simply choose the directory that you sync to your cloud storage as the directory for your tasks.

Additionally, I have improved Akiee’s performance. It now uses Electron instead of NW.js and the display of the tasks has been refactored, that it can be rendered faster. Thanks to Electron I can now provide downloads for almost every imaginable platform and package format.

User Storys FOR Akiee 0.0.3

  • Port from Node-Webkit to Electron.
  • As a (kanban) user I want to have the DONE state ordered by time in reverse, that I can see what I finished last.
  • When I am ordering my backlog, I want to put Tasks from the end of the backlog to the top.
  • Dropbox support.
  • Refactoring – Speedup
  • Move to Electron for the better toolkit and faster user interface.
  • Improve tests.
  • Make Akiee ready for mobile.
  • Try to speed up Akiee with cursors.
  • When I “done” a repeating task, I want that it is put to TODO again, but I want to see it in the DONE view.
  • Move Code-View and Board View to Menu, because it is almost never used.

Planed Features

  • Mobile App to View task and add new ones.
  • Zim integration.
  • Markdown mode for Zim.
  • When I enter a new task, I want to able to add more information to it without leaving my current view.
  • When I am scanning through a list in Akiee, I want to be able to use arrow-, page-, end- and pos1 keys.
  • When I am using Akiee a lot, I want to be able to donate something to the author, that I can help with / influence the development of Akiee.
  • When I am ordering my tasks, I want to be able to move them by drag&drap, because it is much faster than using the arrow buttons.
  • When I have larger tasks/stories (like writing a test article), I want to be able to divide it into sub-tasks.


More platform are available in the GitHub release repo.

Akiee 0.0.3 released

Release 0.0.3 is a big step for Akiee. I am switching Akiee from plain Javascript to Clojurescript with Reagent, which is a wrapper around Facebook's React. Furthermore, Akiee's UI has been improved to better fit into the respective operating systems.

On the functional side it is now possible to add or edit data of a task. Like planned date, due date, repeat, tags, etc.

The user storys for Akiee 0.0.3 were:

  • Merge rakiee repository with akiee
  • When I look over my tasks, I want to set/change an attribute so that I can change it to my needs.
  • improvement: Mac: Alias Ctrl shortcuts to Cmd
  • fix: Mac: Rename "node-webkit" in the menubar to Akiee
  • As A User I want to see the details of a task when I click on it, that I can see notes I did to finish it.
  • As a user, I want better integration, that the app feels more native to me.
  • As a developer, I want to explore the options of using Clojurescript for Akiee, that I can leverage Lisp for competitive advantage

To grab a copy of Akiee, choose on of the following downloads. I am very interested in your feedback.

Next features

What is planned for Akiee 0.0.4?

  • As a (kanban) user I want to have the DONE state ordered by time in reverse, that I can see what I finished last.
  • When I make a mistake, I want to go back to the last state, so that I can start over.
  • As a User I want to order my task via Drag & Drop, that I can order my task more efficient.
  • When the markdown file of my tasks get too big, I want to export tasks that I done, so that I only have tasks in the file that are still relevant to me.
  • As a User I want to synchronize my tasks via Dropbox and similar services, that I can add tasks from every computer I have access to.
  • As a user I want to keep notes (not tasks), that I want to keep for future reference, that I can remember important information. 

Financing Open-Source-Projects via the Ubuntu Software-Center

Financing Open-Source-Projects via the Ubuntu Software-Center

Since a few month it's relatively easy to offer commercial software through the Ubuntu Software-Center. Why shouldn't this be used to finance open-source projects like the Gimp, Ardour or Openshot and support their development efforts.

Let's Take Brian Lunduke's favorite example: The Gimp. Before I want to make an fundamental assumption: It doesn't conflict with the open-source/free software idea, to sell software, if you publish the source code at the same time.

How could this look like?

For Gimp there are certain plugins, which are not available via the standard package sources and which maintenance is bugging the typical (web-) designer.

Why not offer certain plugin packs in the Ubuntu Software-Center for a fair price? For example, I could imagine a plugin pack, that makes a preselection of special plugins for photo post-production – with features that are not available in Shotwell.

This could be an opportunity for the Gimp team; who's got more competence about Gimp than the Gimp team itself. What's true for Gimp is also true for a lot of other applications like OpenShot, Ardour, Open-Office, etc.

Where is the customer value?

Most OSS users are bugged or simply overstrained by the installation of plugins, PPAs or the compiling of source code – regardless they like to use the best plugins and the newest software. It would be arrogant to say: users should develop theses skills or wait for 6 – 24 month until the next version of Ubuntu comes out.

The concept of providing updates via the Software-Center is especially interesting for LTS-versions of Ubuntu. Users and programmers get totally new possibilities bypassing missing updates by Canonical.

Why it is important to have a vibrant commercial Ecosystem around open source software

Many times open source projects, most often small ones, have to fight obstacles like new hardware or server costs – not to mention compensation of the team members. In addition, most open-source projects are developed by solo developers and are lacking manpower to have faster development cycles.

If you are now interested in developing business ideas around open source software, check the two articles:

How do you think about it? Should open source projects try to raise money with the Software-Center?

Business Model Canvas For Letter and A4

The Business Model Canvas is a great tool to draft different business models for your business idea. It is an accompanying download to the Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers book by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. The only drawback is, that it's poster sized and not usable as a print out for your notebook.

For a more convenient use of the Business Model Canvas I made two smaller versions of the Business Model Canvas:

  • one you can use as cheat sheet, that has the original comments with a more readable font (Droid Sans and Serif)
  • one without comments, that you can use to draft you business models

Business Model Canvas Cheat Sheet

Business Model Canvas Cheat Sheet

Business Model Canvas Working Paper

Business Model Canvas Working Paper

Find More Business Ideas

If you like the Business Model Canvas you will probably like the 7 Sources Of Innovations Sheet. It helps you to find better ideas your business models.

Positioning Linux In The Desktop Market (or Why Hendrix would have used Linux)

Hendrix painting by furibond
Would he have used Linux? by furibond

At the moment some people are telling us Linux would have finally lost the battle for the desktop. For justification they claim Windows 7 is overtaking the netbook market. In this essay I will argue, Linux has not lost the desktop market and it should not position itself in the low-end PC market but in the high-end.

Linux can not lose the desktop market.

As I said before, Linux can not be beaten in the market as long there are curious programmers all over the world contributing to Free Software. For the success of Free Software it is not important how many people are using it. It is important how many people are contributing to Free Software. This argument stays true for big projects, like Gnome and KDE, and for all the small projects, like Scribes, Impressive, Gnome-Do, etc., that make Open Source Software so exciting.

Linux is build as a high-end system

Linus Torvalds created Linux because there were no suitable Unix-like operating systems that he could afford. That's why he build an operating system he would find "beautiful". In conclusion it is fair to say that Linux was build as a high-end operating system. The coincidence that Linux is running on such a variety of devices is just a sign of its class and the advantage of the OSS development model.

Linux competes with OS X

Fender Stratocaster by daves_place
Fender Stratocaster by daves_place

Linux is created to be an Unix and not a DOS. If you compare operating systems to electric guitars Linux is a Fender Stratocaster. It is hard to learn but very rewarding. Windows in contrast is a Guitar Hero game controller. It is nice in the beginning but the possibilities are very limited and it hampers your creativity. Personally I think the real competitor to Linux is OS X. OS X would be a Gibson Les Paul. Very good lookin', a bit easier to play, but very expensive and not as versatile as a Strat. Like the guitars from Fender and Gibson, both operating systems have some things in common, but differ in certain aspect, especially in philosophy. The biggest similarity of the both operating systems is that they are both Unixes.

Some philosophical differences between Linux and OS X

open source vs. closed source: If you want, you can use the sources of Linux as you wish. Learn from, change it or rip it apart an build something totally new out of it. In the sense of Google's informal corporate motto "Don't be evil!" Apple is the devil. If you mess with Apple's software you could end up having a lot of fun with their lawyers. total freedem vs. a bit more guidence: Linux lets you digg very deep into the operating system. They user, if he is admin too, has total control over the system. By Design you can totally rebuild your system. OS X doesn't give you as much freedom, on the other hand you are not as likely to screw something up with your system.

The future of Linux is very bright.

A well fed penguin

Besides that Linux has a very robust business model and as such is here to stay on the desktop, I think Linux should be sold with high-end desktop PCs and laptop and should not be used on low cost hardware. It excels with high-end hardware, especially when used by talented people. Linux is a product for power users who want to use their computers to boost their creativity and create new exciting things. As Alan Key said:

The computer is simply an instrument whose music is ideas.

Now it's your turn. What is your opinion on that? By the way Hendrix mostly played the Stratocaster.