Tag Archives: Diccon Hyatt

What if the government just gave everyone money?

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The Guaranteed Minimum Income plan, or Universal Basic Income, is not new. It was researched by a Princeton company, Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), back in 1969. It’s the subject of Diccon Hyatt’s excellent cover story “Driven by Data” in this week’s U.S. 1 Newspaper.

Led by Paul Decker, MPR is a company I’m proud to have in Princeton.

Funding the Innovation Makers

Techies play in a high stakes intramural tournament every February at one of the state’s best – free — networking opportunities. On February 15. at Princeton Innovation Forum  (PrincetonIF) the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, they gave away $30,000 in one afternoon. All the teams were from Princeton University with Princeton profs as advisors or main participants. Sponsored by the Keller Center,  PrincetonIF focuses on commercializing technology developed at Princeton University.

Diccon Hyatt made it the cover story in this week’s issue of U.S. 1.  It reads best in hard copy, so grab one today from a newsbox before it gets replaced tomorrow. Or read it here.

With angels, venture capitalists, lawyers, and supporters watching, each team made a three-minute pitch. Then that power crowd emptied out into the crowded lobby, mobbed the wine bar, and the noise level rose as those-in-the-know and those-with-money interviewed the presenters and each other.

My favorite moment was introducing Chris Owens of Oppenheimer Nexus to Lou Wagman and Joe Montemarano (photo top right). More on that in another post.  Also (apparently I can’t control random order) are photos of second prize winner  Niraj Jha, professor of electrical engineering, who is working on Internet security; first prize winner Robert Pagels presenting his technology for manufacturing microparticles for delivering biologic drugs; Pagels and his team get their pictures taken, and U.S. 1’s Diccon Hyatt interviews Joe Montemarano.

Read the story here to learn about exciting technology and get on the Keller Center’s mailing list here. Always something exciting going on at the Equad.


Mix cricket with honey – or eat crow

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“In Trump’s America, don’t look for lurid conspiracies in the shadows. Beware of the dull ones that are right out in the open.” 

So says Diccon Hyatt in a column about conspiracy theories in a November 16 column in U.S. 1 Newspaper one of the more rational of the florid post-election conversations. “The Podesta e-mails revealed a truth that was much more frightening than a conspiracy. Most of the e-mails were routine campaign strategizing, and it is in these e-mails that a picture emerges. The campaign had no idea how to beat Donald Trump.”

Richard K. Rein also commented on the national politics on November 9 and November 16. 

Politics?? I tell people I meet,  at the chamber and elsewhere, that U.S. 1 “doesn’t do politics” and then I have to add “except when it does.” Back in the day we did a cover story on Rush Holt. And though the issue went to press on the DAY of the election Tuesday, Rein put prognosticators Sam Wong and David Daley on the cover.wang_pic

Wang has always been one of my favorite researchers to listen to and write about. As a Princeton University neuroscientist, and the author of books with broad appeal like “Welcome to Your Brain,” he doesn’t put on airs. One of his several passions is his effort to expose the bad effects of gerrymandering. “So no matter what the outcome of the national election, Rein wrote, “expect Wang to continue his work on the gerrymandering issue, which he shares with the public at gerrymander.princeton.edu.

The cobbled-together story in U.S. 1 combined excerpts from Wong’s blog at Princeton Election Consortium with quotes on Wong from David Daley’s book on gerrymandering plus bits from Wong’s lectures to alumni. But it was a way to cover national politics from a Princeton perspective,  so it worked.

Wrote Rein: “So if Wang is wrong in this tumultuous year, he will not only eat a bug (as he promised to do in 2012 if Romney had upset Obama), but he will surely go back to the statistical drawing board, to figure out where and what he and the collective public opinion polls had missed.”

Here is the New York Times column today where he explains why he had to eat the bug. Here is the CNN video of Wang eating the bug. It was a cricket, mixed with honey, as Wang noted, in the style of John the Baptist. Would it be unkind to suggest that his sources, the pollsters, eat crow?


Working overtime? Elizabeth Zuckerman


Here’s a shout-out to attorney Liz Zuckerman, interviewed by Diccon Hyatt for this week’s U.S. 1 Newspaper cover story on the new overtime laws, read it here. It’s a complicated issue, explained well, with the “opposite side” presented well by John Sarno of the Employer Association of New Jersey.

John Springrose: “Prototype your imagination”

Sometimes a better chamberspeaker says what they said to a U.S. 1 reporter as published in the previous issue. Not so this time. Diccon Hyatt’s interview with John Springrose was way different from his talk at the Princeton Regional Chamber breakfast this morning. Springrose’s company (formerly inDimension3, now Philadelphia-based Koine) pioneers in 3D printers, more aptly named “rapid prototyping machines.

An IBM-er turned investment banker, Springrose  began with a “then and now” show of how innovation increases productivity, even though jobs are lost along the way. For instance, IBM’s first middle market computer, System 32, cost $40,000 and had only 5k of memory but in 1975 it could replace accounting functions. Checkers were replaced by self checkout and scans, tellers by ATMs, German auto workers by robots, and so on. “Innovation does lead to productivity,” he tells students, “and it forces us to think.” Be an innovator or run the risk of losing your job.

Examples of how a rapid prototyping machine can work: High school student gets an idea for jazzing up the wine drinking experience. Prints a prototype of a new wine holder, gets it manufactured in China, sells several hundred units on ebay for $40 each, total cost of each unit $1.89, accomplished this in less than a month. Product: a wine bottle holder that is lit from underneath, sending colors through a bottle of white wine. Cool. True story.

A plant “goes down” for lack of a part? A 3-D printer could make that part in a snap. A corporation could have a rapid prototype machine in the lobby and greet clients is greeted with a logo or miniature product from their company. Now that’s hospitality.

Three-D printers like toys can cost as little as $700 but, to be reliable, one should cost at least $5,000 for business use. Customers are mostly overseas. Springrose worries that the U.S. is getting left behind.

In addition to plastic, products can be in wood, metal — “anything that will melt.’ His industry today is where IBM’s System 32 computer was in 1975. “You give me the industry, I give you the use,” he offered.  “Prototype your imagination,” he challenges. “If you think about it, you can do it.”

As for the difference between the interview and the talk — the reporter dug into the not-so-successful early stage of Springrose’s company, when it was making cheap printers that were not reliable and got scathing online reviews. That’s why Springrose moved to the high end. More than 700 startups make 3 D printers but just three– including Koine — are working on business-quality tools.

Springrose has a very personal interest in the medical applications for his devices. He looks forward to the day when a rapid prototyping machine can print out a liver or a kidney. That’s because he has lived through a liver transplant. But printable organs won’t happen any time soon. Springrose came without a demo machine because — the day before, he demoed to doctors at Jefferson — and they broke the machine.

Photo: L to R, Grant Somerville (chamber program committee), John Springrose, Peter Crowley (chamber CEO).  

Capstone for a Career, Strategy for the Next One


Jane Tervooren has had multi-layered careers,  chronicled  in U.S. 1, most recently in a December 10 cover story by Diccon Hyatt. Tervooren’s departure from one fulfilling job to invest in an exciting new company was occasioned by a health event. As Hyatt describes, “surviving cancer is what led her to put a capstone on an 18-year career.”

Being diagnosed with a fatal disease, no matter what the outcome, inspires change.

Tervooren’s advice is appropriate for the New Year: “it’s never too late to re-invent yourself. Don’t settle if you’re unhappy in a relationship or a job. have the guts to make a change. If you are stuck, it’s because you feel stuck. People have options.

Sobin: Turning on a Dime

Kudos to David Sobin, who must surely get this year’s prize for turning on a dime to meet a new business need. To the product line of his broadband operations firm, BAMNet, he added Replay Locker, which lets high school football teams video replays like the pros.  Here is Diccon Hyatt’s story in U.S. 1 this week.