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Crazy inventions: Chindogu

It's time to reach beyond the wayward solitary invention of a wayward solitary inventor to embrace an entire conceptual school of wayward invention: the artful Japanese science of Chindogu.

Solo-operable seesaw

Inventors are lone wolf types, too often misunderstood and under-appreciated. So is it any wonder that their inventions sometimes reflect their sense of isolation and defiant self-reliance? It speaks to the credo: ingenuity conquers all (love is overrated).

Sun towel mask

Illustration: Sam Griffin BI-GOODNESS is a bi-monthly column dedicated to the quirky, generally funny and often dangerously impractical inventions and business concepts that occasionally come...

Big brands in search of a Second Life

Newsflash! Virtual Reality has arrived. If you think it's still the domain of pasty-faced geeks in bulky black goggles slaying digital dragons or bedding impossibly voluptuous sprites, brace yourself.

For miracle sales, get a halo

It seems like every bus shelter you pass features a back-lit silhouette of a dancing girl or boy with wires coming out of their ears. You don't have to read the logo to know that it's another ad for iPod. But did you know that the ad is doing wonders for Apple PCs?

The full package

About four years ago I took a break from my day job and went to Hollywood to chase Australian actors and filmmakers. The idea was to write a piece for Rolling Stone Australia on the lives of Aussie expats working in the entertainment industry. It was a similar project to one I had done a year earlier looking into the lives of expats in the technology equivalent of Hollywood - San Francisco's Bay Area.

Relax on the run

Illustration by Sam Griffin Are you under the pump at work? A soothing massage could be just the ticket, if only you could find the...

Tunnel Talk: Start the press!

While mainstream print media circulation figures decline, niche publications continue to sprout from nowhere like mushrooms in a sodden field. As long as there is an audience, publishers will keep churning out the content. We asked three independent publishing entrepreneurs how they seized their patch of turf.

Baby business

Most people will always forfeit personal luxury to provide for their baby. It's no wonder that the baby industry is perpetually booming. Liz Heynes and Catherine Kerstjens take a look at five Australian companies on the move in an industry where only the best will do.

Marketing: what’s the buzz all about?

It's a concept that has taken on many names in recent times, including buzz marketing, viral marketing, word-of-mouth, word-of-mouse and stealth marketing. Whatever you call it, the concept is simple: using customers to create a conversation about a product or service.

Marketing: what's the buzz all about?

It's a concept that has taken on many names in recent times, including buzz marketing, viral marketing, word-of-mouth, word-of-mouse and stealth marketing. Whatever you call it, the concept is simple: using customers to create a conversation about a product or service.

Ahab’s secret weapon

Before he abandoned his palaces for a hole and then a cell, Saddam Hussein had a reputation for being a bit of an adrenaline...

Ahab's secret weapon

Before he abandoned his palaces for a hole and then a cell, Saddam Hussein had a reputation for being a bit of an adrenaline...

Medical tech: Good for what ails you

We often associate high tech with exciting gadgets, but it's easy to forget that technological advancements are responsible for saving thousands of lives every day. It's big business, with profound purpose. Catherine Kerstjens and Liz Heynes profile six "Medical and Scientific" category finalists from the 2006 Australian Design Awards.

Life-expectancy timepiece

BI-GOODNESS is a bi-monthly column dedicated to the quirky, generally funny and often dangerously impractical inventions and business concepts that occasionally come our way. It is a tribute to the one-eyed entrepreneur, the nutty professor and dotcom jockey in each of us.

Regional tech

For the most part, we Australians huddle in and around our eastern seaboard cities, with healthy respect for the harsh realities inland. But there's more to Australia's tech sector than MBA-educated entrepreneurs and wealthy investors in Sydney and Melbourne. As globalisation levels the international playing field, so the performance gap between urban elites and regional innovators narrows.

Methane Missile

BI-GOODNESS is a bi-monthly column dedicated to the quirky, generally funny and often dangerously impractical inventions and business concepts that occasionally come our way. It is a tribute to the one-eyed entrepreneur, the nutty professor and dotcom jockey in each of us.

Defence tech

In these pensive days, where a backpacker on a bus could pose more of a threat than a cave-dwelling Taliban, Governments and corporations are hungry for technology that will help secure their people and resources. It has fed a boom in the defence tech sector; a world of cutting-edge machinery and multi-million dollar contracts, and home to some of the world's keenest strategic and technical minds. Several Australian companies are emerging as genuine players in this highly competitive space. Liz Heynes and Catherine Kerstjens take a look at six on this new front line.

Kissing shield

BI-GOODNESS is a bi-monthly column dedicated to the quirky, generally funny and often dangerously impractical inventions and business concepts that occasionally come our way....

Light bulb changer: US patent 6,829,983

How many people does it take to change a light bulb? At long last, NONE! Inconveniences pepper our domestic existence. Whether it’s lifting and lowering...

FREE BUSINESS TOOLS

Inbound Marketing Reloaded with James Tuckerman [FREE REPORT]

Leads always must come before sales. Then, it’s your job to build trust, educate, create rapport and demonstrate why your product and service is better than the alternatives. However, the tools at your disposal to achieve these outcomes -- to connect with strangers, to convert them to suspects, then prospects, then customers -- are constantly changing. That’s why we created this cheat sheet. To re-visit traditional inbound marketing strategies, and offer some helpful tactics to help ‘old school’ organisations embrace ‘new world’ tactics and strategies.

FREE BUSINESS TOOL

INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

OPINIONS & ADVICE