It is said that more deals have been done in New York City on the Avenues than on the Streets. The reason for this is that as you walk along the Avenues you come to an intersection about every 40 seconds as you walk along. When you walk on the Streets you come to an intersection about every 2 minutes. This means you are more likely to bump into someone you know as you wait for the light to change when you walk on the Avenues. And in those random meetings conversations start and networking is done and opportunities emerge and deals get done.
Interestingly Google has just employed an office design consultant to redesign the layout of their offices so that there are more intersection points to improve on serendipity.
My favorite intersection is the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute that I blogged about yesterday. After the speaker finished I mingled with the crowd and was introduced to a fascinating man who is working on building a digital nose.
His name is Chris Hanson and he is the CEO of Aromyx who have solved the problem of how to digitally analyze and identify the constituent parts of an aroma. From this they are able to create an Odorgraph which digitally represents the smell.
An Odorgraph means that, for the first time, olfactory industries can start to copyright their aromas. Now Channel can register the smell of No. 5 and prosecute imitators. Oenophiles can accurately determine if a wine has the same nose from one bottle to the next. Tea blenders can maintain consistency of their product over time as their sources of leaves shift and vary.
Just as the phonograph did for sound, the photograph did for sight in their time the Odorgraph could be the next iteration of a disruptive technology that replicates our senses.
Chris Hanson used to work at IBM and was responsible for a number of projects there including some funded by DARPA.