Computer Society Josh Edwards, Entrepreneur in Residence at Amazon

On Friday 24th February, the Computer Society welcomed Josh Edwards, an Entrepreneur in Residence at Amazon’s research and development labs, and previously a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft.

Mr Edwards spoke on the topic of ‘Radical Innovation’. As one of the nine creators of Xbox Kinect, which went on to become the world’s second fastest selling gadget after the iPhone 4S, he had plenty to say on this topic. Mr Edwards pointed out that, from Thomas Edison onwards, history has been littered with those who have seen how to make something work. He also drew a clear distinction between inventors, who actually create a new technology, and innovators, who take that technology and work out how to apply it to a commercially feasible consumer product.

Taking examples from all aspects of engineering, from Henry Ford’s creation of the personal automobile to Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of the Internet’s greatest time-waster, Mr Edwards shed a great deal of light on what is often either disregarded by entrepreneurs in technology or considered very much a black box, with no rhyme or reason to its methodology. As someone whose job revolves around the creation and application of great ideas at Amazon, Mr Edwards was an extremely fluent and capable speaker, whose vibrant and dynamic talk was enjoyed by all who heard it. Many thanks to KRNR for setting up the Drawing Schools Library for the event, and for his quick back-and-forth argument with Josh on the ancient debate of Microsoft versus Apple…

Harry Elliott KS