If you drive south from Minneapolis to Des Moines, right about the time you’re ready to pull off from boredom and buy Twizzlers, you get to a town called Owatonna which is famous for almost nothing save the 1995 film Angus which I’ve never heard of. 

Who would think, then, that it would be the site of one of the more innovative business ideas I’ve come across in a while? Camp Pillsbury, a place of ‘sports and technology’ for children, doubles as an American alternative to expensive British boarding schools.

President and owner Vonda White believes “we can change the world for the better, one camper at a time.” She loves “how the camp experience changes the lives of kids in so many positive ways.”

I haven’t actually been to Camp Pillsbury myself – I heard about it from my friend Brian who travels the world studying innovation. Next month he’s off to RushX in California, a Tesla user conference of sorts where people are presenting Tesla ‘apps’.

Tesla is not in the car business, apparently. And Uber isn’t in the taxi business. Nor is AirBnb in the hotel business. Their multi-billion dollar market caps come from, they say, the way they are reinventing the future.

If that’s all too much for you and it is for me, I can only share with you some of the ways I try to keep up:

Here is the twitter link for Marc Andreessen, a tweet-storming VC famous for, among other things, his WSJ article on how ‘software is eating the world’.

And this is what some of us in the software business feel is one of the better business books of the last several years: http://www.amazon.com/The-Hard-Thing-About-Things/dp/0062273205

I hope the Staffing Talk audience likes these occasional side trips into innovation.  For me it’s fun to see that it is not just our industry that is changing.

Tags: Innovation, AirBNB, Minneapolis, Tesla, Boarding school, Camp Pillsbury, Vonda White