I just read Ellen McGirt's poignant feature story on "The Brand Called Obama" in Fast Company, and my marketing head is spinning. "The fact that Obama has taken what we thought we knew about politics and turned it into a different game for a different generation is no longer news," she writes, "but what has hardly been examined is the degree to which his success indicates a seismic shift on the business horizon as well." Indeed, Obama has introduced a new brand of politics, and he has caused a paradigm shift that goes … Read more
The focus on the micropreneur, he argues, is "understandably appealing, but thinking that everyone is, and should be, an entrepreneur leads us to underrate the virtues … Read more
The miniaturization of matter has long been a human desire, and viewing the world from a smaller perspective is the core of many novels and movies. The idea of shrinking people for the purpose of traveling inside another human's body, in particular, has been frequently used in animated cartoons, including The Simpsons, Futurama, Beetlejuice, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
One of the most entertaining pieces in this genre is Fantastic Voyage, a science-fiction movie from 1966, which -- albeit not free of some severe logical flaws -- has lost none of its original appeal. Fantastic Voyage tells the story of a … Read more
John Gruber (Daring Fireball) and Michael Lopp (Apple), made the case for cultivating discomfort as a designer: "Are you willing to be an asshole?" We took a trip back through the iconic designs (like IBM) of Paul Rand and examined the allure of the Apple logo (whether rainbow-striped or white, what makes it sexy is the bite. It's … Read more
This installment of thoughts on innovation comes from Brooks Protzmann. Brooks is the Manager of Visual Identity and the Brand Experience team as part of the Experience Design Group at Dell Inc. in Austin, Texas. He is responsible for the product-focused touch points of the customer's experience when engaging with the Dell brand, products, and services. His functional responsibilities include design strategy, visual identity, packaging, user interfaces, and information design. The Experience Design Group covers the entire Dell customer journey with integrated Industrial Design, Usability & Human Factors, and Customer Experience.
Prior to joining Dell Inc., Brooks was Director … Read more
I'm loving this Piaggio MP3 scooter that has two wheels on the front. It uses a very trick suspension/steering set up to allow it to lean into angles just like a regular motorbike, though apparently it feels fairly different. The tripod stance also means it stands up by itself at slow speeds and stopped, negating the need for dragging feet for stability or a kick-stand.
The extra width also gives it a lot of presence which should be helpful on busy freeways. There is ample storage space under the front which makes it practical too.
Even though this … Read more
Chelsea Holden Baker, of frog design, says better planning and a different design choice could have changed the outcome during the now-infamous 2008 SXSW keynote discussion between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and reporter Sarah Lacy.
If you have any interest in South by Southwest and/or the blogosphere, then you've probably seen something on the infamous train-wreck-of-an-interview, aka the SXSW keynote discussion with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and journalist Sarah Lacy. (In this metaphor Zuckerberg is the Little Engine That Could and Lacy is the conductor that derailed the … Read more
We asked Chris Heatherly, vice president of technology and innovation, Disney Consumer Products, The Walt Disney Co., to answer a set of questions--and he took the time to dive a little deeper.
How do you define "innovation"? My favorite quote about innovation is one where Steve Jobs was asked how they systematize innovation at Apple and he said "We don't. We hire good people." I think a lot of talk about innovation amounts to a lot of dancing about architecture. People get caught up in trying to have an innovative "process" instead of … Read more