San Francisco will host thousands of designers from around the world when CONNECTING'07, the Icsid/IDSA World Design Congress, comes to town October 17-20. As the largest and most influential gathering of industrial designers to date, CONNECTING'07 will fill three major Nob Hill sites with prominent speakers, exhibits, and events. Related activities will also spill into the surrounding city, with many of San Francisco's design studios, companies, museums, design schools and stores holding receptions, open houses and tours. Representatives from nearly 500 internationally renowned corporations, design firms, government entities, and higher education institutions, spanning more than 35 … Read more
Steve Jobs shows no signs of retiring any time soon, but Jess McMullin, who runs the great Business+Design blog, thinks ahead and pre-emptively wraps his head around Apple's succession planning. In an open letter to the Apple board, he urges the directors to consider Jonathan Ive, Apple's SVP of industrial design, as Jobs' successor, if need be. (Mullin was obviously inspired by Bruce Nussbaum's "CEOs Must Be Designers, Not Just Hire Them" post several months ago.)
And yet--a designer as CEO? (Wearing the marketing hat for a renowned design consultancy, I am posing this … Read more
There are many pundits who herald Apple for its "convergence strategy:" iTunes is on more than 300 million computers, Apple TV has been launched, and the iPhone has emerged as the most talked about new consumer electronic device in history and is expected to fuel the launch of more all-in-one gadgets from competing consumer electronic makers. Convergence is -- once again -- all the rage.
But what does convergence exactly mean? Let's try a very simplified overview. First of all, there is the media convergence between the worlds of telecoms, TV, Internet, and computing, including fixed-mobile convergence, … Read more
Mash, Yahoo's way of quietly saying farewell to Yahoo 360, is at first glance a somewhat uninspired attempt to catch up with Facebook. Even the name is boring--Mash. Don't mix it up, by the way, with Mosh, Nokia's mobile networking site (currently in beta) and Mashable, the social-networking blog. Mash (invite-only as of now) looks like a cross between Facebook, MySpace and Netvibes--and it also has a bit of wiki DNA: Anyone you grant permissions to can edit your profile or add modules they think are relevant to your profile. Besides that, nothing new.
To be … Read more
According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more
AT&T is still struggling to convey the fact that it is a seamless blend of two companies--the "old" AT&T with Cingular. Cingular was a brand sensation, having been created out of whole cloth and gaining massive market and mindshare in a very short amount of time. I remember the first time I saw an ad for it, in a subway station in San Francisco, and was struck by how fresh it was, from the name to the color to the lively logo. At the time I knew nothing of its provenance (a merger of … Read more
In the midst of all the bleak news for the American car industry, there was a ray of hope of sorts. A recent survey on "retained value" (what percentage of retail price a car maintains on the used market) has the Hummer coming in the top 10. As Autoblog reports:
"[T]he new Power Information Network retained value rankings for the automakers came out, and while the top ten list is pretty much owned by imports, Hummer crashes the party, coming in at the #8 spot. Hummer vehicles retain 63% of their original value, an increase of … Read more