What was the first thing SanDisk said to you about the design when they initially approached you and your team? Robert Curtis: SanDisk is … Read more
2009 will be a year of major uncertainty. The doom and gloom of the economic downturn, the deterioration of mass markets, the pervasiveness of the digital lifestyle, a host of explosive political conflicts, and the fragmentation of traditional societal institutions are causing anxiety and propel a new search for simplicity and non-economic value systems.
Consumption-driven wealth and status are being replaced by identity, belonging, and a strong desire to contribute and do something "meaningful" rather than just acquire things. Trust and reputation are no longer enablers for the exchange of goods, services, and information, they are replacing them. … Read more
Location matters. Black Swan-author Nassim Nicholas Taleb finds "living in big cities invaluable because you increase the odds of serendipitous encounters – you gain exposure to the envelope of serendipity." That's particularly true for romance. People move to big cities not to advance their careers, party, escape, disappear, be a star, and so on. The chick-flick fan that I am, I remember very well that candid line from Sex and the City (the movie): "I came to New York City to fall in love." Exactly. "Anyone who's predicting the decline of big cities has … Read more
Yes, we live (again) in the "age of conversations." There is something reassuring about listening to smart people having cultured conversations. When I was young, I would listen for hours to music-free radio programming that sounded like black-and-white movies.
Today, Monocle Magazine brought some of that magic back by launching Monocle Weekly, a 30-minute audio podcast. Hosted by editor in chief Tyler Brûlé, the short-form show extends the publication's monthly print content by offering fresh angles on stories in current and past issues, discussions, previews, field reports, and interviews. The light conversations on serious … Read more
If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you might have noticed that I'm an avid soccer fan who doesn't let an opportunity pass to draw analogies between the "beautiful game" and the other big game: business. As such I was riveted by Clive Thompson's "Goalkeeper Science" piece in last week's New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue. Based on research examining the behavior of soccer goalkeepers facing penalty kicks, Thompson concludes that "inaction may be the biggest form of action" (Jerry Brown).
The study, … Read more
A somewhat unconventional yet challenging task: Newsweek invited four "hot (and nonpartisan) design firms" to provide ideas and design direction for "resurrecting the Republican brand," featured in this week's (December 29) print issue. The full-page feature presents concepts by frog design (full disclosure: my employer), Pentagram, Razorfish, and The Groop.
The article is not available online so check it out at a news stand (and support print media!).
An article in the New York Times says customers are being more attracted to "simple" products:
And, as it turns out, the buyers of consumer electronics could very well have been a leading economic indicator. Over the last year, they chose to buy two inexpensive and simple products, the Wii and the Flip, over competing gadgets bristling with more features.
But the article conflates two different definitions of "simple"Doing a focused function or small number of functions (i.e. it's "simple in what it does") Being easy and intuitive to use (i.… Read more
Does a loved one suffer from infomania? Do you have an incorrigible number-cruncher on your gift list? Whether your favorite data-tracker is a runner or a gardener, here are five devices that could be a hit at home this year.1. Fitbit
About the size of a thumb drive, this fitness and sleep tracker discretely clips to your clothes. At home, it auto-syncs with its base station and uploads information (such as how many calories you burned that day or how many hours you actually slept) to a website where you can track data for yourself, … Read more
In addition to his already pretty comprehensive list of social media marketing programs, Peter Kim, the "de facto curator of social media" as Steve Rubel calls him, has now launched a wiki. Social media power to document social media power, so to speak. Great effort, check it out:http://wiki.beingpeterkim.com/
Today is the 40th anniversary of what came to be known as "The Mother of All Demos", Doug Engelbart's presentation to the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. In this one 90 minute presentation he showed, in working form, for the very first time all of the following technologies:The mouse Graphical user interface with point and click and menus Intermingling of text and graphics within a document, styling of text in a document Hypertext and linking between documents Remote collaboration plus videoconferencing
That's a pretty astonishing list. It basically described the landscape of computing … Read more