Last weekend I spoke at the first University of Texas at Austin Sustainable Business Summit. It was an interesting and stimulating event that brought together a diverse group of speakers and audience members to think about different aspects of environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and business. It was put on by the McCombs School of Business and largely organized by students, who did a great job.
The list of speakers includes web 2.0 entrepreneurs such as Steve Rosenbaum (CEO, Magnify.net), Ami Kassar (Chief Innovation Officer, ideablob), and Matt Colebourne, (CEO, coComment); established content players such as Jim Spanfeller (President, Forbes.com) and … Read more
Let me explain. Under marketing hardware I file the static, robust marketing framework long established in theory and practice: brand architecture, trademarks, direct mailing, loyalty programs, trade show booths, … Read more
Is Apple's PR wearing thin?
Sure, there was the MacBook Air and the buzz around "thinnovation." But wasn't that--pun intended--too "thin" for a big media splash, especially compared with past years? Now that MacWorld is over, pundits are reviewing Apple's PR efforts, and when the expectations are so high (and a company is so good at it), it is not too surprising that some are disappointed with what they've seen this year. Frank Shaw, a PR professional at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's lead PR agency, is one of them, and you have … Read more
The topic of sustainable or green design is of increasing urgency to companies involved in product development. Last year, it reached a tipping point in public interest and concern over global climate change, fueled by massive media interest.
Companies that fail to address it risk legislative punishment, as well as negative brand and sales consequences. But green also provides a huge market opportunity: recent surveys have indicated that key customer segments are willing to pay more for greener products.
They were also showing (in beta) version 5 of their oddly-named but wonderful application OmniGraffle. This is usually described as diagramming application similar to Visio, but this does its wide range of applications an injustice. I use OmniGraffle all the time for all manner of activities, from … Read more
Here's something blasphemous: My favorite booth at Macworld was not Apple's, but Belkin's. It knocked my socks off.
Think back a few years: Belkin was a ho-hum manufacturer of unsexy cables and nondescript PC accessories. Then came the iPod, and the company recognized a good thing when it saw one. Belkin jumped on the iPod shooting star and produced a nice line of interesting, well-conceived accessories. But essentially, the company outsourced its aesthetic to the iPod, piggybacking visually as well as functionally on that core device.
Now, Belkin is turning into a design and innovation powerhouse in … Read more
A brief run through Macworld gave two major impressions:
1. It was packed. Even more crowded than CES (though much smaller of course). 2. The signal-to-noise ratio of interesting products was way better than CES.
Let's take a look at some of the things that caught my interest from a design point of view, starting with Apple.
The MacBook Air really is quite breathtaking. It feels great in the hand, and the break from pure rectangular geometry makes it more interesting to tumble in your hands. It's sort of a giant iPod, taking on the pillowed look. The … Read more