Never let a crisis go to waste! Inspired by the transformative impetus of the economic downturn, we’ll soon be starting our series about “Meaning-Driven Business” that invites leading business thinkers as well as C-level executives to discuss alternative ways of doing business and creating value. The series is based on the assumption that the current crisis is also a moral crisis, a fundamental crisis of trust in business leadership. According to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index from April 8, trust in business has reached unprecedented lows, with only 10% of Americans now saying they trust large … Read more
A streak of insanity has been running through the automotive design world these last few years, first expressing itself with the BMW X6. This particular psychosis reached across the world to Acura, with its upcoming ZDX model, but cropped up again at BMW with the 5-Series Gran Turismo. Now this design virus has leaped over to Audi, which has chosen to take the perfectly beautiful A5 coupe and add a hatchback.
One of the first clues to the disaster is this sentence from Audi's press release, "The five-door coupe features emotional and progressive styling to fascinate with powerful … Read more
The demarcation line here runs between pioneer and early … Read more
A Fine Line offers a step-by-step overview of the innovation process -- from targeting goals to shepherding new products and services … Read more
Several blog posts this week, combined, pinpoint what are arguably the two most influential trajectories for the impact of communication technologies on business these days: from real-time web to real-time business, and from social media to social business design.
Let’s start with the former. Referring to Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff and his presentation at the Structure 09 conference in San Francisco last week, DigitalBeat claims that the real-time web is not only shaping the future of all computing but also that of business overall: “In business it’s real-time or it’s no time.” It goes … Read more
Community members of Six Apart's Movable Type platform (MT) are launching a new blogging service on Tuesday. Dubbed "Melody," it's an open-source version of MT that community members are free to build on and change.
Unlike previous open-source efforts though, this one is the first to break off (or "fork") from the main product, allowing for much faster and drastic changes. In many ways it's an answer to WordPress, a competitor of Six Apart that began as an open source project and has benefited from rapid development because of it.
Even though it'… Read more
The $10 billion market for baby and young children’s furnishings (cribs, other case goods, layette, nursery decor, and the like) and accessories (car seats, strollers, baby monitors, diaper bags, etc.) is a lucrative market, and the baby stroller is one of its most competitive sectors. Hundreds of models vie for the attention of parents-to-be, and the level of detailed research, due diligence, and individual preferences may come close to the decision making process by an airline for the purchase of a Boeing 787. There are only few things – at least that’s what the industry makes you believe – that … Read more
Looking at the many positive responses it received, Pico Iyer’s recent NY Times blog post on "The Joy of Less" appears to have struck a chord:
"But at some point, I decided that, for me at least, happiness arose out of all I didn’t want or need, not all I did. And it seemed quite useful to take a clear, hard look at what really led to peace of mind or absorption (the closest I’ve come to understanding happiness). Not having a car gives me volumes not to think or worry about, and makes … Read more
There seem to be three (non-mutually exclusive) models for marketers tasked with building brand equity: marketing scarcity, marketing artificial scarcity, or marketing relevance.
Scarcity seems to be at the core of all marketing: an exclusive, unique value that can be reproduced; an original idea replicated for many. That's how markets work, how marketing works. Branding is effective when it keeps the aura of an original idea intact despite its mechanical reproduction. Apple's original idea, for instance, could be described as "technology must be fun and human," and it has not lost an inch of its integrity. … Read more
Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, is the first real competitor to Google.
I rarely use Google. Or rather, I rarely use Google.com. Because Google is embedded into Safari, I just use the search box there, which creates huge stickiness that's hard to displace. Of course, Microsoft has the same option now for embedding Bing into Internet Explorer, assuming it's allowed to by the courts. But the very short amount of time I've spent with Bing has me rethinking my search engine options seriously for the first time.
I know a lot of people gush about … Read more