Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IBM's Smarter Planet Commercials

My favorite:

I like nothing better than a great analogy:
If you were to stand at a road, and the cars are whipping by, and all you can do is take a snapshot of the way the road looked five minutes ago...
How would you know when to cross the road?

More commercials from a post at FlowingData

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trust, epiphany, and say vs do

Rough transcript of a speech by Scott Berkun

Think of most of your peers  – how many do you trust? How many would you trust with a special, dangerous, or brilliant idea?  I’d say, based on my experiences at many organizations, only one of every three teams, in all of the universe, has a culture of trust. Without trust, there is no collaboration. Without trust, ideas do not go anywhere even if someone finds the courage to mention them at all.

Next, we need to get past our obsession with epiphany. You won’t find any flash of insight in history that wasn’t followed, or proceeded, by years of hard work. Ideas are easy. They are cheap. Any creativity book or course will help you find more ideas. What’s rare is the willingness to bet you reputation, career, or finances on your ideas. To commit fully to pursuing them.

Say vs Do
Words like radical, game-changing, breakthrough, and disruptive are similarly used to suggest something in lieu of actually being it. You can say innovative as many times as you want, but it won’t make you an innovator, nor  make inventions, patents or profits magically appear in your hands.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Building Trust

Blog post at Rands in Repose

My belief is that a team built on trust and respect is vastly more productive and efficient than the one where managers are distant supervisors and co-workers are 9-to-5 people you occasionally see in meetings. You’re not striving to be everyone’s pal; that’s not the goal. The goal is a set of relationships where there is a mutual belief in each other’s reliability, truth, ability, and strengths.

And I've never heard this definition of trash-talking, but it makes so much sense:

Trash talking is improvisational critical thinking — it’s the art of building comedy in the moment with only the immediate materials provided.

Key thing I took from this post isn't the rules for B.A.B. - substitute the tool that best fits your own situation. For us (this week), that might be Lego Star Wars on the GameCube. It explicitly requires teamwork and the sense of shared accomplishment is a great way to build/maintain trust.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Copying Creates Trends

Post at the Freakonomics blog about Oscar fashions

“Ten minutes after any big awards telecast, the Faviana design team is already working on our newest ‘celebrity look-alike gowns,’” says Faviana CEO Omid Moradi.

The existence of firms like Faviana (or ABS, Promgirl, or any of a number of similar houses) raises fascinating questions about intellectual property. First, how can Faviana get away with blatantly copying a dress that someone else has designed? And second, why doesn’t this rampant and very rapid copying destroy the fashion industry?

The ability of a firm like Faviana to copy a dress means that hot designs spread rapidly, and trends rise and fall. Copying helps to create trends.  It then helps to destroy them: as more and more designers hop on to a trend, the look becomes overdone, and the most fashion-forward consumers hop off.  Copying, in other words, accelerates the fashion cycle.