A theoretical thinker and design lover. Maker of brand, strategy and marketing in a digital product strategy and design consultancy.  A mix of my random thoughts, interests and opinions.
  • "A Theoretical Framework for Studying Service Design Practices: First steps to a mature field"- Daniela SangiorgiI and Alison Prendiville

    The value of the intangible over the tangible. It is interesting to think of how there is a shift from the value of the goods to the value of the interactions mediated through goods and channels. It encourages a more human lens for which businesses can evaluate what exactly they are providing to their customers and how. 

  • "In this growing perspective, value is not in the object or person, but “resides […] in the actions and interactions which the acquired resource makes possible or supports” (Vargo & Lush, 2008, p. 51). Value is described as co-created in social contexts through customers’ value-creating practices or even individually created by the customer (Edvardsson et al., 2011).
    Following this consideration, if value is associated with use and context, the focus necessarily shifts from the units of output to the interactions. A service, therefore, represents “the process of doing something beneficial for and in conjunction with some entity, rather than units of outputs – immaterial goods- as implied by the plural ‘services’” (Vargo & Lush 2008, p.
    26)."
  • "If knowledge work depends on teams, it makes sense to reward them, not individuals. People who move from project to project cannot be paid according to the number of direct reports they have any more than a road warrior can flaunt her status by the number of windows her office has. Top industrial-design firm Ideo Product Development (it designed the mouse for both Apple and Microsoft, and the snazzy housing for Silicon Graphics computers) is a good example. It has several “vice presidents” who awarded themselves the title to get the free subscriptions some magazines give VPs. Ideo’s performance reviews used to be done by a person’s boss and two peers of the employee’s own choosing, but that system, offbeat though it was, had to be scrapped a couple of years ago when the company realized that for many employees (more than one in ten) it was impossible to identify a boss. Now people pick two peers plus one from a slate of six “management types.” According to Tom Kelley, people tend to pick demanding evaluators: “The culture says don’t pick softies, because this is about improving performance, not about getting ahead.”"
  • Walking for thinking.

    I am at my most productive when I am walking.

    Yes, that sounds strange. Thoughts are clearer when I am walking. That is why I stopped taking the subway to work in the morning to work and in the evening from work. Instead, I walk both ways.

    There is nothing inspiring about the inside of a NYC subway car in the morning. No matter how many little knick-knacks I put on my desk, it is never really an inspiring place and I am perpetually distracted by something else. Usually the Internet.

    Walking there are no distractions; there is only inspiration. New York City is a very inspiring place simply because of its diversity and cultural shifts from neighborhood to neighborhood or even street to street.

    The only other times I am as equally inspired are when I am reading. And then, the inspiration is more the analytical sort. The kind that makes you really think critically about what you work on and how you do it. At least for me. The worlds of marketing and design are where I spend most of my days and they are two worlds that are shifting dramatically.

    Both emphasize and extol creativity, but there is not great formula or technique for creating a creative culture or organization. It is something that has to happen organically within the individuals or smaller groups. Creativity is not a mass activity. Sure, inspiration can be drawn from the larger group, but the creative process can be a very private one. 

    More on walking and thinking in the New Yorker: "Why Walking Helps Us Think"

  • "

    It all stems from one basic problem, which is that innovative ideas are roughly indistinguishable from dumb ideas.

    Let that sink in. Innovative ideas look just like dumb ideas.

    If something seems like a clearly good idea, it is also an obvious idea. So everyone is doing it! The big ideas that fundamentally change the status quo usually have fatal-seeming flaws that keep (almost) everyone from pursuing them: It’s impossible. It’s in poor taste. No one would want it. You can’t make money doing it. It’s too expensive to build.

    Innovation requires a leap of faith that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

    "
  • "How did creativity transform from a way of being to a way of doing? The answer, essentially, is that it became a scientific subject, rather than a philosophical one."
  • Mies Van Der Rohe

    Create order, don’t add to the chaos. 

  • "The long path from material through function to creative work has only a single goal:to create order out of the desperate confusion of our time. We must have order,allocating to each thing its proper place and giving to each thing what it deserves according to its nature."
  • "The reductionist agenda of big data"

    We are far too orientated on finding the solution that we do not really think about why that is the solution. Data is supposed to tell us why, not what. 

  • "

    What is needed is a more intelligent, considered view of the opportunities that Big Data represents. It certainly provides a granular record of human behaviour that is historically unprecedented. Hans Eysenck, one of the early pioneers of psychology generated his famous personality theory by studying soldiers in WWII who were being treated at the hospital where he worked as a staff psychologist. Just think what he could have done with the material available from our digital traces.

    But the desire for ‘solutionism’ runs deep and is perpetuated by many technology providers who are proffering solutions to augment our inadequate capabilities. Take the current rash of wearable technology that allows users to log thousands of photos of their lives every day. A great facility for market researchers of course but surely it’s questionable whether this adds or detracts from the experience of being human. Some things we would rather forget.

    "
  • "Creativity is Stranger Than Fiction" - Michael Hendrix in Metropolis Magazine

    The idea of creating a culture of creativity is somewhat preposterous to me. You cannot really manipulate culture; it has to evolve and form organically. You can however, make an effort to employ endlessly curious people. What I mean by curious is not people who want to read research reports and so on; I mean people who just want to learn something new everyday. 

    Ego is a big barrier to creativity and I think that Michael makes an excellent point here (without even saying it). He talks about staffing a diabetes project with designers, etc., who had no experience in healthcare. This eliminates any issue of ego, pre-conceived notions or ideas based around “I did this and that the last project and it was awesome, so let’s do it again here.”

    No experience can be a beautiful thing; it forces us to be creative, to learn, to ask new questions, to see things in a different light. Experience can be the foil to creativity because the schemas created by past projects, experiences change the way we view the new challenge in front of us. 

    A culture of creativity is built around people who just want to learn. They don’t want the credit. They don’t want the by-line; they just want to try something new, ask questions, create something new and, in this case, ultimately solve a problem. 

  • "

    Creativity in the workplace cannot be turned on and off. It can’t be effectively sequestered to a “design thinking room” or a “creative thinking room” (both of which we’ve seen way too often). It can’t be suddenly initiated by donut breakfasts, casual Fridays, or giving everyone iPads. It won’t survive if it’s just a one-off event like a make-a-thon weekend or an innovation workshop. Creativity is high maintenance.

    Creativity is also like language. Fluency develops through practice, and it’s much easier when you’re immersed in the culture than if you pop in and out of it.

    It’s a mindset of curiosity, exploration, and play that bleeds into all aspects of our business and community. It’s how designers can stay optimistic and confident in the face of ambiguous challenges.

    "
  • "According to Dr Kaufman, the impact of new digital tools on our creativity is akin to a second cultural ‘big bang,’ one that is reshaping not just our world, but also our minds. “The big bang of cultural explosion 10,000 years ago wasn’t a result of bigger brains evolving, but the ability to use new tools,” he explains. “Currently, we are seeing another cultural big bang. Due to the use of technologies that allow unprecedented levels of collaboration we can now utilize diverse kinds of minds in ways that we have never seen before. [For instance,] autistic people are currently not well served in traditional education systems, but they have great value to society in terms of their very detail-orientated thinking and a way of seeing the devil in the detail that most other people won’t.”"