My recent post about brand layering reminded me of something Kevin Fong mentioned at the ID Design Strategy conference. Companies like Polaroid and Westinghouse are now renting out their brands to other manufacturers, while the parent company puts an ironic layer of marketing frosting on top: “You can be sure… if it’s a Westinghouse.” Um, [...]
Last Saturday I sauntered into Urban Outfitters to see what they were selling these days. Their inventory is pretty edgy and feels like a bellweather of what fashion is moving from the lead users to everyone else. I was drawn to this line of relaxed suit jackets, which mix business and design in a way [...]
Lawrence Lessig’s recent speech, Clearing the Air About Open Source actually focuses more on the war between innovators and those that profit by impeding innovation: lawyers, lobbyists, and the companies that employ them. He illustrates how the courts are used to litigate companies into bankruptcy, how companies like Microsoft are hiring boatloads of lawyers to [...]
I was exposed to the ISEW by Josephine Green of Philips at the ID Design Strategy conference. She struck me as the female John Thakara: highly intelligent and morally scolding, and dropping in your lap the challenge of solving the problems she just convinced you are vitally important. To understand how ISEW differs from, say, [...]
Now online are the presentation visuals from the recent Design Strategy conference at the Institute of Design.
Terry just taught me clean washing greenwashing, which is when a company smears on the energy-efficient PR while continuing their old inefficient ways. And now there’s hygrid, a hybrid of electricity from the grid and rolling your own.
I recently had a good conversation with Sara Beckman of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Comparing what MBA students do in relation to designers, it’s hard to identify what skills they’re missing — other than hard skills like illustration — that designers have. What business students learn in courses like product development is surprisingly similar [...]
Martin Fisher Martin is co-founder of Kickstart (formerly Approtec), an organization designing products for the bottom of the pyramid. As opposed to C.K. Prahalad who tends to describe the poor as consumers (see sachet marketing), Martin views the poor as investors. I met him at the ID Design Strategy conference this past week where he [...]
I’m hesitant to offer a definition of design thinking because there’s probably no one definition everyone could agree on, as with design and its many sub-genres. But after hearing more and more people having trouble referencing it I figured a half-baked blog post couldn’t hurt. I’m reminded of how Lao Tzu said “The tao that [...]
I finally met the lovely and vivacious Niti Bhan at the ID Design Strategy conference. She gave me one of her hilarious business cards and I discovered she has a blog, check it out.
Stephen Johnson @ TED Salon Stephen Johnson’s new book, Everything Bad is Good for You is getting warm reviews, particularly from Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker. Listening to him tonight, I particularly liked his comparison of video game levels to the concept of flow (though he didn’t use that term). Games progressively get harder, [...]
Recycled paper products Even my tiny Manhattan food market now sports two different brands of recycled paper products.
Annie’s has grown from one product (organic macaroni and cheese) to 80, fueling a $34 million company. The Organic Trade Association estimates the $12.25 billion organic food market will double by 2008, assuming an 18.4% annual growth rate (WSJ, March 29, 2005). With a $20 million investment from Solera Capital, Annie’s (and others on the [...]
A recent edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition focused on the use of sustainable building products, hybrid cars, and efficient appliances.
Nike’s Considered line eliminates waste & toxics, uses less energy to produce, and reduces waste at the end of the product’s life.