My biz partner Christina is blogging again — yay! — with the usual intriguing topics. Stop reading my boring ol’ blog and go to eleganthack.com.
“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” — Peter F. Drucker
I’ll be giving a workshop at the New Challenges retreat in New York in October. I’m still massaging the format, but I want to workshop a situation where designers must use their creativity and design skills to simultaneously develop a product and its revenue source. Pencil in one hand, spreadsheet in the other.
The music industry’s lack of innovation ability to even look at business differently is rather sad. Even after Apple showed how digital downloads could be made profitable, they’re pressuring Jobs to change his pricing model, complaining about his ingenuity… A sore point for some music executives is the fact that Apple generates much more money [...]
Dave Pollard laments that although everyone seems to agree innovation is important, few companies seem prepared to bring in someone professional to help them do it better. He offers four reasons for this: People don’t like to change. Everyone thinks they can do it themselves. It’s a ‘dragon’ issue, so it involves a lot of [...]
My wife is making a new dress for a party next month. Here’s a pic of her prototype. I love that her process resembles the basic design process: considering the desired experience, some research, investing in some materials/tools, building a prototype, testing it, marking it up, re-cutting it, testing it again, and is ready to [...]
Max recently asked, “I’m wondering how to apply these insights in practice: How can I, as a designer, go about changing a culture that does not promote innovation…?” So I’ve been trying to isolate concrete examples to share from the times I’ve been successful. Earlier this year I taught a workshop to a department that [...]
My partner Scott’s pretty face — arguably the second most handsome in our company — graces the front cover of this month’s Red Herring magazine. The story profiles 20 Outstanding Entrepreneurs Under 35 including great minds like Steward Butterfield and Andrew Zolli. They would have called me first, of course, but I’m a middle-aged mogul.
Gary Hamel parallels our thoughts on management innovation… Q: Why “management innovation”? A: There’s a hierarchy of innovation. Economic progress is driven by three forms of innovation: institutional innovation, which includes the legal and institutional framework for business; technological innovation, which creates the possibility of new products, services, and production methods; and management innovation, which [...]
Recently I met with some people visiting New York from one of the big electronics manufacturers in Japan. We were talking about market opportunities and I was lobbying for a super simple mobile phone, not realizing Vodafone’s new Simply mobile phone is that phone. Designers, particularly the usability-focused variety, won’t have much trouble seeing the [...]
Recently I wrote about those times when a company’s strategic plans are almost inseparable from their tactical execution. I know I keep gushing about Neeleman and JetBlue, but I’m constantly impressed with how he integrates strategy and delivery. The DirecTV onboard satellite television is a good example. At the beginning his executive team was against [...]
I applaud BusinessWeek for promoting serious discussion of the social problems in China, and India as well. A sample: A Big, Dirty Growth Engine (on polution in China) Waking Up To Their Rights (on workers rights) The State’s Long Apron Strings (on Chinese multinationals’ relationship to the Communist Party)
LukeW compares what’s being said about traditional business approaches vs. a design approach. It’s a handy reduction of the current writing. And while this is certainly useful, I hope we can reach a point where business/design becomes a false dichotomy. Both columns of appoaches can simply be tools in one big business design toolbox for [...]
Google vs. Yahoo: Clash of Cultures helpfully contrasts the cultures of both companies and how culture influences future performance…. As the two giants tussle for domination of online advertising dollars, it’s increasingly clear that this tug-of-war is really a test of what kind of corporate culture an Internet company needs: Is it a by-the-numbers and [...]
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as hiring a chief design officer and declaring design as your top corporate priority. To generate meaningful benefits from design, corporations will have to change in fundamental ways before they can operate like the design consultancies who advise them on how to sharpen their design focus. To get the benefit [...]