Hey everyone, here we go. . . . . .
IN OUR WORLD
I’m sitting here in the early pre-dawn (my favorite time), where the day is full of unlimited potential. I am one of those weird people, whose biology does not need very much sleep, making me a real and true morning person. It is the cusp of Christmas and the house is decorated, gifts are wrapped and family is checking in. I love this time of year!
A few things:
- NEW WEB SITE: The look and feel is done and I love it. I have some content to redesign so the projects forward flow is with me. There will be a new look and feel for the blog with graphics/pictures and embedded video.
- 2011: WOW, I am carrying the momentum of 2010 right into the New Year. My calendar is already packed. If you are thinking of doing something with me, it would be a good idea to get some dates in pencil.
- OFFICE REMODEL: I have moved into a full home office mode and will have a HUGE remodel taking place the first week of January when I am on the road. Way cool design that is ultra modern and tech driven.
- HIGH LEVEL STRATEGY: I am honored to be involved as a team member on a number of high level strategy teams playing the role of the independent thinker helping to view the ideas with a huge frame.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and whatever other politically correct thing I am supposed to say. May God’s (or whatever deity you hang with) blessings find you!
HEY, YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER –CREATIVEVENTURE
AND ON FACEBOOK – STEPHEN HARVILL!
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
We want to be like Apple!
I hear this proclamation all the time. Heck, who doesn’t want to be like the most successful company of the past decade? They dominate market share and are the pinnacle of cool, BUT when studied deeply, they are anomalous in the grander business world. Apples tolerances for risk, their independent thinking, their ultra secretive nature are all the results of organic growth.
You have to be careful of trying to model any thinking after anomalies. The strange, unusual and unique variation from the established rule is really interesting and intriguing to think about. But if you look closely and really examine the peculiar blip in the radar of normal you will find that it is impossible to create a repetitive model around a large anomaly. Don’t abandon the quest to be “separated from the pack” just yet. Inside almost all anomalous behavior are patterns, patterns that contribute to the movement of your company. It’s easy to emulate elements of a successful anomaly, but its damn near impossible to copy the whole thing.
Here are a couple of things you CAN do to “be like Apple”.
- AESTHETICS as ENGINERRING: Apple is an expert at emotional design. How we connect with a product or a company is IMPORTANT. How do your clients connect with you and your company? Is there actual design involved? Have you even considered the impact of the emotional connections? What does your office LOOK LIKE? What do your marketing pieces look like or your web site? When was the last time you tweaked your web site? In our modern world of endless choices, design is a featured function. This may sound pretty “touchy-feely” but where do you think emotion resides, in the analytical side of the brain – NO. Get some damn touch feely mojo working for you!
- CONNECT: I love hearing clients talk about cross selling. It means they are thinking about connections beyond the classic transaction. Apple is an expert at connecting and designing beyond the purchase to create relationships. It’s not about buying the iPod or iPad alone. It’s about connecting the purchase to the service – iPod to iTunes. Think like Apple about connections. Draw a picture of the connection map of your company to get a feel for where you have opportunity.
Both of these examples are strategic to you and doable. So, “be like Apple”, but do it one piece at time.
MOVIES: True Grit: Can’t wait to see the Cohen brothers take on this classic western story. Many critics are saying it’s the best movie of the year.
NetFlix Fans: Salt: This creative little spy thriller was one of the seasons good surprises for me.
TV: Alright, what the hell – Where is HOUSE! The past few weeks we have had some made up awards show and a brainless game show that highlights how down right uninformed people are. I was going to enjoy some educational TV with a show about The Buddha, but the pace was so slow I was asleep about 20 minutes into it. Great time for obscure bowl games!
BOOKS: The Talent Masters – Contay/Charan: This is a book that preaches STAFF DEVELOPMENT! Yep, it sits right in my wheel house. Companies respond to financial difficulties by cutting the one thing that will deliver them back to the green pastures – TRAINING. Give your team tools to make them better!
MUSIC: “It’s coming on Christmas, their cutting down tree’s, people are singin songs of joy and peace” – The River by Joni Mitchell
WEB SITES: It’s not “I’m the muffin man”, it’s “I’m the NOTHING man”. Get your lyrics right!
SOUTH OF NORMAL
From my Springwise Newsletter:
Thanks to webcams and the power of the internet, consumers can already perform an increasing number of tasks remotely, including vegetable gardening and planning trips to the local health clinic. Our latest spotting? A Swedish effort that lets people snap live photos of real, mountaintop reindeer for inclusion on their very own Christmas cards.
Four cameras are trained on a group of real reindeer atop Sweden’s Funäsdalen Mountain, where they’re being cared for by reindeer herder Niklas Blindh and a team of helpers. For SEK 15, or roughly USD 2.25, consumers can focus the live cameras in on a scene they like, snap a photo and have it printed and sent with greetings as a Christmas card to their loved ones; worldwide postage is included. Users can also vote on the photos snapped so far in a gallery on the site. The Living Christmas Card [www.livingchristmascards.com] effort, as it’s called — or Levande Julkort in Swedish — was created by Posten, Sweden’s postal service.
The world may be an increasingly homogenized place, but sometimes there’s nothing like a local, (still) made here touch. We wouldn’t be surprised, in fact, to see a charitable angle added to an effort like this, with the goal of protecting reindeer habitats around the planet. In addition, it’s refreshing to see a national postal service target consumers worldwide. (Related: Novelty telegram service, $4.70 worldwide.)
Website: www.livingchristmascards.com [www.livingchristmascards.com]
Drop me a note with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Adios and Aloha.