You’re writing an email to invite a friend to meet at a local San
Francisco restaurant that neither of you has been to. You’d like to
include a map. Today, this involves the disjointed tasks of message
composition on a web-mail service, mapping the address on a map site,
searching for reviews on the restaurant on a search engine, and finally
copying all links into the message being composed. This familiar
sequence is an awful lot of clicking, typing, searching, copying, and
pasting in order to do a very simple task. And you haven’t even really
sent a map or useful reviews—only links to them.
This kind of clunky, time-consuming interaction is common on the Web. Mashups help in some cases but they are static, require Web development skills, and are largely site-centric rather than user-centric.
It’s even worse on mobile devices, where limited capability and fidelity makes this onerous or nearly impossible.
Most people do not have an easy way to manage the vast resources of
the Web to simplify their task at hand. For the most part they are left
trundling between web sites, performing common tasks resulting in
frustration and wasted time.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Loving the new clean look of TechCrunch.com for all the hoopabaloo that happened with his last design. I am not sure I liked it too much. For me what makes a site design memorable and appropriate is simply this.
If you were to take away text, would you know that this is a site about the business of technology. Seriously. Ask yourself that question. Design is not subjective my friends, design should be honest and true to the task @ hand.
Monday, August 25, 2008
As Michael Phelps continued to win one gold medal after another before breaking the world record and taking home eight, Speedo and Visa were by his side capitalizing on all the free publicity for its brand. Even Nike turned the injury of China's hurdler Liu Xiang into a marketing opportunity by releasing an ad affirming the company would stand by its endorser. So what did Puma — a sportswear brand focused on speed and style — do when Jamaica's Usain Bolt became the fastest man alive?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I've got 11 days left on this Master's Degree. So, to start the final crunch, here's some old school, punk style.
"Ant Music" -- an all-time fave.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Posted by Refurbished Surgical Equipment at 8:47 AM
Monday, August 11, 2008
This week isn't starting off well. First, it was Bernie Mac and now we find that we've lost Isaac Hayes. He died Sunday afteroon after collapsing in his home.
Mr. Hayes was known for his sulty baritone, smoking orchestration and driving beats on such tunes as "The Theme from Shaft."
Here's a sample of what made him great.
Travel safely home, Black Moses. We'll see you on the other side.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Several months ago, I tapped out an article on change that mentioned the concept of neuroplasticity: that an injured brain can repair itself or re-map itself to regain or enhance thinking and brain function. Long the bailiwick of neuroscientists, this ability of the brain to generate surprising shifts in learning, thinking and acting, is now the province of business leaders and those who support them. A couple of books, The Brain That Changes Itself and The Mind and the Brain, both written by experts in the brain function/behavior game, discuss leaps in human capacity that are setting the world of brain science on its ear--blind children in India who are learning to see, deaf children and adults who are regaining capacities to hear that are challenging the notion of congenital deafness, people with hemispheric lobectomies (half their brains removed due to disease or injury) who are operating with minimal deficiencies in physical or mental ability.
Our "hardwiring" is more malleable than once thought.
Why this is an important consideration in business is that we've been taught that diminished brain function is a "given" as we age, that older generations are more "set in their ways" and that there's little we can do about any of it...that we're wired to resist change.
In business, I see people slavishly doing what they did before, producing diminished results over time. One maxim I operate under (rather than the mistaken belief that people who can't change simply don't want to) which tends to be a "truism" is that an early, long-standing history of success is the greatest predictor of failure in an instance requiring change. Starbucks kept doing what used to work, long after there was clear evidence that the wheels were falling off. We continued to buy and operate larger, less efficient cars long after it was clear that the price of a gallon of gas was never going to see a buck again. Why? Because it used to work so brilliantly. There was a dictinct payoff.
Harvard professor of psychology, Ellen Langer, in her book Mindfulness, laid it out pretty simply: mindfulness--good...mindless--bad. Looking through the prism of business: Operating on "autopilot" in our businesses and our lives can prevent us from seeing opportunities to shift before our mindless behavior leads us deeper into the weeds (where the crocodiles lurk). Her book, like the other two I mentioned earlier in thi blog post, can be dense reads, but are worth it to begin to understand that we're not in a battle just with our competitors: We're at war with ourselves.