I thought about these stories, the problems posed and their respective solutions and then about problems we face in our work on a daily basis, primarily in relation to the topic I introduced in the beginning of this article – of handing projects over to clients. How we should anticipate the media andunderstand the destination. We tend to strive for perfection only to understand that the solution will fall apart as soon as it comes into the hands of the clients we work for. Could it be possible for us to define and design our own ink traps to prepare for the project handover? Is it possible to find solutions which come alive ONLY when in the hands of clients? Can we better utilize the restrictions of the media we work in, and use it to our own benefit?
The City is – once again – at the forefront of massive technological, cultural, and social transformation. Many metropolitan regions and infrastructure players have joined forces and announced ambitious projects, and the (pop-)cultural debate is zooming in on it: See Cisco’s strategic initiative with the city of Barcelona; Ericsson’s film on “Thinking Cities;” or Gary Hustwit’s new documentary “Urbanized.” TED awarded its 2012 TED Prize to “The City 2.0” (for the first time it didn’t go to a person), and The Atlanticdevotes an entire section to it.
It started as one of our “Centers of Passion,” and the City has now evolved into a broader initiative at frog that comprises of the following components:
– Envisioning the “Meta-City”
Check out frog chief creative officer Mark Rolston’s much gushed about “Building the Meta-City” talk at the PICNIC conference in Amsterdam and creative director Rob McIntosh’s presentation at Mobile World Congress. Moreover, the upcoming print issue of our design mind publication will feature an article by creative director Scott Nazarian on “Re-Thinking the City in the Digital Age.”
– Membership in the New Cities Foundation
frog last week joined the New Cities Foundation (NCF), a new gl
Tagged with: Amsterdam
, Climate Group
, Ford Foundation
, Gary Hustwit
, Mark Rolston
, Mobile World Congress
, New York City
, SENSEable City Lab
, Urban area
, Urban China Initiative
Publicado en Designmind.frogdesign.com
Complaining about junk mail is hardly novel. But “Junk Mail Thinking” is not limited to credit card offers. Junk mail thinking is metric-oriented thinking, and it pervades the business world, stemming from an almost religious devotion to measurement. An entire generation of managers has been brought up in the Church of Measurement, whose catechism is: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” It seems like an innocent enough idea. But as uncontroversial as it sounds, a dogmatic devotion to measurement can create problems. Those problems begin with a few simple truths:
Some things are easier to measure than others. It is easy to measure how many people respond to a credit card offer. It is much harder to measure the cumulative frustration that these tactics inspire among the thousands who don’t respond. But, the fact that something is hard to measure doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. Unfortunately, we tend to fall back on things that are easy to measure over taking on an initiative that might bring real value to users. And since nothing is easier to measure than income, it’s no wonder that customers of measurement-centric companies end up feeling “nickel and dimed.” But financial focus isn’t the only flaw in the measurement mindset.
“One day I was passing through Terminal 5 at JFK on my way to a conference in Austin and I stumbled upon these peculiar notebooks in the Muji store. They had little boxes that were meant for storyboarding. Just like the 140 characters in a tweet, these boxes have provided the frame for condensing discussions to their essential bits. Since then it has become a bit of an obsession for me in meetings as I try to get the most out of each square. And it has spread to friends and co-workers, one of whom bought them for her son who was having trouble focusing in school.
In the digital age, when every interaction is captured in a steady stream of 1s and 0s, it is critical that we pay extra attention to the human and personal qualities of each situation. It is too easy to retreat into the ether. Thats what these notebooks do for me.”
Yes, this is an exciting, forward-thinking conclusion, but it is also a daunting one. The ante has been upped: no longer is it enough to want to create “the iPod” of a given industry and follow in Apple’s much-admired, design-worshipping footsteps. Companies have to “think different,” as Steve Jobs always encouraged his team to do.
Of course, simply copying how a successful company does things “different,” won’t automatically ensure parallel results. You have to rethink what “think different” really means in 2012–for you. Are your company’s innovation efforts really resulting in unique work? Do you have original human resources policies to retain your top performers and to recruit—and retain–the next generation of leaders? Will your own management style help define, or at least reflect, the winning business strategies of the 2010s, and not the outdated leadership tactics of the 2000s?
These questions, which can be tough to confront and to answer, are not only good for innovating your offerings, but they’re also generally good for business too. Daring to be different and not just think different can reap long-term dividends. In other words, doing business as usual means you could be out of business sooner then you think. Straying from tradition–conducting business as unusually as you can– might keep you in business longer than your critics and competitors have expected–as IBM and Google have proved.
Recently Fast Company ran a lengthy piece on the four companies that will dominate the tech economy in the next ten years: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google. All four are tremendously powerful companies that each started in one category (book selling, search engine, etc.) and are branching out to disrupt adjacent categories. Because of this, they are all coming into conflict with one another. And they are all strong forces in mobile.
So it is strange being at Mobile World Congress where these brands have minimal, if any, presence. Apple has no official presence, but its products are everywhere either in reality (almost all attendees have iPhones) or by proxy (the iPhone is what triggered the smartphone revolution that is driving most of the business here). Amazon seems completely absent, and Facebook was involved in a talk and has a nondescript booth in one of the less trafficked halls.