Idea Development at Ideo

The book: The Art of Innovation: Success Through Innovation the IDEO Way Author: Thomas Kelley (co-founder of Ideo) Genre: Business/idea generation A thought-provoking book about brainstorming and product development, Ideo-style. Worth reading both because of the practical tips on how to develop innovative products (and innovative cultures), and because of the portrayal of Ideo, aContinue reading “Idea Development at Ideo”

Frank and the Hidden Cost of Strawberry Daiquiris

Let’s say that you are the lucky owner of a prosperous bar called “Frank’s Beer and Daiquiri” that sells only two types of drinks, namely beer and (you guessed it) strawberry daiquiris. Interestingly, you have a crazy bartender called Frank who insists on deciding what people should drink. A customer will approach the bar andContinue reading “Frank and the Hidden Cost of Strawberry Daiquiris”

A guide to the creative industries

Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce Author: Richard E. Caves Genre: Academic – microeconomics in action If you are interested in getting an in-depth understanding of how the creative industries work – movie production, book publishing, art galleries, music distribution, etc. – I know no better starting point than this book. It explains whyContinue reading “A guide to the creative industries”

The Medici Effect

The Medici Effect Author: Frans Johansson Genre: Business/innovation Inspiring book about how innovation happens when you mix up different fields and disciplines, with lots of case stories. While a lot of the evidence presented in the book is anecdotal, the main argument still rings quite true. The Medici in the title refers to the RenaissanceContinue reading “The Medici Effect”

The Reusability of Words

Like radioactive atoms, words have a half-life. Or rather, they have a recharge time, which is the time (or length of text) from you use it the first time til you can use it again without vexing the reader. Basically, when people read a book, they are not very conscious of the actual words andContinue reading “The Reusability of Words”

Dead, funny, fascinating

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Author: Mary Roach Genre: Popular (yet ghoulish) science This is a book about what happens to our bodies after we die. Dissection, cremation, decomposition, organ donation, forensic work – you name it, this book has it. Ever wondered whether people retain consciousness when they are beheaded, say, byContinue reading “Dead, funny, fascinating”

Follow-up: Musical Redemption

Re. the phenomenon described in the ‘Musical redemption’ post below, I thought of another, interesting manifestation of the same thing. It happens when I write notes to myself. I normally walk around with a couple of blank record cards in my pocket. Whenever some stray thought hits me, I write it down. Sometimes, if I’mContinue reading “Follow-up: Musical Redemption”

The Problem With Procrastination

We all know that procrastination is a bad thing. We really shouldn’t be doing it; putting problems off till tomorrow that we could be dealing with today. Action is good. Being proactive about things is even better. An immense amount of praise will flow towards the employees that are being proactive, dealing with issues beforeContinue reading “The Problem With Procrastination”

Musical Redemption + Angry Email Syndrome

I can practically never make my friends recognise the tunes I sing to them. If I try humming the latest radio hit, I will receive perplexed looks from them, followed by general sniggering and good-natured ridicule. The explanation seems simple: my musical talents are not quite up to scratch. Well, that, or maybe, just maybe,Continue reading “Musical Redemption + Angry Email Syndrome”

The Death of Complexity and The Rise of Small Things

I have an obsession with simple things. Normally, we take pride in getting the complex stuff right. It is more glamorous, more prestigious; getting simple things right seems so mundane in comparison. The formulation of the grand overarching five year strategy traditionally occupy the finest minds in the company (or at least those with theContinue reading “The Death of Complexity and The Rise of Small Things”