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    Monday, March 24, 2008


    Where does inspiration strike you? Chances are you haven't invented Harry Potter or discovered the flaws of nano-physics on your commute home.....yet

    Wired takes a look at the often neglected part of brillant ideas. Often they come from inspiration from the world around us, not necessarily just our neurons. Check out some of the most unlikely places for big ideas.

    Oh and that house in the woods is the video store where the creator of Netflix owed $40 in late fees, inspiring him to create a better model.



    ProActiv Vends

    I completely forgot about this till today. When out in CA, i saw this brilliant take on vending machines. Im not obsessed with them or anything like that, but i find some satisfaction in a machine servicing a product without having to ask a clerk to grab it or searching the aisles incessantly. And i haven't even been to Japan yet, where apparently you can buy anything next to a car in a machine.

    Pro-Activ has these great vending machines scattered about (the country?). Super smart. This not only cuts out a frustrating over-the-phone experience, but also gives the consumer a chance to buy directly. This supercedes even something like the king of easy, web sales has owned. What better place to put this than at the mall, the habitual long-time hangout of teenagers and young folks? Very nice to see some smart thinking around consumer needs within their current lifestyle. I give this sales model a thumbs up on technology, thumbs up on placement, and a big high five on the direct to consumer distribution.

    Lvhrd has a great post on the black market economy of Proactiv right here


    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    The Watch

    Im coming to the slow realization that my occupation allows for little time to blog...or anything else for that matter. So i will have to cede any thoughts of my own for some from other sources. A few things of interest on the intranets for your inspiration.

    Magnetic Pushpin Cushin - Seems to turn magnets and pushpins on a sphere. Fix them to any surface and leave messages to your hearts content.

    The future of web tech? - Seems Google may almost be dead in its tracks if new semantic web searches come to fruition. Semantics embed information in practically everything to make greater associations simpler and faster. Think Mash-ups without having to create some weird program...

    Best of Lifehacker - Organize your life to actually be productive for once.

    PSFK Conference - Will be in attendance with a co-worker. Anyone fancy a hello? Lineup looks good as always.

    Krups Heineken Review - This is the future ladies and gents! Personalized brews and drinks in your own home. Probably will be one size fits all machine for coffee to soda to Gatorade. Dear Heineken, please send me one!

    Facebook matches blood donors - Finally something worthy for social networking.

    Apple's Design Process - Some insight into the process Apple's creators go through for new product concepts. HA! I know a company that does twice as many...

    Japanese Schoolgirl Watch - Weird but futuristically advanced. The chart topping voice is synthesized yet grabs the kids like idol. Who knew Britney would be replaced by a robot?

    Lenticular Clouds - Via Designverb - Cant forget mother nature can we? I sure do miss her in this jungle. These are just awesome.


    Monday, March 03, 2008

    Ebb and Flow - Box Office Receipts

    I had no idea how fluid the box office is. You could have shown me numbers out the wazoo, but sometimes you need a little visual comm to put it all in perspective. The NYtimes gives us the impact of movies from 1986-2007, based on amount of money earned (height) and length of time (width). Imagine if ad campaigns could get this kind of life out of their ideas? Also a great lens on the mood of the american consumer.



    The Impact of Terror on American Psyche

    There has been an issue that has been on mind for quite some time and I just keep seeing it everywhere. With that said I felt compelled to write a few words to articulate my thoughts. The issue at hand is the psychological, socio-economic and cultural implications of the effect of terror on our youth's lives.

    A colleague sent this image to me, about a new book called I dont Want to Blow You up. The book is for kids and adults and attempts to counter the terrifying messages transmitted in the name of the “War on Terror.” In an age of yellow, orange, and red terror alerts, it aims to focus attention on different people, colors and cultures who are living harmoniously.

    What got me the most, wasn't the subject but the image of the bandana covering faces. This ideal of "identity" has infiltrated fashion and is now omnipresent in much of american streetwear. Bandanas covering one's face conjures up the image of a bandit during the time of cowboys or more recently, a terrorist. Fashion has embraced the idea of masking one's identity, often in a notorious manner. Being notorious has always been somewhat embraced in america, since the time of gangsters. Streetwear has been built on insider status, a cult of likeminded individuals. Yet there has been a profound change from insider status to total protection of the identity. Streetwear has always been about identity protection, but now that acceptance of violence and mayhem has taken ahold, it is about vigilantism and struggle. Identity is used to keep motives secret.

    Sadly we have been at war for nearly a decade. Today's children are accustomed to violence. The number of US domestic shootings has quintupled in the last decade. Is it because we are at war? we don't know. Is it because of video games? We dont know. Is it because of over-prescriptive doctors who push pills? We don't know. But we do know that violence has become a way of life. Strikingly worse, is how the violence is implemented. We are seeing violence for the purpose to draw attention. Jihad, is termed "holy war" under strict guidelines yet much what has been done in the name of jihad is pure hate and extremism. And the acts committed are done for maxmium exposure. Sadly it seems many of our school shooters commit atrocious acts of violence to draw attention to a cause, whatever it might be. The mindset of violence has changed from shock and horror to a terrible tool of attention.

    While i started this article weeks ago, today was a sad reminder of how relevant my thoughts are. Just today there were shootings in West Palm Beach and Memphis . What does the future hold in store? What will the long-term impact be of the psyche of terror and war on today's and tomorrow's generations?




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