Sunday, September 27, 2009

Future Blind Part 2: Photoshopping

In another case of the ridiculous... the French lawmakers are considering making photoshopping illegal!

Last week, we had the Victorian government body Vicroads bringing in laws to limit GPS enabled smartphones only to be used as phones within a motor vehicle.

We labelled this a classic case of 'future blind' where some one makes a decision that is at odds with what is happening or most likely to happen.

Mashable via The Telegraph report a proposed law in France will require a warning for all images in newspaper and magazine advertising, press photos, product packaging, etc. Like a packet of cigarettes a health warning will be required along the lines of: Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person's physical appearance." Otherwise, you'll be fined big dollars.

Still laughing?

The idea came from a report authored by a French MP on anorexia and bulima. Supposedly, photoshopped photos are presenting a biased and idealised human form in the photos and therefore, it's a health issue...

Well I'll be... I guess we should smash all the greek sculptures too! Weren't they designed to portray an idealised human form too?

Also, doesn't this pre-suppose that photos are real? Since when did anyone believe that a photo was not photoshopped? My presumption is that all commerical photos are photoshopped in some way... at least in ads! Am I just a sceptic or merely pragmatic?

What's your thought? Do you expect commercial photos to be photoshopped? Do you care?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How do you gather your information? Search Engines or Social Networks?

Mike Hickinbotham on LinkedIn asked an interesting question:
"Will people prefer social networks over search engines to gather information"
Here's my response...

Social networks are taking over from search engines for the less specific questions we have in life.

Google is great at finding specific things. It's like using the card catalogue or computer at the library. You type in a name and find a response.

Social networks are more like wandering through the library just looking and every now and then someone comes along and suggests 'Hey, this one's good'. I follow specific people on Twitter and it's like having a personal news feed of current articles and latest events.

The third element for me is Wikipedia. It's great as a starting point and giving background information. It's like asking the Librarian, 'What do you know about this...' and then they point you on to further info.

What are your thoughts? How do you gather your information about the world?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Future Blind

Every now and then someone comes along with a comment or a decision that suggests they are blind to the future... and in some cases, blind to what's going on right now.

Well, in a blindingly stupid move, VicRoads, the Victorian Government's roads and traffic authority, are intending to ban the use of mobile phones as navigation devices.

As reported in The Age
, a Vic Roads spokesperson has proclaimed:
"A phone will only be allowed to be used for its primary purpose... If it's a phone, it's a phone."

Mmm... is this an April Fools Day Joke in September?

This unbelievable situation represents a complete misunderstanding of digital technology.

When a device incorporates digital technology, it can effectively be any device you want it to be, eg. the iPhone with a few apps loaded.

That's one of the basics of digital technology compared to mechanical technology. We're no longer bound by the physical requirements of a device.

I'm going to add this to my
list of famous future blind examples. Like when Bill Gates said:"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Made to Stick and the Sticking Point - Update

The Made to Stick book has become a classic.

I know that because it now has it’s own Wikipeda page.

Now, that’s an interesting measure of SUCCEs…

Frank Sinatra sang about New York, ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’.

Perhaps, Wikipedia has now replaced New York as the centre of the world?

Digital beats physical?

So… what’s the update?

No real news from Chip and Heath.

Do they have another book in them? There’s no releases or signs as yet.

They’re still blogging away, though.

They do have some new free resources on their site.

You’ll need to sign up to get them.

They’re a rework of the original book applied to new situations. Like, presentations, job interviews, teaching…

They’re short from 1 to 13 pages plus some audio.

Unfortunately, the pdfs show that Chip and Heath have yet to step out of words and into visuals.

Fingers crossed, this could be their next book…

A good bonus for them…

Made to Stick has just been included in Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten’s The 100 Best Business Books Of All Time.

I haven’t seen the book and they are the leaders of 800-CEO-READ so they should know what they’re talking about.

Here’s their Top 100 list.

Let me know what you think about the books on their list… Which books would you add?

As for the content of Made to Stick… Ideas are still the ONLY thing that sells!

Nothing new there… and the book’s as important as ever!

I say, read the Book Rapper issue Sticking Point or buy the book.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Made to Stick: How to Live Forever

* Based upon your feedback, my posts have been getting a bit long. So, I'll split the updates into two. The first will be the context piece from the Book Rapper issue. Then I'll follow this with the update so we're all on the same page.

The Book: Made to Stick
Chip and Dan Heath
Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck
Random Hous
e; London; 2007.

The Context: How to Live Foreve

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000) depicts the journey of Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Russell Crowe) from charismatic war-time army hero, to emotionally bankrupt (Spanish!) slave, to all-conquering Gladiator.

Maximus, with charisma and courage restored, takes on and annihilates his nemesis Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix).

The movie is memorable for several reasons, not the least of which is Russ’s riveting Oscar winning performance.

There is also the opening finger-peeping, visceral battle scene in distant Germania, and the scintillating set design of 180 AD Rome

In one air-sucking scene, barbarian gladiators arrive at the foot of the Coliseum standing agog at the sheer scale of it.

This puts the magnificence of Rome into a useful historical context because it highlights a profound fictional conversation in the movie.

It’s a very short conversation about ten minutes into the film; it’s a conversation that probably went ‘unheard’ by most of the audience.

Marcus Aurelius, the Emperor of Rome (Richard Harris) is talking to Maximus (our Russ). He expresses his concerns over the future of Rome. He starts with the question ‘What is Rome?’ and then says…

“There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile and I fear that it will not survive the winter.”

Two millennium ago, Rome was more than a vibrant city, it was an empire that stretched around the Mediterranean Sea. This
was at the heart of Marcus Aurelius’ concern.

Today, the remnants of this Idea are still with us, the physical element is a city paved with history and inhabited by a couple of million people. Yet the cultural legacy lives on in more subtle and more invisible ways.

From today’s standpoint, to imagine Rome as a mere Idea, and one so fragile that it could vanish, is as astonishing as the Coliseum was to the Gladiators.

Rome was – in around 180AD - an Idea!

Just an Idea in the mind and heart of the passionate Emperor of this strife-torn, unstable settlement.

Now, here’s the Point. Doesn’t everything start out as a fragile idea, a mere fleeting thought?

An idea is at the core of everything – yes, everything - that was ever created.

Every man-made concept, conversation or thing started as a fleeting thought in someone’s head.

Yet, the power of Rome, as an idea that has flourished for 2000 years, shows that ideas can be immortal.

And this, is where Made to Stick finds its place.

It shows how to take your passing fancy and turn it into your ‘Rome’ – an idea that grows into physical form and can live through the ages – or at least until you’re onto your next project.

How do you take your fleeting fancy and translate it into an Idea that’s long lived, or at least, makes a difference to your here and now?

Sticky Ideas are fundamental to everything we all do.

Business itself is a powerful Idea; an Idea that at some Point in pre-history started as a fanciful thought in someone’s head.

Every minor and major business started in the same way.

Someone had a thought and they framed it in a way that stuck.
The raw power of an Idea is it’s potential for immortality.

Can you imagine having an idea that lived forever?

Here’s how...

First you need a thought – a little gem that you think up or, nick from someone else.

Next, you add flesh to your skeletal thought. Until Make It Stick – this may have been hit and miss / pot luck / touch and go. You perform microsurgery on that embryonic Idea to test its core purity – it’s simplicity.

When, and only when, it passes the SUCCESs test, you Innovate (apply it) and give your Idea a life of it’s own in the hearts and minds of others.

We’re all in the business of selling.

Yet, have you ever wondered precisely what it is that you’re selling?

The correct answer is that you’re selling an Idea.

We’re all in the business of Ideas because, ultimately, the idea is what is sold. We don’t buy physical things or strategies or concepts; we buy an Idea. We buy the idea of what that thing can do for us.

Make It Stick could be renamed “How to Sell Ideas”.

Ultimately, that’s what’s up for sale - an Idea - no matter what the product.

We attempt to enrol others into an Idea so that we can move it from its fragile, embryonic state to a more substantial form; a product from which we can profit.

When we set out to sell an Idea, the first sale we need to make is to ourselves.

So, how do you decide if your idea is worth buying? How do you decide if it will work? You trust your gut, because you’re the ultimate consumer; and/or you TWIST your idea because The ‘Will It Stick’ Test works!

Shared Ideas are the building blocks of Life; sound Ideas are the corner stones of our Economy; Sticky Ideas are the mortar of your economic SUCCESs.

What’s your Rome? What’s your big Idea – every day, everywhere - worthy of immortality?

Labels: , , ,