If you’re afraid of making a mistake, you will never create something new.

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity

(Source: youtube.com)

I’m a big fan of the SleeptTime app (see here or in iTunes store), which helps wake you up refreshed by suggesting an alarm time that is during light sleep. Maybe it’s completely a placebo effect, but I swear I feel better when I wake at its suggested time.

But this new option sounds potentially even better. IWAKEU applies the same idea of optimizing your alarm against your REM patterns, but it’s coupled with an alarm light instead of sound. Looks great for those living in the Arctic Circle area, too, who need a bit o’ light.

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Leap Motion + Google Glass = ?!

Whatever the answer to that equation is, it’s under wraps for now. 

But you can ponder the future of gestural communications as you read this bio on Pop Sci. 

Brian Eno’s cat further bolsters the case for celebrity endorsements. 

(Source: antirecords, via jamesraynes)

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"Head-on attempts to persuade can sometimes trigger a backfire effect, where people not only fail to change their minds when confronted with the facts—they may hold their wrong views more tenaciously than ever."

— @MotherJones, “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science,” http://bit.ly/12UmOpL

Honda "Hands" - YouTube »

Nice twist in a commemorative celebration of ideas. “The Power of Dreams.”

If the future of advertising is design, who’s doing it well?

Last fall George Prest notably wrote that the future of advertising is design. The argument being that a brand’s behavior matters more than its claims and proclamations. Deeds not just words — always a maxim for living, but in a digitally connected word no longer an elective strategy.

If that’s true, then what companies are practicing that future today? Here are a few design examples I admire — from service design to product design. 

Warby Parker. One part Toms two parts Tom Ford. The concierge-styled service allows you to browse then try at home at your leisure, for free.  Cross that with the one-for-one approach and you have even more reason to feel good about designer eyewear at affordable prices. 

Method. Beyond break through product design, they turned the ultimate low-interest category into a movement: make the world a better place. David in a category of Goliaths.

Nest. They don’t sell thermostats, they provide a means to give more than you take in the big-picture sense, and they do it with elegance (lovely Nest!) and ease (e.g. simple install, whether you elect full or self-service). 


Work Dug By Me (and Admittedly Not Only Me)

Appropriately so, “work” here is defined broadly. Not just “ads” (but ads are good), and not just utilities (“long live utility!”) and not just content (the diversion that keeps us all sane). 

Just a round-up of work that works, for me. 

New Balance Nationals, 2012, Almighty.  Making a brand relevant through deeds not just words.  Masterful, plus you have to always admire a savvy move by David in a Goliath category.  Case study


Smart ForTwo “OffRoad” 2013, BBDO Germany (view: PERPERIDIS SPYRIDONAS) Thumbs the nose at big ass cars, a la MINI and Hummer back in the day.


My Vizify graphical bio.

It’s not so much that I think it’s awesome (to me, it’s a bit embarrassing how narrow it looks), but I dig the premise: help people tell their own stories, in a simple, graphical way. 

I imagine that a Gen Y Vizify graph may be more compelling, though it would also need more editing, I’d wager (another object lesson!). 

As a social sharing service, this could be of interest, though there’s a lot to do to make the act appealing to more than digital wonks.  But as a tool for planners looking to better understand respondents, Vizify could definitely helps you cut some corners by giving simple tools to respondents and letting them get busy. (Or perhaps talk about why their profile isn’t quite what they imagined it would be.)

Your life, by the numbers, kinda: FourSquare’s Time Machine

I do dig the FourSquare Time Machine — what’s not to like about getting a little perspective on your own habits and interests? 

But even someone like me, who is involved in advertising and therefore feels a compulsion to check out LBS services, can look at this tool and track the decline of my FS usage (that plummeting bar graph under the Star Trek image).

In my opinion their pivot from check-in app to “discovery” app was a promising move for users. Sadly here in Durham there aren’t too many unknown gems to discover, so that alone didn’t keep me going, but in major metro areas I could see the value. Here in Cackalacky, I do check-in to small businesses that I suspect have an Amex deal (thanks, Wholefoods), but they’re infrequent enough that this isn’t a common occurrence.  

Perhaps FourSquare’s hope is that by sharing Time Machine info you’ll be newly inspired to check-in and keep plotting your activity.

Or maybe they hope that by sharing this record, I’ll help them attract one of the 4/5 smart phone users who don’t use check-in apps (figures per Pew in 2012).