This is the result of our recalibrated sense of scarcity. A new form of limitless capitalism with prices inching, virtually, toward nothing. Anything could exist, and may exist regardless of whether someone wants it. That means availability of pirate Cocteau films with ads for the replicating company and trucker hats with “World’s Greatest Dad” printed above a random old man’s face. That’s why there are junk ship puzzles on Alibaba. Pieces of endless possibilities floating in the ether. —
Rhizome | The Junk Ships on Alibaba
I am going to visit Mexico city in a few weeks. One of my favorite research tools for travel is Google Reader (it will be missed). The ability to curate a set of sources, search years of posts for phrases as simple as “Mexico City” and discover things like the above quote still amazes me.
In the article the author talks about finding a bootleg dvd tent in an open market called Cine de Arte. And now I am going to see if I can find it. These kinds of search based discoveries are not being powered by things like Flipboard and Twitter and they won’t disappear with Google Reader. The question is who will facilitate them next? I have yet to meet someone else who searches their Google Reader archive like a knowledge base instead of marking posts read like an inbox. It’s probably a product of some mild OCD. RSS feeds may have “lost” to social feeds in the eyes of the press, but the ability to curate a set of sources, index their output and then harness their contents to discover is just beginning of something far more useful than feed based experiences.
The loss of the ability to search my google reader archives is far bigger than the loss of the feed reader itself.
We stopped by the BOLS USA office to see some friends and discovered these ancient Dutch artifacts, a few of which are centuries old!
I’m posting on the small screen blog these days. Mostly photos of spirit, cocktail and beer related stuff.
3D Printed Record - 600dpi into 11kHz with Processing and ModelBuilder
Marc set me straight. Here’s his advice: “No one gets it right the first time.” No one gets it right the first time. When I heard those words, the resonance was like a deep bell had sounded in me; it was so freeing. Great products don’t spring from great designers like Athena from the skull of Zeus; instead, they were usually the result of a lot of trial and error, missteps and blind alleys, and hard work and deep thinking. There’s no secret sauce. Great designers aren’t those with the most natural talent, or the smartest, or can draw the best. Great designers are those who’ve designed great products, period. And the only way to design those is the hard way. And while you might have a vision of how the product should be right from the start, it takes a lot of work to get it right. You have to explore. You have to prototype. You have to test. You have to see it live. You have to see someone using it. Only then do you get a refined design. No one gets it right the first time. — “The Best Design Advice I Ever Got” with Dan Saffer
The best elevator pitch doesn’t pitch your project. It pitches the meeting about your project. The best elevator pitch is true, stunning, brief and it leaves the listener eager (no, desperate) to hear the rest of it. It’s not a practiced, polished turd of prose that pleases everyone on the board and your marketing team, it’s a little fractal of the entire story, something real. — Seth’s Blog: No one ever bought anything on an elevator
In the coming months, we will introduce our first pay-to-view service, giving video creators of all types flexible tools to charge for access to your videos, with no coding required. We can’t say too much at the moment, but we can promise you’re going to like it. Look out for some cool demos of the service as we get it ready for launch to the whole community. Get psyched. — Introducing Vimeo Creator Services: Helping Creators Make Money on Vimeo
The problem that we are seemingly unable to countenance is the end of growth. Today’s system is predicated on the progressive conversion of nature into products, people into consumers, cultures into markets and time into money. We could perhaps extend that growth for a few more years by fracking, deep-sea oil drilling, deforestation, land grabs from indigenous people and so on, but only at a higher and higher cost to future generations. Sooner or later – hopefully sooner – we will have to transition towards a steady-state or degrowth economy. —
We can’t grow ourselves out of debt, no matter what the Federal Reserve does | Charles Eisenstein | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk (via Thor Muller)
I’ve always wondered about this. I distinctly remember the feeling of intense anxiety I felt during the early 2000s recession when I first realized that the world’s current economic system basically requires endless growth to function.(via buzz)
Folders tend to grow deeper and deeper. As soon as we have more than a handful of notions, or (beware!) more than one hierarchical level of notions, it gets hard for most brains to build a mental model of that information architecture. While it is common to have several hierarchy levels in applications and file systems, they actually don’t work very well. We are just not smart enough to deal with notional pyramids. Trying to picture notional systems with several levels is like thinking three moves ahead in chess. Everybody believes that they can, but only a few skilled people really can do it. If you doubt this, prove me wrong by telling me what is in each file menu in your browser… —
Mountain Lion’s New File System | Information Architects
A well articulated case for flattening hierarchy as much as possible.
Take the example of the Hot Wheels Custom Motors Cup, a project I directed for Mattel in 2010. 30 months after launch, the videos in that campaign have amassed more than 20 million combined views.
The stat of note is not 20 million views, but rather 30 months. Rather than build an experience that was tied to any one campaign, Mattel chose to create an evergreen bit of interactivity that continues to perform strongly in aggregate almost three years after its release. —
MediaPost Publications Less Talk, More ‘Action!’ 08/23/2012
I hope he billed retroactively! We have similar situations at SmallScreen where for example, an Old Fashioned recipe video was sold for cheap 5 years ago and has now create a ridiculous amount of value for the sponsoring brand over time. Evergreen content seems like one of the best deals going for brands if the content strategy is solid.
This is why we can’t have nice things. While Svbtl and Medium are experimenting with beautiful ad-less publishing experiences, real publishers sites are being violated by the kind of advertising pictured above. The actual innovation to be had is in changing the way people like Miller think about talking to Selecticism’s audience, and in turn changing the way Selectism makes money. New publishing platforms are great, and I am excited about both Medium and Svbtl, but they will not solve the problems of existing publishers. We need new ways for businesses to make money from their content that do not involve new platforms and channels.
My partner Ben’s office was the first place I would go when I thought I had new “insights.” And we’d run them to the ground for days before we’d even let anyone else know. Most of the time after a few days of thought, these insights were really not much better than the current course the company was on. Or by then other customers would tell us something quite different. And the rule was we weren’t changing anything about the product architecture until Ben and I agreed. Which required Ben hearing from the same customers I did. —
Vision versus Hallucination – Founders and Pivots « Steve Blank
Steve Blank’s 72 hour rule for insights.
We’ve designed our company in a way that allows us to focus exclusively on customers, rather than an executive’s vision or shareholders’ expectations. Design leadership at Valve takes the form of direct collaboration among a cross-disciplinary team of people who are all focused on the customer experience. It’s very decentralized. We optimize product design by hiring experts and enabling them to direct their own collaboration, exploration, trials, and failures; then learn and try again. And we engage customers in the conversation through playtesting, early betas, and frequent product updates, looking to customer feedback and data to inform our next steps. —
Design Staff – Design at Valve: collaborating and innovating in a flat organization
The Valve employee manual is a great read.
“We have an advantage over third-party visualization tools: because Simple has access to the full feed of your data, there’s no middleman between you and reliable, real-time understanding of your spending.”
Simple announces reports. And it begins. Watch out Mint.com.