Friday, August 31, 2012

Jack Dorsey and the CEO as the Chief Editor

"Get every single detail perfect and limit the number of details". Priceless.

I am a big fan of Jack Dorsey. He is a visionary and a great leader. He has what it takes to create discontinuities in the market. Little wonder that he is compared to Steve Jobs (that is unfair to both of them, is my opinion). Little wonder that developers and designers want to work with him. And if you want to know more about him, check this and this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 types of social media strategies



As always, Tom Fishburne nails it with the above cartoon. There is also a wonderful quote in his post attributed to Kathy Sierra.

“It does not matter how awesome your product is or your presentation or your post. Your awesome thing matters ONLY to the extent that it serves the user’s ability to be a little more awesome.”

Social media can never help if the organization (and brand) is inherently anti-social. Being anti-social takes many forms. For example, the organization imposes restriction on 'free speech' or customer service sucks( and is rude) or the product/service is bad. Simply put, social media is not a substitute if the brand and organization suck in the real world. It is an amplifier, an enabler.

Finally, brands and their agencies have to work towards making the customer more 'awesome'. And that is a lot of hard work.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chaos is good


I feel vindicated for having written this piece about chaos earlier.

I cannot but wonder why agencies are so chaos(and risk) averse when they are supposed to be a creative environment helping solve client's problems? Everything is buttoned down into a neat process with very little leeway for interesting creative expression. This also true of most organizations. 

But then, is there a formula for chaos that will hopefully result in amazing creative work? In many ways formula and chaos are antithesis of each other. Therefore, do not expect a formula. Instead create an environment that will foster risk taking and adventure. This might result in the kind of chaos that will enable some amazing work to emerge.

In recent times, I have been fascinated with Valve. Their model of no bosses, no delegation, no commands should have meant collapse of the company. Instead, it is probably an interesting approach to creating chaos and great products. It has created for sure one of the hottest software companies in the world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

LEGO - A world without limits


A story of creativity, quality and perseverance. Truly inspiring.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Internet is my religion

I came across this inspiring speech and the notes below here. I would urge you to see the 12 minutes of video, if possible.

"In the video, Jim Gilliam gives us a short tour of his life’s story. I encourage you to watch the entire mind-blowing twelve minutes. In it, Jim tells the story of how after contracting life-threatening cancer, he went from following a popular movement—Jerry Falwell-branded fundamentalist Christianity—to creating two of his own. First, following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Jim became an activist for a better America and produced a series of compelling documentary films to further his cause. In order to promote these films, Jim developed a series of techniques using the Internet to basically create a movement—i.e. to organize a group of people to do something. In this case, learn from his films and strive to improve the country. Later, we find that the cancer treatment that Jim received earlier in the story burned out his lungs requiring that he receive a double lung transplant or die. Finding a donor for two healthy lungs and a doctor willing to perform the insanely risky surgery is the mother of all long shots, so Jim had to start a new movement to get new lungs. Organizing people to save his own life profoundly impacted Jim’s view of how he should spend the rest of it. So much so that his personal domain is called to represent the 3 different DNAs that combine to keep him alive, a constant reminder that he cannot do it alone. 

After recovering from the operation, Jim had a defining revelation. He realized that everything good comes from people working together to accomplish something important and, furthermore, that the Internet would be the great enabler of the most important endeavors."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Digital Games


I couldn’t believe that this is a spoof. This is exactly the kind of bull-crap digital agencies peddle that marketers lap up thirstily. I have said before, digital and social media are far too precious to be left in the hands of agencies, marketers and gurus. 

I am being a bit unfair here. There are agencies around the world doing some great work in the digital and social media space. There are a few clients, like Nike, who have got digital right. Unfortunately, the vast majority of agencies and clients use digital (and social media), especially in India, as yet another advertising medium. These agencies tout the alleged superiority over broadcast media in a pyrotechnic demonstration of data and metrics. They will have the client heaving with multiple orgasms. Unfortunately, this hard-sell approach almost always comes back to bite them in their arse.

By pitching against broadcast media agencies, they are pitching for the same (limited) marketing $$$. Being at the lowest level of the marketing food-chain, the digital (and social media) agencies get thrown the crumbs. It doesn’t stop with that. The race for the crumbs has turned so vicious amongst these agencies that the digital landscape has become a bloody battlefield with no winners. These agencies are completely undermining the industry. I have written about all this in great lengths here.

There is change in the air. I have been speaking to people within the digital space in India. Some of them have refreshing ideas and will hopefully chart a new course for the industry. It is not going to be easy. But if one is in it for the long haul, there is glory. 

PS: BTW, the next biggest con…er…thing keeping agencies and marketers busy is ‘apps’. I am now looking forward to the spoof from BBC Two.