Sunspots: The punk edition 37signals 22 Aug 2006

10 comments Latest by matt

How does punk philosophy relate to branding?
"Within the punk rock credo of my youth were the seeds of a larger business philosophy. Ten years in a boutique design and branding firm has shown me how valuable the punk rock attitude is to a successful brand plan. The brands that consistently rise to the top have questioned everything that's been done before. Adding 'X' to a razor's name? Just a lame attempt at buying an audience with weak, non-genuine branding. Inventing a razor for shaving heads? Totally punk rock."
22 comic book panels that *always* work
"Once shrouded in secrecy, Wally Wood would selectively give assistants and those close to him three 8x10 photocopies of comic panels that bore the absolute essence of drawing comic book panels. 22 images in total, they held the secret to a comic book illustrator's success." [thanks RF]
Video: Minority Report interface becomes reality
Jeff Han demonstrates his intuitive "interface-free" touch-driven computer screen, which can be manipulated intuitively with the fingertips and responds to varying levels of pressure. Amazing stuff. Not sure about the virtual keyboard thing though. Typing must suck without tactile feedback.
Do IT people favor Windows because it keeps their pockets lined?
David Pogue once wrote this: "The I.T. people know where their bread is buttered. If Macs are indeed less trouble-prone and complex than Windows PC's, they're doomed in corporations; the last thing the I.T. guys want to do is obsolete themselves." But now he's convinced that's a myth.
Video: Steve Jobs comeback keynote at Macworld Boston 1997
Back in black. While we're living it up '97 style, here's another flashback: Gabocorp '97 (Flash).
Calendar vs. reminders in Backpack
Patrick Rhone: "Now that Backpack has a calendar, I bet many of you are wondering what the usefulness of the reminders are outside of the calendar. Lets take a look at what types of things should go on the calendar and what sorts of things reminders are good for that should not go on the calendar (which is crucial)."
Dapper: Build an API for any website
"Dapper's mission is to allow you to use any web based content in any way you can imagine. And by use, we mean going beyond just reading or viewing a webpage. You may want to create an RSS feed or a Google Gadget for a site, take a site's content and put it on a map, receive an email alert when your site's Alexa's ranking goes below 5000, or create a mashup of your favorite band's tour dates and a camping locations reservation website to organize your musical camping vacation. Whatever you want to do, however you want to mold the web, Dapper can help you do it."
Sound Opinions interview with Jon Brion (producer for Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple and Kanye West)
"One of the ideas [he discusses] is the art of the song. He finds songs to be 'astonishing' and distinguishes them from 'performance pieces.' Brion's example is the music of Led Zeppelin. He loves Zeppelin, but asks the listener to compare their melodies to that of someone like George Gershwin. Brion adds that one rocker who did manage to write wonderfully constructed songs that will stand the test of time is Kurt Cobain. Listen to how he plays Nirvana's 'Lithium' followed by an old Cole Porter standard."

10 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Mike 22 Aug 06

Re. David Pogue’s comments, he did a significant retreat a couple days following his original post. See the change of mind at

street 22 Aug 06

ahh GaboCorp.. Its worth reminding that back in ‘97 the average computer rendered this thing rather slowly and changing menu items could take 30 seconds or more. Not at all annoying because you had the cool techno muzac to keep you busy.

Erik Kastner 22 Aug 06

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

About a month ago, I went looking for gabocorp, and I couldn’t remember the name of it. Google was less then helpful for “Balls flying flash interface zooming” - but now it will be ;)

Thank you.

matt 22 Aug 06

Wow…i disagree with some of that punk post. Apple is punk rock? Linux is closer to punk rock. Apple is way too refined to be punk rock. Punk is short, to the point, and raw. Go back and look @ black flag and minor threat and compare them to apple again. Actually Linux is probably closer to old school techno and house (think early detroit…derrick may and kevin saunderson) as it was through a lot of experimentation with the early roland equipment and plugging a lot of wonky poo together and playing that it came to be (the early scratching an itch that we oft hear of in hacking discussions).

In fact, a lot of that article is just more schlock. Geico is punk rock? Geico is largely run by Berkshire Hathaway.

I think some of the comments on the article are much more spot on. Punk rockers play punk because they want to. They enjoy it. They do it for the experience itself. In the words of Maynard (tool):

“I sold out long before you ever even heard my name.
I sold my soul to make a record, “

Once you start thinking about the finances of an endeavor, you’re moving away from the spirit of the thing itself. As such, you are selling out. In fact, I think it’s best summed up in one of the rules this guy put out there:

“Don’t be a poser.”

dmr 22 Aug 06

“Once you start thinking about the finances of an endeavor, you�re moving away from the spirit of the thing itself. “

Or maybe you’re considering how you can pay a mortgage and make stuff. And people who are quick to call someone a sellout is a poser. Was Warhol a sellout to pop? Is Shepard Fairey a sellout to street art? Is Henry Rollins a sellout too? I don’t think so. The fact that they can finance these interests makes it more admirable, not less.

Punk is like a modern Dada; but I think Dada had a more artful spirit. Punk is usually too low-fi for my tastes.

ct 22 Aug 06

Danny Hillis and Applied Minds took this interface and one-upped it with an interface that physically grows to represent geographical topographies in 3D:

matt 23 Aug 06

dmr: “Or maybe you�re considering how you can pay a mortgage and make stuff.”

Right…you’re no longer just considering it for the spirit of what it is…you’re looking at the practicality of it. I don’t know if any of those people are sellouts, as I don’t know what makes them tick or why they got into their crafts.