The value of shutting off the analytical part of your brain
“The parts of our brain that learn from experience are far more capable than the parts that learn from talking through it. We think we need to tell ourselves things like, ‘keep your weight over your front don’t press so hard on the violin bow…’ when we’re trying to learn something new or improve our performance, when that’s exactly the thing that inhibits learning and improvement.”
Elegant solutions combine simplicity and power
“The most challenging games have the fewest rules, as do the most dynamic organizations. The most memorable films have a simple message with complex meaning, touching a universal chord while allowing multiple interpretations. An elegant solution is quite often a single tiny aha! idea that changes everything. Finally, elegant solutions aren’t obvious, except, of course, in retrospect.” [tx SU]
Best Buy moves to "results-only work environment"
“The nation’s leading electronics retailer has embarked on a radical — if risky — experiment to transform a culture once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses. The endeavor, called ROWE, for “results-only work environment,” seeks to demolish decades-old business dogma that equates physical presence with productivity. The goal at Best Buy is to judge performance on output instead of hours.” [tx Jake]
Letterpress making a comeback
“Art experts say this new interest in the specialized craft is a reaction to the slick design and flat graphics common in computer publishing…’It looks different. It feels old. It’s tactile. People love that. It is the romance of the impression of the letter pressed into paper that people feel good about.’”
Neat fonts inspired by 1940s movies include context-sensitive characters (i.e. letters at the ends of words appear differently)
“Kinescope will include context-sensitive characters. For example, when a letter falls at the end of a word, the connecting stroke is clipped off. This gives settings a more natural hand-lettered look.” [via DC]
Peter Drucker inspires changes at P&G
“Peter Drucker, the late management guru who argued that companies tend to overcomplicate their businesses, creating too many products, hiring too many employees, and generally distracting themselves from what made them successful in the first place: pleasing their customers.”
When companies build intimacy
“Gone are the days of spending millions of dollars to build brand awareness. It turns out that a small company can score much higher on trust and reliability if they build intimacy. What’s the catch? Well, it means that as a small company, you have [to be] ready to accept that responsibility. You have to be prepared to be called out when you get it wrong. It requires a lot of humility. It also requires a LOT of effort.”
More digital tracks than CD’s will be sold in the United States for the first time this year
“Lately, the major labels have in effect tried to move into the talent management business by demanding that new artists seeking record contracts give their label a cut of concert earnings or T-shirt and merchandise revenue — areas that had once been outside the labels’ bailiwick. One music exec says, ‘I find myself, when I’m signing a record deal now, asking, “Can this sell as a ring tone?”’”
Animation: "My Favorite Character is a Wizard"
“In the summer of 2000 I visited Gencon, the largest gaming convention in the world, with a video crew. We interviewed thirty ‘gamers’ about role-playing, and their favorite characters. This animation brings those idealized alter egos to life, but also reveals the mannerisms, speech patterns and idiosyncrasies of their creators.”