The cult of transparency and why secrecy is dying
“Radical forms of transparency are now the norm at startups – and even some Fortune 500 companies. It is a strange and abrupt reversal of corporate values. Not long ago, the only public statements a company ever made were professionally written press releases and the rare, stage-managed speech by the CEO. Now firms spill information in torrents, posting internal memos and strategy goals, letting everyone from the top dog to shop-floor workers blog publicly about what their firm is doing right – and wrong.” [via BF]
Logos that look different each time you see them
“Saks’s chopped-up logo is the latest and most visible example of what graphic designers call a dynamic visual identity. That’s design-speak for a logo that looks different each time you see it — like MTV’s graffiti-esque initials or the customized symbols with which Google celebrates Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day — as opposed to the old-fashioned corporate ones, which always look the same.”
Call for a Blogger's Code of Conduct
“There’s an attitude among many bloggers that deleting inflammatory comments is censorship. I think that needs to change. I’m not suggesting that every blog will want to delete such comments, but I am suggesting that blogs that do want to keep the level of dialog at a higher level not be censured for doing so.”
Why do icon designers deliver icons individually sized in PNG or GIF files instead of a single vector file?
“When you take a vector image, originally sized at 24×24 and scale it down to 16×16, the relative proportions do not match. There’s no way you can evenly distribute 24 pixels of information into 16 pixels of space (remember, there’s no such thing as half a pixel). So the image blurs…Now this is fine if you want Fisher Price icons, but not desirable if you’re looking for crisp and clean.”
Using blocks of color to create a grid in Photoshop
“Instead, I create blocks of solid color — usually in Web-safe #FF0000 red — to represent my grid, group them together in a layer folder ordered at the top of my layers palette, and set each of them at roughly 40% transparency. This allows me to toggle the grid on and off, and also to swap variants on the grid — different combinations of units and columns — at will. Much, much easier than using Photoshop’s guides.”
Interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt
“Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, talks about Google’s industry and competitors, about leading innovation, and career advice.” [via GK]
CEOs analyze New England Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick’s management style
Belichick 1) Is a good role model. 2) Is a keen judge of talent. 3) Isn’t afraid to make tough calls. 4) Learns from his mistakes.
Ignore the pressure to come off as a credible member of the “enterprise” community
“Companies selling ‘business’ products can’t resist the image of the stock-art ‘professional’. You know, those people on your online banking site who just look do damn thrilled to be sitting in front of a laptop in a suit reading about their latest finance charges. Or the painfully diverse group of young professionals you see in those de-saturated photos on ‘B2B’ sites pretending to brainstorm up a heap of enterprise solutions.”
Design Rules
“Fast Company asked 15 top designers – creators of buildings, furniture, products, Web sites, costumes, and labels – to deconstruct something that exemplifies great design to them. More important, we asked them to tell us what we can learn about the art of design.”
Parents turning to children for advice more often
“They think of their computer-savvy, plugged-in children as confidants, and so they look to them for advice on life decisions, as well as major purchases: cars, computers, vacation packages, real estate, home décor. An article in the Journal of Business Research for April says today’s children ‘encounter decision-making at an earlier age,’ are ‘taking on greater roles and responsibilities in family purchases’ and are influencing their parents’ buying decisions far beyond areas where children are the ‘primary product users.’”
Estimate, invoice and time tracking software that integrates with Basecamp.
“ is the live videostream of Justin Kan, a 23-year-old web entrepreneur in San Francisco who has coined the term “lifecasting” with his no holds barred self-documentation approach. Kan has attached a camera to his head that delivers a 24/7 stream of his life from his point of view. (The only time he takes the camera off is when he goes to sleep at night, which leads viewers to wonder what will happen when the opportunity to get intimate with someone presents itself.)”
Chapter 1 of Mark Hurst’s Bit Literacy
“Bits reveal several paradoxes: they’re weightless, but they weigh us down; they don’t take up any space, but they always seem to pile up; they’re created in an instant, but they can last forever; they move quickly, but they can waste our time. (Compared to the wide organic diversity of atoms, which come in all sizes and configurations, bits are limited to two states: 1 or 0, on or off. Maybe it’s the close proximity of opposites that causes such frequent paradox in the bit world.) Avoiding or ignoring these paradoxes inevitably brings on overload; bit literacy teaches you how to accept and work with them, in order to take control of your bits.”