Interview with author of "Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow"
“Make customers feel like they’re part of a bigger cause. Hummer buyers may feel that connection, but most people would say that it’s lacking a socially responsible element. Patagonia – the company, not the region in Argentina – runs its “1% for the planet” campaign, and its loyal customers are “Patagoniacs.” They love being associated with Patagonia because it’s part of a bigger cause. For people who buy from Apple, it’s not just “I’m an iconoclastic rebel,” but “I’m part of a bigger cause,” the anti-Microsoft attitude. At Whole Foods Market, you may go there because you love the product, but lots of people buy there because they love the sustainability cause.”
Blind boy masters echolocation
“Ben has learned to perceive and locate objects by making a steady stream of sounds with his tongue, then listening for the echoes as they bounce off the surfaces around him. About as loud as the snapping of fingers, Ben’s clicks tell him what’s ahead: the echoes they produce can be soft (indicating metals), dense (wood) or sharp (glass). Judging by how loud or faint they are, Ben has learned to gauge distances.” Related: Video profile.
Recently flipped Zimbra: Building to flip doesn’t work
“We set out to build a great company with a real business behind it. That’s what I think people should do when they start a business. They [have] got to think about: How do I make this an independently successful cash flow self-sustaining business? Then, there’ll be very interesting M&A opportunities that will come and knock on the door. If instead we started a company thinking that there is going to be a quick flip, [in] 90% of the cases that does not work out because no one is interested in buying – or they want to buy you off really cheap. We were not thinking of an ideal nor were we thinking of an M&A. We were just thinking: Let’s go and create a compelling product and create some real business in specific markets. That’s what we started out to do and that’s what we did.”
Irrational exuberance makes a comeback?
“Internet companies with funny names, little revenue and few customers are commanding high prices. And investors, having seemingly forgotten the pain of the first dot-com bust, are displaying symptoms of the disorder known as irrational exuberance.”
Creating online charts and graphs
“This article presents an overview of tools, applications and techniques for visualizing data in charts and graphs. Among other things both free and commercial chart tools, services, desktop-applications and web-based solutions (Flash, JavaScript, CSS) — you can use them on your server — are presented.”
The seven secrets of inspiring leaders
1. Demonstrate enthusiasm. 2. Articulate a compelling course of action. 3. Sell the benefit. 4. Tell more stories. 5. Invite participation. 6. Reinforce an optimistic outlook. 7. Encourage potential. [via OR]
The grief behind Peanuts
“The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale—in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.”
Dean Esserman and friendly policing
“By having the same officers in the same community, every day, accountability measures are also now in place. Every week, the commander of each neighborhood is grilled on local crime statistics and held responsible for crime in his area. That accountability travels the ranks of the entire police force. ‘I tell my people it’s not a fair world,’ he says. ‘You produce bad results, you got problems with me. You produce good results but alienate the community, you got a problem with the community. You’ve got to answer to both.’”
The Wilhelm Scream (one of the most-used sound effects in movie history) [via BF]