Pioneering And The Joy Of Harryhausen

If Innovation is about ‘making it real’. Pioneering is about ‘finding the new way of doing things.

Talos: Do you remember him?

Pioneer: “(v) To open up an area or prepare the way. (v)  To take the lead or initiative in. (v) To open up and explore a new area”. There is much talk in marketing about innovation isn’t there? And yes, it’s a concept I do have a passion for. But do you know a marketer who does not describe themselves as innovative? Its like trying to find a programmer who does not like Star Wars. And speaking of Star Wars, where did George Lucas get his ideas from for all those amazing special effects? More of that later..

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Seth Godin And The Taleban?

The modern marketing world shares a lot with asymetric warfare…

What on earth does Seth Godin have to do with al-Qaeda and the Taleban? What links Somali pirates to the story of the iPod? surprisingly – quite a lot. Godin brilliantly describes a new digital economy, one populated by super-connected Linchpins milking their Purple Cows. And strange as it seems – that world shares a lot with the 21st century asymmetric warfare of Iraq,  Afghanistan and the horn of Africa.

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Can You Really Plan Innovation? No, Really?

With product development, digital technology and ever changing markets dominating marketing news and debates it is no wonder that the one day programme on Generating Growth Through Systematic Innovation was attended by such a big crowd

Steve Jobs –  the man who made the letter ‘i’ the coolest one in the alphabet, said that trying to build a business process for innovation was like ‘watching Michael Dell – trying to dance.Painful‘. So, not being averse to embarrassing dance moves myself, I spent a day last week with some top innovation consultants at Henley Business School, discussing how to make businesses well, err, more err, innovative. So, can people and companies really learn to be innovative or does it end up with forty-somethings trying to crowd surf at their nephews twenty-first?

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Droid V iPhone: Who’d Win In A Penalty Shoot Out?

Some of the most important droid apps work better than their Apple equivalent. I have yet to find an Apple Twitter app that beats Twidroid or TweetCaster.

I’ve owned Nokia 6000 series, Palms and a Blackberry. But right now, I have the two best. A droid. And an iPhone. In this World Cup year which is set to see the battle hot up between the two, these are the finalists. Interesting speaking to iPhone users this week. I asked;  ‘what apps should I add to my new iPhone?’- the majority come out with the usual suspects. Tube map. A newspaper. Rail and road info. Twitter. Facebook. In fact research seems to support the view that the more entertaining apps are the least likely to be used or retained over time. And of course the majority of these kind of must have apps are all on the droid. So is it all about the apps? Continue reading “Droid V iPhone: Who’d Win In A Penalty Shoot Out?”

Robert Holden On Intelligence & Success

You cannot be permanently busy and innovative. Something has to give – there has to be room and space.

Last week I attended a course at Henley Management School led by the well-known psychologist, author and all round guru – Robert Holden,  a leading expert in the area of intelligence and personal success. OK – I admit I feared too much touchey feeley stuff. And when the opening excercise involved saying hello to lots of people using a tribal technique … I sensed the day was going to be a cross between the David Brent and Hare Krishna schools of self-development. But – Holden’s approach is broad, challenging and useful. Continue reading “Robert Holden On Intelligence & Success”

Why Great Content Beats Cool Gadgets.

Last week saw yet another fantastic piece of Apple PR as Steve Jobs launched the rather groovey looking iPad. It joins a long line of uber cool gadgets, gizmos, devices and hardware that inspires drooling and convulsions. But what about the content? Would do people love the cinema seats more than the movie? When did we start to love the newsprint rather than the story? Why is a plastic and a screen seen as cooler than the material it can show?

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Spotify: Not So Lucky, Lucky, Lucky For Pete Waterman?

I took out my Spotify subscription for my birthday and I adore it. £10 a month and I can build fabulous playlists, listen to any number of interesting artists I may read about, anywhere, anytime. So is all well? Well, it is certainly a great product.

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The Art And Science Of Selfish Cooperation

In his illuminating book ‘The Social Atom’ physicist Mark Buchanan explores the idea that  human behaviour is akin to the workings of the atomic world – and that certain social ‘patterns’ inevitably dominate our interactions. Buchanan touches on ideas such as the rise of selfish genes and selfish cooperation and also on the building of trends, similar to the The Tipping Point by Gladwell.  Do marketing partnerships and alliances share similar ‘social atom’ characterisitcs? Why is it some people (and organisations) see smart cooperation as a way forward, whereas others remain isolated, suspicious and fearful of building alliances?

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Is Twitter Like Robbie Savage And Marmite?

Why is it that some people are passionate about certain media services and some people hate them? Any Englishman’s selective use of a  few well chosen Anglo-Saxon words to describe Robbie Savage; an extravagantly paid but limited and rather aggressive footballer will tell you the popular opinion of the crowd. Marmite has made an advertising theme about the fact that people either love or hate their beefy paste.

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Wouldn’t It Be Great To Be Like Barry…

OK. Some days are better than others. Some jobs turn into chores.  But today I met a 75 year old who loved his work so much he was still doing it 10 years after he retired. He didn’t do it for the money any more he did it because he just loved it. How many can say they would keep doing what they do from 9.00-5.00 if they didn’t have to? How often do you miss your work? It was the chap who delivered my car today. 75 years old – he had worked in the motor trade since the early 1960’s, from second hard cars to working for big brands and national dealers. Barry turned up dead on time and loved showing me the car. He showed me all the dials, made sure I properly set up my seat and warned me not to touch the traction control. Like a great sales person, he was genuinely interested in me and happy to answer my rather basic questions. He loved my car. He loved cars. He worked with cars. Barry was 75 going on 23. He was bright eyed, funny, energetic, keen as mustard. So when he retired he arranged to keep his hand in, delivering cars a few days a week – and he still knows all about the latest new models and trends. “And there is where you put your iPod and it has a charger too” – said Barry. After helping me get used to the clutch and steering I managed to drop him off at the station and off he went, with a chipper wave and “nice to meet you” – to pick up and deliver another car. He was looking forward to it, another car to drive and people to meet. 75 years of age. Ten years after he retired. Loving what he did. Wouldn’t it be great to be like Barry.

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