Lovely animation illustrated by Molly Crabapple captures an excerpt from Susan Cain’s book. You can also view her TED talk here.
This is pretty amazing! A resonant frequency at different levels creates patterns. Reminds me of the geometric shapes that occur in nature and the fibonacci sequence…must be related some how.
Ever since the 1500s, and for hundreds of years after, the only people who used @ were bookkeepers, who used it as a shorthand to show how much they were selling or buying goods for: for example, “3 bottles of wine @ $10 each.”
Since these bookkeepers used @ to deal with money, a certain degree of whimsical fondness for the character developed over time. In Danish, the symbol is known as an “elephant’s trunk a”; the French call it an escargot. It’s a streudel in German, a monkey’s tail in Dutch, and a rose in Istanbul. In Italian, it’s named after a huge amphora of wine, a liquid some Italian bookkeepers have been known to show a fondness for.
Even with such cute names to recommend it, though, @ languished in obscurity for three and a half centuries, only ending up on a new invention called the typewriter when salesmen realized that accountants and bookkeepers were buying them in droves.
In 1971, however, a keyboard with a vestigial @ symbol inherited from its typewriter ancestors found itself hooked up to an ARPANET terminal manned by Ray Tomlinson, who was working on a little program he’d come up with in his goofing-off time to send messages from computer to computer. Tomlinson ended up using the @ symbol as the fulcrum of the lever that ultimately ended up lifting the world into the digital age: email.
Seth Godin’s captures a pretty ballsy point that I’ve often thought about when I ask clients what their point of difference is. More often than not I hear the predictable list which I tactfully agree with. The interesting thing is that I’ve tried the ‘honest’ approach when describing my businesses point of difference and people don’t like to hear it. So much for being honest.
“If you tell me about service and quality and customer focus, you haven’t answered my question, because a hundred other brands stand for that. If you are what others are, then there’s nothing here to own or protect or build upon.
Compared to what? Compared to all those that you compete with for attention, for commerce, for donations and for employees, what do you stand for? Are you one of a kind or even one in a million?
Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton… they don’t actually stand for anything, do they? They can’t, because they stand for precisely the same thing. Puma vs. Adidas vs. Nike… They all want to stand for winning. How substantial are the differences?
Make a list of the differences and the extremes and start with that. A brand that stands for what all brands stand for stands for nothing much.”
The wise Seth Godin shared his insightful goodness with CreativeMornings recently. I love this morsel that he shared with everyone…”the Matt Ridley, there isn’t a single person on earth who can make a mouse. You need a metallurgist, a plastic specialist,someone who does supply chain, someone who knows how to the finance and everything else. If we couldn’t come together as a team, we couldn’t make a mouse.” Seth is reinforcing the power of working together, connecting and convening to get things done.
Other bits I found valuable and worth thinking about further…
‘The connection economy, that’s what creates value.’
‘Make change for people who deserve it.’
‘Do work that is important, not pretty. Did it make a change, did it connect’
“You don’t have to make something for everyone anymore, it’s not for everyone.”
Which reminds me of Chris Anderson’s Long Tail notion which I read recently.
And my favourite…
‘The change Apple wants to make is; it wants to turn its customers into people with good taste. If people have good taste they are more likely to buy more stuff that Apple makes.’
This quote rings so much truth, when you consider how many other brands have emulated Apple over the years.
The notion of creating taste, and I’m not just referring it to in a visual sense but also in terms of good usability. When people are exposed to good design, the flaws of the bad designs become more obvious.
I think this is one of the keys that has kept the wheels in my studio turning over the last seven years. Referrals and people ‘tracking us down’ all over the globe, because they like what we create and want some of it too! It’s what has kept the work coming in, I don’t have a business development manager and cold calling is not my thing. Yet I’ve managed to survive through various economy slumps and also grow in the process.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered …
“Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
It’s been a while since I’ve read Don Norman’s work. Here is his insightful and down to earth lecture that touches on the ways that good design makes you happy.
Ok here it is, the latest waste of time online. This movie by Casey Neistat explains what Chat Roulette is all about. So instead of wasting time doing it you can just spend a couple of minutes watching other waste time. oohh the irony!
I’m really lovin Hungry Beast on the ABC. I particularly love the awesome typographic animations that always illustrate mega interesting facts. In this animation The Beast File looks at Australias Big Two supermarket chains. Woolworths & Coles are a $100 billion a year duopoly with a retail market share unmatched in the developed world. And they have their fingers in a lot of other pies too.
Meet Google. The noun that became a verb. The world’s favourite search engine, and the company whose motto is “Don’t be evil…” Graphics by Patrick Clair, written by Elmo Keep.
And this one… It’s gratifying to know that my hard earned tax dollars are going to good use…NOT!!!!!