[awesomeness] is trying to build a better world

So for the uniitiated, Saatchi and Saatchi created this competition called “The Impossible Brief” – aimed to look at different ways to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Their site is here; their facebook page is here.And this is my entry:

[awesomeness] is working with your heart

do you understand what your work means? do you understand what you’re doing? are you a product of your circumstance or are you a creator of it. welcome to design thinking 101.

Jon Kolko-Keynote: My Heart is in The Work from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.In 1900, Andrew Carnegie quietly declared that his “heart is in the work”. This talk will examine our ability to affect change at the intersection of experience, behavior, meaning, and culture, and will emphasize our responsibility to approach our work with philanthropic enthusiasm that would make Carnegie proud.JON KOLKO-FROG DESIGNJon Kolko is an Associate Creative Director at frog design. He has extensive experience in the professional world of interaction design, working around complicated technological constraints in order to best solve the problems of Fortune 500 clients. His work has extended into the domains of consumer electronics, mobility, supply chain management, demand planning, and customer-relationship management, and he has worked with clients such as AT&T, HP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ford, IBM, Palm and other leaders of the Global 2000. The underlying theme of these problems and projects was the creation of a solution that was useful, usable and desirable. He is the author of the text Thoughts on Interaction Design published by Morgan Kaufmann, and he sits on the board of Directors for the IxDA>

The Evolution of the Newspaper

Short presentation I wrote recently on the evolution of the newspaper. It’s implications were presented on another day in another forum; will put that piece up next week. Until then, enjoy. As always, feedback much appreciated.

[awesomeness] is new world tech

Came across this piece on the web. Apple vs. Google’s been providing some soap opera fodder for tech journos in the past few months. Some of it’s real, some of it’s not. There was Eric Schmidt being asked to step down from the Apple board, there was Google putting out Nexus One to compete with iPhone, possibly with some patent infringement.



The reason this is really interesting, though is that it is in many ways #2 of Apple versus Microsoft. Only this time it’s different. The World’s moved on from then and the internet will ensure that systems will have to talk to each other, one way or another. I think the big thing this year will actually be the iPad and HTML5. One will define/redefine mobile computing proper like a Smartphone can’t yet do; while in the other lies the foundation of the new internet.

I don’t think Google will win this round simply because as a company it isn’t designed to do some things. The reason Wave hasn’t worked too well, is that it’s way before its time and the tech hasn’t developed to enable true collaboration – you can probably do more, and better on adobe or microsoft’s online products. The reason Buzz didn’t work was that it’s stupid, and tries to create another self-contained ecosystem, even as the industry – vis-a-vis Facebook+Twitter are understanding that you need to be more open. Buzz tries too little. The reason Open Social didn’t work was that it tried to do too much (and Buzz and Wave are probably components of that old model – one more bit of proof that it doesn’t work)

Similarly, the smartphone market will likely play out to script, between Apple and Blackberry, not Apple and any other player, simply because they are two distinctive ideologies which try to manage the experience from end-to-end. NexusOne and the other Android phones are hodgepodges – the old-world-engineering ideology of “oh isn’t it cool we can do this?” without asking the question “does the consumer give a damn?”.

More on this over the next few weeks.

[awesomeness] is a journey

“What is a journey?A journey is not a trip.It’s not a vacation.It’s a process. A discoveryIt’s a process of self-discoveryA journey brings us face to face with ourselvesA journey shows us not only the world,but how we fit in it.Does the person creates the journey,or does the journey create the person ?The journey is life itselfWhere will life take you?”

[awesomeness] is dreaming and doing

came across two brilliant pieces. The first is a Tom Peters’ latest video for his upcoming book – The Little Big Things; the second is a quote I came across on Craig’s facebook.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCRdfnUSq1M&w=500&h=300]

But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money — booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

– William H. Murray, part of the Scottish Himalaya Expedition

in search of [gonzo]

“some people will say that words like “scum” and “rotten” are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point.”

So wrote Hunter S. Thompson, when writing those words for Richard Nixon’s Obit in Rolling Stone Magazine. And Thompson spoke truth there. Never mind the infantile tantrums, the alcohol and 47 types of drugs he was on at one point or the other, or his movement to legalize drugs – those were all wrong. What was write though, was his passion about wanting to tell stories – stories that made you want to change how the system was – to reject the deal (The American Dream, in his case) offered by those who came before.A critic of his work once said that his reportage was the least factual, but still the most accurate description of how things were. He wrote history with lightning – sometimes making it up as he went along – truth or lies weren’t the point – change was, principles were.One might suggest / argue that he resorted to the drugs and alcohol as a protection-mechanism, but unlike your average junkie, he never degenerated to pure rejectionism.I don’t have much to go by on Thompson. I’ve read the books and the articles, I’ve seen the movie.We have plenty of loud-mouthed, opinionated journalists, and where there’s a dearth of loud-mouthed, opinionated journalists, there’s always Ms. Roy.What we are missing is people passionate about causes, with the intelligence to understand the wider ripples that emanate from the public and political spheres – and people passionate enough to want to make a difference.We’ve had two elections this year – I voted in both, and admittedly have done little to follow-up with elected representatives in actually [doing]. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know what it is that needs to be done – because I so far don’t have the golden braid of an idea that can actually make a difference.If you know, though, or are actively doing something in this space, I would love to hear more about it. Drop a comment here, or drop me an email.

[awesomeness] is believing

Microsoft released Halo 3 a couple of years ago; making it the largest ever opening for any “entertainment” product – topping Spiderman 3’s 3-day opening weekend and Harry Potter 7’s initial (including pre-order) sales, too.The campaign won the Integrated Grand Prix at Cannes in 2008, and the Jay Chiat Planning awards this year. It’s brilliant.It does what a good campaign should do – make you buy into the idea – make you BELIEVE. Watch the case study below:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poTWxC73Tf8&w=500&h=394]They even had Neill Blomkamp, who would later direct the 2009 movie District 9 produce a set of three short films (below) called Halo 3: Landfall.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKGhoJ1mgQY&w=500&h=300]But one campaign doesn’t make a great idea, or a great brand. Microsoft’s follow-up to the Halo franchise is a prequel – Halo 3 ODST – the game deals with the days leading up to Halo 3. The Covenant discovers the location of Earth and launches an attack on New Mombasa in Africa.This time, instead of playing the human supersoldier Master Chief, you play Rookie, one of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) . While there are many gameplay trailers, the one I’m putting up here is the official trailer to the game.How do you follow-up Halo 3 / BELIEVE? With Halo 3 / Drop into Hell.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRMUYpH7bQk&w=500&h=300]And you have here below the making of the trailer. Attention to detail. Brilliant.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65TSEiK5sqU&w=500&h=300]

[awesomeness] is a mindset


God is in the details.The Devil is in the details.A duality?It’s a matter of outlook, I think, a matter of approach.One looks to the heavens, for it sees no line on the horizon, but a canvas to paint its destiny on. The other cowers in fear, always fearing mistakes, never seeing the beauty of the horizon, or the canvas of providence in the heavens above.It is not that one or the other precludes success, but rather defines how you get to it; and what you feel when you get there. Whether you feel this is just the beginning – a platform amidst the stars to soar to even greater heights; or whether you feel relief from having reached the end.A subtle chain of countless rings,the next unto the farthest brings.