Archive for February, 2010

Love of Life

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010


The 2010 Olympics are alive in Vancouver. So much excitement and yet I am deeply troubled. I’m referencing the tragic and horrific passing of Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili. While media focus on an entanglement of accountability I feel a deep sadness for a man’s life that was lost doing something fueled by passion and commitment. To help make sense of it all, I turn to love. I do not know Nodar personally but I can’t help to think that love played a part in what brought him to choose this sport and training to compete in the Olympics. Despite the immense sadness of how things unravelled for this brave and courageous man, I believe that Nodar’s love remains with us as a gift. To be able to show such stoic commitment in the face of fear, and to push against it all is something that many only wish to possess. And what an ultimate price to pay for love. In this heartache of so many, I look for love to heal. I look for love to heal the bottomless sadness of loss that friends and family of Nodar have been cast. May Nodar’s love reign in the hearts and minds of people of this world and create a bright light that we may all remember.

Love Leadership

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I’m delighted to have just read John Hope Bryant’s new book “Love Leadership” and even more mesmerized by his stunning accomplishments. His book “Love Leadership – The New Way To Lead in a Fear-Based World” will forever change your view on love in business, leadership, finance and the world economy. Obviously a brilliant mind – however, Bryant distills the way to lead into two simple basic primal forces: love and fear. “What you don’t love, you fear”. The antidote to fear is love and Bryant contrasts leadership based on love vs fear. For example, Inspiration vs Coercion, We vs Me, Compassion vs Coldness, Creating a bigger world vs Taking a bigger share and more.

Bryant states that the main reason the world is screwed up now is that most of the world’s leaders have been leading with fear. This just isn’t anybody saying this – this is a guy that world leaders listened to at the closing address to world leaders at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos. Also leading a fascinating and passionate life – Bryant’s book is refreshing and hopeful. He genuinely believes that a global movement of love leadership can be launched – making capitalism work for us and making our world great again. It goes without saying… we believe this too… as we are reminded, a loveless world is a sightless world.

Bryant’s bio and info on US President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and Founder of Operation Hope.

I’m in love!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

With Valentines day coming up I thought I would publicly declare that I’m in love! It’s a rare occasion to have such a great experience with a brand that you fall in love. In this case I have fallen in love with Honda. I arrived at my Honda service centre at 9:40 this morning and was greeted by a gentleman who wrote down my plate number, time of arrival, mileage, asked for my keys and escorted me inside. Once inside a friendly woman checked off my name on her list and showed me to the service counter where they confirmed my contact number. I signed the service agreement and was given a voucher which I took to another counter where I showed my drivers license and was given the key to a courtesy car. I left the centre at 9:50 am. This entire procedure took 10 minutes including the pick up of a rental car!

I love my Honda. Its the best car I’ve ever had. I love dealing with Honda and everything about Honda. My next car will be a Honda. I don’t know about you, but when I fall in love, I’m not open to dating anyone else! How are you going the extra mile to create a great experience for your consumer? How are you building brand loyalty? I believe that if everyone where having this kind of experience with every brand, we would all be a lot happier!

Design is a relationship

Friday, February 5th, 2010

It’s best kept simple, yet an element of intrigue goes a long way. Honest communication (words or visually) builds trust now and in the future. Be wary of process and analysis, over doing it can remove not only that mystery, but stunt it from running its natural course.

He loves we, he loves me not

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I have a definite love-hate relationship with the modern era. I think it’s clear to anyone alive and connected today that we’re submerged in an immensely technologized world, and some will say that’s fantastic. We’re seeing legions of old friends reconnecting in ways that were previously unheard of, sharing a new and overwhelming sea of digitally acquired photos of their lives. We’re witnessing the dominance of print being annexed by the liquid crystal. And we’re now bobbing in a new ocean of text and video in the form of blogs, tweets, comments and any multitude of other newly available ways to air one’s thoughts and random, unprocessed blather.

But, considering this new ‘megabundance’ of content, where is the processing left exactly? If the word ‘processing’ conjures images of circuitry and microchips, then you’ve already fallen prey to the new order. What I’m getting at is the act of people working with the substance, not just capturing, accumulating and broadcasting it. Sure people are still out there producing great work, but is it drowning?

Craftsmanship is taking a serious hit in this day and age of auto-updating template-based interactive content engines and their so-called ‘smart’ functionality. Via the convenience of beautifully crafted user interfaces, everyone is a ‘designer’, so to speak. We’re designing our own experience, and the common consumer is in the driver’s seat. Arrange it in your head however you like.

In the face of all this, I would like to exalt the original role of craftsmanship. Though it still exists in the cracks between the screens and keyboards out there, we risk losing hold of its value to our daily experience. We seem to overlook the craft of what we can do for the gleam of our telecommunications, the convenience of our MP3s, and the shear abundance of what we’re putting out there. I think we should all appreciate quality and ingenuity over quantity and convenience since it’s what’s brought us to this age of wonder in the first place.


Monday, February 1st, 2010


Sometimes I find myself thinking in a loop about something that I did in the past that was really, really dumb. It gives me a bit of knot in my gut just thinking about what happened and how it may have affected the people involved. No one wants to make a big mistake.

Or do we? Is it not an intrinsic part of being human? Would you like to erase any other aspects of humanity from your daily life? If you go too far down that road are you not just carving out an overly attractive and witty robot out of your current parts? A life without flaw would be characterless to say the least.

The fact is that without mistakes we wouldn’t find out about a whole lot of what’s amazing in this experience. We need to fall off of a skateboard to find out how fast we can go. We have to embarrass ourselves at a party at least once (or twice) in order to find out what boundaries work best for us. Any process should involve error, it’s the only way we know we’ve got something good by the end. Boredom is a terrible alternative to experience.

In design, we have to rely on the sort of playfulness that breeds the odd mistake. When we produce a mistake, we allow it to influence our subsequent work. The end result is something that’s not a product of simply believing that we’ve got something good, but a validated solution to a fuzzy problem. Indeed, mistakes are essential to fully exploring that fuzz. It’s a process of trial and experience, the error is implicit.

Moral: Don’t be so hard on your errors. Learn to love them, because they serve you well.