Technology lives in our world; not the other way around. But many of today's devices demand too much of us and sidetrack us from our natural selves. A new message on Slack breaks our focus on a time-sensitive report. An incoming email rattles the phone in our pocket and pulls us away from our companion across the table. Advanced technologies that are intended to serve us are actually competing for our attention. It raises the question: “When we consider the relationship between people and technology, who’s really serving who?”
I was recently asked to speak about the value of good web design at a digital marketing conference. As events like this often are, sessions were organized into tracks, in this case Science and Magic. The Science track was devoted to the numbers- and data-driven arm of digital marketing, while Magic described the role of design and creative. It's a common way of framing up the world; instinct versus evidence, gut versus data, numbers versus pictures.
A brand challenge is a tangible problem, born of human need, that ultimately defines the purpose of a brand. It’s the most foundational element of building a business that matters to people; identifying it requires thought, care, research, patience, and a good deal of humility.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued an ambitious charge—that we send an American safely to the moon by the decade’s end. This was more than a call to technological achievement; it served as a symbol of the enormous potential of focused human effort, and a rallying cry that played a role in unifying a government and nation. Kennedy’s speech and Neil Armstrong’s subsequent first steps on the moon remain defining aspects of America’s story—its “brand.”
Everybody loves a good team. There’s something about the cooperative greatness between two partners that has always captivated us. It’s an unquestionable chemistry and unwavering balance that rarely falters, not because of what each has in common, but because one’s unique strengths so eloquently complements the other’s.
The Internet of Things is no longer some futuristic pipe dream. While the technology that drives it is still maturing, the prevalence of connected devices is proof that the Internet of Things will play an ever-increasing role in our daily lives.
As craftsmen, we should exist not only to create, but also to skillfully uncover that which is already there. To carefully chisel away the excess, and reveal what is truly genuine about the brands, products, and services we touch.
I like the apps I use during ordinary life. By ordinary life I mean life away from work. They help me stay thin. They help me connect with friends. They entertain me. They even address my spirituality. These are apps for life. Lifestyle apps. They treat me like a whole person. But work life is a different story.
Your value proposition – the reason your business exists – is to deliver specific experiences that cost you less to deliver than customers are willing to pay to receive.
The truth is, whatever you spend your days doing is what you spend your life on. If the work you're doing, or asking employees to do, isn't freighted with enough meaning to inspire a lifetime's dedication, you're missing something.