Fly over London.

The city of London from above. Some of the greatest streets in the world.

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Stars seen from the Space Station.

Truly breathtaking.

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Vintage Jobs.

Steve Jobs and his team building their startup NeXT, captured on PBS.  Brilliant.

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Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed.

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Every 60 seconds on the internet.

Humans + internet in 2011.  Wow.

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The amazing money chart.

The Money Chart

For a detailed graphic you can explore, see: The Money Chart.

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David Ogilvy.

When Patricia Sellers, a reporter for Fortune Magazine, asked David Oglivy for advice on building and running a business, the 80 year old advertising legend gave her this timeless advice…

Remember that Abraham Lincoln spoke of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He left out the pursuit of profit.

Remember the old Scottish motto: “Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.”

If you have to reduce your company’s payroll, don’t fire your people until you have cut your compensation and the compensation of your big-shots.

Define your corporate culture and your principles of management in writing. Don’t delegate this to a committee. Search all the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues of committees.

Stop cutting the quality of your products in search of bigger margins. The consumer always notices — and punishes you.

Never spend money on advertising which does not sell.

Bear in mind that the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.

David Ogilvy

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Where’s your concept car?

Do you have a vision for where you are going?

It occurred to me a few years ago that most of the teams I was working with were missing a clean vision.  They had many “projects”.  They all had “vision statements” in their plans.  They had “objectives”, “strategies”, “prototypes” and all of the other stuff that goes into good planning.  But most were missing the ultimate destination in a form that would allow them to share a clear and unified understanding of exactly where they were all trying to go.

Expressing your vision in a way others can understand it allows them to rally, inspire the right thinking, and make the right choices along the way to realize it.

This got me thinking about the automotive industry and the “concept car”.  These are real and functioning manifestations of a vision.  They are not just built to excite consumers at auto shows.  Rather, they are destinations that force the company to think about exactly what the future looks like: in a way they can physically explore it, understand it, test it, find problems and solutions for it, and ensure the right choices are made in the boardroom to enable the company to realize it.  Perhaps most importantly, building your concept car allows you to think outside of your own manufacturing constraints, so that you can focus on what consumers actually want and what you would have to be able to build (vs. what you can build today that they “might like”).

Example:  It’s hard to imagine Apple could have gotten to any of their products without a very clear, real and functioning prototype of what they wanted at the beginning of the process.  It’s also hard to believe Apple would try so hard to innovate if they owned production facilities that couldn’t make a completely different product next year.  They have a fully functioning vision at the start, and then design the business around getting it to consumers.  It’s obvious for engineers, so why do so many marketers miss it?

We need more “concept cars” in our thinking.

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Everything is a remix.

Kirby Ferguson makes the case that works are rarely ever truly original.  Rather, are creations born from mixing things that are not original – to create something new.

Whether its art, language or even genetics – in life everything really is a remix.  There is something primal to this.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

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The internet of things.

IBM explains how different the world will be soon with the ‘internet of things’.  A world of infinite possibilities.

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The known universe.

A wonderful animation exploring the known universe in 5 minutes.  Great moment to reflect on our significance in the scheme of things.

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Tim Cook: The Apple doctrine.

Apple COO Tim Cook, quoted during the Q3 2008 results call, when asked if Apple would be OK without Steve Jobs:

“Ben, let me add something to that and backup just a bit. There is extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team, and they lead 35,000 employees that I would call wicked smart – and that’s in all areas of the company from engineering to marketing to operations and sales and all the rest. And the values of our company are extremely well entrenched.

We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well. And I would just reiterate a point Peter made in his opening comments that I strongly believe that Apple is doing the best work in its history.”

This explains so much, on so many levels.

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If Microsoft designed the iPod.

Stick to the point in communication.

When briefing any piece of good communication, it is critical that you understand exactly what you need to say to sell your product to consumers – and then prioritize these points.  Make sure you never compromise the critical with the less important.

Apple are the masters at this as far as I am concerned.  I regularly use the following video in workshops with young marketeers when trying to demonstrate the point on the importance of simplicity, priority in messaging and NOT trying to do everything with everything.

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Think different.

The best of the Apple “Think Different” campaign.  Not just advertising, rather a corporate statement of belief in itself and its culture.  Years on, it is still this culture that inspires the wonderful products we see today.

For fun and interests sake, I’ve added their most recent campaign “Our Signature” (2013):

 

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The Pale Blue Dot.

Carl Sagan on humanity and our place in the universe.  Absolutely spellbinding.

Michael Marantz produces a wonderful adaptation.

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