The Daily Brainstorm

Let Brainstorm serve up some ideas, content, and links to fire up your synapses.

Research shows that every time the size of a city doubles, innovation or productivity per resident increases by 15 percent. But when companies get bigger, innovation or productivity per employee generally goes down. So we’re trying to figure out how to structure Zappos more like a city, and less like a bureaucratic corporation. In a city, people and businesses are self-organizing. We’re trying to do the same thing by switching from a normal hierarchical structure to a system called Holacracy, which enables employees to act more like entrepreneurs and self-direct their work instead of reporting to a manager who tells them what to do.

3

More and more we are seeing the corporation forsake planning and embrace real-time reaction. All hail the agile! All hail the nimble! And indeed we are so preoccupied with just-in-time responsiveness we have lost sight of one of the things the corporation used to do so well: look forward and plan ahead.

—Grant McCracken. “How Strategic Agility Can Lead to Denial

(Source: peterspear)

2

The new way of work is as big a break with the industrial model as the industrial model was with the time of artisanal and agricultural work that preceded the rise of steam power and electricity. Unlike that transition, however, we will not be looking for inspiration from armies, or the slave battalions that built the pyramids. No, instead we will look to nature, or the growth of cities for inspiration.

2
fastcompany:

"It’s compassion. It’s humility. It’s saying thank you. It is always putting yourself in the other person’s position. I know it might sound weird, but empathy is one of the greatest creators of energy. It’s counterintuitive, because it’s selfless.” (!)
—Meet Angela Ahrendts, soon-to-be Apple’s Retail Chief. Her goal? Making Apple shine again.

fastcompany:

"It’s compassion. It’s humility. It’s saying thank you. It is always putting yourself in the other person’s position. I know it might sound weird, but empathy is one of the greatest creators of energy. It’s counterintuitive, because it’s selfless.” (!)

Meet Angela Ahrendts, soon-to-be Apple’s Retail Chief. Her goal? Making Apple shine again.

369

In the last cycle, there were barely 500 million people online, and they were all on 56k modems,” said David Lee of SV Angel, an early-stage investor. “By 2015, there will be five billion people with a supercomputer in their hands.

—“$1 Billion as Milestone and Omen" via The New York Times

(Source: The New York Times, via marksbirch)

6

le-mec:

Mike Monteiro - How Designers Destroyed The World

It’s a long video, around 47:36, about the responsibility of design. If you watch it, you will probably get really pissed off and want to flip a table, but not because Mike’s wrong.

It’s ‘cause he’s right.

113

Your status is determined by physical attributes and nonverbal cues. People decide if you are competent in less than 100 milliseconds.

—Deborah Gruenfeld. “Body Language”

(Source: peterspear)

5

UX debt can be dangerously easy to both overlook and underestimate, making it that much easier to take on and harder to pay down. Relatively easy tasks, like tweaking screen layouts or updating visual assets, can be so easy that they sink to the bottom of product priorities (“we can fix that anytime”). Harder tasks, like refactoring user flows or redesigning navigation systems, can be paralyzing because they have system-wide implications and offer no clear path to make piecemeal progress.

User Experience Debt, by Vijay Sundaram  (via timoni)

(via journo-geekery)

31

If you want to foster those creative, problem solving skills, the solution isn’t learning to code – it’s learning to paint. Or play an instrument. Or write poetry. Or sculpt. The field doesn’t matter: the key thing is that if you want to foster your own innovative creativity, the best way to do it is to seriously pursue an artistic endeavor.

In the history of the Nobel Prize, nearly every Laureate has pursued the arts. According to research by psychologists Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein, “almost all Nobel laureates in the sciences actively engage in arts as adults. They are twenty-five times as likely as the average scientist to sing, dance, or act; seventeen times as likely to be a visual artist; twelve times more likely to write poetry and literature; eight times more likely to do woodworking or some other craft; four times as likely to be a musician; and twice as likely to be a photographer.”

Perhaps you don’t need to learn to code.

For a testament to the Nobel observation, see Richard Feynman’s sketches and drawings. We also know that Einstein worked out some of his most difficult physics problems while playing violin

(via explore-blog)

Disagree. The answer is to do BOTH. Feynman was the most brilliant theoretical physicist of his time, leading multiple Manhattan Project teams while only in his mid-twenties. He grew fame from his ability to do crazy difficult calculus and mental gymnastics that others couldn’t do. Yes, he had a bit of a creative side but the core hard skills were there first. Same with Einstein.

(via caterpillarcowboy)

(Source: , via caterpillarcowboy)

In many ways, mobile at work feels like the PC market before the Internet, or the web before social. Compared to existing yardsticks, it looks big and fast-growing; compared to what it will become, it’s small and just beginning to accelerate.

The Biggest Opportunity In Mobile That No One Is Talking About" by Aaref Hilaly

If you think mobile is done, realize that we have not even gotten off the ground yet when it comes to the enterprise.

(via marksbirch)

11

Brand is another word for reputation or image.

And you don’t get a reputation just by claiming something.

Of course not, first you must be something.

Then you get a reputation by being it.

Then you can claim it.

—Dave Trott “Arse Backwards

(Source: peterspear)

3