VSC Idea Management™

September 17th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

VSC Idea Management™ is a open model for managing the onset, development and execution of ideas; whether they are events, products, systems, or campaigns.

It can be applied in advertising campaigns, corporate planning and systems, business initiatives, new market penetration, product development, cost reduction, goal setting, and entrepreneurial ventures.

The VSC Architecture™ questions and notes are intentionally broad to encompass the wide spectrum of nuances that are unique to industries, challenges and opportunities. And, the model is structured using three variables; Vision (Why), Strategy (How), and The Creative (What).

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Characteristics of a Problem As Ideas

September 16th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Smaller sets are manageable – whether they are people, projects or things. We’re able to see them in their entirety. We understand the dynamics, processes, resources and forces involved. And we have a greater and more intimate control over the smaller sets.

A trip is seemingly shorter and manageable when frequent stops are part of the journey.

When problems arise, they often present themselves as a complex cacophony of stuff that must be timely addressed and resolved. To navigate through a problem, we need to first understand the territory that makes up a problem, then begin to look at the individual characteristics of the problem to generate solutions.

When problems arise, any of the following characteristics are creating the problem:

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Don't Serve Garbage On a Silver Platter

August 24th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Delivering business results through the online social space cannot be accomplished without being genuine. It’s only a matter of time before your real intentions and objectives are revealed.

It doesn’t take a genius to distinguish between the scents of genuineness and the stenches of garbage. Online users are extremely savvy and intelligent. There is an inherent level of transparency within the digital. If you’re online, do it right from the start. Set out to build lasting relationships.

Here’s a simple takeaway: Be real. Be honest. Don’t serve garbage on a silver platter – you’re only kidding yourself.

Criteria For a Successful Startup

July 30th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Every successful entrepreneur has his own criteria for measuring the success factor of an idea for starting a business. There is also value in studying how others make decisions. Norm Brodsky, a veteran entrepreneur who founded and built half a dozen large companies, uses a simple approach when starting a business.

According to Brodsky, three factors must be at play when venturing out:

An Established Concept

Education can be expensive. Educating the masses can be really expensive, not to mention a daunting task for a business to undertake. Stick with something people are familiar with.

Focusing on an established concept does not lessen your ability to create innovative and revolutionary products. Take Apple for example. They’ve been doing the same thing since day one – developing technology that is intuitively simple, functional and beautiful. The iPad, the iPhone, the Touch – these are all familiar devices. The market does not need a crashcourse on what these devices are and what they do. Yet, they are truly remarkable products that challenge our accepted perception of what technology is able to do, how it’s able to do it – and its aesthetics. Human-centered design has been around for centuries, yet Apple continues to push the envelope.

Takeaway – Instead of painfully searching for the “next big wow thing”, identify a familiar or understood industry/product and build upon it. Just look at what Aaron Patzer did with mint.com – genius!

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Mediocrity Fears Excellence

July 9th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Mediocrity is intimidated by that which is better. Mediocrity does not strive for improvement. Mediocrity does not believe in change. Mediocrity loves the comfortable. Mediocrity attempts to silence the more excellent. But the best will always rise to the top.

The future belongs to those that trample over mediocrity.

We Need More Forms, Hoops & Procedures; How to Kill Your Business the Bittersweet Way

July 1st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

A simple theory of input-output in economics states that as more resources are added (the input) such as staff, raw material, time and technology, then productivity (the output) will increase as well.

There does come a tipping point when the production curve makes a downward dash. As input is increased beyond the tipping point, it will begin have an adverse effect on productivity, causing production to decrease quantitatively and qualitatively.

If 5 workers are assigned to lay shingles on a roof of a single-family home, they will get the job done much quicker than with 2 workers. If 20 workers were assigned to the same project, productivity would decrease as communication becomes more complex, task assignment is unaccounted for, worker mobility is limited, etc.

The same holds true in any other system and context.

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It's In Our DNA to Create

June 25th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

We as humans are creative beings by nature. By our design and DNA we are wired to make stuff and create. The creative drive comes from a inner place, far behind our intellect and our emotions. It is something that cannot be learned or taught. It can only be realized and developed. Since this pure creative drive comes from an inner place, the process of birthing an idea is often hindered and polluted by our intellect and our emotions. Environments that stimulate all five senses enable us to tap into this inner place where the best ideas live. While our senses are being stimulated and engaged, we allow for the ideas to be heard. Yes, there comes a time when we need to convert this idea into a feasible product using our intellect and our emotions. But, we need to find the seed of the idea. And the way to tap into this source is to block out our sensory receptors.

This post is a further explanation to Airports, Coffee & Pavlov’s Dogs.

Airports, Coffee & Pavlov’s Dogs

June 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Have you ever wondered why certain environments, music and even scents inspire you and stimulate creative thought and ideas? To expand on this question even further. Why do we come up with the greatest ideas when we’re not coming up with ideas? When we play, ideas happen.

We’re in a constant cycle of growth and learning. As we move through life, we unconsciously develop ways to make our life more efficient by creating habits and routines. We find shorter ways to get from point A to point B. We develop new systems to get things done. And, we often learn efficiency and fall into habits without thinking. Our learning and growing is never without influence; whether the influence is a person, a story, an idea or an internal drive.

One of the forms of learning is Associative Learning. We often refer to this as Classical Conditioning (yes, the story of Pavlov’s dogs!) In a nutshell, if the brain is presented and conditioned with stimuli that evokes a specific response, then anytime a similar stimuli is presented, the same response is triggered. Over time, our minds develop an association between the stimulus and the response.

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Hire the Freaks, Crazies and T-Shaped People

June 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Every organization needs a strong team. Every progressive organization needs a dynamic team that will lead the organization forward. Without a dynamic team of unique personalities, likes and interests the creative culture and the life of an organization grows bland and stale. Individuals who are nontraditional create a healthy tension in the way ideas are generated, shared and executed by offering unpredictable perspectives. Some of dynamic individuals include:

Freaks – As Tom Peters put it, freaks are the only (only) ones who succeed – as in, make it into the history books. Jeremy Gutsche states that Nontraditional thinkers offer the maverick ideas and the personality a company needs to adapt.

Crazies – Hire Crazies and avoid moderation (Kevin Robers, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi)

T-ShapedTim Brown of IDEO, fills his company with individuals that posses this quality. As Tim puts it… » Read the rest of this entry «

Quantity is Not Quality – Online Users & The Quality of a Click

June 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

What does concrete data really say about the quality of a click. How can we measure the quality of concrete data to better understand online users within our communities?

If 500 individuals “like” a post or a page, it is simply 500 individuals who clicked the “like” button. We can assume if the number is high, then the probability of a genuine click is higher. But this does not necessarily provide us with a clear picture of the quality of the clicks and users.

I’m not sure that we can effectively track social media efforts, yet. This might be one of the reasons why companies across the globe are having a difficult time justifying cutting their ad dollars out of traditional media to fuel social media. But, if social media efforts were brought to a halt at a brand that currently utilizes online social channels, there would be a measurable dent in their bottom-line, even thought we can’t track the upfront efforts.

Looking at hard data is a classic quantitative approach. And there’s always validity with numbers. But, how do we measure the quality of the data? Certainly we can make educated interpretations of the data, but this will not give us a true understanding of the quality of our users, followers or community.

I’m a firm believer in numbers and concrete data. Numbers cannot lie. But numbers are representative of quantity, and not of quality.

(A response & dialogue to Mitch Joel’s post on The Almighty Endgame Of Marketing on Six Pixels of Separation)