Stumbled across a new Puma site from Droga5 for the Lift shoe. Simply a great way to focus on the shoe design and showcase the key product benefit: how light the shoe is. Choose items like a watch, a cup of cappuccino, a flute and more and compare it to the shoe. Simple, clean design, great casting. Check it out here.
And here's another excellent new site from Lacoste Red. See it here.
There's a good write up on Adverblog for the site... You surely look at Lacoste a little differently. Or, at least I think so. High energy, interesting navigation, great music throughout and a full product line experience.
For most of its history, business has been like a game of chess. Methodical. Extremely well thought out. Massive amounts of strategy and purpose put toward each piece on the board... Companies would take a long time to make a move and then made that move only after careful consideration about what the next three moves will be... This form of play was possible because the competition was, most likely, also playing chess. And company decisions were all top-down, so chess-like play was possible.
But the game is now checkers, my friends. It's faster. More inclusive. And a bit more noisy. There's still strategy and lots of skill involved, but there's significantly less time to ponder moves and predict what the next three moves will be. Businesses must be strategically focused, of course, in order to turn on a dime with confidence. But now to win the game, it's not just about capturing the one king with one move, it's about making lots of moves to get lots of kings and then smothering the competition from all sides.
Its seems like Apple plays checkers. Burger King plays checkers. Google plays checkers. Most of the companies everyone wants to be these days are playing checkers.
So put away the chess board... unless you're going to the park to get away from it all for awhile.
I just finished Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. And, as I did with Blink and The Tipping Point, I enjoyed every page. In fact, I feel a little guilty each time I finish one of his books--there's so much research and thought in them that I feel guilty pouring through it so quickly...
While there are tons of takeaways in Outliers, the 10,000 HOUR RULE sticks with me most for the ad industry. And since it's mid-April I think the one group who needs to take this rule to heart immediately are graduating college seniors...
I've told students for years to go and work for the most influential agency (or business) they can find when they graduate. Working at leading, influential places brings three huge benefits right from the start:
1. Exposure to mass amounts of premium work.
2. Introduction to mass amounts of premium talent.
3. Working longer hours.
Wait... Longer hours? Why would that be beneficial? Who wants to spend more time in the office?
The 10,000 HOUR RULE proposes that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve true expertise in something. Put simply, the more time you spend doing the work, the more you practice. And the more you practice, the better you become. Applying this rule is key throughout a career, but I feel it's especially important for those who are just starting.
To illustrate the point, let's consider two hypothetical college grads entering into advertising: Nick and Chris.
Nick is very smart. So smart that he's figured out he doesn't have to work late every night to be considered a good employee. He believes that "life experiences" when you're 22 are more valuable than being in an office.
Chris, on the other hand, is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and exceed expectations. He stays as late as needed every night.
Let's add up some estimated hours...
Nick, age 22 Daily hours: 9am-ish - 5pm-ish, with an hour-ish lunch Total hours of actual work per week: 35 Hours per year: 1,820 Time to get to 10,000 hours: 5.5 years
Chris, age 22 Daily hours: 8am-ish - 7pm-ish, lunch at his desk or at the agency Total hours of actual work per week: 55 Hours per year: 2,860 Time to get to 10,000 hours: 3.5 years
So Chris reaches 10,000 hours when he's 25 years old. He's spent three-and-a-half years at a top shop and is a finely tuned young exec. Nick, on the other hand, doesn't hit the 10,000 hour mark until he's 27. (Which, by the way, is the average age men get married in the US.) In career expertise, Chris is a full two years ahead of Nick even though they are the same age and entered the workforce at the exact same time.
Further consider the fact that the average employee stays at an agency around three years... So if both these guys went out and interviewed for the same job when they were 25, odds are Chris would take it.
Chris has lapped Nick on several levels... And Nick isn't quite sure why. But the fact is he just didn't work hard enough.
"The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That's it. And what's more, the people at the very top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder." -from Outliers
Every day it seems I find another interesting presentation or insightful blog post about the role of social media--usually relating to brands. These are excellent, of course, but I hope that as we continue to analyze the topic we never lose sight of one greatest things about Social Media:
The fact that you never completely lose touch with people you enjoy.
I’m not talking about best friends or family. Of course you keep in touch with them. I’m talking about a unique and diverse group of people… the more casual friends. The co-worker who makes you laugh every Monday when they recap their weekend antics to you... The guy who hangs out with your group only occasionally but always says the funniest things... The opinionated neighbor who has the courage to call it as they see it... You know the people I’m talking about: People you're friendly with, but they aren't die hard friends. That enjoyable, random mix of people who add extra dimension and pleasantness to your life.
But time goes by, doesn’t it? People end up traveling different roads and you don’t see some of these casual friends anymore. Previous co-workers, past vendors, old business partners, the owner of a store you used to shop at frequently... Life changes so fast.
Yet these people all had one important thing in common: there was a real-world friendship BEFORE there was a digital one. And when you get a chance to connect with these people again using social media--learn what they’re doing, follow their updates, look at their current picture--you get a great feeling inside. They’re still there. Adding enjoyment to your life.
Before social media, how did we keep up with these people? Email? It can be so impersonal and holding onto that address was tricky. The phone? Perhaps, but many times these people weren’t good enough friends to call all the time.
No, the most common result before social media was that when these people moved away they were just gone. What a shame.
But luckily, social media just won’t let that happen anymore. And THAT'S, truly, one of the greatest things about it.