Creating Passionate Users: When clients (and bosses) go bad…

Aside

Creating Passionate Users: When clients (and bosses) go bad… – Excellent article on overtime and how companies should put employees first. Primary point in this one, “If we want to make happy users, we have to be happy. Our employers/managers/clients need to accept that, and act accordingly.” – Must read for Managers.

Innovation

Yesterday I watched a video of a lecture given by Gary Hamel, author of Competing for the Future with our management team. The lecture was excellent, pointing out some of the very real problems with innovation in corporate environment.

One of the things that Gary points out in the lecture it is very hard to reinvent yourself these days because things move very fast. Additionally, as you try to introduce change, most of the time in order to justify it people look for historical data to prove that what you are attempting to do will work, which in a true situation of reinvention may not necessarily be there.

Another distinction that Gary mentions, which was also mentioned on an episode of the Killer Innovations podcast was the fact that rarely is innovation ever a truly new idea, but is normally an application of a solution from some other industry to your own to solve a new problem. I found this distinction to be a truly useful one. A really good example of this that I used in the discussion afterwards was Larry Page’s application of the academic citation principle (which I’m told by Tom the Architect essentially an application of Bayes’ theorem) to the application of search, resulting in Googles PageRank algorithm and a completely new and more reliable method of search.

It’s interesting how many times one can actually come up with ideas only to have them rejected because “we are not in that business” or “that isn’t our core competency” when it could actually be a whole new business model to help the company. Gary talked a little about these situations in the video as well.

One problem: I have no idea what the video was called. However, it was useful and I am definitely ordering his book. I’ll find out the name and post it up here within the next few days.

I’m becoming quite enamoured with the research around innovation available and how most companies just don’t understand the principles involved, or worse, are just too comfortable with where they are.

Seems to me there could be quite an industry built around consulting on this stuff …

The Bobs of Advertising

baby_bob_homeThere are some advertising campaigns that just grab you and you really enjoy watching. I was pretty impressed the the campaigns that Geico had going for a while, but Quiznos has taken the cake with their spokesperson, Baby Bob.

I don’t know what it is about this little guy, but I love watching these commercials. Its so refreshing to see advertising with a little creativity and fun baked in!

Aside from Baby Bob, the other set of commercials that I really enjoy watching for some reason are the Smilin’ Bob commercials from Enzyte.

Smilin’ Bob cracks me up.

I think the thing I like most about all three companies mentioned here is that they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. This is the most irritating thing I find about business is the idea that there is some “proper” way to represent yourself and that you have to appear stodgy and serious or you aren’t professional.

In my opinion, there is a really fine line between professional and boring. More than that, the more concerned companies are with their “professional image” the more I am inclined to feel they’re fake and want to take my business elsewhere. I’d rather deal with humans than robots with no sense of humor.

Well, there you have it. Some random observations after watching a Quiznos commercial. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.