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It's our view on world business, politics, society, culture, art, branding, design and communications. It's anything that feeds our curiosity, appreciation and imagination or just amazes us, good or bad.

A human technology brand from Portugal, 18 October 2011

I was in Lisbon recently and a newspaper ad of this brand's symbol caught my eye. Novabase is a technology business that was rebranded really well last December by the Portuguese agency Alberque. It's simple, intelligent and inspiring. The main navigation is just the sentence 'We think, do, connect, grow' broken into five bars - very elegant. Check out the launch video, Novabase Motion and read what they say about the brand in the 'think' section. Lovely. I wish I'd done it.


Has BA got it right this time? , 12 October 2011

I like BA's new campaign. It's well written and well crafted. BBH have done it with an eye for detail and integrity.

Better than the launch video is this one of a BA captain kite surfing. It captures the magic of flying.

But I wonder if BA have backed it up by investing in their own people with with another 'Putting People First' internal campaign. That was how they re-launched the brand back in the early 80's when Lord King was in charge and Landor's identity placed the 'To Fly To Serve' crest on the tailfin. I'm flying with BA next week and am going to ask the cabin crew.


What Steve said - cont., 8 October 2011

Four more things Steve said that really count.

"A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences...So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions... (Bill Gates would be) a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

At the end of his speech introducing the iPad 2, in March 2011...

"Technology alone is not enough...It's technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields results that make our hearts sing."

And on the importance of detail...

"For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."

Thanks to this week's Economist for these quotes in their briefing on Jobs. The final line in their leader says it all. 

"The man who said in his youth that he wanted to "put a ding in the universe" did just that."

He did it by sticking to the advice he gave Stanford graduates in 2005. "Stay hungry. Stay Foolish."


Withdrawal symptons, 7 October 2011

Michael Wolff wrote, in a little book about brands, "if Apple left the world stage, would people have withdrawal symtpons? Yes."

I'm having withdrawal symptons about Steve, along with countless millions. Could you ever say that about any other business leader? But would any other business leader say this?

"In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service."

Or this...

"Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realised something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad-hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.

And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important

That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."

Or this...

"These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that. But it's a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light - that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important."

Or this...

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

Thanks to the BBC www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15195448