Transition Economy

Image from via Pinterest David Webb

As an ambitious young student searching for a career to pursue, it seemed a paradigm shift was happening away from manual / technical labor, production, agriculture. The future belonged to those with a profession, the service industry, those who had ‘intellectual property’.

But this bit of forward planning didn’t predict the Internet & digital boom, the population explosion, the effects of the environmental meltdown, endemic global economic woes, global inequality or various political rumblings.

We are living in recession weary yet technologically driven days. Data and knowledge is easily accessible and what we do with this is what sets us apart. Publishing and communication has never been easier. Any industry which is opportunistic and relies on the success or failure of others will remain stagnant. Anthropologist David Graeber calls these the ‘Bullshit Jobs’ which tend to be concentrated in “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers”. And any industry that fails to acknowledge and adapt to the rapidly changing political, economic or environmental changes will suffer.

Over the last 15 years and specifically the last 8 years, (since the launch of Facebook) the world has changed faster than the previous half century. We are now in what many call a ‘state of flux’. A constant state of rapid development.

In this state of flux, technical skills are increasingly in demand. People who do and make stuff, who have a unique flair for creating something new or improve on an existing design. The ‘new world’ is like an island inhabited for the first time, a chaotic frontier, it needs designers, builders, plumbers, carpenters, bakers, chefs, farmers, app developers, software & hardware designers and developers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians. People who do, who create, who help solve old world problems in new world ways.

Leading this transition is Generation Flux, a new breed of entrepreneur who is quick and nimble at making something new or improving on previous ideas.

We can no longer afford the luxury of old world silos and job descriptions; we must create new ones, based on symbiosis and flexibility. Jobs are not guaranteed, especially lifelong jobs – in the new world once a project is over you move onto the next project. When your contract is over there is help needed elsewhere. We need an army of doers. A constant state of symbiosis with our fellow inhabitants and the land.

The world is changing at a rapid rate, much faster than you can say MBA. Are you ready for it?

Squandering space.

I believe that every aspect of a brand’s appearance to its audience is an opportunity for it to display its products, its beliefs, its contribution to the world. None more so than its office space and its HQ.

So consider this ‘mural’ on the side of the HQ of G.E in Dubai.

I believe it’s a waste of space. Here’s why:

The creative itself is…well…un-Creative! What exactly does ‘the new face of the region mean’? And what an over used line. And, Just because the word ‘face’ appears in the headline doesn’t mean you need to put some random faces up there.

How many thousands of cars drive past that site each day, how many stand at the traffic lights waiting for the signal to turn, wanting something (anything) to read to make the minutes pass quickly? (As a side note, did you know people read their cereal box back-to-front, on average about 12 times before it’s thrown away!). Surely it could have been put to better use.

Here are some suggestions:

Tell me what G.E is actually doing in various parts of the world.

Tell me what new products you’ve launched.

Wind power, desalination, better health care are all great stories to tell – but what is it about them people want to hear? Make it interesting.

Tell me how you improve lives.

So, if you’d like to see how we could make your communication with the world more mesmerizing, tweet, message, email or call us.

Have a good day.

The new breed of retail.

Must read this article.

It is an example of the seismic shift we will continue to see across all industries and retail is no exception (see also Walmart and Apple retail).

Welcome to the new way of working. Transparancy and efficiency.

I love his customer understanding and respect “The customer knows the right price,” Mr. Johnson said. “We can raise the price all we want. She’s only going to pay the right price. She’s an expert.”

Change is a-coming. Oh yeah!


Nice animation of Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Bluebird”.

There’s a blue bird inside us all.

Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Bluebird,”

there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I’m too tough for him, 
I say, stay in there, I’m not going 
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale 
cigarette smoke 
and the whores and the bartenders
 and the grocery clerks 
never know that 
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I’m too tough for him, 
I say,
 stay down, do you want to mess 
me up?
 you want to screw up the 
 you want to blow my book sales in 
there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
 at night sometimes 
when everybody’s asleep. 
I say, I know that you’re there,
 so don’t be 
 then I put him back, 
but he’s singing a little
 in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like 
with our
secret pact 
and it’s nice enough to
 make a man
 weep, but I don’t 
weep, do

Don’t ask for permission, beg for forgiveness.

That’s what most apps that attach themselves to your accounts do.

So, clean up your apps permissions on this site below.

The New World by GOOD + Fiat.

A nice little campaign from Fiat in collaboration with GOOD. Here’s why I like it:

1. It’s simple
2. It’s laying out the values of Fiat as a progressive company for progressive people
3. It’s interesting and entertaining and engaging
4. It kept me on the site for longer than 1 minute.

Check it out.


What a cool website. It’s for an experimental art gallery, which is itself a very cool thing to be :-)

Learning to question authority.

Learning to question authority and the status quo is not something we are born with, it is honed over time, and certain cultures are more inclined to question authority than others. It is a product of our relationship with our parents, teachers and other symbols of authority around us. For some, it is un-taught from an early age.

Yesterday my little boy was showing off his slick new moves in the School playground gym. But we play knowing that we’re breaking school rules by playing on the equipment after hours.

So when the supervisor showed up, instead of just walking away, I instead decided to question authority and ask about the logic behind why we couldn’t play a little longer. I taught my son to go up and question WHY? Hopefully something he will carry with him through life. Teaching younger generations to question the status quo is important if we want to build a better world and fix some of the inherent problems in our system.

In a business sense, questioning the status quo helps to enhance product development, brand development, communication, customer service. It fosters an innovative company culture which helps to ensure continued improvements and relevancy.

Question everything.


A relationship company.

One of the (many) characteristics of Apple which leads to its success is them being a ‘people company’ – natural, real, and employing the best people and then trusting them. No beauracracy, appreciating differences, open and honest.

This is evident in the relationship they had with a startup called Transitive, based in Manchester UK. Transitive is the company behind the Rosetta technology, which allowed Apple to introduce Intel processors into Macs in 2005, thus opening them up to a wider audience.

Co-founder of Transitive Alasdair Rawsthorne, said this about working with Apple:

“Apple was a wonderful company to work with, they’re very relationship oriented. As soon as we got the contract in place it was like we were working for the same side – it was a very single-minded development.”

Steve Jobs’ final piece of advice to his friend and now CEO of Apple was “don’t think about ‘what Steve would do’, think about what YOU would do”. In other words – trust yourself, like I trust you.

Simple amazing.


More options please.

Too many options

Often we’re in a situtaion during a pitch or with current clients when they specifically request to see more than one option for a layout or creative solution.

Sometimes, when we actually do have more than one approach that we think could suit the problem at hand, developing more than one option makes sense. But more often than not, clients request more than one option to help them decide what they want, because they don’t actually know what they are looking for!

Here is what designer Paul Rand said to Steve Jobs when the latter asked for ‘a few options’ for the logo design of one of his companies:

“I (Steve Jobs) asked him if he would come up with a few options. And he (Paul Rand) said, ‘No, I will solve your problem for you, and you will pay me. And you don’t have to use the solution — if you want options, go talk to other people. But I’ll solve your problem for you the best way I know how, and you use it or not, that’s up to you — you’re the client — but you pay me.”

Steve Jobs left the world with more than just beautifully simple technology. His approach to business (and life) was the biggest inspiration.

Intelligent clients understand that once they’ve selected the right agency for the job, briefed them well, outlined their expectations and had an open dialogue, they should let the agency do their job – and expect nothing less than the best solution for their problem.

Follow your heart people :-)