Nebulous To Tangible In 4 Steps

neurology

How do you turn a nebulous goal like “be more creative” into something tangible? Everyone has vague goals at one point or another, and they’re especially common in the creative marketing, branding and advertising industries. This week, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson published a small tool on Harvard Business Review‘s website, designed to help you reach your nebulous goals in 4 steps.

The tool takes you through four rounds of questions that help you first name the goal, then define sub-goals and what actions will be taken (by whom, when, and where). In addition to this, the tool asks you to create an “if, then” plan, which, as Dr. Halvorson explains, “[humans are] neurologically wired to make”. Essentially, under the specific sub-goals and tasks that you need to complete, you are asked to write a sentence detailing “if x, then y”. By framing actions this way, we are working with our neurological inclinations to accomplish the tasks that comprise our larger, vaguer goals.

Check out the tool here, and see what ambiguous goals it can help you nail down.

What Sparks Our Fire: Turning goal setting into goal accomplishing

Don’t Rain On My (Mobile) Parade

phonebrella

Nature vs. technology– this eternal struggle is best exemplified in the image of a city dweller trying to text under a barely-stable umbrella. Let’s face it, umbrellas were not designed to protect us from rain and allow us to text our friends. And after last weekend’s Hurricane Joaquin touched New York City, there’s never been a bigger need for an umbrella re-design. Enter Korean firm KT Design’s latest idea, the Phone-brella.

The Phone-brella is an umbrella designed to hook around the user’s arm, instead of having to grip it. The Phone-brella, aided by counterweights at its base, can then rest comfortably on the user’s shoulder as he or she texts. This simple design fix allows the owner to use his or her smartphone in a rainstorm.

Even though the Phone-brella can only be ordered from a Korean website right now, we’re hopeful that this smart design idea will make it’s way to the U.S., especially after winning the prestigious Red Dot Design award. Check out the video below to see the Phone-brella in action.

What Sparks Our Fire: Creative design giving technology a leg up on mother nature.

Marc-eting 101: I Want To Be Scared

Scary-Halloween-Wallpapers

 

This week marked the 12th annual Advertising Week New York conference– a week-long celebration and exploration of topics relevant to the advertising, branding, and marketing industries. After attending events throughout the week, we asked our President, Marc Sampogna, what his best experience was at this year’s AdWeek NY.

As Halloween approaches, discussing something “scary” is never more appropriate. At this years AdWeek NY, I experienced some interesting topics and conversations. All of which uncovered insights that I’m sure I’ll use at some point in my day-to-day. But one in particular really resonated with me, and that was with Seth Godin (sethgodin.com). Now, I’ve seen him speak a number of times, and have read some of his books, e.g., Purple Cow, All Marketers Tell (Lies) Stories, etc., but something about this talk hit me in a different way… a good way — in a way that gets lost in the world of marketing and creativity these days. He spoke about “fear”, and that if you, the agency/creative/strategist/etc. aren’t afraid, then you’re not doing your job (Insert resounding agreement and praise here).


Why is it that we filter down our ideas, and dilute the creativity out of them just so they’ll do something average? Well, it’s, as Seth stated, because “average is what reaches 100 million people”. Average is mainstream. Average is a sure thing. Look, from a business perspective, I get it, we gotta sell tickets, put asses in the seats, move shit off shelves, etc. But for f#@ks sake who the hell wants to be “average”??!! I sure as hell don’t. I want to be scared. I want to be afraid. I want to take risks. I want to hold nothing back. Put myself out there and do things that make me uncomfortable. Because if it means that the ideas I put forth are genuine, and inspired from within, then whether it fails or not, I can move ahead knowing that I stayed true to what matters to me — not being average.

Algae Has a New Look

bloom

Algae may not be the sexiest organism, but it may be one of the most useful ones. While it is already being used as artful home decor, a company called Bloom Foam may have found another use for it: the flexible foam used to make yoga mats, sneakers, and even bath toys.

The product was conceived by Algix, an algae biomass harvesting company, and Effekt, a product and material design and development firm. Algix collects algae from fish farms, lakes, and wastewater facilities and processes it into foam

 

The advantages of using algae-based foam are numerous. They lower the carbon footprint by using natural ingredients, and also make use of algae found in waste streams, which can be bad for wildlife.

Additionally, because of its anti-microbial properties, algae has the potential to replace silver compounds (which can often harm human and environmental health) in anti-odor products, which could be useful in yoga mats and sneakers.

What Sparks Our Fire: Finding sustainable ways to breathe new life into old products.

Let There Be Light

gravitylight

Developing countries have a problem: roughly 20% of the world’s population lacks access to electricity, and kerosene lamps are both dangerous to the environment and hazardous to health.

GravityLight, whose motto is “Doing more with less,” has come up with a clever new way to bring light to poverty-stricken rural areas–without electricity. The lamp operates on gravity, by using the falling motion of a weight to one side to generate light. It began as a project on IndieGogo, and launched in 26 different countries. Now, after crowdfunding almost $400,000 (that’s 727% of its original goal funded), the company is releasing a redesign, which includes a sturdier, less breakable shell, a lighter weight, and a new pulley system.

Best of all, the lamp only costs $20, but will provide free lighting to families all over the world. This proves valuable in places that are generally without electricity, or “off the grid,” or too poor to pay for it. Not to mention that it conserves natural resources, which is always a plus.

What Sparks Our Fire: Creative design that helps move the world forward.