Archive for the ‘Borrowed Thinking’ Category

The Process Manifesto

August 14, 2006

“Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.” Bruce Mau in ‘Life Style’

[Source: From an entry in the W+K Studio blog]


Fortune Cookie Wisdom

August 9, 2006


If only life were this simple, we would have sowed many a seed and reaped many rewards. Unfortunately it is not so. But it’s still a great thought to keep pushing the boundaries every day and accept challenges with rigor and attitude and hopefully reap the benefits in a modest manner.

[Photo Courtesy: Flickr: Emily Kreed]

Prepared Mind = Bold

August 8, 2006


In 40 B.C. the Roman poet Virgil mused that “Fortune favors the bold”.

Louis Pasteur

Much later in the 19th century Louis Pasteur modified Virgil’s quote to “Fortune favors the prepared mind”.

So we can boldy conclude without any pretensions that a prepared mind = boldness.

Early ‘Long Tail’ Wisdom

August 2, 2006

Long Tail

Now that Chris Anderson’s much awaited and blogged about book ‘The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business is Selling Less For More’ is out, everybody’s probably busy blogging about the virtues and vices of the book. I was curious to check the origins of his Long Tail philosophy and landed on this early (and pretty much the first published) article in Wired Issue 12.10, October 2004. And for me, these two paragraphs pretty much laid the foundations to the Long Tail theory:

“Hit-driven economics is a creation of an age without enough room to carry everything for everybody. Not enough shelf space for all the CDs, DVDs, and games produced. Not enough screens to show all the available movies. Not enough channels to broadcast all the TV programs, not enough radio waves to play all the music created, and not enough hours in the day to squeeze everything out through either of those sets of slots.

This is the world of scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. And the differences are profound.”

And abundant it is. I’ve lost count of the new artists I’ve come across (and wanted to check out) through and; books and movies through the endless ponderings through favorite blogs and and even lost track of the interesting blogs that you come across through the favorite blog links of my bookmarked blogs. Not to mention the myriad links through We’re truly lost in abundance. And it’s good.

Speed of Change

August 2, 2006


“Change is hard. Change is hardest on those caught by surprise. Change is hardest on those who have difficulty changing too. But change is natural; change is not new; change is important.” – These are the hard-driven points on change from an employee memo of David Schlesinger (head of Reuters America) back in 2004.

And this memo is presented as a call for awakening towards the sweeping changes in business taking place in a constantly globalising world economy in Thomas Friedman’s book ‘The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century’. And this is only the first chapter that I am in so far.

Friedman divides the globalization eras into three categories.

1. Globalization 1.0 which is from 1492 – 1800 (From Columbus’s discovery of America to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England) resulting in shrinking the world from a size large to a size medium
2. Globalization 2.0 which is from 1800 – 2000 (Industrial Age to Information Age) resulting in the world shrinkage from medium to small

3. Globalization 3.0 which is pretty much the last six years of internet, e-commerce, blogging, tagging, internet telephony and evolving day-by-day so to speak and apparently shrinking the world from size small to tiny and flattening the playing field at the same time

Now what is truly interesting to me is the speed of change in these three eras. The first one lasted for about 300 years, while the second era about 200 years (outlasting the above-average age of a person). The third one is about six years old and growing (Its just started first-grade school) and we already have an astounding amount of information covering the brief twenty-first century. What has truly changed now is that the dissemination and ready availability of information for everyone (at the click of a mouse button as they say!) has accelerated our thinking and perception relative to older eras.

I’m just getting into the preceding chapters and will keep adding thoughts and observations, as I journey through the ten forces that flattened the world and its aftermath.

Big Boss Speak

July 29, 2006

Rupert Murdoch 

“The Internet is media’s golden age.” – Rupert Murdoch (Chairman – News Corporation)

[Source: Wired Magazine Issue 14.07, July 2006]

Ifs and Buts

July 28, 2006

Apocalypse Now

“‘If’ is the middle word in ‘Life'” said the renegade Colonel Kurtz (played by Marlon Brando) in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic ‘Apocalypse Now’

And once at a presentation at the VCU Adcenter I heard the ad legend Bill Westbrook say: “Anything that comes before a ‘But’ is all bullshit”

Wisdom of the Heart & Mind

July 26, 2006

I’m ever grateful to Dan Wieden for imparting this genuine piece of wisdom at my VCU Adcenter graduation commencement (where Dan was kind enough to be the graduation speaker) in 2002:

“Make big decisions with your heart, small ones with your brain.”

Quantity v/s Quality

July 25, 2006

“It is not the quantity of time you spent on a project that counts, it is the quality and your state of mind.”Prasoon Joshi (Regional Creative Director for South and South East Asia – McCann Erickson)
Source: [Elle magazine, February 2006]

More than quantity or quality, the thing that matters most is ‘state of mind’.

Idea v/s Execution

July 24, 2006


Even us souls who inhabit the world of advertising often confuse between the ‘idea’ and ‘execution’. Think about explaining the difference to the average joe out there. Which I’ve occasionally had to, with mixed success. So it gives me great pleasure to bring to light Jean Marie Dru’s simple explanation of the same. Was going through his classic book ‘Disruption – Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace’, and found the brilliant idea v/s execution differentiation and by far this is the best. No wonder Dru is who he is.

“The idea expresses the benefit in an engaging, distinctive way. The execution is the way the idea is presented, explained and depicted (and not the way an ad is produced). Its role is to enhance the idea. An execution is an idea about the idea. In other words, the selling idea dramatizes the benefit, and the execution dramatizes the idea.”

And while we are on ‘Disruption‘, here’s another one of Dru’s timeless gems on inspiration.

“There are a multitude of registers and innumerable sources of inspiration. If we are observant, everyday life reveals thousands of customs, habits, and reflexes. Little things we steal from people, as an artist would, and which provide an inexhaustible source of inspiration.”