Blog Archives

Changing IDEOlogy

IDEO’s approach to innovation and business deserves one very succinct word:

Amen.

Diversity is not restricted by race or gender, but expands in equal capacity and wonder to thought process. How we think certainly varies based on our gender and our personal experiences growing up in different places, as well as growing up in the same place as our peers. Incredibly, there are no limits to creativity, especially if (and when) we adopt a more lively dynamic to be initiated for problem-solving.

This is where IDEO comes into play to redefine not only what we innovate, but how we innovate in the 21st century with proof from the late 20th century. And this solution is people-centric. Keep in mind this aforementioned proof includes the very first mouse for Apple, as directly requested by this guy who went by the name of Steve Jobs. Exploring what IDEO’s founder David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley deem as “creative confidence” that’s currently in concert with Stanford University has the potential to gradually revolutionize not only how universities design curriculum, but also how businesses in a myriad of industries could (and should) approach hiring and operating in the not-so-distant future.

Currently, there is IDEO (the company), IDEO U (offering online courses for the public) and D.School (Stanford Graduate Students).

To put a finer point on it, IDEO is Silicon Valley’s transferable future to us all.

While no “app” is necessary, the application of IDEO’s ideas should be downloaded ASAP.

Taxi Driver (The Funny One)

The must see interview is here.

Legendary sitcom director, creator, writer and producer James Burrows was given a 2-hour NBC special this past Sunday night. The shows we know and love were featured (Taxi, Cheers, Frasier, Will & Grace, Friends, The Big Bang Theory, to name a few) through cast interviews (most of them, anyways). The trademark gestures and words of wisdom by Mr. Burrows were revealed through comedic ribbing, including his surprisingly distinctive voice. For a man made famous for his shadowy presence, former NBC stars impersonating their former boss was akin to an SNL alum impersonating another behind-the-scenes maestro: Lorne Michaels.

The vocal range between the two men is kind of striking.

James Burrows spoke for a few minutes at the end of his NBC special for directing his 1,000th sitcom episode, but there is still so many more stories to be told.

And advice to be given.

Cheers, James Burrows.

A Rhetorical Abstention from Reality

Here is a brief recap of President Obama’s State of the Union speech from last night:

No serious proposal for opportunity-centric tax reform to help the middle class and low-wage earners
No legitimate solutions that would help those living in poverty move up into the middle class, far above the poverty line
No hints of genuine bipartisanship
No fresh, new vision for a country hurting in a stagnant economy exacerbated by his policies
No debate or reconsideration/adjustment at all on climate science-related policies, even though Europe (of all places) is scaling back funding for such projects and the fact that scientists are progressively suggesting a mini-Ice Age may be upon us (the Polar Vortex, anyone?)
No mention of the debt
No mention of excessive government spending
No reexamination or humble remarks regarding Obamacare as he refuses to even entertain suggestions dealing with structural changes from Republicans, despite his nearly 20 executive orders/delays for the law
No new, innovative plans for the energy sector that would produce jobs and energy now

Nope, nothing.

And President Obama and the media calls the Republican Party the “Party of No”?

Journalism: From A to Z

Information is gathered and presented in a non-stop cycle driven by the engine of speed. The invention of the Internet, and its digital revolution sidekick, has created boundless avenues for this information, with blogs as a primary example. Along with these developments into new media, there has been continuous concern over the future of journalism. Is journalism as we know it fading away? Is journalism, in the traditional sense, keeping up with the more independent, social media oriented times? How does this “wild west” (so to speak) of informal writing, with a myriad of perspectives, consolidate into a more perfect network of trustworthy journalism in the modern era? Who can do it?

A storyteller.

Jeff Bezos, of Amazon.com, recently purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. No big deal. Equipped with a successful background in technology, he represents a pivotal shift for the state of journalism in the ever-changing 21st century. His challenge: interweaving formal content with informal content to create a newspaper/news hub that appeals broadly and specifically to both the formal and informal audiences. Formal can be defined as traditional. Think of the likes of David Brooks of The New York Times and Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal. Informal can be defined as this very blog (Jimmy’s Daily Planet, in which its sole writer and creator has a Bachelors Degree in Communications with a Major in Journalism) and other websites that feature writers who individually publish with daily frequency while simultaneously involving popular media elements to their posts and articles.

Quality is not the major issue between the two sides as much as it is style.

Much like any good sitcom, movie or book, there are various characters with unique qualities, motivations and reactions. There need to be strong leads, but without the flamboyant supporting characters, the fun and thrill of the plot suffers. It’s reality. Words like “dull” or “stale” rise to the front of the viewer’s mind. When this happens, people cease to care, no matter the premise or leading voices. The leads provide the foundation and the richness, but every character is pivotal to telling a compelling story. Plot twists and surprises are always great content drivers as well.

No matter how small or seemingly “goofy,” any good puzzle needs a variety of pieces. Imagine the “Back to the Future” trilogy without the dumb-witted responses from Biff (“make like a tree and get out of here!”) or the eccentric hair, clothes and personality of Dr. Emmett Brown (“Doc”).

How good would those movies have been? Would there have been a second or third movie?

In the case of these two examples, recall that the content and quality always remained high with these characters. The writing was also supreme. It’s a balance that requires skill and intelligence, but it can and has been done with great precision and enjoyment.

The point is that when everything was put together, including the characters, sets and the undeniably cool time machine (“Wait a minute, wait a minute Doc…are you telling me that you built a time machine, out of a DeLorean!?”) the “Back to the Future” trilogy became an American favorite in the eighties that remains popular today. The film’s stock is still soaring as high as the time traveling DeLorean.

Two words to describe the three movies are classic and cool.

Bezos has the pioneering task of combining the traditional pillars of The Washington Post, with its distinguished staff, with informal staff members and their new content. The Post has the leads, but what it needs are vibrant colors that will attract viewers from near and far.

Good content remains a desired asset in our free society, but the style is changing. Bezos has his hands full with his decision to buy one of the premier newspapers in the United States. His personal reputation grants him space and opportunity to design his grand vision for the new newspaper. The answer to how he will enact his transformation, however large or small, is reserved within the brainstorming mind of Bezos himself for the time being. In the back of our heads though, we all know the great script he wrote for Amazon.com…

It will be fascinating to see his ideas come to fruition when the season’s right. Whatever they are, they will send shock-waves throughout the media universe.

The two words that Jeff Bezos will almost certainly hope people will use to describe his new Washington Post are classic and cool.

And if he can achieve this, then he will have successfully brought journalism back to the future.