I walk by a shuttered Borders everyday on the way to work. It always gets me thinking, “What’s next?” An institution, 40 years standing, now gone, in an instant.
A TIME article discusses five reasons Borders failed: late entry to the web, slow adoption and minimal focus on eBooks, too much focus on music CDs, and then broader business issues such as having too large a footprint and too much debt.
Amazon and B&N were busy creating Kindles and NOOKS and investing in marketing to get them on the top of consumers’ minds. They were re-inventing, respecting change.
Borders lost focus of what consumers really valued: easy and affordable access to content.
The stores were “extras” that simply did not provide enough value to substantiate the trip and the higher retail prices. Reading itself no longer was a gathering experience. Coffee shops, like Starbucks, were quickly filling that void.
Who would of thought a major bookstore chain could have been ushered into bankruptcy by a $99 device and a WiFi connection?
So my question is, “What’s next?” As with any disruptive technology people tend to assume that’s it—there’s no more room for innovation.
So this brings me to today, where I think of last weeks launch of AJ Mobile. Our charter for these featured solutions is to help companies and organizations communicate with their audiences via mobile channels. Currently we are focusing on immediate needs: How do we transition current means of communication to mobile with the same content and framework? A meeting schedule becomes a digital meeting schedule. A communications portal becomes a platform solution delivered via an app. These are great solutions that will serve immediate needs.
So where does Borders fit in? It propels me to ask, “Why?” and “What can be?” not just “How?” And in doing so in tandem with developing our current solutions think of novel ways for communication outside of today’s current constructs. Thank you, Borders for teaching me to never stop inventing.
There's been quite a furor since Google announced last week that it would be including personal Google+ results in web searches. Basically, if you are logged into Google and have a Google+ account, by default your web searches will include hits from your social graph inline with regular search results.
Of course you can shut this off, and "personal" results are denoted with icons and other indicators, but the problem is that this is now the default search mode and apparently it gets turned back on at interval after you've disabled it. Critics contend that the vast majority of users will never bother to turn it off nor pay much attention to the "personal" indicator – and thus, google's highly tweaked and previously, reasonably-fair search algorithm is broken.
Nice summary and disable-instructions here from Larry Magid.
The bottom line summary is: until something changes, if you run a business with a web presence, you'd best have a Google+ page set up.
Perspective plays an enormous role in shaping the way we view life and our surroundings. In the hand of artists and designers perspective has contributed to the evolution of artistic compositions, taking us from cave drawings through the Renaissance and to modern 3D renderings. This evolving perspective has arguably affected our collective consciousness as we can visualize far more dynamic views of our world. Nowhere is this modern perspective more interestingly and pleasantly depicted than in the world of 'Tilt Shift Photography'. The tilt shift lens rotates on multiple axes and gives the viewer the sense that real world environments are being somehow observed through a magnifying glass from some otherworldly plane. Seeing the real and often challenging world we all live in depicted as some faraway lilliputian land offers a very unique and possibly reassuring perspective; quite a gift.
Photo Credit: Jose Minarro Vivancos
HERE are some great examples of this style of photography. Note: These are real photographs.
The Sketchbook of Susan Kare, the Artist Who Gave Computing a Human Face
Great little peek at the Susan Kare's sketchbook (she's the designer who created the visual icons for Apple's graphical user interface). I'm sad that the iPod is not pictured.
For some, the cost of prescription medication can be a hard pill to swallow. And although that was initially the case for 61-year-old cancer survivor Susan Braig, her attitude and spirits have since changed. As Susan watched her medical bills pile up on the kitchen table, she also saw her medicine cabinets overflowing with expired drugs from her various treatments. How could she discard these tiny, now ineffective pills when they were the very reason her debt was soaring? Because their cost was on par with precious gems, she decided to treat them the exact same way…
Read More HERE.
A super-ambitious graphic designer is making a logo for each of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. Right now, she's turning out one a day — meaning she's on track to complete the project in 27 years.
Will she finish? Or will she go Sufjan Stevens and peter out after just a few?
While experiencing this thought-provoking exhibition by Spanish mixed-media artist Antoni Muntadas at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid last week, I found several ideas that are applicable to our clients and their audiences. Here’s one:
Using media, technology, performance art and installations, Muntadas explores the various ways we send and receive information, and examines communications channels to uncover how they are used to both disseminate and restrict ideas.
Read More HERE.