Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

Hi I´m Arturo here goes my 2 cts.

Dirty desking

How do you call a pile of files, post its, papers, magazines, note pads, pens, pencils, photographs of your beloved ones and of course a computer? if the answer you have in mind is: Your Desk... then you have to read The Zen of Desktop Management this is a very interesting article from the guys at jugglezine.com from Herman Miller.

It seems acording to the articles and research quoted, that all this clutter is a physical representation of how our overloaded brains are dealing with the tasks at hand, why are they overloaded? simply put...we shove too much stuff in them... we multitask... yeah like the CPU of your computer, we take a phone call, check the email, review a document and have someone sitting on a chair in front of us... we need concentration and focus but curiously our modern culture is full of distracting devices (cell phones, pagers, instant messaging, etc)

How about some focusing devices for your space??, a sort of traffic light on your door, maybe we dont need offices and we should use all this devices to free ourselves, any Ideas?




Long-time readers of Pure Content know that, at the beginning, we did "Two Minute Book Reviews." Although we're still reading, we haven't been posting the reviews up as much lately. But I just came across a great book, and I wanted to share it with you. Radicals & Visionaries: Entrepreneurs Who Revolutionized the 20th Century by Thaddeus Wawro is a great book. I found it and immediately thought of Rich's question from the other day: "If there was a Presidential Medal of Creatvity to whom would you award it." My answer would be: anyone in this book. It features short bios on some of the thinkers and doers who really changed the way the world works (at least in the business / advertising / entertainment world). In six pages apiece, it goes through the stories and events in the lives of 70+ creative people from the last 100 years. Anita Roddick from the Body Shop. Sam Walton from Wal-Mart. David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather. Richard Branson of the Virgin Group. Jim Henson. Ron Popeil. Ben & Jerry. They're quick reads, and the stories from their lives are great. If you're heading to the bookstore this weekend, check it out. Or, of course, there's always Amazon.


Hello, Liz Oxhorn here. More on David Dec’s post on creativity and removing things:
I have always loved the pastel work done by artist Wolf Kahn - abstract landscapes that are a blur of vibrant colors. He is a champion of the idea that great art comes not from constructing something, but deconstructing it and he incorporates the philosophy into his work. Kahn “finishes” a piece and then deconstructs it by blending colors and blurring shapes.
Think about it: it is tough to name a creative endeavor that doesn’t operate off of this philosophy. Photography is the art of deconstruction – turning an animated three-dimensional scene into a frozen two-dimensional one in order to change our perspective. Collage and found object artists deconstruct everyday objects or images, making them into a piece of art. Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism were about deconstruction of the world around us into flecks of color, shape, and light.
Something to think about – how can we use the principle of deconstruction rather than construction to build a revitalized business world? How can we take the failing institutions we've built and creatively reinvent them?


an army of 400,000

As a recruiting tool, the U.S. Army created a video game, called "America's Army." "The U.S. Army has developed a highly realistic and innovative PC video game that puts you inside an Army unit. You’ll face your first tour of duty along with your fellow Soldiers. Gain experience as a Soldier in the U.S. Army, without ever leaving your desk."

Released on July 4th, the "recon" (beta) version of the game has already been downloaded by 400,000 gamers. Yahoo! has an article, here. As a result of the higher-than-expected response, the Army had to triple the number of servers it had dedicated to the game.

I know a few days ago we were looking at innovations developed during wartime that directly impacted civillian life. This is a great example of the military taking a civillian innovation and applying it to military use.


This is Dave Dec, (last name pronouncement rhymes with Peace.) Part of creativity is to know when to remove things - a sculptor destroys some of the stone to create their art, for example. With the current accounting scandals that are being exposed in large corporations, this places corporate America at the cusp of great opportunity. The combination of these activities, a slumping economy, and peoples wavering trust in corporations may begin a new type of recovery. New ideas, a focus on the human soul, and entrepreneurial risk for success will be the future of the economy. Remove the distrust and personal use of power to create a work environment for all to prosper. Creativity is "in" and what a great time to spread it! Peace!


form and function

The July 8th issue of Newsweek features a short blurb about the office building housing the U.S. Department of Education. Housed in "the same kind of anonymous seven-floor concrete box that houses most bureaucrats in the capital city," the DoE is going through a renovation to the outside of the building. Education Secretary Rod Paige thought the standard safety shelters that protected doorways were too ugly, so he suggested putting up red schoolhouses over the shelters. Replete with blackboards proclaiming Bush's campaign of "No Child Left Behind," the schoolhouses are apparently a hit in DC. The print version of the magazine has a great photo of the shelters.

Anyway, it's a great example of an elegant solution.


Negative Results- Dickenson's White Fungus and Bird's Nest Drink

Thinking that I was stumbling upon the next "Red Bull," I purchased and drank a can of this stuff. When poured into a clear glass, it looks like sea monkey colony on steroids. Despite this I tried a taste. Sweet, full bodied and disgusting was my take. Based on these negative results, I have found that Dickenson's White Fungus and Bird's Nest Drink is not the next "Red Bull." Has anyone tried this liquid?


This is Kevin Holtsberry from Ideas, etc. I just wanted to say how cool this whole "conversation thing" is . . . (I once experimented with an "open" blog idea surrounding beer but pulled back from the brink) I will watch with anticipation how this thing works. If I have anything that seems relevant I will post it here . . .


Hi Geof. This is Julie from Conversation #17. During one of our creative sessions, when members of Play imparted the "all page" code to us at your corporate offices, they implored us not to reveal that information to you specifically. Sorry, but you won't drag that information out of me. I do, however, think the old mailing tube (I secretly dubbed it "Old Yeller") is an excellent substitute for the all page. I guess you'll just have to keep thinking about it harder. Have a good day. -- Julie G.


Taking it to the next level (at Charlie's urging)

Yesterday, Peter Drucker along with several other notables were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can receive in the U.S. If there was a Presidential Medal of Creatvity to whom would you award it? One of my first picks would be architect Maya Lin who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial among other great works. Who would be on your short list if you were President?

Street Team member and "footsoldier" Rich Schaffer


get the word out

If you are creatively minded and know how to e-mail like-minded people, or if you have a blog that might touch on business / innovation / inspiration / creativity / etc., we'd appreciate it if you got the word out about the new "conversation" that's going on over here. The more the merrier, right? Thanks.


all page

Hello there. This is Geof of the wallpaper team. Does anyone know the all page code to their office phone system. Thats the sequence of numbers and buttons you push so that your voice is heard throughout the office over everyone's phone speaker. We have Lucent's Merlin Legend ETR 180 system, but I think the all page is a pretty universal code. The "powers that be" will not share the code with me and I am forced to yell through an old mailing tube. It is not effective. Thank you. Geof.


the next generation

This is Charlie. I just wanted to show you what this type of post would look like. See that "Pure Content Street Team" up in the upper right-hand corner? That's you.

Early in the twentieth century, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black commented on the "Free Marketplace of Ideas." We can enter into conversations with our thoughts, our prejudices, our beliefs and our dogmas. And as we put something out there, others will build on our ideas, or they will counter our ideas. The idea being that in a time, with free speech, as conversations develop the truth will always rise to the top.

Pure Content is a free marketplace of ideas. So start the conversation. Let the truth rise to the top.


street team

Until now, Pure Content has been mostly a one-way flow of information. With your help, we'd like to take it to the next level, to really make it a conversation. Creativity and innovation are all around us, and we'd like to get your thoughts.

If you've been here for a while, you probably know that we define creativity as "looking at more stuff and thinking about it harder." We'd love to see your posts, with links to articles and other incidents of creativity and innovation. Also, if you see a post that you can build on, please feel free to comment on it.

If you'd like to post to Pure Content, If you would like to add to the conversation, go to blogger.com, and sign in, with the username "Pure Content" and the password "Pure Content. Then, on the right side of the screen, you'll see a blue box that, in orange, will read "Pure Content." Then, you post your brilliance. (Be sure to include your name somewhere in the post, so we know who to respond to.) Pretty easy.

We're excited about this generation of Pure Content. Welcome aboard.


sos pads do not have unlimited uses

If anyone has contemplated using an SOS pad to scrub off rock hard bird poo or other particulates from their car let me urge you to reconsider. I thought that the scrubbing power of the wiry SOS pad would be perfect for cleaning those tough to remove bird droppings. Unfortunately, this was my first car and I was seriously mistaken.

While easily removing the bird poop, the SOS pad allowed me to effortlessly remove one or two coats of my cars transparent, protective coating. After rinsing the soap off, my car permanently looked like I had applied car wax and never wiped it off. These results were completely negative and I urge you all to take heed.


look at war stuff and think about it harder

Pure Content emmisary Dave Dec commented on an earlier post about fireworks, and how they have been adapted from battle, to be used in peacetime. In an e-mail conversation he and I have been having, he noted a few other innovations that have been modified from their use in wartime. In particular, he looks at WD-40, which was invented by an infantryman to stop rust in his gun, vaccines like the Epi-pen (I think that's what he was referring to) and other antidotes given to bee sting victims, which were developed in war time, and K Rations and condensed food, which was perfected in the space program and gave us fruit roll-ups, Tang, breakfast bars, and the like.

I also know that the interstate highway systemwas partially designed to evacuate cities in the event of an atomic war, and the Internet started off as a linked-up network of redundant systems, thanks to the Department of Defense and their concerns about losing data in a nuclear blast.

Do you know of other wartime innovations that have benefitted the rest of the world?


invention at play

Pure Content footsoldier Rich Schaffer shared info with us about an upcoming series of events at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Beginning Friday, July 19th, Invention at Play "uncovers connections between children's play and inventor's work. This interactive exhibit and Web site are sure to delight vistors of all ages with hands-on invention activities, while introducing them to a wide range of American inventors whose playful habits of mind began with blocks and make-believe and resulted in lasting contributions to society."

There are some events throughout the year (the exhibit is there through December), and we're planning on making it up there for some of them. Perhaps we'll incorporate a goplay trip around one of the events. We'll see.

Thanks to Rich for the lead.


White Papers by Play

We've just released Business Unorthodox: Creativity and the Bottom Line, which is a white paper on the role of creativity in changing business. It is part of "an ongoing series in which we postulate, theorize, and express our beliefs and discoveries on creativity and its measurable impact on the world of business." Although I can't post it here, I'd be happy to e-mail you the .pdf file. It's a beautiful thing, and we'd love to share it with you. Just e-mail me, and I'll send it to you. E-mail me in the next ten minutes and I'll throw in a second copy for free.


creative cultures

Reveries.com has a great interview with Gary Hirshberg, President and CEO of Stonyfield Farms. Everybody Must Get Stonyfield. Everyone's lauded Ben & Jerry's and Newman's Own, but my heart belongs to Stonyfield. Check out some of Hirshberg's insights into growing his company into the #4 yogurt company in the country, with totally organic product lines. You can have ideals and be profitable. Brilliance.


"Cool hunting is totally over."

The NY Times featured this article on the demise of cool hunting. Once Hot, Now Not, Hunters of Cool Are in a Freeze. Citing a general lack of interest in "cool" in post-9/11 America, combined with the decreased amount of disposable income that most teens (and corporations) have, this article claims that the bell is tolling for companies that try to pick out the actions of early adopters to sell them to other companies.

"Although some cool hunters continue to prowl, the consensus is that their trade has become uncool, because it resulted in no more than a handful of successful products."

who / what / why

At Play we create brands, strategies, new products, and better cultures for Fortune 100 companies. Our formula for creativity: "Look at more stuff. Think about it harder." Pure Content is one place where we do that, daily.

the cool kids' table

Ben Domenech
(politics, football, and a boatload of know-how)

Creative Generalist
(if Pure Content had a doppelganger ...)

Heath Row
(punk + business
+ creativity = Heath)


go go gadget google:

stuck in an airport

A Pattern Language

Creative Company
Orbiting the Giant Hairball
The Ultimate Book of Business Creativity

The Little Prince

Wittgenstein's Poker

The Dancing Wu Li Masters

The Tipping Point

new to you

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see our neighbors
Comments by: YACCS