Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

Harvard Business Review
The August issue of HBR is dedicated to workplace creativity - The Innovative Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Profits.
I know we usually don't use this space just to refer articles, but I am currently reading this issue and it is too important not to post. You can read the titles of articles at: www.hbr.com Unfortunately, this is not a freebie. A copy of the magazine is &16.00, or you can purchase individual articles for $6.00 each. You can also pick this up at most major bookstores and libraries. A very timely read. Peace!


whirly pop

So I was going through some old e-mails, and I found this one from a friend of ours, named Jeff. We had asked about people that deserved to be awarded for their creativity, and this is what he sent us. I thought I'd share it with all of you. If you have any suggestions for people who deserve to be recognized, comment below. We send out our Redrubberball Award, and maybe we'll send it to someone you suggest. Anyway, here's Jeff's e-mail:

My submission for creativity is the inventor of the Whirly Pop. What is it you ask? Well, let me tell you, popcorn is my life. Ever since I was a wee lad, I have always had a craving for popcorn. As a matter of fact, I eat popcorn 5x per week.

I went through many waves of how to make the popcorn. In a pot with oil, the Hot Air popper, the infamous Jiffy Pop, microwave popcorn, movie theater popcorn, open flame (fireplace pans), popcorn stands, antique versions that my grandmother owned...the list goes on and on.

A couple of years ago I stumbled on the Whirly Pop in Crate and Barrel. Simple design, affordable cost, interesting mechanisms. The premise is a handle crank attached to a six-quart pan that is connected to a thin metal wire that sweeps the bottom of the pan. Just add a couple of tablespoons of oil, a handful of popcorn, medium high burner, start cranking and voila!!

The results: perfectly popped kernals, full bodied flavor and the ability to add as much REAL BUTTER (Land o Lakes) and SALT (my personal preference is grinded sea salt) as you need. It took years for someone with as much passion for popcorn as I to create this seemingly simple device for the best batch of popcorn. I would love to sit down with this guy and buy him a beer.

Come Sunday, watching my football team on the tube, a tub of popcorn on my belly, a cold beer in hand, my daughter sitting next to me...aaahhh. There is no substitute! I highly recommend it to all. Nothing could be finer.


Why Hydrogen is the Bomb

In a complicated and interesting environment, one approach to making sense of it all is to find simple models that may capture the essence of what is going on. You can then make predicitons based on these models, observe how they play out, make refinements if necessary and hopefully develop a more accurate approximation to reality. The best way to test out a model is to seek out the simplest system that you can find, so when testing out models of our natural universe physicists turn Hydrogen: the simplest atom in nature.

In a recent New York Times Book Review piece, Lawrence Krauss, gives an excellent review of John Rigden's new book, "Hydrogen: The Essential Element." Rigden, is the director of special projects at the American Institute of Physics, and Krauss describes the book as, "...a book on a humble topic that demonstrates the remarkable beauty and subtlety of nature, and of the experiments scientists have developed to explore it."

What I took away from the book review is how essential it is to use a clear model that is capable of being tested within a simple system. In creating models of organizational behavior, the models must be capable of being tested on the individual level. In developing ways of presenting new information, models must be explained using the most simple system or activity as an example.
This is exactly why physicists think that hydrogen is the bomb. When experimenting with Hydrogen, minute disagreements between theory and experiment, which otherwise would have been completely ignored, have to be taken seriously, because of the underlying simplicity of the hydrogen atom itself.



Name Game

How many companies have come up with names based on amalgams? For example, Mattel’s founders Harold Matson and Elliot Handler combined names as did Matchbox founders Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith, who created Lesney Products, the original owners of Matchbox before it was bought out quite a few times until it was bought out by none other then Mattel. I was just reading about both this morning and thought it was extremely interesting…
Does anyone know of any others?

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
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