Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

“People should understand what it’s like to go through this."

While we're on the mental illnesses kick ...

People with schizophrenia and other disorders have it rough. Most of us can't really comprehend what they go through. Until now. Janssen Pharmaceutica has released a virtual reality program that allows people to experience schizophrenia. For example, NPR's Joanne Silberner talks about going to the supermarket: "When you first walk into the pharmacy, you’re walking through the aisles and there are people staring at you, just staring at you from every aisle. And there’s one instance where there is a woman sort of protecting her children from you when you walk through the aisle."

"This, of course, is really a delusion, it’s part of the schizophrenic thinking, that everyone is looking at you and paying attention to you and is afraid of you."

Silberner describes more of the simulated hallucinations: “People in the produce aisle disappear, and no one else notices -- were they ever really there? From a TV monitor, a man in a commercial yells directly at you. The label on a bottle of pills turns into a skull and crossbones."

Here's an article from NPR about it.


Expert Warns of Dangers of the Corporate Psychopath

With all our recent talk about the types of creativity, here's another type that may be too common, given today's headlines. Canadian researcher Robert Hare says that...

"Corporate executives should be screened for psychopathic behaviour disorders, just as teachers and police are...The arrogant, manipulative behaviour of psychopaths often makes them prime candidates for promotion within large corporations built on ruthless competition...They have to make decisions very quickly, and they can't worry too much about the potential impact on individuals," he said. More important, their utter lack of empathy makes them perfect for carrying out budget cuts and layoffs. That's when the psychopath moves in: rightsizing, downsizing, upsizing. When there's chaos, when the rules no longer apply -- enter, stage right, the psychopath. A psychopath flourishes in that atmosphere."

I usually have a comment to add to these links, but all I can say with regard to this one is that I guess my quixotic preference for focusing on the top line capabilities rather than on cost cutting is simply a sign of good mental health. -- Frank Patrick


collaborators and co-conspirators

Back from BC. I've got tons of catch-up to do, so my postings will be somewhat sporadic. I still owe you all some reviews of articles in Inc., and I intend to get to those soon. For now, though, I wanted to post a link to David Lyttle's weblog. He has some really interesting posts in general, but today's was particularly thought-provoking. After noting the difference between Mozart's and Brahms's compositional styles (B. revised his compositions over and over ... M. worked more in a "flash of brilliance" mode), David asks about the difference between "architects" (think beyond the normal definition of architect)and "creators."

Anyway, I've enjoyed his blog for a while now, and I wanted to be sure to share it with all of you. The Inc. article reviews are coming.


Take a flying leap - that is if you can
There are many who think that creativity can be nurtured. For those who really think this is true, I submit the following quote for your contemplation:

"The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap."

-Albert Einstein-

Can creativity be nurtured and if so how?.............

You tell me..........................


Wrights could be Wrong

Next year, the world we focus on the historic flight of the Wright brothers. One hundred years ago, their aircraft remained airborne for 12 seconds and flew for 37 meters. What I didn't know was that there were already a number of inventors who had invented airplanes that actually flew. One of those inventors was Glenn Curtiss, who probably did more to make the modern airplane a reality than anyone before or since. In the Sept. 2002 issue of Technology Review, Seth Shulman details the remarkable story about the man whose mechanical genius resulted in some 500 aeronautical innovations. Several of these innovations are still used in airplanes today, like wing flaps and retractable landing gear, where none of the Wrights' aeronautical designs have stood the test of time.

The article details the compelling story of Curtiss, who completed a 243 kilometer public flight from Albany, NY to Manhattan in 1910. It was the first true cross-country flight in the U.S. and the longest flight yet attempted in the U.S. More than any other flight, it was Curtiss' 1910 journey that launched the U.S. into the age of modern flight. Curtiss's flight proved to America that the airplane was a useful and practical technology. What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that the Wright Brothers did everything they could to stop Curtiss' airplane from ever taking off.

After the Wright brothers made their first flight in 1903, they tried to control the development of the airplane in its first decade through patents and aggressive business tactics. The Wrights sought to monopolize the airplane industry and they patented their airplane design with its "wing warping method" of bending the airplanes' delcate wings in flight to achieve lateral stability. Although a breakthrough design, the airplanes' wings were very impractical. Curtiss' airplane design utilized ailerons, the flaps appended to the wings that provide lateral stability. Ailerons would eventually become the industry standard, after Curtiss was able to survive an intense legal battle with the Wrights, in which Curtiss was nearly forced into bankruptcy had he not undertaken his revolutionary cross-country flight.


"Take notes on the world. There will be a test."

-Comment of Chris Bangle, BMW's chief of design. Bangle fills up journals with everything but sketches of cars. From sketches of of his travels and observations to quick captions, Bangle and the other BMW designers get their ideas from the world around them and not from the world of cars. Fast Company, September 2002


compelling content

Why are "the Sopranos," "Sex and the City," and "Six Feet Under," so much better than any show on the big 3 networks? It has a lot to do with HBO's strategy aimed at increasing the total value of the HBO network by focusing on projects that are good. Develop programs based on a defining point of view and make all of your decisions based on that idea rather than on habit or custom.

In the September 2002 issue of Fast Company, there is an excellent article about the success of HBO and its original programming division, led by Chris Albrecht. Albrecht's approach can be applied to any business must produce original content for its customers.

"If we can come up with a whole plate of programs-some of which have very narrow appeal-at the end of the day, we'll have a bigger subscriber base," comments Jeff Bewkes the former chairman and CEO of HBO. "We want to deliver a real set of choices and a real range of sensibilities. At the same time, even if a subscriber isn't interested in a particular documentary about the Teamsters, but he hears it's good, he'll feel better about his HBO. So it's about excellence and range."


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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