Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

I just finished reading an article entitled "Making Creativity Work: When you're in the business of ideas, you have to find a way to mix genius with discipline. Here's how." By James M. Citrin, November 13, 2002. You can find it at:

This article is definitely interesting because it focuses on an area of which I am unfamiliar: the nature of creativity within the business world. Unconsciously, I have always assumed that creative people face little stress in developing creative ideas because they are creative people. However, this article addresses the challenges that people (who hold “creative” positions) face within a business environment.

Additionally, I really like the author’s concept of dualism in organizations, which involves aligning someone who is in one “creative” position with someone who is in another “creative” position in order to yield diverse, and even more creative results. After reading this article, it is clear that creativity in the workplace is not as simple as it may seem.

Check it out for yourself; it’s a great article!

- Melanie Mayhew, internship applicant


The March 2003 issue of Popular Science unveils a smart paint headed up by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This manufactured paint 1) prevents corrosion, and 2) can change color at the push of a button. The project funded by the Pentagon, and the article with an attached picture of a tank, does suggest a huge money saver for the military sector. However, my mind first jumps to the automotive industry. Who wouldn't want to change the color of their car based on their mood, the season, their choice of clothing for the day, simply at the push of a button. Not to mention you'd never pay to fix any rust damage again. The brief article adequately summed up the theory and mechanics of exactly how this paint will work. Overall, the article sparked my interest...I'd like to hear more on the smart paint's progress. Working prototype hopeful in 2005, according to Pop. Sci.


Richmond, VA.... Nordstrom is building a new store in the area and has come up with a unique way to decorate the store. The store invited parents and children to come to the Children's Museum where they could buy a tile to paint. The painted tiles will appear in the new store and the money spent for each tile will go to supporting children's charities....talk about getting loyal customers...
-emily taylor, hopeful intern at PLAY


too much of a good thing

Also from LucJam, China nabs illegal advertisers with spam. "Authorities in China are using a computer program that spams illegal advertisers' mobile phones until they turn themselves in."

According to the report, illegal stickers have become an eyesore in recent years, with China's coastal and urbanized areas blighted with a blizzard of advertisements. This is because the postcard-size stickers, which promote everything from fake identity cards to counterfeit academic certifications, are cheap to produce and offer some anonymity. The new system rings the mobile phone numbers of illegal advertisers at 20-second intervals. Upon answering the call, the wrongdoer hears a prerecorded message saying, "You have broken the law by posting illegal ads. You must immediately stop this activity and go to the Hangzhou Urban Administrative Bureau for punishment."

Honestly, I think that's brilliant. And the cost of operating it must be low, since it's an automated process. Even if the criminals don't turn themselves in, it has got to cut back on the efficacy of their "business." I can think of a couple pyramid schemes around here that could use a similar treatment.


oral fixation

LucJam linked over to this article, about people obsessed with lip balm. Neat fact: "While no statistics exist on binge balmers, evidence of their numbers is hard to ignore. One need look no further than the fact that, since 2001, Ford Motor Co. has included a storage niche for a tube on the Escape." Interesting that they leveraged such a small element of popular culture.


the genius of Woody Norris

I love finding articles like this one. The Sound of Things to Come, from this week's NY Times Magazine, focuses on an inventor named Woody Norris. Starting off with one of his recent innovations, HyperSonic Sound, it talks about the innovation itself, a form of speaker that makes sound audible &mdash not in the atmosphere &mdash but in the ears of the listener. It can project sound up to 450 feet away, all at a constant volume. Obvious applications for the military, advertisers, entertainment companies, and retail stores. It's a well-written article, and it touches on the curiousity and wonder with which Norris approaches his world.

Suddenly, it strikes Woody Norris that he has been speaking to a clear plastic straw for the past several seconds: pondering it, turning it around in his hands and in his head. ''This is so cool,'' he says, almost in awe. ''It's so cheap, so elegant. People throw these away! Someday this thing is gonna lead to a real invention.''

For more on Norris, check out his company, American Technology Corporation, or an article from Popular Science talking about the technology.

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