Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

who's fast?

The most recent issue of Fast Company listed out 25 companies who "get it." In it, there are a number of points about companies that are ahead of the curve, based on points like ...

The companies listed include Amazon, Cemex, Cisco, Dell, eBay, FedEx, Harley Davidson, Krispy Kreme, Pixar, Royal Dutch/Shell, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods Market. That's all well and good, but the reason I'm posting this here is to note that 7 of the 25 on the list ... that's 28% ... are clients of Play. Sweet.

To see the article, click here.


an impactful internship

Sarah, graduate student and intern extraordinaire, informed me recently that impactful is not, in fact, a word. I doubted her, as I had heard it so much. Note: "impactful" on Google yields roughly 30,000 counts, while "impactful" and "not a word" yielded around 36. Nevertheless, I pushed through the clutter, and discovered that she is right. So far.

Merriam-Webster corroborates.

The jury's still out on "enculturated."


This is so very cool - open blogging. I ask myself - or do I say to myself ? - the same thing I think about when I go skiing, cycling, etc.

Thank goodness for information technology...and the "Save" button. I believe it has made possible all sorts of innovation - both incremental and disruptive. In above-mentioned sports, I always wish I was 19 or 29 instead of 49 - 'cause my first ski boots were lace-up leather, not hi-tech plastic. Back then, no parabolic, shaped skis...no mountain bikes...etc.

Even more importantly, no Internet, no Web Sites, very little opportunity (for example) for making a living doing graphic design, copywriting, facilitation, etc. No "Burning Man" events, no "Simpsons". It was a life made up of standard, relatively rigid aspirations, roles and structure. Hierarchy....ever see the movie Pleasantville? Well, we're all shape-shifting and coming to life, in one way or another, even tho' the status-quo power elite is doing its best to keep the whole thing reined in (think Mayor and Police Chief in Pleasantville).

Imagine trying to do this in an organization setting of the '70's or '80's ... that is, bypass directly the big cheese at the head of this outfit, and make your point of view known. Unfortunately, it still happens all tooo often in bigger companies, and with the governments.

The promise of interconnected emergent democracy, and self-organizing systems enabled by the Internet is still out there. There are no construction crews scheduled to take the Internet down (although the FCC and the big corp's, through DigID, may try to do some form of that).

I've been working on a concept I call "wirearchy", which argues that new forms of governance are emerging - less rigid, more fluid, by definition self-organizing. "Archy" is the Greek root for "organizing prionciple", and guess what - there's no commonly-accepted "archy" word for this new set of conditions, where silicon chips, "Save" buttons, brains, imagination, and smart software are all linked together. Hierarchy was great when a few white middle-aged men got all the strategic information, kept it close, and made all the decisions (sound familiar, Dubya ?), and it fit the needs of the flowering of the Industrial Age. It is proving less and less effective these days, except as a means of creating fear and a false sense of comfort and security.

Wirearchy - a dynamic two-way flow of knowledge, trust, credibility, and value, enabled by interconnected people and technology. I think it can't help but keep on emerging, particularly as the Digital generations come of age.

This is so very cool - by all for all. Group and individual imagination and heart at work - wish I was 25 again, and...glad to be alive


do they do birthday punches in Canada?

Happy "one year" anniversary to Steve and Creative Generalist, which is (in my mind) one of the best blogs out there, hampered only by the fact that its operator is a busy guy, and can't post as much as I'd like him to. Of course, that's true for me, too, so I can't really complain about it. From the beginning, I've been impressed with Steve's selections of posts, as well as his commentary. Here's a directly lifted post from Thursday:

I came across this great quote from professor and author Neil Postman: "Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods." It's true, and it makes one (ok, maybe just me) wonder about the shortage of creative generalists in business...

When was the last time you saw a business job posting for a generalist position? Common, no, but not unheard of. Let me rephrase that. When was the last time you saw a business job posting for a junior generalist position? Now we’re in rare air.

There is an underlying myth that general knowledge and true synthesis skills can only come from experience. This basically means that a junior generalist can only be an oxymoron, and that the best thing a company can do is eventually give one of its younger specialists broader duties and “wean” him or her into a more generalist mindset. I would argue that this is a faulty way of approaching this, that generalist thinking is now a specialty unto itself and that a naïve perspective is no less valuable and illuminating than an experienced perspective – and, if anything, the two need to cross paths much more often than they do.

The reality is though that the business world does little to support these important divergent-thinking minds. Further to that, North American schooling makes it extremely difficult for any young mind to adopt a generalist mindset, especially with post-secondary education programs so in line with highly focused career tracks (heck, even high school students now have immense pressure on them to already be pursuing a specific career well before they graduate). Specialization is being institutionalized. There is little in the way of financial career incentive for students of everything. As a result, those with either the fortitude to avoid overspecializing in any one area or those who have the aptitude to be serial specialists will be in short supply and, increasingly, in high demand.

Thanks, Steve, for your contributions to the blogging community. This junior generalist, at least, is grateful for what you've done.

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

04/27/2003 - 05/03/2003 04/20/2003 - 04/26/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/19/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/12/2003 03/30/2003 - 04/05/2003 03/23/2003 - 03/29/2003 03/16/2003 - 03/22/2003 03/09/2003 - 03/15/2003 03/02/2003 - 03/08/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/01/2003 02/16/2003 - 02/22/2003 02/09/2003 - 02/15/2003 02/02/2003 - 02/08/2003 01/26/2003 - 02/01/2003 01/19/2003 - 01/25/2003 01/12/2003 - 01/18/2003 01/05/2003 - 01/11/2003 12/29/2002 - 01/04/2003 12/22/2002 - 12/28/2002 12/15/2002 - 12/21/2002 12/08/2002 - 12/14/2002 12/01/2002 - 12/07/2002 11/24/2002 - 11/30/2002 11/17/2002 - 11/23/2002 11/10/2002 - 11/16/2002 11/03/2002 - 11/09/2002 10/27/2002 - 11/02/2002 10/20/2002 - 10/26/2002 10/13/2002 - 10/19/2002 10/06/2002 - 10/12/2002 09/29/2002 - 10/05/2002 09/22/2002 - 09/28/2002 09/15/2002 - 09/21/2002 09/08/2002 - 09/14/2002 09/01/2002 - 09/07/2002 08/25/2002 - 08/31/2002 08/18/2002 - 08/24/2002 08/11/2002 - 08/17/2002 08/04/2002 - 08/10/2002 07/28/2002 - 08/03/2002 07/21/2002 - 07/27/2002 07/14/2002 - 07/20/2002 07/07/2002 - 07/13/2002 06/30/2002 - 07/06/2002 06/23/2002 - 06/29/2002 06/16/2002 - 06/22/2002 06/09/2002 - 06/15/2002 06/02/2002 - 06/08/2002 05/26/2002 - 06/01/2002 05/19/2002 - 05/25/2002 05/12/2002 - 05/18/2002 05/05/2002 - 05/11/2002 04/28/2002 - 05/04/2002 04/21/2002 - 04/27/2002 04/14/2002 - 04/20/2002 04/07/2002 - 04/13/2002 03/31/2002 - 04/06/2002 03/24/2002 - 03/30/2002 03/17/2002 - 03/23/2002 03/10/2002 - 03/16/2002 03/03/2002 - 03/09/2002 02/24/2002 - 03/02/2002 02/17/2002 - 02/23/2002 current

see our neighbors
Comments by: YACCS