Monday, January 30, 2012

American Standard

Is it possible to measure the value of measuring?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Time Machine

Fold a piece of paper in half and place the folded edge against your forehead with the bottom edge in your line of sight.

You are Primate 2.0. Earlier models had sloping foreheads but yours is vertical. The redesign was necessary to make room for the Frontal Lobe, the most powerful tool on the planet. The Frontal Lobe allows its user to time-travel. You can look back on the past and see patterns and you can project those patterns on the future to see what might happen. In order to do this the Frontal Lobe searches for meaning in the patterns of reality. With meaning it can create value; with value it can drive intention; with intention it can act on the world and get the results it is looking for. The Frontal Lobe does this all with imagination. Imagination is our survival tool. Like all tools, the Frontal Lobe requires proper care. I’m hoping to give yours a workout.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Analyn sees the Heretic sulking in a corner. She sits beside him and waits.

Heretic: I’m failing…I’m not taking any action on my idea.

Analyn (grabs his iPhone and opens the Evernote app): You’re kidding right? You have 40 notes in Evernote tagged “The Idea”

Heretic: Well I have to do that or I’ll lose my thoughts. But writing a note is not the same thing as taking action.

Analyn: You got a thought out of your head and into a physical form. It may be virtual but it is still real. So are you saying it isn’t enough? What kind of action is enough? I didn’t realize that there was a hierarchy of taking action.

Heretic: OK, so writing a note is an action but does it make a difference?

Analyn: Look, these notes are like money in the bank. Once they are written they are always there for you. Even if you don’t do anything with it for years, it was still worth it. These notes are insurance policies. They protect you from the Detractor. No one else can erase them.

Open an Evernote account and download the app.
Draw a character that represents your idea, even if it is a stick figure.
Add a snapshot note in Evernote by taking a picture of your drawing.
Go to your computer and write an email to your Evernote account and address it to your character.
Explain to your character that you will never give up.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On the Deck in New London

Between I 95 and the water in eastern Connecticut is an old Whaling town named New London. Go to the post office there and look up into the ceiling of the main room. There is a WPA mural of a whaling ship from the perspective of someone working on the deck. This feeling of being in the scene brings it to life. You can almost smell the salt air and feel the movement of the ship. Including the viewer is a great tool for engaging them. 

Now look around you. Most New Londoners I've known have told me that they had no idea there was a mural there. Going to the post office is something you do on auto-pilot. This is their real life but they are not present in it the way the artist makes you feel that you are present in the drama of the working life of a whaler. The people you see around you are going through the motions.

Find a letter sized envelope and fold it into an arrow. Write the words "Look up!" on it and place it on a flat surface against the wall.

What other ways are there to get people to look beyond the automated patterns of their lives?

Image: Detail of mural by Thomas LaFarger

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Hand Dryer? Really?

Go to a restroom where they have installed a Dyson Airblade and as you are pulling your hands through it, imagine that you were there when the engineer said: “OK, if the goal is to get water off your hands why don’t we have the air pull the water off instead of the heat trying to evaporate it? That is called "Re-framing the Objective" and it is inspiring when you can see it work.

There are Dyson Blades installed in the restrooms at the Medical offices at 2335 Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, CT (Entrance on Brookside Drive)

Image from http:/

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


All tools are essentially levers, even wheels and inclined planes. They are about extending the reach of humans by shifting effort to where it has the most impact. There is no free ride. What you gain in impact you give up in distance. Technical tools extend the reach of the human mind. What do you give up to gain the impact of technology.

What are you willing to give up to make your idea have impact?

The Ultimate Perfomance artist/Scientist: Bill Nye

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Detractor's Warning

The Detractor says: What ever you do, do NOT touch this tool. It will rob you of all your excuses.