— blending the mix


Great eye-opener from Steve Jobs via Euan:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs

And a powerful address from Steve to some Stanford Graduates recounting the story of how his interest and passion got him to where he was.

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Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of the use of infographics for the sake of them – if they distill complex information down, then great, but to use them just to get attention and show off some bright colours – that’s a no-no in my book!

That said, this beauty tells an amazing story of the rise of the ipad, something which I covered briefly at the Insights Eleven event a couple of weeks ago:

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A while back, I postured that Microsoft had launched their coolest ever idea (touch-screen password control on their UMPC’s – although it didn’t make me cry!), they then usurped my ridiculous statement with the launch of Live Mesh, Worldwide Telescope and Photosynth to name but a few!

BUT, one thing that has been around quietly for a while, but only recently became available on the market has got me drooling: Microsoft Surface:

For fear of sounding like my good buddies and all round Microsoft fan boys 😉 , I use a Mac for work and home, don’t use a Windows Device (if I can help it), but boy…give me a Surface table and I would be in heaven.

Innovation Full-Circle
It’s a coming together of what Bill Gates said all those years ago about having a PC in every home but also, my thoughts of how Apple managed to win hearts and minds of their OS by controlling the look of the system their software came in. The machines look like the kind of object you might have in your house, or at the very least, are so pleasing to the eye that you wouldn’t object to having one in your house.

The introduction of the Microsoft Surface table puts not only fantastic technology into people’s houses, but does so in a way that is acceptable to THEM, a feat that I genuinely don’t think Microsoft has ever managed to do.

Not only will Microsoft be able to put a PC in everybody’s home, but it may well be the platform for them to deliver their innovative technologies in a much more acceptable way (I mean, images delivered to the table-top machine through touch-recognition of the device – imagine what drinks-makers could do with THAT).

Microsoft, if you are listening I would be happy to try a new coffee table out for you…I am in the process of redecorating anyway…

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I’ve been meaning to post something about David’s book for ages, but when Steve put up the Crowdsurfing video today, it kind of made sense to put it up today also.

David gives a pretty good summary to the Crowdsurfing by recounting the story of how Microsoft is allowing (and continues to allow) employees such as Steve and Rob to air their thoughts through blogs…and how the Blue Monster came about as a result.

Compare that to the way in which Apple manage their pr and suddenly Apple doesn’t look the cool company it thinks it is…

Enjoy. David…congratulations!

Book launch from David Brain on Vimeo.

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Something last week took me back to Steve’s post, and how PC design was turning the corner (despite IBM’s Thinkpad trying its best to bring back brick-based laptop design) and I decided to republish a post I wrote a year and a day ago regarding the “fad” that is Mac and why the battle Microsoft are facing is not with Apple’s software, but its hardware.

For some time now, I have underestimated the message behind the Mac versus PC ads.

Whilst the deeper message comes from largely listening to the audio – "macs are cool and easy to use and stunning and sexy and erm…well, just bloody better than the PC" (!!!) I think there is an greater meaning behind the actual look and appearance of the PC in the ads than is/has being/been discussed – and the issue is nothing to do with the OS.

When Apple talk about the PC, they actually mainly mean Windows – yet Windows has nothing to do with the design of the PC, so why are Apple knocking the PC? Is their OS actually so average that they have to knock something other than the Windows OS?! With Vista, Microsoft have brought themselves up to speed and have done a great job. It is more than a visual match for OS X Tiger and previews I have seen of Leopard does not seem to make much more dramatic steps ahead of Vista. But who also has control over how their product looks on the high street? Apple.

Microsoft’s biggest downfall, is losing/giving-up on/never having control of the dull, albeit improving presentation of the very machines in which their product is installed and as such, their OS gets tarred with the same brush. Even early Apple OS’s looked terrible, as did early Windows OS’s, but with design of the machine being so crucial to the Apple ethos, Apple have been able to control people’s perceptions of the software contained within – hence the dull, staid appearance of Mr. PC above. With good reason.

Would Ferrari be happy to put their engine in a Citroen C2? No.

Do Rolex package their unique mechanisms in a plastic case and strap? No.

Packaging is everything. And I am not talking about the box and wrapper!

With the Blue Monster representing a change in Microsoft’s approach to promoting itself as well as the market it serves, maybe it should also consider how the packaging of its product is seen too?

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