In economic terms, luxury products are those which can consistently command and justify a higher price than products with comparable function and similar quality.In marketing terms, luxury products are those which can deliver emotional benefits which are hard to match by comparable products.One challenge is whether or not a niche player can move outside of their niche, or expand their niche without destroying their brand in the process.Another challenge is once it can successfully move out of the niche, how far can it go until it becomes mass? Is there such a thing as massclusivity?
Talented people are leaving Pixar because very few people get a shot at directing a film of their own.
For all the success, however, there's very little room atop Pixar's food chain. While live-action movie studios might crank out more than a dozen movies annually, the digital animation company built by Apple's Steve Jobs barely makes a film a year -- and had no features at all in 2005 or 2002. What's more, all Pixar movies so far have been directed by an inner circle of animation all-stars: John Lasseter ("Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2" and "Cars"), Brad Bird ("The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille"), Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo" and summer's forthcoming "Wall-E") and Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc." and 2009's "Up").
"You don't have the skeleton key. There are no rules, there are no templates, there are no secret ingredients. Everything is unique and everything is dependent on its own circumstance. You can write all the books, magazine articles, or blog posts you want, but someone will always be able to prove the exception. Something will always contradict.One reason these businesses are successful is probably because their founders didn't take advice from stupid articles in Wired, or try to ride the latest meme sweeping the blogosphere. They understood that every situation is unique, and they needed to approach it as such. What's right is what works, not what previously worked."
Enjoy this pretty astute presentation on Leadership vs. Management. (And yes, watch the whole thing.)
Then ask your boss whether he/she wants you to be a manager or a leader. (Sometimes, organizations aren't clear on this point.) Maybe watch the presentation with them first, THEN ask them the question.
Just bear in mind that you're either one or the other: Sure, you can't be an effective manager without some leadership skills and you can't be an effective leader without some management skills, but when it comes to ROLES, you can't be both a leader and a manager. You have to make a choice.
What will your choice be?
The Blue Monster was designed as a conversation starter. To paraphrase the ongoing dialogue between Steve and I:For too long, Microsoft has allowed other people- the media, the competition and their detractors, especially- to tell their story on their behalf, instead of doing a better job of it themselves.We firmly believe that Microsoft must start articulating their story better- what they do, why they do it, and why it matters- if they're to remain happy and prosperous long-term.If they can do this, well, we don't expect people in their millions to magically start loving Microsoft overnight, but perhaps it might get people- including the people who work there- to start thinking differently. Small moves.
The headline works on a lot of different levels:Microsoft telling its potential customers to change the world or go home.Microsoft telling its employees to change the world or go home.Microsoft employees telling their colleagues to change the world or go home.Everybody else telling Microsoft to change the world or go home.Everyone else telling their colleagues to change the world or go home.And so forth.Microsoft has seventy thousand-odd employees, a huge percentage them very determined to change the world, and often suceeding. And millions of customers with the same idea.Basically, Microsoft is in the world-changing business. If they ever lose that, they might as well all go home.I chose the monster image simply because I always thought there is something wonderfully demonic about wanting to change the world. It can be a force for the good, of course, if used wisely.It's certainly a very loaded part of the human condition, but I suppose that's what makes it compelling.
"Everyone at Mix 08 who worked for Microsoft and handed me either a "Blue Monster" business card or had the sticker, seemed different. It was hard to put a finger on, but although they were believers in Microsoft, they also seemed to believe in an external vision that challenged Microsoft to make a meaningful impact in the world.It's a non corporate honest opinion, and some at Microsoft embrace it publicly.What's to be learned? Blue Monster shows us that no matter how big or small the company that the world is a bigger place. And external influences can become internal influences. And it teaches us that if we are interested in the evolution of corporate culture, that symbols are important. If we don't find our own—someone will find them for us."
"Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status."
- Laurence J. Peter
Overheard outside the wire today:
"Best is not good enough. You have to be better."
Personally, I would be happy with being the best (it would be a good start)... but I guess I can respect the sentiment: Don't rest on your laurels. Don't ever believe that just because you're #1, you can chill and stop working as hard. There are always improvements to make - and if you feel that there are no improvements left to make, then you aren't looking in all the right places.
If anything, I have more respect for "be better than the best" than "give it 200%". (Hint: There's only 100%. 100.000001%+ is a fallacy.)
It does kind of remind me of those detergent commercials in the 70's and 80's that advertised "whiter than white whites." (No comment.) I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.
Even if you're the best, there is always someone better, stronger, faster, smarter or hungrier than you just waiting for a chance to take over the top spot. Being the best is not good enough. You have to be better.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone. :)
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- George Santayana (1863 - 1952)
You must have long range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short range failures. (Charles Noble)
A great design has a point of view. A really great design will make a clear statement. It’ll be unique in a way that doesn’t necessarily mean it stands out, but it’ll be clear that it has something to say. As such, there will usually people who don’t “like it” and that’s not really a bad thing.A great design isn’t done by committee. I don’t think you can achieve great design if you have to compromise to please many. Design is best done with one clear vision and an enabled designer who everyone involved trusts to bring that vision to life.A great design is clear and to a large degree, invisible. A great design should speak for itself and there should never be any question as to what its purpose is.A great design is written as much as it’s “designed.” The words you choose to use in your designs are as important as anything else that goes into it.A great design is more than “usable.” If you’re shooting for a usable design, your simply shooting for average. Every design should be usable, it’s much better to be usable and good. Or great.A great design pays attention to details. If there is one thing I wish I could have on many of the projects I work on is more time and budget to nail down all the little details.A great design isn’t a template. Along the lines of paying attention to details, a great design will address an entire system in as much detail as possible. This is something that you simply can’t do on the “template” level alone.A great design takes time and isn’t cheap. This is fairly obvious, but when it comes to design you do get what your pay for, and, along the same lines, if you rush it, it’ll appear rushed.A great design is never ending. I think, especially when it comes to the web, and interaction design, that a really great design will evolve over time and needs to be looked at, questioned and refined over time.A great design isn’t perfect. If there is one thing you should pay attention to on this list, IMHO, it’s that striving for perfection in your designs can do much more damage than good. Usually what happens here is that someone isn’t happy because the design isn’t exactly what they wanted to see, and so they want to make changes to bring it in line with that vision. This most often results in compromise to achieve consensus, which also means you’re getting further away from something great. There is no such thing as perfect design, accept that and strive to do something great.
11. We shall revive a company culture who's core purpose is to serve people.
That's the foundation of it all. Great experiences that are customer/people-centric are extremely hard to achieve. If you are working for a company that doesn't have a culture of customer-centricity baked into it, then it will be difficult to achieve any of these goals. If your company never had it—you will have to figure out how to build that culture. If you had it and lost it—you'll need to "revive" it.
You can hire all of the customer-centric consultants that money can buy. But at the end of the day, the best results come from a culture focused on serving people. In this case, the people just happen to be customers.
photo by Christopher Wray McCann
"Local Burger is leading the evolution of fast food with fresh, organic, local, and sustainable fare that is free of unnatural additives and preservatives. At Local Burger, we consider the special diet, the environment, the economy, animal welfare, and the health of everyone who eats our food. At Local Burger, you'll always know where your food came from and exactly what's in it."
Local Burger is the brainchild of chef and entrepreneur Hilary Brown, who fulfilled her vision of offering healthy fast food in a casual environment by opening the first Local Burger on September 14, 2005.
Established in historic downtown Lawrence, Kansas, the restaurant sources all of its meats locally and features a variety of burgers, including elk, buffalo, beef, lamb, pork, turkey, and emu, and is home of the World's Best Veggie Burger (it's gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, corn-free, soy-free, yeast-free, nut-free and DELICIOUS!).At Local Burger, Our Mission is to serve delicious food at a fair price with impeccable service while creating a culture of passion for knowing where our food comes from and how it connects us to our world, to our communities, and to ourselves.
Local Burger's interesting, seasonal, and eclectic menu offers something for everyone, carnivores and vegetarians alike, and is super Celiac friendly. Enjoy local gluten-free hot dog and hamburger buns, hemp-milk smoothies, and vegan Caesar salads along with sensational sides like quinoa-millet pilaf and Stevia-sweetened cinnamon applesauce. Those with food intolerances and allergies will find Local Burger heaven on earth... an organic Garden of Eden!
Fast food can mean good food. Who knew? At Local Burger, we can pronounce all of our ingredients. Our food is good for you, good for the community, and good for the environment.
We support local farmers, advocate for the humane treatment of animals and workers, recycle right in the dining room, and compost our organic waste, all while serving food that tastes good and is good for you. Eat here, eat well, and enjoy.If you appreciate quality, sustainability, and flavor, you'll love Local Burger.