Interesting analysis of Cows with names actually delivering higher quantities of milk (via nytimes year of ideas). Interesting correlation here to the business world - knowing the names of your employees kids, spouses, dogs, cats, etc can have a profound effect on productivity and (best of all) a fabulous retention tool - something I'm personally working on in a big way this upcoming new year.
For dairy farmers, whether to name their cows may seem like a matter of taste. But it might not be. It could be a business decision.
A study of several hundred British dairies published in the journal Anthrozoös in March compared responses to a survey about cow treatment with independently collected milk data and found that cows that have names make, in a given year, about 258 liters more milk per farm than anonymous ones — a bump of about 6 percent.
More research is still needed. The possible psychological effects on cows of having a name, for example, have yet to be determined. But the results so far reveal a correlation: "The naming," says Catherine Douglas, the Newcastle University animal behaviorist behind the research, "reflects the humans' attitudes toward the cows, and therefore how they behave around them." Named cows are more often treated nicely, and well-treated, calm and happy cows make more milk. The point, Douglas says, is that it definitely can't hurt to name your cows.Naming criteria vary widely. Some farmers name cows alphabetically; others recycle parents' names. Herb and flower names are popular in Britain. "You know," Douglas says, "Daisy, Rose, Buttercup." Douglas once named a cow after her sister, Hattie.
But some American dairy farmers scoff at this idea. Barbara Martin, a third-generation California dairy operator, says naming her 2,200 cows would be completely unrealistic. "Everyone," she says, "has an ear tag with a number." PAT WALTERS
This is a great feature on NYTimes.com that's quite well done. What once was the raison d'etre of Apple (having a legend-like CEO at the helm) is no longer as great as it seems. So much of Apple's equity lies in Steve Jobs...when he goes...perhaps the equity does as well. What do you think?
I just got back from the US and noticed this fantastic commercial by Sprint. Was thoroughly hooked every time I saw it. I wonder if all of the data in here is legit, I found it interesting regardless...
Interesting article from the NY Times The Moment blog on how Michael Jordan changed the length of basketball shorts forever...Thank you Michael...Thank you.
"He played so many minutes when he was with the Bulls in the mid-’80s, so by the third quarter he would be exhausted. He would be doing a lot of this leaning over and catching his breath. Eventually he was starting to grab his pants, to hold on to them because he was exhausted. … He finally asked Champion, the uniform manufacturer, for more length in his shorts so that he could hang onto his shorts ...”
Not sure how I got on this topic the other day with a colleague, but I've since been thinking a lot about it.
It's based on the the following basic premise:
Winter = Hibernation
Spring = Growth
In the physical environment we know this to be true...the birds chirping, the ice melting, patios opening up - people, things & life emerge from the winter with a new fresh outlook on life. A shift from being dormant to being active.
So it's not that much of a stretch to assume that this occurs with humans, our pocketbooks and for that matter, the larger economy as well. Does spring (or simply nicer weather) pave the way for more investment? more cash injected into the economy? Are people more liberal with their spending simply because it's sunny outside? Interesting indeed.
I did a quick inventory of my spending habits and noticed the following:
During the summer months (April-Sept):
-I ate out 50% more than during winter months (Oct - March).
-I invested more in outdoor activities (30% higher spending) than in winter months
-I consumed more gasoline (not sure if there's a correlation here or not)
-I visited retail shopping areas 40% more than during winter months.
Not sure if this is a small instance or not, but something tells me there's a correlation between weather, our moods, and therefore our spending habits.
I love good communication. This is a great example of how someone can take a very complex issue (i.e. the credit crisis) and visually make it incredibly easy to understand. Kudos to Jonathan Jarvis for pulling this together.
I had to get up in front of a few people today to present...
Nothing too dramatic - a 10 minute overview on what I do & where I'm going, but it was somewhat last minute and I hadn't really had time to think through my flow, timing, or for that matter, what I really even wanted to say....let's just say, I've had better days on the stage...
My job has afforded me the privilege of public speaking almost on a daily basis, so I've become quite used to it...but it bothered me that I hadn't really taken the time to properly prepare and put some meaningful thought into what I was going to say...
Yes, any monkey with a microphone can jabber on for hours - but does it make an impact? likely not.
I often feel (and I think this is likely the proper attitude) that every second and every word that comes out of my mouth needs to deliver value and impact - otherwise I've wasted peoples precious time...they've stopped what they've been up to, have made a concious decision to listen to me for a few moments and (if I haven't prepared anything of substance) I've robbed them.
So, needless to say - I want to make sure, and make a commitment, that everytime I have the privaledge of an audience to make the most of it...to prepare, to have something insightful to say and hopefully make people think differently...at least that's the idea...we'll see how it goes...in the meantime - I saw this talk from Benjamin Zander that inspired me to perfect the art and delivery of effective story telling and public speaking - if you have 20 min - trust me - this will deliver value and impact.
I must say, I was hesitant when I first heard of RIM launching a touch screen device. Seems like the typical "fast-follower" approach on the heels of Apple's iPhone. Interestingly enough, it's a fantastic device - despite some getting used to, I found it to be quite intuitive, slightly more tactile feel (given it's touch screen click feel)...the major win over Apple's iPhone is the Storm's (or RIM for that matter) strength in email - it's actually one of the first touch screen devices I've actually enjoyed typing an email on...well done for nailing that!
The team over at RIM/Telus invited me to attend the launch party for the special device...to say the least, was a great event - lots of great product showcasing, great music (special presence from Canadian indie label Arts&Crafts - so extra points for supporting the local guys)...and to top it off...we all walked out with the blessed new device.
Point is...if you're going to launch a product...do it right, spend the money, make it relevant and authentic. Kudos to the organizers and the rest of the lot - job well done.
I love the videos put together by GOOD Magazine. Visually, they're quite engaging, but moreso, they've done a great job of simplifying complex cultural issues down to snack-type format. It's a good format - keep it up GOOD - my hat goes off to you! Here's a quick sample of what Obama will inherit as he takes office.
Starting early next month, global banking giant HSBC is offering passengers at Heathrow's Terminal 1 a chance to select magazine articles on topics they're interested in and have them bound into a hardback form they can take on their flight, according to Marketing Week. Through a kiosk located beyond security at Terminal 1, travellers will be greeted with an HSBC-branded hardback magazine cover. They'll then browse the diverse selection of loose-leaf articles arranged on backlit shelving. Available articles will be sourced from coverage around the globe focusing on four general topic areas: home and abroad, commerce and politics, health and sport, and media and culture. Consumers will also be able to choose from among five writers, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, tennis legend Björn Borg and Harrod’s trend forecaster on the future of shopping. Once they've made their selections, travelers will simply take their articles to HSBC's binding bar to be neatly bound inside the hard cover. The two-week pilot effort, which is part of a campaign to promote the HSBC Premier Card, was developed by Cunning with JC Decaux Airport, Kinetic's Aviator division and MindShare.
By providing a bespoke, branded experience to Heathrow travellers from around the globe, the custom magazine project will underscore the upscale targeting of HSBC's Premier Card, as well as highlighting the company's global presence. If extended beyond the pilot phase, such an initiative could also be offered as a perkto Premier customers. Either way, it's just one more piece of evidence that the world is becoming thoroughly personalized—let consumers have it their way, or they'll have it somewhere else! ;-)
If you're like me, and interested in where the mobile space is going (content, search, advertising, media consumption, etc.) then you'll enjoy this look at a possible mobile future. I'd say this isn't that far off...
Perhaps this holiday season more than ever, it's a crucial time to think of others. One of the charities getting the CH seal of approval is Goods for Good, an organization whose mission is to send excess goods from America to orphans and vulnerable children in Africa. There are a few ways to help out but if you're in NYC on 8 December 2008, there's no better (or more fun) way to support the cause than by attending Goods for Good's holiday party, Gala for Good, at City Winery.
The event not only provides an opportunity to learn more about the non-profit but guests will enjoy mingling at an open bar, perusing a photography exhibit, dancing to DJ Chroma and nibbling on African food catered by renowned Brooklyn restaurant Madiba. Purchase tickets (starting at $120 in advance, $150 after 1 December 2008) from NYCharities.org.
If you can't make it and want to do your part to improve the lives of African children, there are a couple other easy ways you can help.
Help Goods for Good find those tons and tons (literally!) of goods that are going to waste by asking your boss, your friends, bosses and your friends' friends' bosses if they have extra stuff like communications materials laying around. Goods for Good is looking for bulk excess clothing, school supplies, personal hygiene products, etc. to donate to orphans in Malawi who are without these basic necessities. See the Goods for Good website for more info.
And, of course, there's nothing like a cash donation to help ship goods to children who have no one to provide for them. A little goes a long way—for example $25 ships 1,300 pens to Malawi! Visit NYCharities.org to contribute.
The NY Times has created a fairly compelling slide show that aimes to capture the true magic of the Obama campaign. If you're into great photography and politics, then definitely worth checking out [HERE]
This is just plain brilliant - reinventing the baby scrap book idea from a web 2.0 POV. When my little guy comes along - definitely using this. Check it out [here]. Interesting question - what other old concepts can be brought to life through a social networking philosophy?
Mississippi is the fattest state in the Union, with 30.1% of Mississippians being obese. That’s almost one in every three inhabitants. Not that the Magnolia State (in red on this map) should be singled out for its massiveness. It is surrounded by four of the eight other fattest US states (in brown on this map): Tennessee (29.0%), Arkansas (29.3%), Louisiana (29.5%) and Alabama (30.1%). Being overweight clearly is a Southern thing...
A brilliant and hilarious video from The Flight of The Conchords that I sent to a number of my friends, posted it on Facebook and the like...Why? Well, frankly, because it's pretty damn funny. There are exactly one hundred million billion new viral marketing campaigns seeded every 10 minutes - the vast majority are completely dire and destined to fail. So what separates success from failure? Well, the best appear to exhibit similar patterns and by using these patterns in your own campaigns you could be on your way to a free buffet and a drunken snog at next Summer’s Revolution Awards. Check out a great list of viral video patterns [here]
Best of breed web services and products - whether its a website that you upload your photos to, or a social network that you connect with your friends and co-workers - have one thing in common.
They're "always in beta."
"Always in beta" is a concept that software developers know well. Engineers and developers who truly love their product are obsessed with making it better, which really means, making it more useful for others. They never stop improving it.
One of the challenges of developing web based services for brands and large companies, is that the "always in beta" mentality doesn't exist. And because of this, it's hard for a company or brand to compete with internet start ups.
For me, one of the best examples of the always in beta mentality is Tripit.com. In my opinion it's by far the best travel service on the internet.
At least twice a month Tripit adds new features and makes adjustments to their software to increase its productivity.
The added cost to the user for all this new development?
Can a brand or a hospitality company create a service as good as Tripit?
I don't think this is an "official" video from Radiohead...however, from what I hear, it was created by Stefan Ringelschwandtner (who evidently is an art student at the Offenbach Design Academy. If anyone knows if this is, in fact, the case, please let me know. Regardless, some great visual effects using water and add to that, a terrific song.
I recently gave this one a shot after hearing about it from several people at Next Media. Moo.com allows you to print your own business cards, pick any image on the back, and ship them to you in a few days. Simple, affordable, brilliant...looks like they are going to be launching full size business cards soon.
I've always admired to team over at Helios Design Labs...they are in such high demand that I never can get them to work on our stuff...here's another classic Helios piece they did for Research In Motion.