From Fast Company's blog:
When Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak drops by the office for a visit, it's guaranteed to generate at least one video-worthy moment, like the one below. He was visiting to pitch Fusion-io, a company that's engineered a solid-state storage solution that could radically alter the server farm landscape. (We're currently testing a Fusion-io product, but it's been slow going since, oddly, the hardware isn't compatible with Mac.)
What happens if you take away the curator and leave everything up to your customers?
Society6 aims to find out. Its goals are greater than simply selling high-quality prints. By creating an accessible social network, Society6 has produced a collaborative community of artists and art enthusiasts, where art can be bought, sold, promoted, and created.
"We've sort of taken ourselves out of the equation," said Justin Cooper, who founded the site along with Justin Wills and Lucas Tirigall. "You don't have to get by our personal taste to make your art available for sale. "
Purchased artwork is printed on demand, with Society6 setting a base price to cover production costs and a small profit for the company. The artist (anyone can join) then chooses the mark up and sale price of the piece--giving Society6 a wide range of price points--and when sold, they keep 100 percent of those profits.
Minneapolis-based designer Chad Hagen takes our love of infographics and turns our little heart inside out. For these are no aesthetically-plotted data sets full of statistics. In fact, we see no handy information at all, just the colors and shapes that typically make an infographic chart pleasant to examine in the first place.
It is great to see that Fast Company is catching the visualization religion.
Visualization may play a big role in wising up consumers. In the future, we're told, sensors will pick up tiny bits of info on every aspect of our lives and they will be played back to us as graphics. The smart grid, for example, will read the energy use in your home and send back understandable displays suggesting how you might save money by, say, waiting an hour to turn on your air conditioner or reducing your thermostat by two degrees. It will be up to architects to imbed this feature in the home in a way that allows us to interact more efficiently with our surroundings.
It's good to know, however, that Alphachimp Studio is on the frontier of design!
Check out more Obama visualizations not mentioned by Fast Company (bastages) at The Center for Graphic Facilitation:
Somehow they didn't get the memo: In order to do brainstorming right, you need to make ideas visual!
Still, this slideshow by Fast Company itemizes (and validates) the creative elements needed for innovation sessions.
[A facilitator] is the traffic cop of the session, and should be an outsider. An insider brings baggage that can inhibit the free flow of ideas. HR consulting organizations are one possible resource; if you are working with a design firm like IDEO or Continuum, they may be able to help.
If bringing in an outsider is difficult for some reason, the second best option is to bring in someone from a different group inside the company. Facilitators need to be skilled at group dynamics, able to read when the team is flagging or when it is hitting on all cylinders.
They have to be patient, yet willing to exercise discipline if one person can't stop talking or is becoming aggressive. It is more a matter of personality than formal training, but it can't hurt to bring in people to watch a well-run brainstorming session to see how it works.