Category Archives: Business of design

Inside Pixar’s Leadership

Haven’t watched this yet but very much looking forward to it after reading some excerpts over at Scott Berkun’s blog.

There were plenty of high profile people at the Economist event in March, but hands down the best session was a simple interview with Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar.

Martin Giles from the Economist did the interview, and did an excellent job letting Catmull cover some excellent territory…

Interesting, related to the talk I gave on The Myths of Innovation at the same event, how little he used the word innovation (I don’t think he says it once).

Business clichés visual find-it poster

In case you missed it, last month we sent out our 2009/2010 holiday greeting. Actually, it was more “greeting” than “holiday” — and maybe more “beating” than “greeting!” Why? because we went ahead and poked some fun at a lot of those empty business clichés that get thrown around in meetings, emails and corporate conversations.

So go ahead and download it, hang it up by the water cooler, leave it on someone’s desk… ;-)

Later this month we’ll be sending out an interactive PDF with all of the clichés identified and defined. Sign up for our email newsletter if you’d like to get a copy.

Happy new year, everyone!

David Allen releases The Ultimate GTD Workflow Map, designed by XPLANE

The David Allen Company: “If you ever feel like you need to get more in control or regain your focus, here is the ultimate guide for getting and staying on your game. The set of productivity best practices which David Allen has researched and synthesized over the last three decades are brought all together into one stunning visual display — the GTD Workflow Map. It’s a rich compilation of the key steps for gathering, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing everything you need to track and manage, as well as an explanation of all of the factors that you must take into account in determining priorities.”

“I spent more than two years crafting and fine-tuning the map, ensuring that it would thoroughly and accurately describe the essential elements of time- and self-management,” says David, “It’s as simple as I could get it, while still embodying the subtleties and complexities that have to be factored in, to make it real and useful. And the visual representation we’ve come up with I think is a highly effective way to make something this meaningful really clear.”

The poster was created by XPLANE, the visual thinking company. Visit www.xplane.com to learn more about how XPLANE clarifies complex business issues through visual collaboration.

Dave Gray » Projects

Dave is the founder and president of XPLANE:

I\'m a project guy. As an artist, entrepreneur, educator and amateur philosopher, I always have a number of projects going, both personal and professional. Sometimes they go somewhere, sometimes I get bored and abandon them. One of the beauties of the internet is that even abandoned projects continue to exist and can be picked up or reenergized at any moment. Here\'s the definitive list of projects that I am working on or have worked on in the past (A work in progress). The list is alphabetical because I don\'t work on these projects in any kind of linear way. They are like a busy kitchen: there is always something simmering, something boiling, something set aside to cool for awhile, something in the deep freeze, and something being served. In fact I am still working on this list. If you see something with no explanation it\'s because I haven\'t finished writing the description yet :)

18 Lessons Learned in 2008

“It’s time for our 2nd annual Year-End Lessons Learned post. 2008 was a great year for Common Craft. While we published a number of videos that we’re very proud of, 2008 was all about building a foundation for the future of our business. Going into 2009, we’re feeling confident that we have a solid foundation in place – and now is our time to put more videos into the world.

Here are a few things we learned…”

Airbag – Goldfish

“During Christmas season travel it occurred to me that the larger problems we, as an industry, have to work around right now are not all financial. More of our friends and colleagues may lose their jobs in the coming months, and it’s our shared responsibility to help them whenever possible. In this new year, it is simply not going to be enough to just meet your bottom line, but to help others who may not be in a position to be so entrepreneurial or carefree.”

Contract Killer

“When times get tough, it can often feel like there are no good people left in the world, only people who haven\'t yet turned bad. These bad people will go back on their word, welch on a deal, put themselves first. You owe it to yourself to stay on top. You owe it to yourself to ensure that no matter how bad things get, you\'ll come away clean. You owe it yourself and your business not to be the guy lying bleeding in an alley with a slug in your gut.

But you\'re a professional, right? Nothing bad is going to happen to you.

You\'re a good guy. You do good work for good people.

Think again chump.”

Flexible Fuel: Educating the Client on IA

“Information architecture (IA) means so much to our projects, from setting requirements to establishing the baseline layout for our design and development teams. But what does it mean to your clients? Do they see the value in IA? What happens when they change their minds? Can IA help manage the change control process? More than ever, we must ensure that our clients find value in and embrace IA—and it\'s is our job to educate them.”

FOWD: Paul Boag of Headscape: Educating clients to say yes

Paul Boag‘s presentation on how to Educate Clients to say Yes was fantastic and my personal highlight of today’s conference. Paul had a superbe stage presence, engaging slides, and most of all, his message was clear and valuable.

So, how do we get clients to say yes? It’s all in our way how we connect and interact. Paul kept stressing that the designer’s relationship with clients is fundamentally flawed. We have to face it that a big part of our job is to work,”