Start with Why – By Simon Sinek

This is a TED lecture by the amazing Simon Sinek That my friend and former colleague Hannah Pearce pointed me towards.

I sat and watched this on Sunday and ignored everyone who tried to talk to me whilst it was on. It’s 18 minutes very well spent and will change the way you look at creativity and designing brands, businesses and products.

His belief is that all innovators think in the same way. They start with the ‘why’, rather than start with the ‘what’. So in effect, they design the idea or the reason before they begin to design the product or service that comes out of the process.

A few highlights.

1. Apple Computer are a company that start with why. Their ‘why’ happens to be to challenge the conventional way of doing things. Their ‘how’ is by designing beautiful intuitive products and their ‘what’ is computers, MP3’s, phones and all sorts of electronic gadgetry. Perhaps this is the reason I have my doubts about Apple at the moment, maybe they have been focussing a bit too much on the ‘what’ and not enough on the ‘why’.

2. If you hire people for the ‘what’, they will work for your money. If you hire people who believe what you believe, you are hiring the ‘why’ and they will work with blood, sweat and tears. This backs up what I said back here completely in my John Timpson book review.

3. When Martin Luther King had 250,000 people to hear him speak, you will notice that it was his ‘I have a dream’ speech, and not his ‘I have a plan’. Modern politicians with their twelve point plans for success seem to get it wrong  time after time after time, because it is never about the why, always about the what.

It’s really worth a watch. But do it with a notebook, like I did.

Sixth sense ‘Minority Report’ user interface in the real world

In the 2002 film Minority Report, with Tom Cruise, We see the most amazing example of a totally intuitive interactive user interface. Here’s a clip for you to remind yourself of what a clever film it was and how quickly ideas that are being posed, are now being delivered.

I remember watching it at the time, thinking how incredible it would be if we all started relating to our embedded computer systems like this. It’s as though the boundary between reality and computer is being continually blurred.

But now this new TED lecture from Pattie Maes at MIT Media Lab, Fluid Interfaces Group (what a cool title that is!), shows that this virtual or even augmented reality is almost achievable now.

It starts off a bit slowly, but then you can hear the crowd gasping at what is possible. From something as simple as your own hand becoming a keypad, to your own shopping preferences being overlaid onto available shopping products.

She even references Minority Report and then goes on to prove that they can deliver it today, for about the same price as a conventional mobile phone!

I am looking at the brands we work with and thinking what endless possibilities this delivers and what endless problems we now have to overcome to allow them to speak with a common voice on yet another platform in which they operate.