Browsing articles in "Blog"

Manischewitz Rebrand: Sweet or Sour?

Dec 22, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Manischewitz Rebrand: Sweet or Sour?

Manishewitz is a classic and iconic brand in the American Jewish market. For instance, they are well-known for their Passover Matzos and sweet Kosher wines. Their Tam Tam crackers are also rather popular.

Manishewitz recently did a rebrand.

Is this a good or a bad rebrand? I say it is confusing. For instance, I barely recognize the new Tam Tams carton. While I am generally a strong proponent of minimalist design, here I feel that the strongly iconic logo and color scheme, and placement of the logo itself, are too removed from the classic that the effect is somewhat jarring and unfamiliar. A good rebrand should preserve recognizable elements of the old brand and transition into the new identity.

It is likely that this is no accident: The brand is probably repositioning toward a general-market strategy and away from the heavily Jewish brand associations of the old identity. However, they are at risk of alienating their loyal core customers.

What do you think?

Perception is in the Eye

Dec 7, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Perception is in the Eye

Our perceptions (including my own!) are unfortunately too often colored by the context in which we encounter things in life. We rush to assume that if you are playing on a street corner then you must be indigent, homeless or not worthy of our time even though our ears and eyes tell us that we are hearing incredible music and seeing a gorgeous violin from a very talented soul.

Joshua Bell plays the DC Metro

Can Innovation Be Had on the Cheap?

Dec 1, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Can Innovation Be Had on the Cheap?

The November edition of The Atlantic has an article by Scott Anthony entitled “Making Innovation Cheap and Easy” that argues that “the price of starting a company has never been lower, and science is unpacking the common characteristics of entrepreneurs.”

Really? This is only partially true.

The barriers to entry have certainly become quite low for innovators. But can the mental process of innovation be easily boxed into a model? Boiling it down to such a science is tantalizing, but I feel like a list of traits and characteristics common to innovators, such as associational thinking, are only a part of the equation. A lot of innovation seems to come from inspiration, or dumb luck – or even chance meeting a prepared mind.

Steve Jobs Tweets

Oct 7, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Steve Jobs Tweets

I find it astounding that Steve Jobs-related tweets accounted for nearly 16% of all tweets around 5pm on Wednesday:

Steve Jobs

Oct 5, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was certainly a genius. Like Einstein, Newton and Galileo before him, Jobs challenged assumptions and shattered the status quo by leading us to a better way of being, thinking and living. However, I would say that his most lasting legacy is not Apple. It is the culture of innovation that he has infused, marinated and stewed into our society. And it is the future innovators that he has enabled, empowered and emboldened. Not only the crazy ones, the misfits and the rebels. But also the honors students, the future scientists and the children selling lemonade at the street corner. I relish the opportunity to show my son videos of Steve Jobs’s amazing product demonstrations and to tell him: Stay hungry and stay foolish. Never settle. Love what you do and rock the world.

Captive on the Carousel of Facebook Timeline

Oct 1, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Captive on the Carousel of Facebook Timeline

Facebook Timeline is the digital equivalent of the old-fashioned slide carousel: Packed with emotional impact. It reminds me of the famous slide carousel scene at the end of the first season of “Mad Men” in how it evokes emotions, revives memories and stokes nostalgia for long-passed and fleeting moments of our online and offline lives:

In Don Draper’s words:

“Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards…it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.”

It is also the prophetic progenitor of Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence or Pixar’s Wall-E: Imagine future generations of your family stumbling across your Facebook Timeline, disengaged from the real you by many years. Their glimpse of your visual scrapbook will be the only perspective they have of you: Your milestones, your conversations, your interactions with your Facebook friends. A very biased view, to be sure, because many critical pieces will be missing. But very convincing for somebody in the future, who may have no other reference back to your life.

Source article: I Love Facebook Timeline


Graphs and Laughs with Edward Tufte

Jun 22, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Graphs and Laughs with Edward Tufte

A funny piece by Bob Mankoff in “The New Yorker”: The New Yorker thinks Edward Tufte is just wrong about information design! (Link to the original article: Graphs and Laughs)

However, as one of the commenters, KENCHICAGO, pointed out, the trend in infographics and data display has led to a proliferation of visually-striking but information-thin “data” displays, often lacking in actual data content. True, reading Tufte is like trying to understand 19th century German philosophy, but his ideas are a tremendous launching point for creative and smart visualization that involves layers of data usually within broader context rather than isolated out of the many real world variables that influence them.

Visual Display of Quantitative Data by Edward Tufte

Data Visualizations as Works of Art

May 18, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Data Visualizations as Works of Art

I love the concept of pulling data sets from publicly-available data and turning them into strikingly visual graphical representations. In a fascinating article entitled “Points of Interest” from the May-June issue of The University of Chicago Magazine, Google programmer Eric Fischer demonstrates how one can map geographic data of major US cities into unique works of art – in this case, maps that plot regions of race and ethnicity in those cities.

The Flip Just Flopped Out

Apr 13, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on The Flip Just Flopped Out


Really interesting article about the Flip camera business unit, which Cisco Systems disbanded today: “Why Cisco’s Flip flopped in the camera business

Failure to adapt to a rapidly-evolving and innovating marketplace most likely killed the Flip. It’s not quite the buggy whip of the 21st century, but the article makes several good points about how it just ceased to be relevant with networked and HD-video-enabled smartphones stealing the Flip’s thunder.

Does Your Health Identity Belong On Your Facebook Wall?

Mar 25, 2011   //   by Michael   //   Blog, Posts  //  Comments Off on Does Your Health Identity Belong On Your Facebook Wall?

Health Identity & FacebookFacebook’s new article comments plug-in has some unique advantages and also disadvantages for health care professionals trying to use social media. And in general, I am not so much in favor of one over-arching online identity for people — which is, not coincidentally, Facebook’s. What do you think?

Source: ‎”Does Your Health Identity Belong On Your Facebook Wall?”

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