alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

Edgecraft

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on May 3, 2008

Ok, I got a crush on Seth Godin’s insights. This one you can find here. It’s about Edgecraft, which – according to him – is an iterative process that is much easier for an organization to embrace than brainstorming. Off we go:

It’s a mistake to try to champion much beyond your reach.

There are hundreds of available edges, things you can add to, subtract from or do to your product or service. Find an edge and go all the way to it. Going partway is time-consuming and expensive—and it doesn’t work very well. Going all the way to the edge is the only way to jolt the user into noticing what you’ve done. If they notice you, they’re one step closer to talking about you.

It’s all marketing now. The organizations that win will be the ones that realize that all they do is create things worth talking about.

And another little bit from the same book:

It’s not that people somehow lose their ability to be creative when they’re in an environment in which they feel safe. It’s that they ignore the creative ideas that naturally occur to them and fight the changes championed by others.

They like things the way they are, and they can’t resist the urge to defend the status quo. The challenge of the champion is to help people who are already creative to take advantage of their talent. By selling the dream and fighting the status quo, we can free people who have been lulled into a false sense of security.

And again:

You only have one boss, and if she doesn’t believe you can do it or that it’s worth doing, you’re stuck. If you can’t make the fulcrum work in the eyes of that key decision maker, your work is much more difficult. But there are hundreds of sources of capital in the outside world, and when you approach them as an entrepreneur, you’re more likely to have the posture of the champion. They want to believe that you’re the person who can do this, and thus you’re more likely to persuade them that you’re the guy.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the answer is to go outside and start something new. It means, instead, that you and your boss (or your co-workers, or your employees) should sit down together and figure out which parts of the fulcrum are out of whack.

Dramatic changes. Things that may very well be unattainable. Things that require not incremental improvements or changes, but significant quantum leaps in the way you organize, create and deliver what you do. If you can’t find a scary edge, then you haven’t found an edge, have you?

No use going to an edge that all your competition is going to as well. That’s not an edge. That’s the middle. Growth only comes from the leap to the remarkable.

Add to Onlywire

Short. No attention left

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on May 2, 2008
This is an article by Seth Godin available here:
Short books, short shows, short commercials, short ideas…
In 1960, the typical stay for a book on the New York Times bestseller list was 22 weeks. In 2006, it was two. Forty years ago, it was typical for three novels a year to reach #1. Last year, it was 23.

Advise and Consent won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. It’s 640 pages long. On Bullshit was a bestseller in 2005; it’s 68 pages long.

Commercials used to be a minute long, sometimes two. Then someone came up with the brilliant idea of running two per minute, then four. Now there are radio ads that are less than three seconds long.
It’s not an accident that things are moving faster and getting smaller. There’s just too much to choose from. With a million or more books available at a click, why should I invest the time to read all 640 pages of Advise and Consent when I can get the idea after 50 pages?

Audible.com offers more than 30,000 titles. If an audiobook isn’t spectacular, minute to minute, it’s easier to ditch it and get another one than it is to slog through it. After all, it’s just bits on my iPod.

Of course, this phenomenon isn’t limited to intellectual property. Craigslist.org is a free classified-ad listing service. A glance at their San Francisco listings shows more than 33,000 ads for housing. That means that if an apartment doesn’t sound perfect after just a sentence or two, it’s easy to glance down at the next ad.

The end.

Add to Onlywire

On Project Making

Posted in Tools.Coaching by alcramer on November 12, 2007

I’ll try here to outline a few basic facts for setting a creative project, like an exhibition, a research, or a writing piece. Being just only an outline, each single point has to be developed, broadened and deepened as much as you can, and linked with your attitude and experience in dealing with the subject. Let’s start:

1. Take upon only ONE project at the time. You might have many brilliant ideas, but make an effort in asking yourself which are the more urgent and important for you, and which, for instance, can bring you a financial fee, or a further step in a commission.

2. Once you have chosen the subject and the form your project will have, compare and couple your expectations with A) your budget and B) your deadline. Reverse your idea: money and time constraints are not limits, rather possibilities. They are powerful tools to get you focused.

3. To structure your project, you must go from the simplicity of the original idea (probably just an intuition, or a single-line image), to a whole complexity of inputs: lateral thoughts, external links, people feedback, practical and intellectual consequences, additional researches, etc. This process – to be contained in your time-frame – will make you relatively confident of your knowledge, and will give you different perspectives on the subject. After that, you have to re-compress your material into one, single, high-impact simplicity of expression, in which your work re-gain a goal within a system.

4. Execute your project to a completion, including details, feedback and final evaluation, within the reasonable time-set you planned in advance.

5. In your execution:

– Use simple words, in a direct way. No jargon.

– Be synthetic in your communication to partners and public. Attention requires brevity.

– Make an effort to TELL something, not just to present it. Be sure the structure of your project is clear and follows a logical course, or give the tools to understand if it’s illogical. No concepts or displays understandable only to their creators.

– Do not underestimate your public. Give them a topic which is valid and open to the dialogue, with you and among them. Offer great value for the audience’s time and interest. They could easily not come back if you are delivering poor content and/or form, and you’ll never get them again.

– Offer the audience something to bring home with them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or cutting-edge: even a well-design leaflet, a postcard, an Internet address, a printed title on a string of paper. A bit of marketing doesn’t harm anybody, without exaggeration.

6. When you approach the next project, understand it as a whole body of knowledge, and not as a task, or assignment you have to make. This is fundamental also for activity like administration, fund-raising, or preparatory work.

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

Add to Onlywire

%d bloggers like this: