Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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A Little Inspiration

I run into a lot of inspiring fodder on a day-to-day basis, it’s one of the nice side effects of having 300+ feeds. Lately, for whatever reason, I seem to have been running into more than usual. So, here are four articles/quotes that have gotten my brain humming in the last few days.

1. Seth Goldstein wrote his /VAULTSTOCK followup (mine is here) and it includes some interesting thoughts and ideas. I especially appreciated he reprinted a quote he had shown in his presentation on the day of the event. From Richard Hamming:

If you read all the time what other people have done you will think the way they thought. If you want to think new thoughts that are different, then do what a lot of creative people do – get the problem reasonably clear and then refuse to look at any answers until you’ve thought the problem through carefully how you would do it, how you could slightly change the problem to be the correct one. So yes, you need to keep up. You need to keep up more to find out what the problems are than to read to find the solutions.

2. Since he first commented on my blog a few months ago, I’ve been keeping up with Michael Bayler over at The Rights Marketing Company blog. His Draft mandate for the Media 2.0 Workgroup is a well-written state of the media piece. It goes into unbundled, attention and every other hot-button media topic that you can think of in an incredibly approachable way. Lots of great thought fodder in there, especially relevant to me was this quote: “”Simply put, advertising needs to move from ‘interruption of experience’ to ‘enhancement of experience’. An unprecedented cultural, strategic and creative challenge.”

3. The New York Times article on how Pixar is taking a different approach to the moviemaking business is another great read. Rather than go with the crew-for-hire approach, those who work on Pixar films are employees of the company. This means that they can learn from the past to improve future films. According to Randy Nelson, who is the dean of Pixar University (which offers classes to every employee of the company, from chef to CEO):

“The problem with the Hollywood model is that it’s generally the day you wrap production that you realize you’ve finally figured out how to work together,” Mr. Nelson said. “We’ve made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business. Instead of developing ideas, we develop people. Instead of investing in ideas, we invest in people. We’re trying to create a culture of learning, filled with lifelong learners. It’s no trick for talented people to be interesting, but it’s a gift to be interested. We want an organization filled with interested people.”

4. Not sure how I missed this the first time, but this What’s Your Brand Mantra? post titled Blogging and the Singularity is so tapped into my brain it’s scary. It explains how the way ideas spread in the “blogosphere” can be related to the way stuff moves around the brain (clearly much more eloquently than I just described). Here’s a quick excerpt:

Now enter the blogosphere, where ideas are born, nurtured, transmitted and evolved — all in a single day. Ideas have a life of their own; good ones seem to create their own connections. I may have a seed of an idea; you recognize it and spread it; someone on the other side of the world has complementary knowledge to expand and evolve it. In brain terminology, neurons that fire together, wire together. The same principle applies to the blogsphere: bloggers who think together, link together. And so the connections form, faster and faster. More pathways for an idea to spread, evolve, mature. This, I suppose, could be called hyper-meme theory: self-propagating ideas combined with exponential pathways that enable rapid evolution (see Thought Contagion for more on memes; it’s a fascinating subject).

And I think that’s it. Have a nice Thursday.

February 2, 2006