You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

October, 2007

In Flux

Am out in San Francisco at the Influx Ideas Conference (that's Influx like the blog). Ed was kind enough to hook me up with a free ticket and in exchange I'm going to some blogging from the event. I kind of hate the live blogging thing, though, so rather than just feed you a bunch of random points out of context I'm going to do my best to add a bit of extra info/thinking. It's an experiment, so let's see how it works out . . .


So here are some thoughts/quotes/ideas. Each header is the speaker who was onstage . . .

Sarah Rich - Worldchanging

  • There's an opportunity for local food as a reaction to national security threats. Knowing where your food came from makes it safer . . .
  • "Not every company brands green with integrity," but consumers will expose them. (More or less a quote.) Okay, I'm not sure about this one. Who are these vigilante bloggers people are always talking about. Are consumers really calling brands out or are consumers who live in our bubble more aware of what brand integrity means and we're projecting that awareness on the general population. Joe, a coworker from Naked, had an idea awhile back about building a Virtual Midwest to allow marketers like myself, who live in an NYC bubble to visit the midwest and see what the middle of the country looks like. Just to step back for one second, I don't mean to be snarky here and Sarah may be absolutely right, but I don't feel like I'm savvy enough to know whether a brand who calls itself green and uses some earth tones in its packaging is doing it with integrity. (As Joe pointed out, GM is a good example. Hopefully he'll explain in the comments.)
  • Sarah talked a bit about backstory which I think is a huge area of possibilities. Reminds me of blogjects (here's an old entry of mine that talks about them). Anyway, what happens when objects know (or at least contain information that documents) their own history. What if your clothes included a little chip that told you where it was from, who worked on it, how much fuel was consumed, etc.

Scott Wyatt - NBBJ Architects

  • They've done some awesome work. I've been to Reebok headquarters and it's pretty amazing. He also mentioned Boeing and Telenor. I love architecture as a discipline. Seriously, it's so cool and multi-disciplinary.
  • "When you see the Sydney Opera House you think 'Sydney', but when you think about Sydney, do you say 'opera'?"
  • This building is absurd.
  • I've heard/read a few times recently about the idea of buildings as sales tools. Scott talked about how Boeing brings more clients to it's office as a way to show off their philosophy. I can't remember where it was, but I recently read about an agency (I think) that recently redid it's office and they had a close rate of like 70% when they brought prospects in. (I'm sure those numbers are totally wrong and if anyone knows what I'm talking about, please let me know.) Anyway, it makes perfect sense: As always, everything is media.
  • Last from Scott is something else I've been thinking lots about. He was talking about buildings for corporations and how they approach it. Rather than working off functional specifications (number of desks needed, number of conference rooms needed, etc.), they work off the cultural specifications of the company: Who are they, what do they stand for, etc. This, to me, is a much better approach. I think far too often the corporate world approaches problems by forgetting that people are people. That's why business software is so bad. Anyway, here are two articles about designing business spaces that I think you'll find interesting: 1) Enabling Innovation Through Office Design and 2) Designs for Working.

Gregory Kennedy - Millions of Us

  • I have to admit, as soon as the topic of Second Life comes up I kind of roll my eyes . . .
  • The one point I found especially interesting was the idea that Second Life could be a super cheap 3D app. Rather than paying thousands of dollars for Maya, people have a cheap way to design 3D objects. Of course it's a lot more amateur, but so are lots of other things . . .

Okay, that's it for now, will just keep amending this thing . . .

Kent Nichols - Ask a Ninja

More soon . . .

October 19, 2007
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.