Posts Tagged "Inspiration"
Steve Jobs is not just a great business man and a very talented technologist. He has a very clear sense of what great companies need to do to cut through the noise of the marketplace. And that thing is to have a perspective, a point of view. Here he is talking about the “Think Different” campaign in 1997 (by Chait/Day). Here’s an article from LowEnd Mac on the history of the campaign which notes that the entire campaign and assets were completed in less than a month, assisted by the fact that Mr. Jobs was close personal friends of some of the people who appeared in the ads and posters.
Hat tip to Jason Kottke also points to the clear difference between 1997 and 2010 Apple advertising. Back then, their computers were not all that special (with MS Windows 95 catching up to the Apple Macintosh in a lot of ways), so they didn’t show the products. Today, Apple’s products are leading the pack, and so the television advertising they do can be summed up as “Nifty song. Here’s the product. Here’s a disembodied hand using it. It’s awesome. Buy one.” The recent ads for iPods, iPhones and now iPad are not nearly as focused on the soul of the company, and, in my view, not as compelling.
Since my transition from developer to manager of developers 4 years ago, I’ve been fascinated with art of technology management within an advertising agency environment. While technology management is well documented for software development companies, little exist for the development of complex web applications within a creative based environment. Below are a few high-level thoughts I’ve considered when approaching the art of technical management at an agency.
Organization within an Unorganized Setting
Where as the software development life-cycle is based on months and years the agency development life-cycle is often based on weeks. This is made even more challenging considering requirements tend to be more loosely defined and effected by non-technical stakeholders (the client). The agency environment forces you to have a more of a “run and gun” mentality. While you want to have: objects, requirements and goals clearly defined up front, timelines and bandwidth don’t always allow for it. One true rule of development is that clean organized code is necessary regardless of the size or scope of a project.
Letting Developers Develop
Probably the #1 goal of anyone managing developers is to make sure your developers have everything they need to write great code that can be delivered in a feasible timeline. While management requires the ability to sit in hours of continuous meetings daily, developers need the ability to write code for continuous amounts of time. Being brought into unnecessary meetings or forced to hunt down project status or assets is a huge detractor to this. Doing these things for the sake of code being written requires a very selfless mindset.
Ownership of Technical Failure or Success
With a waterfall method being the easiest and most dangerous process to follow, it’s easy for technology to be the last informed of project progress and status. Early in my career there was a situation where I was told not to attend a meeting by the organizer since “development was not being discussed so you would be wasting your time”. When I told the my boss afterwards he stated in similar situations to tell the organizer that “unless you want to be responsible for the technical success of a project I should attend this meeting and determine if it’s appropriate for myself”. From initial requirements gathering through QA there are enough moving parts to warrant ownership from one individual. For the sake of the project success that person should be technical in nature.
Combined with QA, development is the last stage in the overall process. This results in being the last informed within the project. Within technology management you have to always make an effort to seek project status and information particularly when you know the project is active. You have to be willing to walk into meetings that you weren’t originally invited to and challenge deliverables from other departments.
Promotion of Innovation
Unlike others areas of the advertising industry, digital is totally based on constantly progressing technical mediums. Rather the output is: desktop browser, mobile or native os applications, there are numerous considerations beyond the design and content which can attribute to the success or failure of a project. Innovation requires a understanding of theses constantly evolving platform so known boundaries can be challenged. The technical management lead needs to be at the forefront of these trends.
- Tony Quin
I believe in living the creative life
Living it, dreaming big, tilting at windmills
Trying for the extraordinary
I believe creativity connects us to God or whatever you call the place where everything comes from
Creativity is a unique moment in time
It’s the magic sum of who we are
We change people with it
I believe we are a creative company
We are not a tech company or a process company
Our product is creative ideas
I am happiest when we do creative work
Making something new with other people is my greatest pleasure
To make something out of nothing
To maybe have an idea that changes the world
To create ideas together
That’s why I love what I do
That’s why I’m not a banker
That’s why I started IQ.
One of the best print ads I’ve seen so far this year. This full page ad for the Avatar DVD release ran on the back of ESPN magazine. I had to flip through the whole thing to be sure it was really an ad and not a special feature. Aside from the inevitable “double-take” the mirrored image induces, it makes wonderful use of context and relates to the audience on so many levels. And there’s this weird subliminal thing going on — the guy on a sports cover is always aspirational for sports fans. You only wish you had the talents of the star athlete and could experience the things that he does. And the Avatar cover plays on this basic human motivator — because in their world at least — you really could have those abilities and experiences.
- Tony Quin
Sometimes something happens that just seems so different and special that it has significance beyond itself. That is how I have felt about the Blue Herons out our window, and I have not been alone. I know that many of us at IQ have felt moved by their beauty and our closeness to another world. With this sense of something greater at work I went to discover the symbolism of the Blue Heron:
“The blue heron is a totem (symbol) of someone who has chosen to claim their life as their own. According to North American Native tradition, the Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. It represents an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that even though we must be able to stand on our own, we don’t need legs that are great massive pillars to remain stable. Blue Herons have the innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and co-create their own circumstances.”
If I were a Roman I think I would be saying the portents are very, very good for us.