Products need placebos

Seth Godin:

“Placebos work because our brain picks up where our belief begins. Without some sort of conscious or subconscious trigger, the placebo effect never kicks in. But when it does, it’s astonishingly effective. Placebos change performance, cure diseases and make food taste better.”

“If you want your medicine to be more effective, consider making it difficult to get.”

Somewhere in the captivating fear of alienating people, we forget this very important lesson.


Unplanned Collaborations

From Office Snapshots on Pixar Headquarters,

If a building doesn’t encourage [collaboration], you’ll lose a lot of innovation and the magic that’s sparked by serendipity. So we designed the building to make people get out of their offices and mingle in the central atrium with people they might not otherwise see.

Here are a few things to help create that ‘Pixar feeling’ in your office:

  1. Be intentional about designing for collisions and unplanned collaboration – rather than using managerial force.
  2. Use the office space to remind employees why they work for the company.
  3. Make the office fun and a place employees want to work, rather than have to work.
  4. Allow employees to express themselves through their workspaces.

Meaning of Design

“The brands that resonate, that people love – most famously Apple, of course, but there are other examples – are those that suprise and delight. In fact, those words are a central tenet at Apple, and one of the primary standards by which all products are measured. What few appreciate, though, is that when Steve Jobs bragged about not doing market research or not holding focus groups, he was not saying Apple did less than the competition; rather, they did so much more.

It is this lack of understanding and appreciation for the very hard work and deep thinking required to surprise and delight that leads to countless companies and Steve-Jobs-wannabes crashing-and-burning, even as they declare their fealty to design. What they don’t understand is that design is not just about looking good, or working well, or even being easy-to-use. The most fundamental part of design is truly understanding your customers at a deeper level than they even understand themselves. Moreover, to truly be design-centric is harder than being market-centric. Things like surveys and focus groups persist because, while the products that result may not inspire love, they don’t inspire hate – or worse, apathy – either.”

This is REAL GOOD.


Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

“Great compositions take you on a journey. Your eyes are guided around the image on a specific path, leading to where the photographer wants to take you.”

If there was ever a survey about people who don’t bother their iPhone cameras much, I would probably make in top ten. I do like to read good books though. This is the most compact book on photography I ever came across. Not a word wasted.


“Prestige is our price, and admiration our method of payment.

It’s important to note that in healthy, functioning teams, admiration is paid all around. Every teammate admires every other teammate — not equally, of course, but enough to keep the team together. More prestigious team members receive the most admiration, but even the least prestigious members get their share, as long as they remain in good standing.”

This is good.