Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who recently published a controversial op-ed on health care, announced that the company will soon offer higher store discounts for healthier employees. The company will consider blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking status, and body mass index (BMI) in determining the discount level. “Our intention for all of these lifestyle programs is that they are empowering and fun for Team Members who enjoy a challenge,” Mackey wrote in a letter to employees. “In offering the higher discounts to Team Members who choose to participate, we take nothing away from Team Members who choose not to do so…”
“Most user-generated content is created as communication in small groups, but since we’re so unused to communications media and broadcast media being mixed together, we think that everyone is now broadcasting. This is a mistake. If we listened in on other people’s phone calls, we’d know to expect small talk, inside jokes, and the like, but people’s phone calls aren’t out in the open. One of the driving forces behind much user-generated content is that conversation is no longer limited to social cul-de-sacs like the phone.”—
“Travelling, you realize that differences are lost: each city takes to resembling all cities, places exchange their form, order, distances, a shapeless dust cloud invades the continents”—italio calvino (via ahutandwalnuts)
“It’s not solitude that slays a creative person. It’s solitude without a purpose. You’re alone, you’re suffering, and you don’t have a good reason for putting yourself through that misery. To build up your tolerance for solitude, you need a goal.”—Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit.
“NASCAR without sponsor logos looks barren, everyone knows that advertising is the lifeblood of the sport, and the logos on cars and driving suits reminds you that these guys are legitimate, that someone cares about them enough to pay to be seen with them.”—
Michael Gough, of Adobe, on NASCAR advertising, as quoted by Mike Migurski, of Stamen, at UX Week 2008.
Be selective with your innovation. Keep as much of your product predictable, so people can find their way to the gem of awesome that you have pioneered. Too much innovation means you’ll have to individually teach each user how to love your product and you don’t have time for that.
Serious Business. If you really want to be a professional entertainment software maker, realize you have to figure out where the money comes from. You can skip worrying about the money if you like writing grant applications, or you want to live on ramen and handouts. But if you want to actually hire people to work with you, pay kickass artists to make content for your game, and afford to buy new shoes, figure out what people would want to pay for if they were using your software. I ate up everything offered in the “Business of Interactive Media” class with Jordan Weisman and Mark Bolas - it was a fantastic introduction to the economics of running a software business. But I didn’t learn enough and ask hard enough questions of myself, my team, and our product at the outset.
First Five Minutes. If someone can’t figure out what to do in the first five minutes of your interactive experience, you are hosed. You might find a small audience who appreciates your product. But people need to enjoy themselves quickly if you want to reach more folks.