25 random things about me

February 11, 2009

The WSJ is wondering about the facebook hype of 25 random things about me. Apparently 5 millions users have listed the 25 things about themselves at the profile page. The article raises the question why people go about listing private stuff about themselves at the internet.  I feel that sharing information about yourself online is all about ‘identity’. Like the cloths you wear or the brands you choose, posting ‘25 random things about me’ is saying something about identity. At the one hand, it helps you to know yourself better (it actually is a good exersise of self-reflection) and at the other hand it provides means of identifying other ‘like-minded’ people. We are all searching and longing for our own ‘tribe’ and many see no boundries in achieiving this, even if that means to reveal personal things about yourself online. More thoughts?


Team meeting space meets product testing ground

November 3, 2008

This post at Springwise caught my eye: Team meeting space meets product testing ground. The US-based office furniture company Steelcase offers meetings spaces that double as testing ground for their products (such as whiteboards, flipcharts). This is an interesting initiative because of two reasons:

First of all, I believe that there is an opportunity for more inspiring meeting facilities. We have seen enough of those boring and depressing conference centers and hotel meeting rooms for  the many ‘off-site’ events that companies send their employees to. 

This initiative also fits nicely into the trend to let customers try and test your products (and create some brand awareness along the way). I could see this for Wacom as well… How about a Wacom design center that is equipped with Intuos and Cintiq products?  The center could have individual workstations for freelancers and professionals, class room settings for courses and even conference/meeting facilities for creative sessions.  Such a center could also be interesting for partners such as Adobe.  If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment…

The experience economy… extended to the death

July 25, 2008

We know that many consumers are increasing looking for special experiences and thrills. But I was really suprised to read that in Korea you can experience what it would be to die… These ‘well-dying’ courses are to “encourage them to assess their priorities in life and as a suicide prevention measure” according the Financial Times.

“…Will completed, they collect their funeral portraits – participants are asked to pose on the way in – and enter the “death experience room”, a large, dark space containing a series of open coffins and decorated with posters of famous bygones such as Ronald Reagan, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Lee Byung-chull, Samsung’s founder. In front of an altar covered with flowers and his funeral portrait, Mr Ko instructs his trainees to choose a coffin, put on a traditional hemp death robe and then read out their wills one-by-one. Next, it is time to be buried. Participants lie down in their coffins, while a man wearing the outfit of a traditional Korean death messenger places a flower on each person’s chest. Funeral attendants place lids on the coffins, banging each corner several times with a mallet. Dirt is thrown down on the lid, as loud as stones on a tile roof. The attendants leave the hall for five minutes – but it seemed like 30 minutes to those taking part…”

About 50,000 people have taken part since 2004. There are even large corporates that send their staff to these cources. Those who completed the course “…become more considerate and attach greater value to life…” according to the report.

How about sending reckless drivers or work-aholic managers to a course like this? Or setting up a course in prison life for would-be criminals (did I hear ‘guantanamo bay’ adventure land for derailed presidents)? This could be a huge market opportunity!


Future design workspace

June 12, 2008


I stumbled upon this video, which paints an interesting scenario of how a designer’s workspace could look in the future. Notice the phyisical objects on the surface that are being used  seemsly into the digital space (except for the cup of coffee, or could you spill virtual coffee on the canvas?). Key elements in this video such as the large interactive surface (in this case based on Anoto-pen) and the multi-touch whiteboard are not new, but what’s nice is that all is shown in a balanced way (without putting to much emphasis on cool technology).