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Overcoming the Challenges of Virtual Reality

Futuristic smart glasses

After a few false starts, virtual reality is here in a big way and it is making tidal waves through the entire tech industry. All the major players — Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft — have entire groups dedicated to artificial reality. Outside of the big players there are over 200 other companies, such as Meta and Lytro, working furiously on hardware and content for this new platform.

Long gone are the days of the headache-inducing Nintendo Gameboy from the 90s. Today we have VR headsets powered by smartphones — from the super-cheap, DIY Google Cardboard versions to heavy hitters like the Oculus Rift, which connects to a desktop PC.

Bringing a Human-Centered Approach to a Spreadsheet-Driven World

Businessman Yells into the Phone

A project manager’s world can often feel like a mile-wide, inch-deep lake of responsibility. Even one day of juggling multiple projects, diverse clientele and a wide array of internal teams can leave you clinging to your project flow spreadsheet like the life raft it is.

The problem is, our job isn’t just about checking off to-do lists and managing calendars, and when we cling to those processes a little too closely, we can get distracted from real success. Nebo strives to be human-centered in all we do, but in a PM’s world of spreadsheets, calendars and project plans, the struggle to achieve that is real.

So how do we stay human-centered in a career where success is largely measured by deadlines and profitability?

Lessons from the Creative Trenches

Creative Trenches

Over the last couple of weeks, as I’ve had the opportunity to knock the dust off, dig into photoshop and do some client-facing design work, a few important lessons stood out.

Why are This Year’s Back-to-School Ads all the Same? Blame 90s Nostalgia!

90s teenage mutant ninja turtles

It doesn’t take much to get me excited about back-to-school season. Though I graduated years ago, there’s something magical about office supply stores this time of year. The smell of graphite, rubber pencil toppers and dry erase markers takes me back to the years I spent sitting on molded plastic chairs, writing my name over and over in Elmer’s Glue.

The first day of school is fraught with a heady mixture of anticipation and anxiety, which makes a perfect recipe for creative exploration. So why are all of this season’s back-to-school commercials pretty much the same?

Can You Steal Me Now? Brand Appropriation at its Best

The wheel

What do Khloe Kardashian’s Bantu knots and Oberlin College’s sushi menu have in common? You might not see the connection at first glance, but many would argue they’re both examples of cultural appropriation.

In the last year, accusations of appropriation have spawned countless think pieces and heated debates. While cultural appropriation is defined as one culture adopting elements of another, controversies ensue when a group in power exploits a disempowered culture for profit. This is why Ratatouille is rarely considered an assault on French values, but Coldplay’s recent romp through India has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Cultural appropriation is almost never okay, but what about creative appropriation? It can be found in every realm of human expression, especially advertising. It’s how the Budweiser frogs gave way to the Geico Gecko and the Michelin Man begot Kool-Aid Man. But what happens when one company appropriates a competitor’s entire branding strategy, right down to its spokesman?