Companies today are faced with two choices when deciding how to handle application development. You can outsource and save money, or you can keep development in-house and build competency.
Over the last few years we have responded to the difficulties and challenges that face our world by becoming pessimistic. We've shrouded ourselves in an armor of cynicism and taken a negative outlook on everything from politics (it's broken!) to the economy (it's bad!).
There's a truth in pessimism, but it comes at a cost to our humanity.
When NeboWeb first started, we never went through a proper branding process. Client work came first and we never gave the brand identity the attention it deserved.
Our original logo was created on a whim after I traded a few emails with a designer named Walter Stevenson. He’d found a typeface for the “n” & “w” that I liked, and that mockup became our logo for the next 7 years. It was a great logo, but we felt like it was time for a change. The word “web” felt dated, and the old brand identity didn’t feel like us anymore.
So in 2010, we decided to rebrand.
Sir Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." His point was simple. Without the works and contributions of those that came before him, his discoveries would have never happened.
In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson refers to this concept as The Adjacent Possible. The idea is that the boundaries of innovation expand as you explore them. Or as he puts it:
Think of it as a house that magically expands with each door you open. You begin in a room with four doors, each leading to a new room that you haven't visited yet. Once you open one of those doors and stroll into that room, three new doors appear, each leading to a brand-new room that you couldn't have reached from your original starting point.
This means that innovations are almost destined to occur based on the existence of the necessary pre-conditions for their discovery. Each new innovation sets the stage for other future innovations. Innovations are less the product of singular genius, and more the product of a perfect conditions. This is why you often see the same innovations discovered in different places, by different people, in the same time period (ex. calculus, the telephone).
Without flash video, html standards and high speed internet access there would be no Youtube. The computer wouldn't have been possible without the existence of vacuum tubes, and GPS wouldn't have been created without Sputnik.
Innovations can only evolve to the adjacent possible. Successful innovations are never ahead of their time. They're merely waiting to be discovered. They're biding their time for a creative soul to build upon the disparate accomplishments of those that came before, and through that combination of existing ideas, create something entirely new.
Over the past 7 years I've read hundreds of books related to my field. Below is a list of the books that I find myself recommending over and over again.
Must Reads For Interactive Marketers
- The Brand Gap
- Eating The Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Compete
- The Mythical Man Month
- Myths of Innovation
- Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind
- Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: Guide To Creating Great Ads
- Word of Mouth Marketing
- The Viral Loop
- Truth, Lies & Advertising: The Art of Account Planning
- The CheckList Manifesto
- Chasing Cool
- How We Decide
- Drive: The Surprising Truth Of What Motivates Us
- The Art of Client Service
- The Elements of Style
- Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
Obviously this is list is biased and I'm sure there's some that I missed. What books would you add to the list?
Share your thoughts in the comments.