Of the 17 books I’ve read in 2015 so far, I scored seven with 5 stars. Of the past seven, six. Only Ashlee Vance’s thorough biography of Elon Musk missed a few eloquent eye-openers to reach the level of 5-star biographies. Lawrence in Arabia, Scott Anderson’s biography of T.E. Lawrence, did score 5 stars. H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald’s profound autobiography, deserved 6. Perhaps slightly biased, I also gave

The Consumer (Decision) Journey is a framework that explains how people make decisions about products and services in a world where they are constantly exposed to a multitude of media channels. There are many variations to the framework, and companies like Google and Forrester use it in slightly different ways to explain the same thing: people don’t (just) buy whatever you have to offer because you’re able to buy most

At the Lift Conference 2015 in Geneva Adrian Hon made a compelling case against gamification. Hon – who amongst others developed the highly popular running game Zombies Run! – argued that leaderboards, achievements and challenges are often used to make a basically uninteresting thing ‘fun’. A good product doesn’t need gamification. A great book doesn’t need it, a smart game doesn’t, an intrinsically useful product doesn’t. Later the same day,

20

Aug 2014

100 projects

This week I realised that in my active career I will do approximately 100 different projects. Fifty working years, six months for a decent project, two projects per year. Presentations don’t count, nor do blogposts and most of my portfolio; they’re not substantial enough. 100 real projects. It’s an estimate, but it must be close. Currently I’m at project #25: Developing a toolkit and approach for consumer-centric innovation at a

09

May 2014

Free space

What is the value of free space, the space to experiment and pursue curiosity? And what is it worth? Free space is costly. A square metre in the heart of London easily sets you back 15k. One hour of brainstorming with your team probably somewhere around 500 euros (or much, much more). A company like Intel spends over 10 billion dollars per year on R&D, which is comparable with the

Jung Chang’s new book about Empress Dowager Cixi challenges the view that China’s first lady in the late 19th and early 20th century was a autocratic despot. The book portrays the (once) concubine as an empathic political master mind who through wit and charm brings modernisation to the ancient empire. It’s a highly insightful book for anyone working on innovation in institutions and larger organisation. In the 19th century the