Category: opinions

Transparency, transparency, transparency

Crossposted on MwrVld.com

Guess what? Lately I have become obsessed with transparency! The more I work on it, the more I realise that transparency is at the very core of any healthy business relationship.

It works inside an organisation, it works between organisations. It’s the essential ingredient to build trust and understanding. Continue reading

3 things about Apple Watch

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One

I think that the heart rate sensor is the most relevant feature of this product. It’s not just about fitness: with the right software having a constant monitor of heart rate and other activities will soon start saving lives. In a few years this class of products will have an impact on the healthcare budgets. It’s big.

Two

Remember iPhone 1.0? iPod 1.0? iPad 1.0? Holding my first iphone today, it looks and feels like ancient technology. The current Apple Watch looks a bit chunky, but in no time it will become much sleeker. This is a 1.0.

Three

Is it “Apple WATCH”? ALL CAPITALS? REALLY?

Color of the year

The color of the year for 2014 is Pantone® 18-3224 Radiant Orchid. Now you know.

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When I started working in graphic design, having a Pantone color book was one of my main goals. They were rare and expensive, back when Macs screens were still black and white and it was the only way to manage colors. And they were cool little objects, I think I still have mine somewhere.

Back then most colors fit in 3 digits numbers (I still remember how one of the first logos I designed used blue 300 and grey 428). At some point 4 digits colors started appearing, and they were kinda exotic. Amazing how we got all the way to “18-3224”. Looks like there’s still a lot of colors to invent.

Anyway, it’s good to see how Pantone has been able to modernize and be still around after all these years. These days I think that the Pantone product I use more is my coffee mug :).

Google: a lousy evil empire?

I’m a fan of every conspiracy theory as any other geek, but this whole narrative about google gaining control our whole life has a big flaw: Google Plus.

I mean: I have 4 active email addresses that I use every day, and they are all on gmail. I use google for every search, google maps, google calendar, google docs both on my Mac and my mobile devices. I use Chrome for most of the time when I’m on my Mac. And then they shut down the aggregator I was using, they force me to have a G+ account to comment on YouTube, in other words the pretty much have full control of my digital life, and still…

…they haven’t managed to get me interested to Google Plus. Nor any other of my friends, who in most cases have pretty much sold their own souls to Google like I did.

Now, I’m not saying that they are not evil… but surely so far it doesn’t look like they are very good at using all the power we gave them in order to control us.

Ranting about professions, tools and respect.

This post by Glenn Fleishman about Yahoo’s new logo is absolutely brilliant, and it’s a great lesson about what graphic design is [via DF].

But I don’t really think that the problem is the “engineering mindset” or the “designer mindset”, I think that one of the main issues we face today is lack respect for other professionals’ expertise.

A part of the problem is probably the wide availability of tools, Fleishman writes:

Too many people think graphic design is not a specialty, but something anyone can do, because the tools to make decent-looking Web pages, newsletters, books, and the like are readily available.

This of course applies not only to graphic design but to pretty much every aspect of human life that is producing some kind of software tool: you are not a designer just because you have Illustrator, you are not a musician just because you have Garage Band, and you are not an engineer just because you have a scripting utility installed on your computer (and you are not a manager because you have Powerpoint ;-).

But the real trouble is that, unlike Marissa Mayer, a lot of people don’t even have these tools on their computers, they just assume that having them is all you need to be a professional designer/engineer/musician/etc. Actually I would argue that if they did have those tools installed, they might have learned that there is very little you can do with them, unless you have training, talent and experience.

My job is all about being in a strange middle place where I’m not a designer, an engineer or a manager, and I’m incredibly lucky for the opportunity of working with brilliant designers, engineers and managers, and to try to expose each group to the complexities of the other professions, learning new lessons every day.

We must not only learn to respect other professions, I think that today we all have the means to try to understand a little bit about other professions. This not only will give us the ability to work better with others, but it will also help us distinguish real professionals from guys who just have a bunch of apps installed on their computers.

Future of cars

This nice video shows the future of cars. Of course, the other part of this future is going to be self driving cars. So we will be able to play with all the dashboard toys while the car will drive itself, no way you can do both at the same time. [via Manteblog]

PS: well… maybe you can play with the 17″ screen while the car is recharging  😉

Spies Like Us

Since we started getting weekly revelations about the NSA, it appears that one of the main justifications from the US administration is “we are not spying US citizens“.

Not being a US citizen I find this slightly annoying, but I wonder if this should not be troubling also for them. If all countries would adopt the same approach, it would mean that we would all be spied by approximately 200 different countries BUT ours.

If I could choose, I’d rather be spied by my own country and not others. Better than being spied by a bloody trash bin anyway.

Keep it short

Euan has some very good advice for “That first CEO blog post“.

I would add: keep it short. It doesn’t have to be an assay. One thought, one paragraph. Come back tomorrow for more. Before Twitter and all the other social media (especially for those of us coming from the Scripting News school of weblogging) most blog post were one liners.