Toward a new agency model

Most design agencies are artistic pretenders. People who really know art rightly scoff at the idea of advertising as art. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be.

Ideally, advertising would transcend the limits of the current practice to become art. The best possible advertising would be conceptual art. But that requires a whole new way of thinking.

Most companies today are not worthy of this approach. No serious artist would represent a company that sells nothing but boatloads of cheap baggy underwear. But if companies began reinventing themselves so that they could secure better representation, then artists would be leading the way, and everyone would benefit in so many ways.

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The hidden matrix

I’m seeing BooleanGrid as revealing the matrix underlying the stock market.

It makes you a part of the algorithm and lets you see the inner workings as you move through various dimensions and changes.

But I suppose it’s not too different from the fun some people have when they play with sports statistics.

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Consulting, agencies, corporations, and startup innovation

It looks like lots of folks are trying to get in on the innovation bandwagon. Yee-haw! Consulting companies in particular seem to be trying to do this by buying design agencies or creating internal agencies.

Maybe it’s a sales gimmick.

It sounds like a good idea – at first. Consultings are bad at design – agencies don’t know from business. It seems like putting them together would be synergistic. They can learn from each other.

In fact the opposite is true. That’s because the underlying issue is never solved for. The two groups maintain their alphas and deltas. There’s the rub.

Of course, a synergistic outcome is eminently possible.

But few know how to get there.

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Tenets Behind The Grid

BooleanGrid is a different take on a stock market screener. As such I guess it will need to be presented differently. Here are some principles behind it.

1. BG is different than other stock screeners.

2. BG is not supposed to work like other stock screeners. That would be drinking the koolade.

3. BG is designed as a game, although it has serious capability.

4. To use BG, you perform a series of actions that initially may feel random. First you take action, without knowing what will happen. Then you see the surprising result. Then you take another action. That is the game aspect of it random -> deterministic. Notice this is the opposite of how this kind of thing normally works!

5. BooleanGrid was initially conceived as conceptual art. So it may not seem to be 100% buttoned-down rational. That is OK.

6. There are, potentially, interesting ramifications to the project that have not been explicated. Areas to investigate could be: the ability to change the odds, what happens when you transition to a quantum view, the impact of a multi-player system, pushback from existing stakeholders.

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BooleanGrid hits the iStore

I’m pleased to announce that after a long review process, BooleanGrid, the revolutionary quantum stock screener, is now available as an iPhone / iPad app for all sizes.

It has been awhile in coming. This app is so radical that I didn’t expect it to pass review. At the end of the day though, business innovation through design won out.

Which reminds me about exactly why I made it. Somebody had to do something new here. It would’ve had to be me – and it had to be now, and done quickly by a small team.

Things like this usually just don’t get built.

http://itunes.com/apps/booleangrid

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Using hobo signs to navigate a social network.

Maybe you’ve seen or heard about the signs hobos used to put up to help fellow bos with wayfinding. This is an early example of social networking. I like it because the symbols are logical but mysterious at the same time. The information they provided was vital, too. Where to eat, what to watch out for.

So I’ve incorporated some of this symbolic logic into the navigation system for laserthread. Most icons are bad, I find, because they include both image and text. Use one or the other – not both!

Sure, it will take 10 seconds to review the cheat sheet on the home page. If you blow by it, then you’ll wonder what the symbols mean, and no doubt imagine a crazy complexity.

Ultimately the best design should allow for rapid ramp up, and thereafter be a great experience. It’s not like you need an explainer permanently embedded on the screen.

And remember, don’t fool around when it comes to your fellow bos.

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Whence stock market innovation?

Lots of time and effort has gone into the design of “next-generation” stock market software.

But the new designs simply rearrange the deck chairs. They still use the same old charts and graphs that 40 years ago purported to, kind of,  predict the stock market. Yet, everyone knows that you can’t predict the stock market.

The first Bloomberg terminals were innovative. Still, I think Joe Mainstreet would have cast a skeptical eye on any software that hypostasized the market. Those computers must have seemed like a trick of 1950s chiropractors, who put patients on platforms with blinking lights in order to prognosticate health conditions.

And the innovation stopped there. The old systems feel like classical mechanics, or cause and effect. BooleanGrid is based on the idea of quantum mechanics… now that’s different!

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