The Right Brain = MFA?

It wasn’t long ago when I read Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind” and I even commented about it right here on this blog (you can scroll down and check it out if you like). The general message given by the book has sticked with me ever since. “A Whole New Mind” tries to reconcile the creativity part of the brain with the more rational one. If any one individual in the world could master both sides, wouldn’t that person be the king/queen of the world?

I just remembered it because as I was watching this capsule –> http://the99percent.com/videos/6938/john-maeda-looking-for-superman I recalled how in one of the book’s chapters, Pink recommends, (in fact almost invites you) to instead of applying for an MBA, to do so for an MFA (Master in Fine Arts). It all goes on the same like of thinking; if you are a business major or some sort (like my marketing major) you should compliment it with your creative side of things.

Now, going back to the capsule I just mentioned, “Superman” as it is entitled and presented by John Maeda, “Creative” sounds as a taboo. In general, people immediately think “NO MONEY”. Maeda himself recognizes this taboo. He shares Pink’s concept as to recommend creative minds (creative majors for that matter) to study graduate degrees or at least courses on finances and such.

Can we see now how borders between both worlds are fading? Borders that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. As far as marketing goes, in my opinion, could be a hybrid of both worlds, of both lineages. Marketing most definitely is a strategy, a connection between companies and customers, but being creative about it at the same time. Branding would be an excellent example as an area in marketing.

Let’s feel and witness the thrill of where this mixture can take us.

Instant Answers from the Top

As as I was exploring the usual suspects… (NY Times, Facebook, Brand Connection.com, etc.) I started reading about one of the latest Brand scandals, Gap’s new logo. I’m sure you’ve heard about it, if not here’s a little piece about it –> http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2010/10/06/Gap-Rebrands-Itself-Into-Oblivion.aspx

To make a quick summary about it, Gap renewed its image after 20 years with the same logo. Of course, as anyone wanting to be in the “now” they decided it was time for a change. Now here’s where instant response was not favorable at all for them, or was it? The Helvetica-like new logo left thousands of brand users across the globe with a dry mouth. They expected something a lot juicier; and to be honest, so did I.

In less than a day after Gap’s new logo release, people commenting about it (mainly on Facebook) went crazy. Now here’s the punchline… and just when and where Gap had the chance to respond just as quickly. The press release justifying their choice was immediately published also through Facebook, and even better, inviting fans to hand in their own projects to be revised. Talk about a come back!

This case is just one very impacting situation that comes about as result of instant information. Like certain critics have said lately, “Information finds you”. Another example (quick one I promise) happened to a friend of mine. The Coke vending machine was empty, and the guy had just arrived to fill it up again. My friend was standing there next to him and asked for a Coke. The guy would not sell it to him because “I am just putting them in, you can buy one when I’m done” he said.

My friend quickly tweeted the situation to Coke’s Twitter. Coke immediately (5 min span) answered back giving him a code which he could exchange for free product. Now THAT is instant communication. Nicely done Prosumers!

To Print or not to Print

To have renewable resources for a sustainable environment is today one of the world’s main concerns. Worldwide campaigns to recycle, eliminate or reduce fuel usage, and generally just implement greener alternatives are encouraged on a daily basis. A variety of people and associations have been behind this, you name them: Greenpeace, Al Gore and other countless celebrities.

Still, despite these efforts, there is still a long way to walk before seeing real changes. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter who endorses the idea if no one moves, if no one has the initiative to do anything at all. We should realize however, that these steps from opinion leaders are key to the reshaping of our behaviors. But that’s just it; we must be willing to do it and not just discard it as if it were a diet… “I’ll start on Monday, I promise” someone with a 4 lb-loss goal would say.

One of the huge steps I’ve seen taking place in my immediate surroundings is the fact that I no longer hand in projects or essays printed out on paper. Everything must be handed in through a clouding system built into the University System. Now that is a visible step that at least 5,000 alumni in my campus alone must do. Imagine all the trees saved on that one!

There are, however, campaigns that encourage not to forget paper (http://www.paperbecause.com/). This particular campaign points out how entire generations of people have had their lives, their education, their love relationships supported by this precious material. Now, I realize what nature has given us up until this moment; perhaps the greatest means of expression. However, times and imminent needs have changed. Our liberty of expression has not been diminished. On the contrary, it has been amplified by other means just like this blog. Our need, our imperative need to move on and protect our resources have changed. So next time you type something, at least try to think, To Print or not to Print? That is the question.

Now Trending…

Long before the word “Trend” became a Trend, it already existed in our dictionaries. Why is it that never before had it been used so vastly and in so many ways? What has pushed for the word to be widely pronounced, read, but more importantly, for how long has it been typed?

The existence and wide use of social networks has made that possible. If you are reading this post, chances are you have a blog, a facebook profile, a twitter account, a foursquare account, and so on and so on. Take Facebook for instance… it already is the 3rd largest nation in the world! Yes, I used the word nation, why? Because a nation is not a political fragment on Earth where people have citizenships. A Nation is a a group of people with common things such as culture, language, etc. Facebook is a culture. Facebook is a nation. (Check this video out to see the point –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPO_HGafBsE)

Now let’s take Twitter. You hash-tag something you’d like to comment on, or you look for a hash-tag to learn something, anything about something else. That’s a trend, in fact, should you have Tweet Deck there’s a whole column called “Now Trending”.

So who started with social networks anyway? Innovators and/or early adopters for sure. A small documentary on the topic will come out this fall explaining how we should blame or thank these people for what we have now and for what we’ll have tomorrow. (Check out the trailer http://vimeo.com/15595024).

So who are you? What type of person are you? Should we be typified under our creative choices? Would you be part of the “Younger Creative Class”  as described by one of the interviewees in this film?

Savings vs. Debt

In desperate times, the last thing you want as an individual is your money gone by 9pm… what are you eating for breakfast if that happens? What are you going to eat for that matter? May be borrowing from a close friend… but wouldn’t that chain you down? Well yes, you would lose some of your autonomy. You would practically be working to recover money you didn’t produce, money you didn’t have in the first place. But how then, would you have money for breakfast if by 9pm you don’t have any at all? Saving would be the obvious choice at the earliest of your thoughts.

But what if I want to think a lot further into time than just tomorrow’s breakfast? Would savings be the right answer? Adam Smith would crawl over in his grave… ironically enough, spending would be the way out of the depressive hole. Does that mean getting into debt? Short run… yes… long run = another stage of meltdown. So what to do?

Behavior and attitude are our blind tools after all. The only answers. Use them right and the power of the psyche actually CAN AFFECT economics… check this out for instance http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_jackson_s_economic_reality_check.html and let me know 🙂