Friday, June 23, 2017

Thinking Design, Thinking Different with David Burney

Think Different. Thanks Steve.

by David Burney on October 6, 2011

One summer about six years ago I had the privilege of attending a week-long AIGA program at the Harvard Business School titled Business Perspectives for Designers. It was a great experience—a week of business school with 50 other designers reviewing classic business case studies in the traditional Harvard way. The program continues but has moved to Yale in recent years. If you’re a designer who is seriously interested in business and can possibly pull together the cash, I highly recommend it.
One of the case studies we were assigned was Apple Computers, and during the review the professor asked how many of us thought Apple would still be around in 10 years.

This was 2005. Apple stock was trading at about $35 a share. It’s most recent product success was a strangely shaped desktop model available in tangerine and teal. Their laptops were incredibly overpriced, we were told. The iPod was just beginning to go mainstream and iTunes was still competing against “free.” The iPhone was just a gleam in Jobs’ eye. The iPad? All we knew was the Newton had been a colossal failure.
But this was an audience of 50 designers. Those of us who were old enough had purchased an SE. We loved the 1984 commercial. And we had been wearing black long before Steve Jobs adopted our look. Every hand was raised. Quickly. Confidently. No hesitation.
The HBS professor, who resembled Bill Gates younger, geekier brother, chuckled. Actually, I think it might be more accurate to say he giggled. Clearly he was amused at this congregation of misfits and their silliness. “I have to tell you” he confessed, “I teach this case study quite often and I always ask this question. Never do I get more than one of two people to raise their hand. I really can’t imagine Apple will be around in ten years.”
I suspect he doesn’t ask that question anymore.
Thank you, Steve. Thank you for reminding us that wealth can be created by creating value, not simply capturing and pocketing the value others have created while injuring or killing the very ecosystem that lead to its creation.
Thank you, Steve, for showing that CEOs don’t have to play the ‘next quarter/uncertainty’ Wall Street game. That building a sustainable business demands you take a longer perspective than next quarter’s bonus and stock options.
Thank you, Steve, for proving, once and for all, that a CEO who has the courage to commit—nay, insist—on employing design as strategy can not only succeed, but kick ass.

This was written by David Burney at New Kind in Raleigh NC. You'll love what they're doing and saying at New Kind! Best, Ronald

Look Up

The outlook may be dark, but the uplook is glorious.

This Weekend, Arrive Alive- Don't Drink and Drive...

Please remember, when you operate a vehicle under the influence: YOU'RE NOT DRIVING IT--YOU'RE AIMING IT!


Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ronald Touching Folks and Making Healthy Choices at Food and Wine Magazine


Did you know that fewer people know what it’s like to be Ronald McDonald than what it’s like to be President of the United States? It’s true. Only nine people in history have played McDonald’s Chief Happiness Officer.  For twelve years, from 1995 to 2007, Joe Maggard was one of those men.
According to his IMDB page, early on in his life he served as a Deputy Sheriff with the Brunswick County North Carolina Sheriff’s Department before getting into acting, eventually landing bit parts in movies and TV shows like Matlock.  His first taste of being the iconic clown came as a double for the previous actor who played Ronald, but then fate stepped in: The other Ronald was ill and Maggard had to take over. As they say in the business, the fast food pushing must go on.
“Ronald” is a six-and-a-half-minute short produced by The Guardian that allowed Maggard to revisit his role as Ronald McDonald – though Maggard says you never really stop being Ronald. 
The video is quite touching and funny and beautifully shot.  It also serves as a dramatic and in-your-face reminder about how McDonald’s touches all of our lives – some more than others. 


When we are self-involved, we are blind. It is a paradox, but only when we step outside of ourselves can we really see. See who we are, see what we need to do, see what is really happening around us.
So if you find that you are starting to get down on yourself - get out of yourself. Then you can see what needs to change.

Shout out to Bryce Harper...i'm lovin' it!

That's a clown question, Bro'...

With the ever so talented Barbara Gerardo and Tommy Hull in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in Historic Thalian Hall, Wilmington NC circa 1994

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


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Just Listen...

Most of us were fortunate enough to be blessed with the ability to hear, but how much do we really listen? You’d be surprised how often we’re given solutions to our problems, but we’re so busy talking, we can’t stop to hear them. How often do we find ourselves thinking more about what we’re going to say next than hearing what another person is telling us? 

More often than not, words go in one ear and out the other. 

The importance of listening to others is something that people on a high spiritual level have always understood. Regardless of whether people are right or wrong, we have a responsibility to listen to them. If we don’t fulfill this responsibility, how can we expect others to listen to us? 

There was a great sage who, at the end of his days, was so sick and weak that he could only whisper. Yet he continued to instruct his students who sat very close to hear him. A local teacher went to observe this. He saw the great man whispering, sometimes for hours on end, with the students leaning close to listen.

“I don’t understand,” the teacher said to one of the students. “In my temple, if I speak for more than 30 minutes, they want to drag me away from the pulpit. You not only listen to your teacher for many hours, but you listen despite the fact that he can barely speak!”

“We listen so closely and so long,” the student answered him, “because we know that if one of us had to speak with our teacher and we had to whisper, he would bend over to hear what we had to say for as long as necessary.”

If we want to reach a level where we are heard, then let’s focus on listening carefully to others. 

This week, seek out ways to become a better listener. Learn to hear and not just to speak. 

When we open our ears, we open our hearts to become truly engaged with others. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Closed Now

I tried to keep an open mind, but my brains kept falling out.