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A friend told me her son was a staunch advocate for women’s rights. She was proud of him, and why not. That ship sailed a long time ago. I told her then her son was a Meminist, or a male-feminist. I googled the term later and found that it actually does exist, and that is one of the meanings. The other stated meaning is a person who believes in fighting for equal privileges of both women and men. If you take the words “fighting for” out of that sentence, I can claim to be a Meminist as well.

It then occurred to me that there should be a term for a female chauvinist as well. So, I invented the term “Fauvinist”. It has no definition I could find online, and no place in the English lexicon to my knowledge. Even the online urban dictionary, known to adopt slang and new terms before formal dictionaries, had no record of it. However, I do believe that “Fauvinists” do exist. So now, if you run into such a person, you can let them know they are a Fauvinist.

So, I’ll define it as –
FAUVINIST DEFINITION: a person who believes in “Fauvinism” believes in the entitlement of women over men. Such a person, a “Fauvinist”, narrowly defines a man’s role and acceptable behavior in society. Of course, most fauvinists will be women, but that does not preclude a man from also being a fauvinist.

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inspiration

inspiration (Photo credit: peevee@ds)

Branding: Dell Commercial Promotes IQ Development (Inspiration Quotient)

On December 3rd of last year, I published a post proposing that we all have an Inspiration Quotient (IQ to the nth power).  Innovation maps do not normally mention inspiration because of its perceived ethereal nature – how do you “get inspiration” when you need it?  The POV posited that we all possess the ability to develop our inspiration quotient by practicing the Arts and sharing our works. Why is this important? Breakthrough Innovation is not possible without Inspiration.

Dell‘s very recent Young & Rubicam Group commercial seen in the video below, very artfully encapsulates one passage from that post, excerpted below the video. Dell has long associated its brand with the term inspiration, and I find the “Meet Thomas: Creator of an Alternate Universe” commercial very appropriate for that purpose, engaging, and timely in a seasonal sense with Easter nearing. The imagery used is beyond what is normally seen in a commercial, and my guess is that the creators were equally inspired by JK Rowling’s personal experience, as I mentioned in my post, as well as her Harry Potter books.  The fact that they spotlight a non-descript District Manager named Thomas, who could be anyone, furthers the proposal I make in my post that we all have inspiration within us, and practicing the Arts will help us access it.

EXCERPT from 12/3/2013 EdRodPOV Post :

Ringo’s latest tweet on August 29, 2012 stated,

“I never studied anything, really.  I didn’t study the drums. I joined bands and made all the mistakes onstage.” – @RingoStarrMusic

… Take it from Ringo, you don’t need to be good at art, you just need to try, enjoy the trying and put it out there. Think of producing your art in terms of introducing the minimal viable product as described by Eric Ries and Steve Blank.  Make it a priority to keep sending it out there, along with healthy eating, exercise, etc.

Some people will never break through the inspiration wall. Life has not dealt them either the capacity to sit still and think about nothing (as in meditation), or the freedom from life’s extreme stresses for a walk, even for a few minutes a day, as required to exercise the inspiration muscle.  These are the people that should think most about practicing some form(s) of art and forcefully adapting it into their week because they should not completely ignore their humanity. (Any wonder why they call art ‘The Humanities’?) For instance, if you sit on the bus or subway everyday, bring a sketchpad or tablet and start drawing – it’s that easy.  Relax, you don’t have to be good, you don’t have to be efficient, effective, or produce results.  It’s in the doing that you allow the inspiration to take over.  This is arguably more important to your jobs than those dozens of daily news emails that will be forgotten tomorrow.  It will refresh your morning work re-entry by reducing stress and open the window to inspiration. If you can give away the sketches, make a friend and do so right there, when you reach the station every day. Frame them, sell them, or post them to a blog.  You need the reward of sharing to motivate you to make a habit out of something that can be thought of by many as a time waster.

Soundcloud posts testimonials from its artists on its Soundcloud tour page. There you’ll see comments like “responses to my work have been so encouraging I honestly believe it has directly impacted my productivity.” Sharing produces a self-reinforcing link. You take showers, right?  Sing in the shower every day, and sing it loud. Critics will come, and others will appreciate at least the effort, and that’s life. One day when you get off that train and get to your desk, you’ll capture a eureka moment that your colleagues will regard as genius. You can’t have genius without inspiration. Someone like JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, was able to use her stress as a motivator.  She used art as an escape from the stress of being a single Mom and allowed it to drive her into a deep part of her mind, harvesting a brilliant talent. She practiced her art on the train every day for years, and allowed the inspiration to flow.  She’s worth a billion dollars now.  How big is your company? What’s your net worth?

End of EXCERPT

I encourage anyone who is thinking about innovation, to read the entire POV post to understand the links between practicing and sharing the Arts, developing Inspiration, and achieving Breakthrough Innovation.

Branding: Dodge Dart New Rules Campaign Mainstreams Strategic Shifts

Dodge’s “New Rules” marketing campaign manifests the shift from strategic planning committees and waterfall product development to the “Ready-Fire-Aim-Repeat” agile product development that was the topic of my last full post :

2013 Is No Time For Strategy“.

The Dodge Dart introduction is clearly aimed at a 20-something target market segment who are expecting empowerment to make product decisions on the fly, trade off a high tolerance for failure for iterative speed to market, and fit a budget of under $16 thousand. In addition to the New Rules for how to build a car, there is a follow-on New Rules commercial for how to buy a car where a gift registry is created and the buyer’s friends and family can donate parts of the car – essentially crowd funding the car. Given the complexity and risks of designing and manufacturing a new car, the fact that a major automobile manufacturer has mainstreamed these new approaches in its marketing is in itself a telling illustration of the pervasiveness of the high-level shift from planning to doing.

Regardless of the success of this product introduction, or to what extent these product development methods were actually implemented in the design and manufacture of the car (I have not researched it), it is also telling that established industry is in some way placing newer, nimble competition on notice that they are reacting to a growing threat of disruption being felt in many vertical markets. It would be interesting to learn to what extent the halo effect of this type of product branding might help Dodge recruit more like-minded employees this year. Here’s the first commercial:

A quick note to articulate the importance of Branding as a separate link to Business on my blog. The cycle times for tech discovery and advancement are ever shortening.  Someone needs to come up with a Moore’s Law* for new offerings. Regardless of barriers like IP protection and network effects, the current state of open systems, usability design, process management, inexpensive global collaboration platforms, et al makes the potential for domestic and international copycats to rapidly deliver similar offerings to commercially successful ‘pioneers’ more and more likely.  In case you had not heard, copycats are longhaired nasty felines and pioneers are often the ones that end up with the arrows in their backs.

How can you, as a pioneer, compete with a newcomer that benefits not only from your lessons learned, but from the ability to possibly raise more money than yourself on the basis of the business model that your team has already proven is commercially viable?  Whether B2C, B2B, or B2G, one good answer is Branding.  It’s true that the best brands are built over substantial time, but there are things that start-ups can do to ensure the marketplace and investors understand that being first can mean that your team, your company and your offerings are better than followers’. Branding is becoming an increasingly important part of any start-up’s survival, and should not be overlooked by small entrepreneurial teams focused on going to market with MVP’s** and achieving market validation.

While I am not a Brand Manager, my instincts on branding have been validated. Future posts will elaborate.

*Moore’s Law is a widely held rule of thumb that integrated circuits double in performance every 18 months.

**MVP refers to Minimum Viable Product, i.e., the concept that to be the best pioneer one must go to market with an imperfect but viable product in order to gain market share and lessons learned as the “perfect product” is developed.