#fishon / “Puck yeah!”

As anticipated here’s BrandNew on the Seattle Kraken identity:

While the rest of the year crumbles around us, 2020 has been a very good one for sports logos and now we have a team called the Kraken and while that could easily go wrong in so many ways this doesn’t disappoint in any single way. I don’t know what it is about “Kraken” but whether it’s rum or robotics it’s a name that delivers so much without breaking a sweat and, here, when paired with “Seattle” it just blows up instantly with the mere idea that a kraken could live in the Puget Sound. As if the attention to detail wasn’t so good so far, the secondary logo of an anchor has the Space Needle at the top. I mean, c’mon!

I could not agree more.


Bringing designers back to the office will not help you transform.

An acquaintance recently reached out with a bit of a perplexing problem. They work in a traditional industry that embraces digital transformation when it comes to consumer experiences, but not so much for the employee experience. Now that the threat of COVID-19 is waining in their country, the company wants to recall everyone working from home for seemingly all the wrong reasons.

The first pertains to the change in collaboration with distributed teams. You would think that with everyone working from going back to a distributed model (some of the team at the office while other members are working from home) would be easy because it is essentially working like everyone is remote. And sure, it does require a little extra effort, but nothing so extraneous that it should cause any more problems than fifteen-year-old phone systems or five-year-old computers—which are both prevalent in the Enterprise.

In this case, I would argue that in support of the company’s broader and, arguably, critical need for digital disruption. All facets of the operations need to be on a path of progress that includes how employees can show up to work. Employee and consumer experiences can no longer live in two different realities. As we see in real-time, the consumer experience is radically re-imagined day-to-day. And the ideas that drive recent change and innovation are aided by that radical change in perspective as everyone’s life has been distributed and remains in fluid situations. So why keep your people bound to a desk when they can be out there observing first-hand—living and working—to experience how the world is changing. I guarantee you it’s ten-times harder to be inspired by events if you’re not there. Why risk holding back the possibility of serendipity and innovation?

The second concern regards employee loyalty. The fear is that if designers are allowed to work from wherever they will lose their attachment to the company and bounce to another job more freely. I’ve worked in some pretty cool places, one in which I spent six-figures building out for my own company. That said, my work environment is not near the top of my criteria for consideration of future employment. Perhaps if I worked in one of those worktainment campuses like Facebook, then, yeah, maybe, but there are so many other criteria to help drive employee loyalty. From here on out, if the Enterprise wants to retain top talent, then it needs to stop worrying about people sitting in a particular chair for eight hours. Instead, they need to exercise just the opposite behavior in the from of extending trust, continual transparency, and providing care for career paths. Designers— hell, everybody —have had a taste of all three of these behaviors during the initial response to the Pandemic. Do company’s really think they can revert to old ways of conducting business without any ramifications? Do they think we’ll all forget what it was like to work from home, to work with an adaptive schedule? Do they honestly think people will be okay returning to a workplace because they are no longer trusted to get their job done? Just as consumer experiences are changed forever, it is a fallacy to believe the Enterprise workplace can “go back to normal” without consequences.

Whether you’re feeling it or not, we are all now in a race to innovate. Bankruptcies and businesses closing left-and-right will continue for those businesses that do not have a culture for transformation. The less you’re set up to transform, the more likely you’re to be gone in the next year.

Now is not the time for businesses to worry about where their employees are working, but how they can help them feel supported and inspired. Put everyone in a position to help the company bring about the changes in employee and consumer experiences necessary for survival and, hopefully, more market share. In these times, businesses need to chose distributed teams over better meetings, trust over attendance, transparency over town halls, and career care over happy hours.

#themurricane / "Being Bill Murray."

An older article that includes this piece of advice:

Ask Murray about his reputation as the master of surreal celebrity encounters and he grimaces, not eager to explain his motivations. But he will concede that he’s aware of how his presence is received. “No one has an easy life,” he says. “It’s this face we put on, that we’re not all getting rained on. But you can’t start thinking about numbers—if I can change just one person, or I had three nice encounters. You can’t think that way, because you’re certainly going to have one where you say, ‘What did I just do?’ You’re a disappointment to yourself, and others, imminently. Any second.”

Something to remember when you’re cruising through Instagram.

#idiocracy / "Readers don’t always know what “editorial” means, and the word itself has multiple uses."

This is exactly why bloggers should never have been treated like members of the press earlier in the century. The rise of editorial content in the form of blogging (without proper disclaimers and public education) helped to propagate ignorance on what is news versus editorial. And then cable television jumped on the bandwagon and turned what was left of news into nothing but 24/7 editorial and punditry, though it is consumed as “news.” What’s really a shame (and not currently helping) is that members of the Baby Boomer generation—who grew up on Walter Cronkite—can’t tell the difference anymore.

By the way, we still have a good old fashioned news program. It’s called PBS Newshour.


The carbon cost of registering trial accounts.

Since 1995 I’ve lost track of all of the accounts I’ve registered to try new Internet stuff. With all of the newsletters, subscriptions, iOS applications, and I bet the count is close to one thousand. As the web has become more sophisticated with funnels, growth hacking, etc. creating an account comes with a litany of auto-generated emails. A few days ago, I thought about how much registering a free or trial account really costs. Not in dollars, but in energy and resources. If you consider that, on average, registering a free account generates an email with a unique code (to make sure you’re not a bot) required to finish registration. A second email is sent to confirm that you have successfully registered an account. And a third email is sent with some type of greeting and a guide with next steps. When you close the account or stop the free trial, that’s at least one email saying your request has been received and up to two more verifying that you want to close the account and that finally, the account has been closed.

Tim Berners Lee, the guy famous for, you know, creating the World Wide Web, came out with a way to calculate the carbon footprint of email (read the full article, it’s worth understanding):

  • An average spam email: 0.3 g CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent)
  • A standard email: 4 g CO2e
  • An email with “long and tiresome attachments”: 50 g CO2e

So, if we take those free registration accounts without attachments, that puts the email carbon costs somewhere between 16 g and 24 g. And that’s been super conservative. If you sign up for an app with a super aggressive growth strategy, you’re likely to receive at least one daily email—more like three to five. While 24 g per account doesn’t seem much, I haven’t included the power it takes to run servers that process everything. In fact, I’ve barely scratched the surface with an accurate accounting.

Long story short, the practice of trying all of the things comes with a price. A free account or trial may not take money, but it does come with a cost. I’m going to think twice before registering for the next shiny new object just so I can kick the tires.

#thepivot / "We act and behave like a brand new restaurant every year."

Monocle 24 talks to the sibling owners of Canlis, the best restaurant on the West coast, on their multiple, amazing pivots during the pandemic. “How do we throw our entire selves in being three completely different restaurants.” They prepared long before the shut-down and have kept all 1500 of their people employed.

A must listen to everyone in business.

#repurposed / It appears that MailChimp purchased Courier magazine.

Wow! From their email announcement:

We’re excited to share that Courier, a London-based media company, has recently joined the Mailchimp family. Courier’s mission is to help modern small business founders and entrepreneurs like you work smarter, realize your dreams, and live life on your terms. And starting today, we’re bringing Courier’s stories, interviews, and guides to the Mailchimp site, so all our customers can benefit from their insights.

Courier’s existing website is still up and running. The MailChimp version seems to be selective (maybe?) about which articles are brought over. And there is a distinctive difference in the creative direction between the two properties.