“If a major project is truly innovative, you cannot possibly know its exact cost and its exact schedule at the beginning. And if in fact you do know the exact cost and the exact schedule, chances are that the technology is obsolete.”
Joseph G. Gavin, Jr., former Grumman president, discussing the design of the Grumman lunar module that landed NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon on July 20, 1969.
“Fly Me to the Moon: An Interview with Joseph G. Gavin, Jr.”
Technology Review, 97:5, July, 1994, Page 62.
For many copywriters, writing a call-to-action is a matter of slapping a 1-800 number and a Web address at the end of the work and calling it a day. But Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke shows how it can be elevated to a psychological art form. Read More
Touchdowns as often as we do, indeed. The copywriter of this AirTran billboard on I-95 should win a Cleo or Obie or Addy or something for his/her:
a) subtle commentary on the fragile state of our airline industry.
b) brilliant foreshadowing of the ultimate futility of the 08/09 Philadelphia Eagles.
c) ironic take on our society’s utter disregard for any adherence to simple English grammar. Read More
Newsweek‘s cultural and fashion writer Dana Thomas’s book “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster” (Amazon) comes to the conclusion you’d probably expect. For centuries, luxury was only obtainable by the truly, ostentatiously wealthy. That is, until 20th century businessmen discovered the rabid desire of the hoi polloi to soak up any brand that even hinted at a better life. So they took production out of the hands of fourth-generation craftsmen, cranked out second-rate leather handbags and luggage tags in third-world factories, and made luxury available to anyone with plastic. But you’ve probably intuited this all along. So don’t read this book for a deep psychological study into the subconscious motivators that persuade people to buy anything with an interlocked “LV” stamped on it. Buy it for Thomas’s terrific research into the fascinating origins of brands like Chanel and Prada, the rise of Rodeo Drive, and the nefarious forces behind the knockoff industry. Even to this guy—who proudly drives an ’84 Chevy S10 Pickup—Thomas’s descriptions fetishize authentic luxury like a Japanese tourist on shore leave in a Waikiki duty free.
Now that summer’s winding down, our nation’s mail carriers better invest in some good quality weightlifting belts. ‘Cause universities are gearing up for the fall recruitment season, and the 4,000+ college campuses across the US are about to unload more mail than ever. Search pieces. Viewbooks. Applications. Financial aid brochures. Window stickers. Pottery Barn catalogs (I kid). The reality is that your average seventeen-year-old will likely arrive home from her first day of school this September with her mailbox flowing over. And it doesn’t take a marketing study to guess where those millions of tons of paper will end up in a few months time. There are two things I remember from that period in my gangly adolescent life: opening my acceptance letter to Lehigh, and the night I dragged several garbage bags full of glossy mailers out to the curb.
So in the age of the Internet, Facebook, texting, and Twitter, why are so many schools still stuck in the old way of doing things?