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Author Archives: Nextness

What we’ve been reading | April 4 2014



The SourceDoug Aitken
A comprehensive public release of the artist Doug Aitken’s ongoing series of conversations with the creative individuals shaping contemporary culture | 4 min video

How Tesla is driving the new purpose economyCo.Exist
The electric car company is slowly reshaping how people think about driving. Following the same pattern can help any social entrepreneur get people excited about world-changing products. Here’s what Tesla is doing | 8 min read

Ex-Googler invents a better way to buy bras | Co.Design
San Francisco based startup Thirdlove is trying to revamp the awful bra-shopping experience by letting women size themselves int he privacy of their own homes | 5 min read

This Little-Known iOS feature will change the way we connect Wired
A new iOS app called FireChat is blowing up in the App Store. But it’s not the app itself that’s causing such a stir, it’s the underlying networking technology it taps into | 4 min read


This is what Candy Crush Saga does to your brain | Guardian
The Candy Crush game app exploits some well known weaknesses in the human brain to keep us playing | 4 min read

The rise of the API economy and consumer-led ecosystems Wired
Just a few years ago, application programming interfaces (APIs) were largely viewed as an easy, functional way to make applications work together, a digital adhesive of sorts. Today, the value of the API has evolved into much more than a simple bridging mechanism | 4 min read

Principles of good data analysisGreg Reda
Data analysis is hard. In this article, Data Analyst Greg Reda shares his top tips for making sure you don’t fall down the analytical rabbit hole | 5 min read

Human uniqueness | Nautilus
Shining a light on the spark that separates man from beast | 7 min read


15 common mistakes designers make | Creative Bloq
All designers make mistakes. Designer Craig Minchington examines the most common ones, and how to avoid them | 9 min read

D&AD names the best design projects of the year | D&AD
D&AD, organisers of the world’s most prestigious design award ceremony, reveals this year’s nominations | 5 min read

Embrace empathy – it’s good for you and your people | B&T
‘Employees will often forget what you say. They will often forget what you do. But they will never forget how you made them feel’ | 4 min read

25 Fascinating charts of negotiation styles around the world (Part 1) Business Insider
By focusing on the cultural roots of national behaviour, both in society and business, we can foresee and calculate how others will react to our plans for them, and we can make certain assumptions as to how they will approach us | 5 min read

24 Charts of leadership styles around the world (Part 2) Business Insider
Determining national characteristics is treading a minefield of inaccurate assessment and surprising exception. There is, however, such a thing as a national norm | 5 min read

Here’s why you’re not hiring the best and the brightest First Round
‘Call me crazy, but I think if we’re going to talk about hiring the best talent available, we should actually try to do that. This means letting go of the idea that people need to be physically present for any meaningful work to occur’ | 10 min read


PR agencies will not exist in a decade | mUmBRELLA
Is that shocking enough for you? Well it’s true. Too many PR agencies are outdated, the traditional media landscape is shrinking, and with increasing numbers of advertising, social media and even SEO agencies getting in on the action, we need to smarten up’ | 5 min read

April Fools 2014 roundup | mUmBRELLA
April 1 brings out the fool in many of us and this year has been no exception. Here’s a wrap-up of the April Fools gags we’ve spotted, courtesy of the folks at mUmBRELLA | 5 min read

Why syncing into social values is important | MarketingMag
Ad agencies have been banging on about it for years. Marketing 101 lecturers are catching up and market researchers shy away from it. But the truth cannot be ignored: we just don’t think as much as we think we think | 6 min read

Spinach wins Karcher, Ledified, South Melbourne Market and more | B&T
The five wins utilise Spinach’s full suite of services, with the agency looking after media planning and buying, digital, creative, strategy and more for the new accounts | 5 min read

D&AD: Yellow Pencil Noms for Droga5, GPY&R, Havas, Leo Burnett, DDB, BMF and Jamshop | CampaignBrief
Australia ranked #4 behind UK, US and France | 3 min read

 
 

What we’ve been reading | 28th March


Inside the box | Slate
People don’t actually like creativity | 8 min read

Four deep trends affecting tech today | Co.Design
Including the blurry line between creepy and acceptable, the ability of technology to amplify and disrupt, the implications of embedded data, and opting in versus switching off | 5 min read

How mature is your organisation when it comes to UX? | UXMag
Every organisation has its own goals, processes, techniques, and teams—each with special characteristics. They are all important to consider when incorporating user experience, but it’s also crucial to gauge the maturity level of an organisation | 5 min read

Whatever goes up, that’s what we do SVBTLE
Remember that beautiful new Facebook redesign we were promised a year ago? It was so successful, they scrapped it | 5 min read

The secret world of fast fashion | Pacific Standard
What used to be a stable three-month production cycle—the time it takes to design, manufacture, and distribute clothing to stores, in an extraordinary globe-spanning process—has collapsed, across much of the industry, to just two weeks | 8 min read

How design education must change | LinkedIn
If design is to live up to its promise it must create new, enduring curricula for design education that merge science and technology, art, and business | 8 min read

That’s a nice little $40M eCommerce company you have there | Pando
Call me when it scales | 6 min read

How the internet actually works | Quartz
And why it’s impossible to know what makes your Netflix slow | 7 min read

Box | Creators Project
Exploring the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera | 5 min video

How big data shapes AT&T’s advertising creative | AdAge
In-house scientists scrutinised 370 Ads to Unearth Secrets of Success | 5 min read

The unbelievable bus shelter | PepsiCo
Another great example of using the environment to create richer ad experiences | 2 min video

How to be a design boss without losing your soul | Co.Design
Five tips for making the move from Designer to Art Director | 5 min read

Why women make better business leaders | PSFK
How feminine skills and competencies will define the leaders of the future | 5 min read

Why you should stop brainstorming | HBR
How many times have you been in a brainstorming session this week? Chances are the answer is, “More than I can count.” But no study has proven that brainstorming works well, even though it has been the go-to method for idea generation since 1953 | 4 min video

Marketers are pitching to customers even as they shop | The Australian
Obsessed with relentlessly innovating their business model, marketers and agencies need to accept a constant state of progression or face obsolescence | 5 min read

Meet RAC + JWT’s Attention Powered Car | Campaign Brief
Using a neuro-sensory headset, custom software and the first ever algorithm to calculate what a moment of inattention looks like, the car goes when the driver is paying attention, and slows when he or she isn’t | 3 min read

Spin is so last yearmUmBRELLA
You Work in PR? Not that old chestnut again. Isn’t it time to move on and say something different? | 5 min read

Men don’t have awkward silences | mUmBRELLA
KFC is targeting men in its latest campaign promoting its ‘Mighty Burger’, with the ad suggesting awkward silences aren’t awkward for men as they don’t need to talk with words | 3 min read

Share a Coke wins inaugural GRAMA award | MarketingMag
The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) kick started Global Marketer Week by announcing the winners of the inaugural Great Australian Marketing Awards (The GRAMAs) | 1 min read

Agency competition has become a ‘knife fight in a telephone box‘ | mUmBRELLA
Chris Savage, CEO of STW has told a conference of PR professionals that increasingly tense competition is one of the biggest issues facing the advertising industry | 4 min read

Zip it Up! | Lifehacker
People’s Choice Credit Union has launched a new gaming app in which player’s attempt to catch falling money. The hook is that the week’s best scores are converted into real cash and transferred into the player’s bank accounts. So what’s the catch? | 2 min read

Veteran journalist Emma Connors joins Ogilvy PR | Holmes
Connors joins Ogilvy PR as Senior Media Strategist after 17 years with the Australian Financial Review, where she wrote for the country’s only national business daily and sister publications BOSS and AFR Magazine | 2 min read

 
 

What we’ve been reading | Monday 24th March

by Nextness published March 24, 2014 posted in Inspiration Linkness

The rise of Anti-Capitalism | NYTimes
While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero | 5 min read

The algorithm economy | The Atlantic
Today we rely on digital monopolies to organise and personalise our reading and shopping experiences. Is that so bad? | 5 min read

Anonymity vs. real identity | Chris Saad
‘Each medium (social network) has its own social contract, engenders its own user behaviour and allows the user to decide and declare something new about themselves. The fragmentation and inconsistencies between each medium are the entire point’ | 5 min read

How Airbnb solved the mystery of predictive pricing | Fast Company
If you’re not a real-estate agent, how can you know how much that spare bedroom is worth? | 7 min


The myth of common sense | TEDx
Why are the best economists, investment advisers and political pundits usually wrong when predicting the future? | 15 min video

A little metadata goes a long way | Ars Technica
Researchers are able to infer medical conditions, firearm ownership, and more, using a small amount of phone metadata | 8 min read

When food marketing was about getting people not to eat itCultural Compass
Circa WWI, food and the experience of eating were both portrayed as dangerous, violent, and unpleasant in an effort to make the starving Russian population forget the normalcy associated with these actions | 3 min read

The revolution is not being MOOC-ised | Slate
They promise equality of access to higher learning, but online courses will only succeed with better general education in place first, say two educationalists | 7 min read

Not-So-Zen and the Art of Voluntary Agreements | Slate
‘Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content. That’s bad for artists and bad for consumers’ | 8 min read

Game over and over and overSlate
The extremely difficult Dark Souls II and the rise of ‘masocore’ gaming | 7 min read

Icons, because they are great | Adverblog
‘The main idea behind the spot was, however, not to celebrate the icons, but to show that all icons – real or imagined – are carefully constructed, by media, by culture and by us’ | 3 min read

The Gervais Principle | Ribbon Farm
The Office as management theory | 5 min read

From the archive: Why I never hire brilliant men The American Magazine (1924)
‘Business and life are built upon successful mediocrity; and victory comes to companies, not through the employment of brilliant men, but through knowing how to get the most out of ordinary folks’ | 20 min read

How to have friends at work when you’re the boss | HBR
There’s plenty of research supporting the idea that having friends at work makes you happier and more engaged. But here’s what the research doesn’t address: friendships at work are tricky, especially when you’re the boss | 5 min read

Amazon is coming | Adnews
Digital customer experience wins in the game of seismic shifts | 5 min read

Rhonda and Ketut’s three-year love story for AAMI | Campaign AP
How insurance company AAMI and Ogilvy Melbourne capitalised on a campy love story that caught Australians’ fancy | 3 min read

Ogilvy Sydney draws on American Beauty to promote Primo baconmUmBRELLA
Ogilvy Sydney has revealed its first campaign for Primo Smallgoods since being appointed as its creative agency late last year | 2 min read

Seven insights that will help you engage with small business owners | MarketingMag
When marketing to business owners, it can be tempting to treat them as one big group. But to do so is to miss the real human nuances | 5 min read

 
 

How wrestling prepared me for agency life

by Nextness published March 20, 2014 posted in Insights Management

Today’s guest post is by Adam Noakes at Switched on Media.

First up I need to say that I’ve never wrestled professionally – although many an old mattress was laid on the garden floor, and used as a WrestleMania ring mat.

A good few years before football, music, video games and movies would enamor a teenaged me – my interest and passion was for the entertainment sport of Wrestling. In fact, I watched my first WCW Main Event aged 7.

It’s only when you look back on experiences, to use a phrase from Steve Jobs, that you can really connect the dots.

I have come to realise that the lessons I learnt from the men and women of the WCW and WWF wrestling companies prepared me for agency life and the role of a leader.

You have to be both the hero and the villain

The very best wrestlers, and those not so good, would flip-flop between hero and villain status. This well-known trick to keep characters and storylines fresh is one that should resonate with leaders within marketing agencies. Even the greatest of wrestling legends have to play the bad guy: Hulk Hogan famously went ‘bad’ during his WCW days to become Hollywood Hulk Hogan, as part of the N.W.O (New World Order) group.

Embracing the fact that you can’t be popular all the time is a key truth of agency life. Sometimes you’ll have to make decisions, communicate change, or implement processes that will turn you from hero to villain in an instant. Remembering you will hear the cheer of the gathering crowd once again will keep you sane during these times.

A little showmanship goes a long way

The best wrestlers are true entertainers, some with elaborate face paint and pyrotechnics as part of their show; others able to turn a simple elbow drop into a dance and spectacle worthy of the Royal Dance Company.

In agency life, colleagues look for inspiration and motivation the same way as a wrestler trying to get up from a missed top-rope body splash. Clients crave theatre and entertainment in pitches, much like the crowd counting along with the wrestler laying a 10-punch combo on a forlorn opponent. Think about your agency – I bet there are plenty of examples of showmanship on display. And I bet it would be a dull place without it.

You can’t be the champion forever

Ric Flair is a 24 time champion, spanning various divisions and companies. His shortest title reign was a matter of hours. Whilst that example is extreme, it sets a valuable lesson in your expectation of success working in agencies.

Clients, much like title belts, come and go. You might have won your last title fight as the incumbent agency but what if the new Marketing Director is a fan of your title rival? For no good reason you can be stripped of the gold around your waste before the next main event.

Internally, you can’t hold the employee of the month title forever. Your colleagues all train as hard as you, so it’s only right they get their hands on the prize too.

One day you win a pitch and feel like a champ. The next day your finance director rejects a budget increase that you’ve been wrangling for months. You can’t be the champion forever.

Changing character is necessary

Mick Foley is a veteran wrestler who has played many characters over his 30-year career. To stay relevant and fresh, Mick has invented novel situations and storylines for his character over the years.

Watching Foley reinvent himself so frequently was a little baffling to me as a teenager. Looking back now I see that the chameleon act I saw in the wrestling world is replicated in my working life now.

Agencies change proposition to ride current trends and expectations – a few years ago it was all about Social Media, in recent years it has been Big Data.

People also change and pivot with the times: graphic designers turned into UX experts, PR execs transformed into social media specialists and account service suits became digital strategists.

Like wrestling, trying on a different mask helps to ensure you remain fresh, relevant and importantly: stay ahead of the roaring crowd’s expectations.

Overall, entertainment is key

If I had to choose one key thing I learnt from watching wrestling as a kid that has carried over to my professional life, it’s this: entertainment is key.

People pay hundreds of dollars to be cramped in with thousands of other wrestling fans, in awe of the showmanship, pyrotechnics, grand entrances and highflying top rope moves.

Like wrestling, our clients expect a certain level of entertainment from the agency/client relationship. Chances are, the monthly meeting with ‘the agency’ is one of the best things in the diary that week. Turning up with good results is one thing but making the meeting fun; making the client feel special and leaving them with a sense of awe should be the ultimate aim from all meetings. This doesn’t always happen. Again, just like wrestling – a few bad shows and the people will stop paying to see you. It’s really as simple as that.

My favourite wrestler growing up was a guy called Steve Borden, better known as Sting. 6ft 2inches tall, 250lb – his wrestling debut was the year of my birth. He has held a total of 21 titles over the years. He has re-invented himself several times, playing the hero and villain when required and he always entertained the crowd; entrances from the arena rafters, to taking on entire groups single handedly.

I guess if he wasn’t wrestling, he could very well be leading a marketing agency.

 
 

What we’ve been reading | 14th March


Silicon Valley’s youth problem NYTimes
In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much | 12 min read


The truth about speed reading Lifehacker
Last week, we showed you Spritz – a new app that promises to help you read novels in minutes. Here’s why it might not work | 8 min read

How to build a digital strategy ready for artificial intelligence | BRW
Digital strategy is still siloed away under ‘marketing’ by most Australian corporates. But only an integrated approach can properly exploit advances like social media monitoring by artificial intelligence | 5 min read

Harvard is looking for a ‘Wikipedian in Residence’ | The Atlantic
The school’s Houghton Library is seeking someone to help make its collections as accessible as possible | 8 min read


My brain has no space for your user interface Josh Timonen
‘I imagine this ‘UI storage’ area of my brain is like the box in my closet containing a nest of computer and cables. It retains most of this UI knowledge—and I can get at it—but I have to detangle it from fifty other UI assumptions I’ve gathered over the years’ | 6 min read

How this startup turned financial advice into an algorithm and made $200M | QZ
Imagine if poring over your finances were as easy as using your favourite app, or smartphone—or any of today’s crisply designed technologies that make life easier, smarter and more efficient | 5 min read

Emotions are viral | QZ
The mood of your Facebook updates is directly influenced by the moods of those in your newsfeed | 5 min read

Japan just realised that it’s now the centre of the bitcoin universe | QZ
Japan has become perhaps the world’s most important locale for bitcoin, the digital currency that was supposed to liberate its users from the tyranny of geography—and its government is playing catch-up | 8 min read


How actors create emotions: A problematic psychology | The Atlantic
Fully inhabiting the mind, mannerisms, and reality of a fictional character can be as alienating as it is rewarding | 8 min read

100 Years of Design | Second Story
Second Story has collaborated with AIGA to create a centennial microsite that celebrates the profound impact design has had on our society over the last century | 10 min experience

Why songs have choruses | The Atlantic
The secret lies in how your brain processes sound: People love repetition | 6 min read


There are 16 leadership skillsBRW
But you only need two or three | 8 min read

Square-shaped is the new T-shaped | Medium
What’s better than knowing a little about a lot and a lot about a little? Knowing a lot about a lot |10 min read

70% of time could be used better | First Round
How the best CEOs get the most out of every day | 10 min read


Officeworks selects DesignworksB&T
STW’s strategic design agency Designworks has been appointed to Officeworks following a competitive pitch | 3min read

AFR journalist Emma Connors joins Ogilvy PR | mUmBRELLA
Ogilvy PR has appointed Australian Financial Review journalist Emma Connors as the Senior Media Strategist for the company’s PR Health and Corporate division. | 10 min read

Designworks buys New Zealand’s The Church | B&T
The Church team will move into the Designworks Wellington campus on March 10, and have already begun collaborating on a number of joint projects and new pitches | 3 min read

 
 

What we’ve been reading | Friday 7th March


This demo of a real-life Hoverboard is incredible to watch, even if it’s fake.

Young people are angry and leaving TV in droves The Guardian
Vice chief executive Shane Smith on video journalism, North Korea – and why he won’t be taken over by a big rival | 10 min read


What branding means in the experience design era | TNW
How experience designers will fill an increasingly critical role in helping brands to determine how they translate and transfer themselves into a world where the virtual and the physical are one | 15 min read

This app can help you read up to 1,000 words a minute Time
Who says the Internet is making us less effective readers? ‘Spritz’ is devoted to turning you into a super-powered book devourer, conquering novels in a single bound | 2 min read

The tech industry is gloriously ridiculous TechCrunch
Shining a light on Silicon Valley as the new old Hollywood with VCs as producers, founders as directors, with most everyone desperate for blockbuster hits | 5 min read


Why England still builds Victorian prisons | Co.Design
In a word: control | 5 min read

Why teens are the most elusive and valuable customers in tech | Inc.
From Facebook to Snapchat, everyone wants a piece of the teen market. Here’s an in-depth look at what they want and why they’re so damn tough to hold onto | 15 min read

Mandela was right: the Foreign Language Effect | Mapping Ignorance
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” | 8 min read


A review of Her by Ray KurzweilKurzweil
“If she can have a voice, she can have a body” | 10 min read

David Lynch on consciousness, creativity and the brain | YouTube
How meditation can aid in the creative process | 8 min watch

ALT TXT | Seizure
Language is changing – and we are changing with it | 10 min read


Asking for of giving feedback? | 42 Floors
Try the 30% rule | 10 min read

The job after Jobs | Wall Street Journal
From the moment he became CEO of Apple, Tim Cook found himself in the shadow of his boss | 8 min read

How to make yourself work when you just don’t want toHBR
Can you imagine how much less guilt, stress, and frustration you would feel if you could somehow just make yourself do the things you don’t want to do when you are actually supposed to do them? | 5 min read


24hrs, 6 teams, 1 technology, 1 charity | Lifehacker
Over the weekend, six teams from DT Sydney and Melbourne competed in a hackathon to build a Google Glass application for the Red Cross. This is what they learned | 5 min read

A story of values | Inside Retail
While activism has been a defining characteristic of sub-cultural groups forever, lifestyle activism is now mainstream | 5 min read

Twitter Australia moves PR account from Thrive PR to Ogilvy | mUmBRELLA
Social media platform Twitter has moved its public relations account from independent firm Thrive PR to Ogilvy Australia | 5 min read

JWT Sydney wins The Smith Family account | IBB
Australian children’s charity The Smith Family has appointed JWT Sydney as its lead creative agency, following a competitive pitch conducted late in 2013 | 3 min read

 
 

What we’ve been reading | 28th February

“Eye of the Tiger” played on a modified dot matrix printer | Colossal

How we make gods | Nautilus

Taking lessons from the rise and fall of divinity in online games | 15 min read

How Facebook’s news feed algorithm works | The Federalist

Here’s a hint: it rewards ad purchases | 15 min read

How we can fix online video advertising’s weakest links | TNW

The content is finally great, the audience is already here. 2014 might just be the year in which online video advertising evolves into what it should have been from the very beginning | 8 min read


In sync | The Guardian

We still don’t know if infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters can produce the complete works of Shakespeare. But after two weeks of anarchy, it appears tens of thousands of people collectively controlling a single Game Boy can beat a famous game | 8 min read

Your memory rewrites the past and edits it with new experiences | The Independent

How memory reframes and edits events to create a story to fit your current world | 4 min read

Facebook’s identity crisis | Slate

User identity was the key to Facebook’s global domination–until it wasn’t | 4 min read

The dark psychology of being a good comedian | The Atlantic

New research shows that the best humour is both a little bit wrong and a little bit right. Is there something about comedians that makes them better at subversion? | 15 min read

How Medium took calculated design risks–and won | Co.Labs

“Going to Medium, the team didn’t know what it was going to be but we knew whatever we created, it had to be different, and a step forward” | 8 min read

The Periodic Table of storytelling | Co.Labs

All your tropes in one place | 20 min read

Management consultants vs. creative agencies | Peter J Thomson

Does the future hold room for both? | 10 min read

How Netflix reinvented HR | HBR

The 127 page PowerPoint on HR practices that Sheryl Sandberg has called one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley | 10 min read

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival launches Australia’s first-ever iBeacon campaign via DT & Ogilvy | Campaign Brief

Venues across the city are set to utilise the cutting-edge technology to encourage festival goers to explore the festival | 8 min read

17k LED lights, brought to life by tweets of hope | I.D.

Check out this beautiful piece by Designworks for Vivid Sydney