Giftopia: How to Innovate Your Gift-Giving

Instead of devoting all of your cognitive energy to choosing between the reindeer sweater and the iTunes gift card, why not get creative with the act of gift giving this year?

giftopia

Get creative with the act of gift giving

American adults will spend on average nearly $800 on gifts this holiday season according to the Gallup poll. That’s a decent chunk of change that we shell out in cash or put on our credit cards to express our affection, gratitude or commitment to our loved ones, friends and co-workers. But in this era of technological disruption and entrepreneurial innovation why has the act of gift giving changed so little?

We might not always think of it this way, but most gifts in a market economy such as ours, are economic exchanges. Say you walk into a store or go online and find the perfect Marc Jacobs bag. And then you pay for the bag.  Now you own it. And then–Happy Birthday! or Merry Christmas!–the act of giving the bag, properly wrapped and carded, transfers the ownership of the gift from you to the giftee.

But is that all there is? Why not get creative with the act of gift giving instead of devoting all of our cognitive energy to choosing between the reindeer sweater and the iTunes gift card? Continue reading “Giftopia: How to Innovate Your Gift-Giving”

The Google Doodler

The satirical set of diagrams that illustrated the lead business section in the story in The New York Times last Friday was the work of a french designer at Google who doodles in his off hours.

ManuCornet OrgCharts
Illustrated by Manu Cornet (2011)

THE SATIRICAL SET OF DIAGRAMS THAT ILLUSTRATED THE LEAD BUSINESS SECTION STORY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES LAST FRIDAY WAS THE WORK OF A FRENCH SOFTWARE ENGINEER AT GOOGLE WHO “DOODLES” IN HIS OFF HOURS.

We were curious about what led Manu Cornet, who works on Google’s Gmail, to create this set of six company culture diagrams that made its way around the Web back in 2011 before resurfacing last week as New York Times art work. How, we wondered, did Cornet come to envision Apple’s corporate structure as a pinwheel and Microsoft’s as a show down at the OK Corral?

So we asked him. And he said:

“I always keep a long list of illustration ideas though I don’t have much time to draw them. I must have been thinking about one of those company’s structures and thinking how Apple with Steve Jobs (before he passed away) must really be centralized to allow him to pretty much have the final word on all matters. So I started imagining a circular structure with Jobs at the center.”

From there, Cornet wondered: What would other companies’ cultures look like? Continue reading “The Google Doodler”