Web, technique and alternative thinking

Two days after the visit in the Apple store in Colorado to get help with a broken computer-battery, we got an e-mail in the inbox asking if we were happy with the service we got. A link to a website was provided, which in a few seconds directed us to a fill-in form on the web, where we easily could write down our opinion and send it back. As a customer you felt they were very interested in your opinion, in our case even though we never bought anything. We got the battery for free.

When Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential Candidate, set together his campaign organization, it’s said he wanted it to be different than traditional ones. He wanted the organization to be ”buttoned up like a business” combined with a voter-friendly grass-root attitude. A look at the website of Barack Obama shows that you can contact him, or the campaign organization, through e-mail, Facebook, Linkedin, Myspace, Flickr, BlackPlanet, Twister and other web networks. One of the factors behind the success of Obama’s campaign so far, is said to be his openness to critique and direct feedback from people on the street, from participants on convents to colleagues at his office. The tool for public use is an interactive and informative website where access to the candidate never appears to be far away. You get the feeling he is actually interested in your opinion.

Three components seem to be essential in an innovative approach, no matter if you run a cultural organisation, a business or build a campaign organization for President. Three entities that combined have the potential of creating new things: The latest in technical solutions and the World Wide Web; An open and low-hierarchical top-bottom organizational structure; and a creative working atmosphere.

At Pixar Animation Studios, the high profile technical solutions and constant pushing of new mathematical solutions for animated moves on the screen, combined with a continuously challenged creativity and open atmosphere, is said to be the key factors for success. At Namac, a small art and media organisation in San Francisco, the new website is built according to the newest ideas of interactivity. This is hoped to better involve members between meetings and to get direct feedback on their activities.

The working atmosphere and low levels between top and bottom is put forward by businesses like IDEO and Pixar Animation Studios. A working atmosphere of being casual, but deadly serious about quality and getting the work done is something many refer to as a typical Silicon Valley attitude. And you find it in many of the most innovative companies in US today. Apple started in Silicon Valley, the idea of Google was formed at Stanford University in the same area and the Design firm IDEO was founded there. It’s not suprising that Barack Obama showed such an interest in Google and in November 2007 decided to unveil his innovation agenda at one of their offices. The Campaign organization that he runs is most certainly inspired by the Silicon Valley attitude. It’s said to be open for initiatives, relatively casual, and deadly serious about quality and getting the work done on deadline.

Read about Barack Obama’s Campaign Organization in Rolling Stone, issue July 10-24, 2008.
Read about our study visits to Pixar Animation Studios, IDEO and Namac on this website.
Apple at Wikipedia and Google at Wikipedia.

7 Responses to “Web, technique and alternative thinking”

  1. Hi again Lotta,
    Thanks again for mentioning us! Just wanted to let you know that our new site launched!

    In regards to interactivity, we’ve instantiated RSS capability and can ‘pull’ RSS feeds from Member Organization websites to feed into our site – aggregate knowledge from other thought leaders field-wide. As soon as they post something on their website, it appears on our website, underneath their Organization Profile. It’s in the beginning stages, so we will see how it goes.


    P.S. Glad you got your battery fixed!

  2. Hi,
    Great with the new site! I will definetely look into it, the RSS capability sounds like a great thing. Inputs like that are a good way of both keeping informed and provide the latest discussed at different organisations in the world.

  3. [...] The Silicon Valley attitude was described to us on our visit to San Fransisco in June 2008. IDEO, a design firm placed in Silicon Valley describes the impact. Read about it here and here. [...]

  4. [...] short text on Obamas campaign was published here in July this [...]

  5. recognition you, unperturbed location, added to favorites.

  6. [...] attitude that has inspired many. We describe our visit to IDEO, reading about Barack Obama’s campaign organisation, and the visit at Pixar Animation Studios. An incubator in San Francisco within art and culture is [...]

  7. We watched a video on IDEO when I was in grphiac design school. It’s the holy grail of methodology as far as I’m concerned. How cool that we can all be inspired by them now! Good luck with your biz, I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, thought I’d end the lurking .

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