The idea of making isn't just reserved for handmade bikes, artisan pickles, and Arduino helicopters. The future of making is a product of our human needs and the possibilities we create through technology. This is about a larger shift towards making and the unexpected movements that might occur. It's about how everyone from you to your grandma might design, make and consume products or experiences in the next 10 to 15 years. In this SxSW Interactive session Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, and Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, will host a conversation that considers how we might fashion new tools for the future and then how those tools might influence our lives.
In this funny and blunt talk, Larry Smith, A professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions. (Filmed at TEDxUW.)
A great infographic from Info We Trust:
How do creatives – composers, painters, writers, scientists, philosophers – find the time to produce their opus? Mason Currey investigated the rigid Daily Rituals that hundreds of creatives practiced in order to carve out time, every day, to work their craft. Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works.
There are enough data to visualize a portion of the hundreds of creative lifestyles.
Ashwin Srinivasan, managing director, and Bryan Kurey, senior director at CEB, share the results of a study on quality and working with a bias towards it in Harvard Business Review:
For two years CEB has conducted research exploring how companies can create a culture in which employees “live” quality in all their actions—where they are passionate about quality as a personal value rather than simply obeying an edict from on high. We define a “true culture of quality” as an environment in which employees not only follow quality guidelines but also consistently see others taking quality-focused actions, hear others talking about quality, and feel quality all around them.
We interviewed the quality function leaders at more than 60 multinational corporations, conducted an extensive review of academic and practitioner research, and surveyed more than 850 employees in a range of functions and industries and at all levels of seniority. Some of what we learned surprised us. Most notably, many of the traditional strategies used to increase quality—monetary incentives, training, and sharing of best practices, for instance—have little effect. Instead, we found, companies that take a grassroots, peer-driven approach develop a culture of quality, resulting in employees who make fewer mistakes—and the companies spend far less time and money correcting mistakes.
We’ve all got different ideas about what’s reasonable. I think drinking a meat smoothie is a sign of the impending end of civilization, but I’m totally fine with wearing the same thing every day — a la Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, or Barack Obama — in order to save time. And we’ve all got a different appetite for work, a different sense of where to draw the line. However, as James Allworth pointed out in our own SXSW panel on why men work so many hours, it’s tough to stick to those limits when the rewards of work are immediate, and the rewards of life accrue more slowly. (To some parents of teenagers, these rewards may seem practically glacial.) It becomes tempting to reserve the best of ourselves for the short-term gains of work and “automate” the long game of life.
Still, I do think each of us has a Rubicon — wherever it is, and whenever we find it. On crossing it, we may start to see luxury not as having a personal assistant or a weekly massage, but as doing something useless simply because we felt like doing it — not because it made us smarter, or thinner, or more productive.