Friday, July 13, 2007

"Every valuable creative idea (concepts and perceptions, not artistic expression) must always be logical in hindsight. If it was not, we would never recognize the value of that idea. It could only seem a 'crazy idea'. We might catch up with it in twenty years time - or never, for it might truly be a crazy idea." Edward de Bono

"Life does not stand still. Where there is no progress there is disintegration. Today a thousand doors of enterprise are open to you, inviting you to useful work. To live at this time is an inestimable privilege, and a sacred obligation devolves upon you to make right use of your opportunities. Today is the day in which to attempt and achieve something worth while." Grenville Kleiser

"Men and women love inertia. And to my way of thinking, inertia is the silent killer of most businesses and, in some cases, entire industries as well. Inertia in business, both up and down the chain of decision making, is no different than inertia in other aspects of one's life; it has to do with protecting one's identity, immediate self interest and inter-personal relationships." Tom Asacker

The efficacy of out-thinking the competition to win is rarely, if ever, considered. First, thinking is hard work. As George Bernard Shaw famously said "Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week." It is tempting to substitute analysis for thinking and it is wrong. Edward de Bono writes...

"We have always depended on analysis not only to solve problems but also for our source of new ideas. Most people in education, science, business and economics still believe that the analysis of data will give us all the new ideas that we need. Unfortunately, this is not so. The mind can see only what it is prepared to see. That is why after a breakthrough in science we look back and find that all the needed evidence was available a long time before but could be seen only through the old idea (Kuhn's paradigm shift). There is a desperate need for the sort of 'idea work' or conceptual effort that Einstein provided in his field and Keynes in his. We know this is important, but we are content to let it happen by chance or genius because our traditions of thinking hold that analysis is enough...The brain has to use existing patterns and catchments. When we believe that we are analysing (sic) data we are really only trying out our stock of existing ideas to see which one might fit. It is true that if our stock of possible ideas is rich then our analysis will be adequate. But the analysis of data will not by itself produce new ideas." (I Am Right, You Are Wrong)

Tom Asacker is correct when he says inertia is a silent killer. My suggestion is inertia and analysis are a very dangerous combination. They lead us to see reality not as it is but as it was or as we wish it to be. Again Edward de Bono...

"Perhaps the greatest dangers are those of arrogance, complacency and the ability to defend that arrogance and complacency. An acknowledgement (sic) of inadequacy is a prelude to change. A defence (sic) of arrogance is a denial of any need to change...The arrogance of logic means that if we have a logically impeccable argument then we must be right" (ibidem)

Congrats & cheers: Michael Walsh new Interep prexy and COO.

Buzz: Facebook to Mr Softy for $6 billion? John Battelle's take on why Mark and his team (after passing on Yahoo's $1 billion) ain't sellers, here. The Scobleizer pov here w/comments. Kudos to John and Robert.

Report card - video: Nielsen-Netratings June, uvs. YouTube 51 mil, Google Video 18 mil, AOL 16 mil, Yahoo 15 mil.

First day at school - CBS-FM: My friend Rick Sklar said it best about new stations "Listen in four weeks." While it is unfair to judge any format initiative on the first day there are almost as many opinions on the CBS-FM debut as there are about which is the best slice in the city, which is the true or best Original Ray's or whether one really need go to Brooklyn for the finest burned meat. Allan Sniffen has devoted a board to the flip here. The Sean Ross First Listen is now on offer here. Dan Kelley gives his pov including some tunes he would have included out on the first day here. The Daily News writer David Hinckley on the change and the first day.

Failing to take Sklar's wise counsel we punched up the stream and played it in the office all afternoon and into the evening. The tech errors were to be expected but early on someone put audition audio of the phone bus on the stream and we were able to listen to callers being coached on their shout outs. The duration of this error was such that one wonders if no one was monitoring the stream or those that were thought someone else was already on it. The stream returned with Jack. A cache clear and relaunching the player brought back the main channel stream.

Between phone calls and meetings I was able to get a good sense of the first hours and they were not bad. The production, advertised as some of "the best work from across the company" was disappointingly average. It was good to hear Ziggie back doing the vo. The drops with city celebs including Senator Clinton are a good idea and deserve better staging (there's a solid branding element in there). The music log was not as strong as it needed to be on the first day. My thought being the station should have played more to the core and featured the best testing tunes not now being heard on other stations. Era, tempo and construction (sound) balance needed work, the log could have been cooked much better. The station's music was different but not different enough as played. The talent sounded up and good. The web page and player were, again, ok. Top of the page banner art icons need work. Aretha and Bruce - ok. Doobies - maybe. Rick James - no. Paul and John without Ringo and George?. Missed opportunity. Kudos for having something up and bonus points for putting up the videos, a nice touch. Not playing Hit the road Jack? A significant missed opportunity, shame. Playing Jack for a chump in his last hours - "who is Bob Shannon?" - priceless.

Overall, I give the first day an A for concept and a C+ for execution. It is certain to get better each day. Congrats and cheers to all involved. I'll wait four weeks before listening again.

Bonus: A collection of quotations on creativity, lateral thinking and problem solving here.