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Commentary on the media and the business of content.

Travels in Space, Time & Imagination at the TEDSalon in London

This blog post was adapted from an article written by Emily McManus, and it originally appeared on the TED blog. 

“Travels in Space, Time & Imagination” was the theme of a TEDSalon in London, which took place on Thursday 10 November and played to a packed house. This joint frog/TED event was the fifth of its kind. What started in 2009 as a small group of 75 guests has expanded to 250 people and a regular event on the London calendar each spring and fall.  

Steve Jobs' Bold Leadership

The following is an excerpt from A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business, the book written by frog Founder Hartmut Esslinger in 2008. Hartmut and frog worked with Steve Jobs at Apple in the early 1980s to create the “Snow White” design language for the Apple IIc computer, and again in 1985 when Jobs briefly left Apple and started the computer company NeXT, where Hartmut and frog designed the NeXT Cube. In this passage from the book, Hartmut offers a glimpse into those tumultuous years for Apple and Jobs, and some insights into why the Apple CEO’s creative and strategic vision became so effective.

Seeing the Future and Supporting Bold Initiatives
By Hartmut Esslinger

To take another look at the power of bold and inspired leadership, let’s return to the story of Apple and its revolutionary leader, Steve Jobs. After I joined the company back in 1982, I quickly realized that Steve was almost fanatically focused on building Apple into the greatest consumer technology brand in the world—a focus that hasn’t wavered over the years. He has a sometimes-dictatorial manner that ticks off a lot of people, but he’s also a charismatic leader who inspires a deep-seated trust among his workers. Steve demands a lot from his team, and typical corporate mediocrity is not an option. He is and always has been the sole authority in determining what makes an “insanely great” Apple product and what doesn’t. Fortunately, his judgment is almost always right on—and when it isn’t, it’s close.

Are You Connected?

In my line of work, you have to keep up with the digital Joneses. So I carved out an unscheduled hour a few weeks ago to set up a Google + account. Or rather, I started to set it up. It’s still unfinished and somewhat mysterious to me, and it’s going to take a bigger effort to learn about the circles, huddles, sparks, and other idiosyncrasies of this newest online effort to connect. But when? Who has the time for all this socializing?

TEDGlobal 2011: Day 3

Here's the third full day of the conference. Another solid group of speakers.

TEDGlobal 2011: Day Two

Day two of TEDGlobal is in the books. Here's a rundown of what happened on stage.

TEDGlobal 2011: Day One

Day one of the Stuff of Life is over. Here is a brief look at the day's talks.

The "Stuff" in the Stuff of Life

Pre-conference TEDGlobal is in the books, the first session is near, and after days of wondering what the “stuff” in this year’s Stuff of Life theme could mean, I may have a start. Thinking about stuff automatically includes thinking about things. And indeed we are fond of our stuff: computers, cars, Saturday jeans, running shoes, and whatever other objects you value. But the stuff of life is not only objects (and besides, you can’t have a four-day conference only about things). The Stuff of Life is actually the stuff in life—inspiration and disappointment, marriage and divorce, life and death.

All Up in My Grill: Personal (Digital) Space

A few years ago, I wrote a book called Manspace: A Primal Guide to Marking Your Territory, which was about the spaces men create for themselves, from the basement bar to the backyard shed to the bedroom recording studio. The photo above (and those below) is my old Manspace, built by yours truly in 2004. Now that I'm moving houses, the idea of personal space is coming up again (I'm also headed to Newcastle, England, in about three weeks to give a talk and presentation on personal space and the man cave at this year's Thinking Digital Conference so I need to hone my talking points).

Content This Week: Tabletapalooza

Magazine publishers are sure that 2011 is the year of the tablet. Again. According to the New York Times, last year was supposed to be the year of the tablet but it wasn’t because not enough people owned the devices. Now, that trend is poised to change with some suggesting that we are close to a “reading boom.” Lack of critical tablet mass is one theory as to why last year wasn’t all that great for digital versions of magazines. Others think that publishers just didn’t get it right. After the novelty of the magazine app wore off—and it wore off quickly, according to Frédéric Filloux at Monday Note—sales of iPad magazine apps dropped significantly from June to November. Why?

Re-Framing in London

The third TED Salon in London supported by frog.

In partnership with frog, a TED Salon took place in London earlier this week at the Unicorn Theatre, a cozy venue near the Tate Modern on the south side of the Thames. It was the third such event together, and this time 250 local TEDsters attended to hear 15 speakers talk in two sessions about a variety of subjects on the theme of “Re-Framing.” Master of ceremonies and TED’s European director Bruno Giussani explained the theme this way: “When films shift camera angles, they shift a scene… they literally reframe; that’s what we’re trying to do tonight… to look at things from a different perspective.” It was also the occasion to debut the special TEDGlobal edition of design mind, which covered the 2010 Oxford conference and the theme “And Now the Good News.”