Looking Ahead: Trends to Opportunities

Business are demand-driven. They should be able to capture what the customer really wants and offer it in an exciting package. However, we see that the market is very volatile that one must adapt to the changing environment. To do this, business players need to have insights on what’s hot and what’s being demanded by the market. And JWT Intelligence offers it in trend reports as shown in this page.

JWT Intelligence provides people in general about trends in many industries – travel, mobile, movies, for example. What’s more is that the trend reports come for free! All you need to do is sign up (which is quick and can be easily done under 1 minute) and voila! You can get your reports downloadable in a click.

The tagline of JWT Intelligence is “Converting Cultural Shifts into Opportunity”, which is true in all senses. By looking at market trends, business players could capture signals to prepare them to adjust to the market. Say that you’re a travel agency and you can get a forecast and insight on the travel industry freely, wouldn’t you be happy? You can adjust your product offerings and suit it to the market demand. Since in businesses “Customers Are King”, listening to market demand is a #1 priority!

I was quite surprised that JWT Intelligence offered the report for free. I was curious to know whether this is a marketing strategy to cut off several key information so that people would get a glimpse and would be more willing to spend money. It was a very pleasant surprise when knowing that it is not a lie!

I tried downloading one of the trend report, which is the Travel: Changing Course trend report. As a self-proclaimed travel enthusiast, I was also excited to read the trend report. Satisfied was I when I see the content of the report. It was not boring, it was well-presented, it was visually appealing, and it was really informative.

They present statistics, observations, and analysis of companies in a very informative manner that an amateur like me could even enjoy reading the report trend! It was also a useful insight for those who have a business in the travel industry, since they’ll know what to expect and what to prepare for the upcoming shift.

For JWT Intelligence, I send you my love and gratitude for making this trend reports publicly available.

Thank you.

2011 Ideas: were they attainable?

2011 seems..so distant. It was 2 years ago. It might not be that old, actually, but in this ever-changing business and technology environment, 2 years are indeed distant. In fact, ideas that were cool a day ago can be dull the next day! This blog lists down 45 Business Ideas They Loved in 2011.

Since ideas are not all attainable, here is my personal opinion and view regarding the ideas that could/should/has already been applied in real life – and those who should/could not been applied:

SHOULDS!

  1. Personal Social Media Consultant
    Social Media is everything right now. Digital Marketing seems like a sexy business nowadays, with people and business players getting all crazy with the social media frenzy. Social Media is a fine way to market/promote your product, since it can engage a two-side discussion, cheap, can create a viral marketing, guerrilla marketing, and can drive people’s opinion through word-of-mouth. Ever since the rise of the social media, companies are starting to do branding through this social media.
    People, just like products, must also brand themselves; Arya Wiguna-Demi Tuhan, Raditya Dika and his silly, laughable trait, Nadine Chandrawinata and Nadya Hutagalung and eco-friendliness. A personal social media consultant can help people in branding themselves, be it for a job-seeking candidates, celebrity-wannabes, or people who just want many attention. Digital marketing consultants for companies now exist, so, why shouldn’t a personal social media consultant?
  2. Tablet App Development
    This falls not under the shoulds, but more like the duh-s. Nowadays, who doesn’t keep updated with the latest tablet/smartphones? Apps for tablets and smartphones are now no longer alien and hi-tech for people. With the rapid development and competition for the industry, app development (in a wider context, not only tablets) is a must.
  3. Energy Efficiency Consultant
    I am really enthusiastic in being energy-efficient. I want my house to be eco-friendly/green, wanting solar panel, biopore, rainwater filtration, green roof, etc, etc. However, my background in Management does not come with effective energy efficient planning. Every time I read articles about green technology, I am startled by all the facts and valuation I read – they all seem new every time. Thus, should there be an Energy Efficiency Consultant, I would want to hire them.
  4. E-Commerce Warehouse/Shipping
    E-Commerce is also growing very rapidly, with more and more sites and stores opening up e-commerce. From a friend of mine who is starting up a similar business, the strongest advice he always said was “always, always plan detailed operations and supply chain management.” Warehousing and shipping could be a very tricky part in the industry, remembering that thousands of products are being sent to thousands of customers in hundreds of cities!

SHOULD NOT!

  1. Memory Organizer
    Really? The detailed description in the site is that this idea organizes “memories” stored in cameras, video recorders, phones, laptops, etc. I oppose this idea because, well, it could be handy, but it would be not so significant. Best attempt on creating integrated cross-device organizer are with synchronized account.
  2. Affordable Computer Maintenance
    I do not know how computer maintenance is like in more developed countries, but I see that affordable computer maintenance is abundant in Indonesia. Be it hardware or software, people can fix it in a relatively easy way. I oppose this idea because, well, it is already available.

There are 40 others ideas which I find a bit boring since the idea is not that unique nor innovative. Kudos to the writers, though!

 

Designs, Designs, Designs

Happy are those who are constantly visually pleased. That’s why good designs exist. This site jolts down not one, not two, but eighty design blogs that can help people propel their design-savvy mind.

At first, I was skeptical. The pink lady in the top left corner with bad typography of the logo (and seemingly lo-res as well) is just very annoying that I doubt this website could give trusted design blogs. Since I’ve seen lots of design blogs, I was also skeptical because it usually contains a plethora of images that show creative packaging and creative ads that are often repeatedly shown in several different sites.

I skimmed through the post and all I can think of in the beginning was “why would people show header images and links only without further explanation of the difference between one site and another?” I hated it. I hated the fact that the post doesn’t elaborate how a specific site could help enhance creativity. What is the uniqueness of the site?

When I was about to close, I scrolled up again and saw this one text “Logos & Typography”. I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY! Hence, I stopped scrolling randomly and clicked on the most convincing site seen through its header image: Logo Design Love.

Screenshot of the site

Screenshot of the site

It was full of good discussion on logos and how logos can be really powerful in branding. Additionally, its design is so simplistic and easy on the eyes! I browsed through several article titles and in fact, I am interested by many articles there. Satisfied by Logo Design Love, I continue clicking on other sites that fall under the logos & typography category.

Second encounter was ilovetypography. As a typography enthusiast, my hopes are set high yet I forced my expectations to be low as I was already too skeptical with people who claim to have good design yet still put annoying colors and bad typeface.

Was I satisfied? Very much.

I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY! WOOHOO!

I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY! WOOHOO!

Again, the site design was so simple that the fonts and all typography the site wants to highlight becomes more seen and more awe-inspiring. It has this tab titled “Font Game” that I was so excited to download it on my smartphone.

Now enough with the typography and proceeding to the creativeopera site. I see that the site divided the design blogs into several categories, which are:

  1. All-in-one
  2. Inspiration
  3. Tutorials
  4. Web Development/Code
  5. Freelance
  6. Logos & Typography
  7. Advice & Discussion
  8. Freebies & Giveaways
  9. Blogging
  10. Micro-blog/Links

Personally, I am interested in the Freebies (duh, who doesn’t?) and typography. So, my initial judgment was incorrect, since I didn’t really browse through the sites. After site-walking, I found the post useful!

Teaching Methods & Creativity

One of the most trending topics in the media – both social and printed – in Indonesia is the change of curriculum students will undergo starting in the academic year 2013/2014. Many have criticized the change of curriculum, saying that the curriculum will make students think less critically and don’t have an in-depth understanding of the lessons taught. I am also the one criticizing the change. I think the change was unnecessary, for the syllabus of the lessons being taught isn’t that faulty. Here is my complete critic for the curriculum change.

I think that Indonesia’s education shift should be focusing more on how the teaching is conducted, not the content itself. Changing the content, no matter in what way, without changing the method of teaching will not be as significant as changing the method. I agree on methods where students are being catered personally based on their own talent and interest. I agree on methods that encourage students to think critically, not to memorize formulae. I agree on methods where students are able to express themselves, their interests through their tasks, not answering in such rigid, textbook-based manner. I agree on creative teaching methods.

Reading this article, I couldn’t help but relate the content with the buzz of curriculum changes. There’s nothing I want more than give articles like this – those supporting creative teaching methods – to the Ministry of Education to underline the importance of teaching methods.

People who oppose the idea of having a creativity enhancing method often based the argument on the left brain being the major contributor to logical thinking, hence heavily related to one’s intellect. However I would like to cite my Creativity and Innovation lecturer who once said it is the balance between left and right brain that produces the most outstanding idea. It is the ability to think outside the box yet being able to produce a sequence or standard of procedures that will bear the best innovations.

Enhancing creativity thus becomes an important thing to do in early age as this will develop their thinking for later stages of life.

The article shared above raises four points on how to enhance creativity in school children. Below are the points and my opinion regarding the points:

  1. Word Games

    The author argues that word games can help “students build on existing concepts, knowledge and ideas”. The word games proposed by the author are those of connecting one word to other related words or guessing a word in a cluster.

    I say this is a good proposal. As someone who loves word games in her early ages (and still do), I find word games interesting since I am subconsciously trained to relate one things to other in a quicker pace. This trains the brain to think quicker.

  2. Visual Thinking Games

    Visual thinking game proposed by the author in the article is to have the children guess or give their perspective on an abstract drawing. This is a great idea. What is creativity but seeing things from different perspectives and judgments?

    This is a direct, practical way to train that mindset.

  3. Drawing Games

    Creativity is often related to art – hence visual thinking games would naturally appear on the list. Perhaps by making a guessing game to a peer, a child would find a way to conceal his drawing the best way possible, thus making the opponent harder to guess. Finding a unique way to conceal drawing would then enhance creativity.

  4. Teaching Tips

    This section I love the most. As I’ve risen before in the first paragraphs, teaching method is often the crucial part of education. “Asking certain types of questions”, “pick their own topics for presentation”, “group collaboration” are good examples on how students can express themselves and will graduate as one unique, intellect human being in contrast with the fabricated, theoretical-based robots a one-direction learning would produce.

In general, I love the points raised by the author and I also agree on the point that creativity should be enhanced and catered since early ages as it will perfect their way of thinking.

I hope the Ministry of Education get excited at this the way I do.

Eclectic Curiosity

Creative Generalist | Eclectic Curiosity

Don’t you love its tagline?!

My first reaction upon opening this website is oh dear Lord I fell in love with the tagline and the fontface. The other 1 minute I spent on admiring the wordings they used in the website. Wander & Wonder. Mix & Match. Synthesize & Summarize. Link & Leap. Experience & Empathize. I fell in love.

For a girl who has a tendency to overuse the figure of speech alliteration and repetition, I fell in love. For a girl who often abuse thesaurus to look for hipstery synonym, eclectic curiosity just clicks. For a girl who claims herself as a curious person, eclectic curiosity is just perfect.

I personally love the site. Not only it has brilliant ideas and examples of creative products, it is not boring. Several “creative/inspiring sites” usually only put a plethora of images with a paragraph explaining the product and comment button and like button. Creative Generalist is a curator. Curating creative ideas, idea for creativity, pleasing people with, well, eclectic curiosity.

It has bookshelf page, showing recommended books. It has curation page, with links to other interesting pages (whom I already know some of). It has the miscellany page, with mixture of bizarre and fun video, interesting pictures, creative products, slides of interestingness, etc etc. It has vacation page, with links to external conferences or events that can increase ideavity/creativity.

It is complete.

Ideation, unlike creativity, is not a specialized activity. Ideativity and creativity are not the same thing. Ideas require a divergent, generalist approach (“a wide net”) while creative endeavours require the opposite: a convergent, specialist approach (“a deep drill”).

Limiting Creativity

A screenshot of Tinsiders

A screenshot of Tinsiders

When I first opened this blog, all I could think of was: “Oh, it’s just the usual, hipstery, creative pictures you often find in Tumblr.” I was already skeptical and thought to myself that most probably, I’ve seen 75% of the pictures posted here in Tumblr.

Turns out I was wrong.

It is true that I’ve seen countless creative packaging and product designs in various sources, namely Tumblr, 9gag, library books, and concept magazines. And, as usual, I am always amazed by these creative stuffs. But as you browse through a horde of images, you get overwhelmed by creativity until you feel you’ve had enough and stop browsing because either 1) you feel bad for not being creative 2) you feel so creative that you have this urge to stop browsing and start doing something, um, well, creative 3) you do not want to make your creative brain limited by seeing these products too much they become a benchmark – I often find the most creative things while not having a specific reference and just scribble something out of thin air.

Thus, when I open this blog, I don’t feel excited at first. The content must be revolving around something geeky and tech-savvy with modern, silvery touch here and there.

But then when I scan quickly through the square flipcharts, I realize, you can’t limit creativity.

It is true that I prefer not too get overwhelmed by creative packaging so that I will not have my brain limited, but I’ve been too arrogant. I forget the fact that there are thousands of people, designers out there, that in their own way invent creative products – and the products are always expanding. Seeing tinsiders, I realized that my perceived “creative benchmark” has expired and constantly expands into something bigger. Once in a while, browsing through new images would excite you and freshen up our dull brain.

Here are the products in Tinsiders I find amusing (and new to me):

Smile!

Smile!

Smile Alarm Clock

I am the kind of person whose day is heavily affected by my morning mood – and this clock might just be the answer for my off-days.

The product might be still in its R&D phase, but I love the idea! An alarm clock that can only be turned off by smiling is amusing! This clock would force the user to smile each morning, and psychologically, it’s good for our selves.

Using the not-so-new face recognition, I guess this clock brings a new addition to the rapidly expanding technology of facial recognition usage.

 

 

 

Always First?

Always First?

Always First?

Oh, how I love satirical ad.

The logistics world is full of pleasing Ad (referring to UPS’s catchy tune). This FedEx ad by two Miami Ad School students is an addition to Cahya’s-list-of-brilliant-satirical-ad. Speeding down the road with this ad would create a perception that FedEx is always first off other logistics, namely DHL  (it is not printed clearly yet anyone can easily guess what the yellow half of the bus represents).

Yum!

Yum!

Colgate Ad

Who does not love a good ice cream?

While kids are happily eating ice cream, parents might worry about the kid’s dental health. Colgate makes a brilliant connection between the two rivals by advertising in the ice cream. So kids who dear their ice cream so, after finishing the good chocolate icing and vanilla ice cream realizes the need to brush their teeth – with Colgate! And not only in ice cream, the picture collages in the lower left side shows that it also places ad in lollipops.

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All in all I might stubbornly say that these pictures aren’t new, but I definitely agree that these pictures are indeed creative and exciting!