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    • Sundance’s Best Kept Secret: The Docs

      There is no doubt that the Sundance Film Festival carries a lot of hype. Celebs show up promoting their film, take part in a film forum or two, hit a few parties, and casually brush shoulders with the common folk. It’s also showtime for film executives. They show up like a high school athletic scout – keeping…

    • Discarding Old Habits

      Self-Directed Learning and Its Unexpected Challenges Day 37 of working at Rule29. The days are growing shorter, the weather more bitter and I’m finally seeing my project come together in a valuable way. But structuring my own brand alignment research has been tougher than I expected. From defining objectives and creating interview questions to qualitative…

    • Unraveling Rule29

      An Unofficial (and Working) Guide to Navigating Rule29, from an Experience Institute Fellow.    When you start working at a new place, you might feel lost or anxious during your first few days. And if you’re like me, you think about every possible thing that could happen the night before your first day and lose…

    • Story Makes the Whiskey Go Around

      Recently I had an opportunity to holiday in Scotland and visit some of my favorite whiskey distilleries with some of my favorite people. We visited the Speyside region (located appropriately along the Spey river), whose distilleries tend to produce a smoother, less peaty/smoky scotch than you might experience from the Islay region per say. (For those non-whisky drinkers or wanting…

    • Design for Good: Is It Too Much?

      I recently attended a conference where a well-known speaker said he didn’t believe design could change the world. Although he thinks design has the potential for great influence, he suggested that perhaps the “design for good” believers should take a log off the fire. He said the expectation to feel responsible for changing the world…

    • Design as Persuasive Art

      A friend much wiser and smarter than I once told me that design is a “persuasive art.” He explained that, while art inspires behavior, design intends to change it. Although my dear friend is probably not the first to make this assertion, his observation caught me by surprise. I couldn’t deny that it was true…

    • The Importance of Understanding Culture

      We can get inspired; we can learn how to upgrade our skills—but if we are not in the right culture, or helping to create the right culture, we are missing out on our best work opportunities. Culture is an important component of any company; in fact, I would argue that it may be the most…

    • Focus on Strengths

      Do you ever sit down and think, “Man, I’m really good at this or that”? Too often, it seems like we focus on what is wrong with us; we think that if we can just fix that one thing – lose some weight, master this extra skill, or whatever that thing is, all would be…

    • Looking Versus Seeing

      Between dinner and bedtime last night, I received a similar message via two different mediums. One came from a Seinfeld re-run I was watching as the loudmouthed George Costanza (ironically) pitched NBC on a “show about nothing.” George cried out in his presentation to NBC execs: “The foundation of all entertainment is story!” An hour…

    • The Most Intriguing Social Experiment

      Last Fall, Justin and I were invited by our good friends David Gould and Joe Cilek to spend 48 hrs in downtown Las Vegas. And not that downtown. The old downtown. The downtown that was vacated throughout the last 40-50 years in favor of the glitz and glam of “The Strip.” In fact, significant portions…