pixar_street1Over at Fast Company, Evie Nagy interviewed Pixar alums about the applicable lessons they’ve learned, while steeped in animation giant’s creative Kool-Aids, for building their own company.

Our conversations revealed recurring themes about applying Pixar’s principles in other organizations: delight and storytelling as driving forces, the elimination of ego as management strategy, the idea that creativity can come from anyone, and the balance between patience and action. Each is a philosophy and approach that former employees have adopted in their new organizations to create revolutionary products and strong teams, and can be translated into any business.

We second what Shawn Blanc says, “so many great nuggets in this article about creativity, community, quality, and more.” The big one for me is about organizational culture. It’s a difficult thing to nail at large companies. Harder still for small companies to maintain once they get big.

I’ve got nothing. Does this look good? Does this look bad? Are they still of alien origin? I can’t wait to totally forget when this is released in the theater only to catch it on Netflix in six months.

I think director Jonathan Liebesman has a good flick in him, but I worry this won’t be it because Michael Bay. However, if anyone could sell the inherent campiness of this it would be Megan Fox. [via slashfilm]

rose-bowling-ball“There was a time when professional bowlers reigned supreme. In the ‘golden era’ of the 1960s and 70s, they made twice as much money as NFL stars, signed million dollar contracts, and were heralded as international celebrities. After each match, they’d be flanked by beautiful women who’d seen them bowl on television, or had read about them in Sports Illustrated. Today, the glitz and glamour has faded. Pro bowlers supplement their careers with second jobs, like delivering sod, or working at a call center. They share Motel 6 rooms on tour to save on travel expenses, and thrive on the less-than-exciting dime of beef jerky sponsorships.”

beautifuldeathTo prime the pump for the upcoming season four premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ (next Sunday, April 6th), HBO is celebrating a notable death from each episode. They are stunning; gotta admit: the image for Ned’s death still left a lump in my throat.

If that’s not enough, here’s one final trailer ahead of this season kicking you in the feels.

Great advice and perspective from Ogilivy One CEO, Brian Fetherstonhaugh, about how to frame your career long-term:

The big and stunningly obvious conclusion from Career Math is that a career is a long journey, often lasting more than 40 years. Most people vastly under-estimate how long a career is and miss opportunities as a result. Like a marathon runner, you need an ambition, a plan, some preparation, and a smart sense of pacing. You need nourishment and refreshment along the way. You need the drive to carry forward despite the inevitable pain and hardship. You need fans.

To me, successful careers are written in three great chapters, each lasting up to 15 years. The stages are quite different. And your career strategy needs to evolve along the way.

File this under: Everything old is new again. Photographer Quozop shot photos of hip millennials with their grandparents and then had them switch outfits to take a second photo. There’s something intriguing here about fashion, genealogy, etc. etc. that I can’t quite put my finger on in the  series titled “Spring-Autumn.”

Here’s an example:

Spring-Autumn-by-Qozop-05-685x658 Spring-Autumn-by-Qozop-06-685x654

[via twentytwowords]

7daf3a65eHanna Rosin’s cover story in the most recent issue of The Atlantic, The Overprotected Kid, is mostly about how parenting has evolved from “hands off” to “hands always on,” in just a single generation, but it’s also about the history and psychology of playground design — a fascinating subject!

One common concern of parents these days is that children grow up too fast. But sometimes it seems as if children don’t get the space to grow up at all; they just become adept at mimicking the habits of adulthood. As Hart’s research shows, children used to gradually take on responsibilities, year by year. They crossed the road, went to the store; eventually some of them got small neighborhood jobs. Their pride was wrapped up in competence and independence, which grew as they tried and mastered activities they hadn’t known how to do the previous year. But these days, middle-class children, at least, skip these milestones. They spend a lot of time in the company of adults, so they can talk and think like them, but they never build up the confidence to be truly independent and self-reliant.

Lately parents have come to think along the class lines defined by the University of Pennsylvania sociologist Annette Lareau. Middle-class parents see their children as projects: they engage in what she calls “concerted cultivation,” an active pursuit of their child’s enrichment. Working-class and poor parents, meanwhile, speak fewer words to their children, watch their progress less closely, and promote what Lareau calls the “accomplishment of natural growth,” perhaps leaving the children less prepared to lead middle-class lives as adults. Many people interpret her findings as proof that middle-class parenting styles, in their totality, are superior. But this may be an overly simplistic and self-serving conclusion; perhaps each form of child-rearing has something to recommend it to the other.

I grew up as a young child in the missing children’s milk cartoon era of the 80s where you were taught never to talk to strangers, but I think my parents did a great job raising me. They were involved with sports, made sure I finished my homework, but mostly the only unbreakable rule was be home for dinner at 5pm. As much as the family dinner rule drove me crazy — since none of my other friends had anything like that — looking back at it years removed I understand the value family dinner time brought to my development.

Further, there is something to be said about the social skills learned hanging out in a neighborhood with a lot of other kids, having a bike to ride across town to your other group of friends, having to arrange/cajole/organize playing pick-up sports games, and aimlessly exploring a scary environment.

Unless you get out and travel, you’ve probably only seen photos of famous landmarks from one well-known angle. For example, the Taj Mahal in India:

zoomed-out-landscapes-4-1

Which makes it look majestic, sublime, the work of unparalleled beauty that it definitely is. However, when zoomed out to include the landscape of the surrounding area, a vastly different picture of the Taj Mahal is revealed — one with context.

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Not that the context takes away from the landmark, but it’s just funny how much perspective creates a different impression. See more famous landmarks in context and from their most well-known views.

If you need to outsource common household chores you have no time or interest in doing, like laundry, dog walking, etc., it seems Porter could be a good bet.

The new company markets itself on the back of Uber’s reputation, which has totally disrupted the model for hailing temporary transportation (ie, a taxi or town car) using a mobile app. Right now Porter is only available in LA1, so it’s hard to say whether the implementation is as good as the idea. Also, it costs $15 per hour for the service employees you hire.


1. The LA Weekly article notes: “By summer 2014, they plan to be in San Diego and San Francisco – and by year’s end, Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.”

Nate Silver finally relaunches FiveThirtyEight with the backing of ESPN:

Our methods are not meant to replace “traditional” or conventional journalism.3 We have the utmost admiration for journalists who gather original information and report original stories. Our staff includes alumni from traditional news organizations like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and The Washington Post (along with others from digital news organizations, blogs and from outside journalism entirely).

Still, I would never have launched FiveThirtyEight in 2008, and I would not have chosen to broaden its coverage so extensively now, unless I thought there were some need for it in the marketplace. Conventional news organizations on the whole are lacking in data journalism skills, in my view. Some of this is a matter of self-selection. Students who enter college with the intent to major in journalism or communications have above-average test scores in reading and writing, but below-average scores in mathematics. Furthermore, young people with strong math skills will normally have more alternatives to journalism when they embark upon their careers and may enter other fields.

This is problematic. The news media, as much as it’s been maligned, still plays a central a role in disseminating knowledge. More than 80 percent of American adults spend at least some time with the news each day. (By comparison, about 25 percent of Americans of all ages are enrolled in educational programs.)

Meanwhile, almost everything from our sporting events to our love lives now leaves behind a data trail. Much of this data is available freely or cheaply. There is no lack of interest in exploring and exploiting it: Google searches for terms like “big data” and “data analytics” have grown at exponential rates, almost as quickly as the quantity of data itself has grown.

And yet, as I describe in my book, “big data” has not yet translated into widespread gains in economic conditions, human welfare or technological growth. Some individual companies and industries, and some branches of science, have employed data in constructive ways. But “Moneyball” stories are more the exception than the rule.

Beautifully designed site. Between this and Grantland there’s almost no reason to visit ESPN.com anymore, aside from scanning scores and headlines.