Mining Language and the Power of Story

Unbroken_Louis Zamperini
Making Sense:

From the evocative power of words to the epic examples of human endeavor we mine language and real world events to create new mind opening experiences — sometimes life-altering.

  • The Weird Science of Naming New Products. NYT: The oddity is that for all the weight a company places on choosing names, the decisions arise from a process that couldn’t be less corporate. There are no naming metrics, no real way to know if a new name helps or hinders. The field attracts people who are comfortable with such ambiguity. […] namers are stand-up comics, photographers, rappers, linguists and poets. […] What namers share is a love of words and a sensitivity to them, and they will tell you that that sensitivity is what separates them from amateurs.
  • The power of story. Aeon magazine: The careers of many great novelists and filmmakers are built on the assumption, conscious or not, that stories can motivate us to re-evaluate the world and our place in it. New research is lending texture and credence to what generations of storytellers have known in their bones – that books, poems, movies, and real-life stories can affect the way we think and even, by extension, the way we act.

Making Do:

Some counter-intuitive and counter-cultural (we worship at the altar of doing) moves.

  • When It Comes to Digital Innovation, Less Action, More Thought. HBR: Our failure highlights a hidden challenge facing innovators today. The simplicity and affordability of innovation has led to too much action without thought.
  • 11 Problems Music Can Solve. Mental Floss: A broken heart – Not the kind caused by rejection, but the kind caused by a heart attack. Music can help patients who are recovering from heart attacks and heart surgery by lowering blood pressure, slowing the heart rate and reducing anxiety.

Making It:

Data and tools are not helping us make better decisions, they only delay the moment in which we need to make choices.

  • A New Agency Model. Mark Pollard: many businesses are feeling stuck as the business world around them comes unstuck. […] What would happen if we removed the noise from the system? We believe that removing the noise from buying, working with, and working at a creative company will attract ambitious clients and talent, get to exceptional work, and help an agency uncover new ways of doing business.
  • Putting Thought Into Things. iA: Our role as designers is to put thought into things. And that’s why most websites, clients, and jobs suck, and will always suck. Everybody hates to think, because everybody hates to listen, everybody hates to reflect, and we all hate to use our imagination. Structuring websites is painful because thinking is painful. It is less painful to just rely on a technique. It is less painful to blame the client, the method, or the organization.


P.S.: I'm starting something related to using conversation as a tool to help you get more of what you want (and stay away from what you don't want).  To learn more, including early access to our community, sign up and get first dibs here.

[image courtesy Louis Zamperini via Unbroken]