ChittahChattah Quickies
By Portigal Consulting at 10:02 pm, Tuesday January 25 2011
  • [from julienorvaisas] Japan’s Smokestacks Draw Industrial-Strength Sightseers [WSJ.com] – [This sub-culture is exerting economic influence. I'm looking for the American equivalent.] What started as a fringe subculture known as kojo moe, or "factory infatuation," is beginning to gain wider appeal in Japan, turning industrial zones into unlikely tourist attractions. It's the Japanese equivalent of going sightseeing at industrial stretches along the New Jersey Turnpike. Unlike the tourists who visit the factories of Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese manufacturers, the kojo moe crowd has little interest in the inner workings of the plants. They get excited by the maze of intricate piping around the exterior of a steel plant or the cylindrical smokestacks sending up steam. [A book on the topic] lists 19 questions to test one's kojo moe credentials, including "Do you like Blade Runner?" and "Can you stare at a factory you like all day long?" Now, industrial regions across Japan are working to create factory sightseeing tours.
  • [from steve_portigal] Stop Blaming Your Culture [Strategy + Business] – [A must-read. This could become the article on the topic, a companion to Porter's classic What is Strategy? REad it and pass it along.] Fortunately, there is an effective, accessible way to deal with cultural challenges. Don’t blame your culture; use it purposefully. View it as an asset: a source of energy, pride, and motivation. Learn to work with it and within it. Discern the elements of the culture that are congruent with your strategy. Figure out which of the old constructive behaviors embedded in your culture can be applied to accelerate the changes that you want. Find ways to counterbalance and diminish other elements of the culture that hinder you. In this way, you can initiate, accelerate, and sustain truly beneficial change — with far less effort, time, and expense, and with better results, than many executives expect.
  • [from steve_portigal] Steve Portigal to write book on interviewing users [Rosenfeld Media] – Interviewing users is fundamental to user experience work but, as Steve Portigal cautions, we tend to take it for granted. Because it's based on talking and listening, skills we think we have, we often wing it. Sadly, we miss out on many of the wonderful opportunities our interviews should reveal. So we're thrilled that Steve, who's contributed regular columns to interactins and Core77, has signed on to write a new Rosenfeld Media book, The Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing, to help UX practitioners really succeed with interviewing. Steve's book will focus on helping practitioners to better understand users' perspectives, and to rely upon rapport as the main ingredient in successful user interviews.
  • [from steve_portigal] Intel Teams with will.i.am, Black Eyed Peas Front Man [Intel] – [Is there a nomenclature convention emerging? If your corporate title is surrounded by quote marks, you may not receive the same HR benefits as others. Although it looks like he's got a badge? See you at Friday's Beer Bust!] He’s best known for being a multi-platinum music artist, producer and front man for The Black Eyed Peas, but will.i.am is also an innovator, technology fan, entrepreneur and philanthropist. With today’s announcement at the Anaheim Convention Center, the seven-time Grammy winner has added another title to his multi-faceted resume: “director of creative innovation.” As an extension of his insatiable fascination with technology, which plays a significant role in his professional and personal lives, will.i.am will engage in a multi-year, hands-on creative and technology collaboration with Intel Corporation. He already sports an Intel ID badge, which he proudly showed off at a news conference in Anaheim, where Intel is holding an internal sales and marketing conference.
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5 Responses to “ChittahChattah Quickies”

    If you enjoy kojo moe you may also enjoy http://spikejapan.wordpress.com/ – a site that details abandoned, decaying, economically distressed sites in Japan – resorts, theme parks, railways – big stuff that failed big.

    Comment by Steve Portigal 01.26.11 @ 12:18 pm


    The quotes around his title are an interesting touch, but I also wonder if it is deliberately non-capitalized in keeping with will.i.am’s apparent aversion to that particular convention. Also loved this bit about will.i.am bringing the authenticity: “Added Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and chief marketing officer: ‘We’re thrilled to tap into the limitless creativity will.i.am brings to the table. He’s not only a brilliant artist and producer, but also an innovator pushing the bounds of technology professionally and personally. We share a strong interest in innovation around music, art and lifestyle, and are excited to join forces to establish an authentic, emotional connection with consumers.'”

    Comment by Julie Norvaisas 01.26.11 @ 1:38 pm


      The capitalization-eschewing entertainer told Deborah Solomon in the NYT https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/magazine/23FOB-Q4-t.html “I liked playing with words. I noticed that my name was a sentence, meaning one with will, who is strong-willed. And so I called my mom and said, “Hey, Mom, do you mind if I call myself Will.i.am?” She was like: “Whaaa? You’re crazy.” She was cool with it.” Although his charter does not seem to be internal change, there’s a ton he could do with that approach. “Hey, division manager, instead of fourth quarter uptake projections, do you mind if we call it S.A.L.Ezzzzzzz shiiii****?”

      [Comedy disclaimer – I am stuck between two paths, part of me wondering if will.i.am would be a force for corporate good, bringing his plain speech anti-corporate bullshit renaming a la the lovely http://unsuck-it.com/browse/ or if in fact, he is just so bizarre-and-out-there that his lateral thinking would add a whole other category of corporate jargon confusion. I think I went down the right path (as http://www.portigal.com/blog/now-the-box-is-an-octagon/ attests to) but that’s why I work here and not in Hollywood.]

      Comment by Steve Portigal 01.26.11 @ 1:54 pm


        Let’s sprinkle a little will.i.am on everything we can this year, meaning breaking it down and keeping it real (that is to say, authentic) by coding it and making it utterly cryptic and therefore understandable only to us, but obviously a product of genius-level creativity.

        Comment by Julie Norvaisas 01.26.11 @ 4:31 pm


          At this time I’m proud to be announcing the launch of our new blog “All Iz ChillaxChillah (Ghostface Killah remix ft. My Humps)” – where we’ll discuss in.no.vati.on and in.site.s

          Comment by Steve Portigal 01.26.11 @ 4:36 pm