World population milestone

7 billion

7 billion (7,000,000,000)

The number of people on Earth topped the 7 billion mark today according to the United Nations Population Fund.  The 6 billion mark was crossed in 1999 and it took the entirety of history until approximately 1804 to reach the 1 billion population figure.  Different projections have the figure reaching between 8 billion and 10.5 billion by 2050, although if the population growth over the past decade were to be used as the basis for future growth – the global population would be between 12 and 13 billion by 2050 and between 18 and 20 billion by 2100. Continue reading

The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It

Innovation may be the hottest discipline around today – in business circles and beyond. And for good reason. Innovation transforms companies and markets. It’s the key to solving vexing social problems. And it makes or breaks professional careers. For all the enthusiasm the topic inspires, however, the practice of innovation remains stubbornly impenetrable. Continue reading

Evolution of branding

A recent email survey by Fast Company of 623 qualified subscribers (41% from the agency side and 59% from the client side) about the changing landscape of branding yielded some pretty interesting observations in the complete infographic below.  For example, look at the responses for the two questions on traditional channels and broad-based media. Continue reading

Making HVAC sexy

The folks over at Nest Labs are doing something truly innovative and even sexy in the field of HVAC.  Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (or HVAC as it is called by insiders) is responsible for keeping most of the U.S. civilized in the dead of winter or during the sweltering heat of summer.  It is also responsible for roughly half of the average household’s energy expenditure in a given year – roughly $1,100.  If you’re like most people, the thermostat is your interface point for more than 99% of your interactions with your HVAC system. Those interactions range from putting the system on permanent “hold” (a recent Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study found that as many as 50% of households are set this way) or trying to program it using a kludgy interface that conjures painful memories of trying to set the clock on the VCR in 1983. Continue reading

History and future of marketing

History of marketing channels Once upon a time (i.e., prior to the Industrial Revolution) there was a world free of marketing.  People brought their goods and services to market in their local villages in what were hyper-local and largely closed economic ecosystems.  The rise of economics as a science in the late 19th century as well as the Second Industrial Revolution (circa 1850) gave birth to not only marketing as a discipline but retailing and advertising as well. Continue reading

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

Cognitive Surplus book coverThe author of the breakout hit Here Comes Everybody reveals how new technology is changing us for the better. 

In his bestselling Here Comes Everybody, Internet guru Clay Shirky provided readers with a much-needed primer for the digital age. Now, with Cognitive Surplus, he reveals how new digital technology is unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world. Continue reading

Meeker’s 2011 Internet trends

Mary MeekerMary Meeker is one of those players in the Internet space who has been everywhere and seen everything (more or less).  Formerly she was an Analyst with Morgan Stanley and is currently a Partner with Silicon Valley venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.  Earlier today she presented on the Internet trends she sees changing the landscape (as she does every year).  Below you’ll find her slides for your reading pleasure and following the deck are the 11 trends themselves. Continue reading

Google unwraps Ice Cream Sandwich

Android Ice Cream SandwichThere are some titles you simply cannot resist when they present themselves to you, regardless of how corny or overdone.  After some months of feverish anticipation, Google released their Android 4.0 operating system dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich. Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street photo gallery

There is a lot of “ink” being spilled over what is going on in Zuccotti Park right now and not all of it is easily understood by the mainstream media and the average American.  Just as a point of order I’m not here to proffer an opinion of protests or their efficacy – other than the fact that I’m thankful I live in a country where the peaceful assembly of the people and free speech are protected by law.  That said the participants of the Occupy Wall Street (and the other “occupy” movements around the U.S. and world) are generally protesting economic inequity and corporate power/influence that has allegedly become more pronounced over the past several years.  The movement was inspired by the social uprisings that occurred during the Arab Spring movement of 2011. Continue reading

Economics of fantasy sports

There is definitely something ironic about the term “fantasy sports” that enthusiasts do not freely want to admit when they’re in the passionate frenzy that surrounds a given sports season.  Ironic or not, the business of fantasy sports is big and booming.

Infographic - fantasy sportsBased on data aggregated from a variety of sources, the infographic above is a treasure trove of information about the fantasy sports industry.  At over $800 million per year (or approximately $467.60 per player), the fantasy sports industry has grown to 32 million players annually – up 60% from 2007. Continue reading