The iPod, iPhone, iPad, and now . . . the iDesk?

Since this blog talks about and attempts to showcase creativity and innovation, the following piece came to my attention via a newsletter from American Luxury Magazine. Give it a read sometime.

I couldn’t resist sharing this. It’s really cool and yet hard to believe it’s just a concept. For now.

Mac|Life (another good publication) has come up with the iDesk, a desk where much of the normal clutter on your desk will be replaced by apps and widgets. It is essentially a huge iPad.

idesk-concept-by-maclife

According to Mac|Life, the entire top of the desk is a touchscreen that can sync with all your iOS devices by just placing them on its surface.  You will have the option of using a digital touchscreen mouse and keyboard or sticking with a traditional keyboard and mouse.  The iDesk will have apps available for everything you need, from setting reminders or marking dates in a calendar, to posting updates on Facebook or sending out emails.

Custom desktop themes would allow you to give your desk a classic look or  you can work on the water.idesk-concept-by-mac-life-water

The iDesk is still just a concept, but  considering the Microsoft Surface windows-based touch-tables have been available for awhile now,  it could be hitting Apple Stores sooner rather than later.

So what do you think? Will this be something to which consumers would be attracted?

Innovation, at times, can be fickle. So what? Kudos to the Mac|Life gang for bringing this to light.

Depending on the price (if it ever gets that far), this reminds me of something  appropriate for the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog.

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Creativity Tip #18: Why not’s and so what’s

Years ago I learned the value of asking “why?” during an interview or conversation with someone from whom I wanted information for an article or ad. The more involved in the subject we dove, the more times I had to think of different ways to say “why?”. “Tell me more,” I’d say or “could you explain that?” — any phrase that would allow me to dive deeper into the subject matter.

Changing things up just a tad, I’d often interject “why not?” when my interviewee would proclaim as fact that something could not be made, redesigned, sold, given away, etc.

Interestingly, it was during some of these times when I’d get an adverse reaction like, “whaddya mean, why not?” It was as if I’d challenged him on his very credentials of smartness.

But none of those times met with as much of a surprise (disdain, maybe) as when I’d ask, as professionally respectful as I could, “so what?” when my subject expert just proclaimed that his or her product or service is “#1” at doing such and such or is the “leader in this and that.”

Usually, I follow up my “so what?” with something like “how is that significant?” or “how will your customer benefit?” That kinda takes some of the sting out of the “so what?” even when you ask it nicely.

Remember, we are the outsider looking into their world, which they hold very dear. In some respects, they view us as challenging them even though our objective is to create a meaningful and interesting story for our readers, and theirs.

Emotions aside, don’t ever be afraid to ask as many “why not’s” and “so what’s” as it takes to get to the bottom of the real, meaningful story. I find it easier to convey interest when either of those phrases are used in conjunction with a statement just uttered by the expert.

It helps both you and your interviewee dive deeper together in discussing information that, quite possibly, hadn’t been thought of before or at least from the perspective you’re providing.

You’re building trust during this dialogue. Both of you are professionals and should respect one another.

Just keep that in mind when you ask your next “so what?”

Creativity Tip #7: Control Freaks Not Welcome!

Creativity. We can play with it. We can enjoy it. We can experience it. We just can’t – and shouldn’t – control it. But we want to!

Individuals love to control things. That’s usually when we get into trouble. Creativity doesn’t respond well to control. In fact, when we try to control everything, we stifle creativity.

Shame on us! We should know better, but some of us don’t.

As noted in a previous Creativity Tip, one doesn’t manage creativity (let alone control it); one manages for creativity.

Creativity, somewhat like a child, flourishes in an environment that encourages innovative thought – and the time in which to do it. Nobody gets ahead in a scenario that screams “I need a creative idea and I need it in five minutes, and, oh yeah, it better be a damn good one!” Sadly, that’s an environment that does exist. It probably hails from a mindset of fast thinking – most of the time.

Men in general, research suggests, tend to have this mindset; they feel they need to make decisions instantly. Women, not so much.

Here’s where we tend to get into trouble. By putting an unrealistic time parameter on devising a “creative” idea (I’m not talking about brainstorming, here), one tries to control the creative process. The opposite is usually the result. Creativity is stifled.

What happened to allotting time for quiet, contemplative thinking? Now, I’m not talking about going into a room, sitting in the corner and contemplating one’s naval for two hours. Sometimes our “quiet time” is no more than 30-minutes (if not less). Still, without this time to gather one’s thoughts and even put them in some sort of context, we’re short circuiting our creative process, and the end result.

Women, in general, are better at this contemplative thinking because they tend to mull things over more than men do. Now, obviously, one size does not fit all. I know several men and women who would turn these findings on their head. I, too, don’t usually make instant decisions, but it depends upon what I’m deciding.

When we slow down the fast thinking and spend more time in the contemplative state, our creativity will flourish and the end results will be much better.

But, do we have the courage to do that?