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From the earliest days Steve Jobs has tirelessly and continuously been molding Apple into a place where art meets form and technology. This romantic notion is still very much alive and embodied in the iconic products of today like iPad and iPhone, having especially become evident in Apple’s vision of tomorrow, the breathtaking (and incredibly expensive) Mothership spaceship campus. And Apple’s boss himself is being often deemed an artful storyteller and a masterful marketeer. You may have noticed how Jobs often wraps up his presentations with a huge street sign image depicting the intersection of Technology and Liberal Arts streets.

What you may have not known is that Apple’s product philosophy, their design language, the marketing and communications strategies and the collective DNA all stem from a single focal point, a random event from the early days when the technology bug had bitten the two Steves in Jobs parents’ garage. Addressing staff and students recently after receiving an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in Montreal, Dr. Steve Wozniak let us in on a secret, telling this (mark 1:18):

The distinction between technology and humanoids. Who’s more important: Human or the technology? We had a gentleman, classical musician, that came to Apple to talk to Steve Jobs and myself in the garage. He told us that when you build a piece of technology you get to put a lot of work into it – software and hardware – to make it natural and obvious and easy to use for a human being. Then you have priced the human being at the top of the chain. If you simply put in every feature in the world and every ability and let the human being modify their normalness to learn how to use it, you place the technology higher, as the master, and the human being more as a slave. Obviously, we think of the way we don’t want the human being to be the slave, we want the human being to be the master. We want to build things around the human being as though it was the center of the universe.

The Woz also explained how the Newton MessagePad had been well designed because it followed the human thought process, why the technology and engineers will save the world and more…

This remarkable tidbit sheds more light on how Steve Jobs’ brain works and gives us better understanding of the principles that led Apple to create one of the most memorable contemporary objects of art, which happen to be the gadgets everyone’s lusting after. Yes, the marriage of the liberal arts and the humanities has served Apple exceptionally well thus far.

Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s former Macintosh evangelist and now a Silicon Valley investor, summed it up nicely in CNBC Titans’ unauthorized documentary of Steve Jobs that airs tonight at 9pm. He said in the show preview, embedded below (mark 0:48): “Apple I, Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad… Who can say they created six things like that? No-one. No-one in the world”.

[vodpod id=Video.11576386&w=670&h=550&fv=]

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Making The Making Of The President

Making The Making of the President Q&As reconsidered: Mel Stuart speaks on the Kennedys, Vietnam, and politics

Director Mel Stuart says the world wasn’t as intrusive in 1960 as it is now, and America wasn’t the kick-ass power Bush tried to make it.

Film director Mel Stuart believes he might have altered the course of history if he had just anticipated where U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was headed after acknowledging his win in the California primary on that fateful night in 1968.

During that year’s presidential campaign, Stuart often could be found walking ahead of Kennedy, his camera trained on the candidate. But the night Kennedy made his acceptance speech, Stuart didn’t know which way he was headed.

“It’s always been the regret of my life that I was behind him,” he says. “If I had been in front of him, I would have been with my cameraman and my soundman, between him and Sirhan B. Sirhan, and he would have had to push us out of the way to get to Bobby Kennedy. I know it sounds silly, but the whole history of the world could have changed. I mean, I might have been shot, but everything would have been different.”

The 80-year-old Stuart, who has made more than 190 films over five decades, screened and discussed two of his documentaries on two nights last October, as part of the BU Cinemathèque series. Making of the President 1960, winner of three Emmys, and Making of the President 1968 offer behind-the-scenes looks into the presidential election of 1960, when John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon, and of 1968, when Nixon bested Hubert H. Humphrey after the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Both screenings were followed by a discussion with Stuart.

Over the course of the two nights, Stuart also offered tips for making it in the film industry.

It was different in 1968, because we had Vietnam. And President Lyndon Johnson was smart enough to know that he wasn’t going to win, so he got out, because Vietnam had polarized the country. America had really come to be a world power. In ’60 we were big, but we weren’t like we were in ’68, and certainly not like we are now, pushing everybody around. The whole world had changed by ’68.

I think we see it in many elections. People win simply on the strength of there being something about them that attracts the interest of people. Now, the media, being the transmission, are the ones to pick it up. But they can also do bad things — you have to be able to use your tools. And what greater tool than the media is there in present-day America to get people to turn one way or the other? You have to use the media for your purposes.

But the media in our country are terribly, terribly important. And they’re not neutral — some of them try to be neutral, but your impressions of the people are brought to you by the media. And this is a phenomenon of the 21st century. You never had this kind of thing before.

What the media like to do is show you impressions. That’s not the real John McCain, and that’s not the real Barack Obama. But they want to make it as though it’s a movie.

I guess I wish I was creating another Making of the President for this election. But you know what — after a while, if you’re in politics for too long, you start getting very cynical.

I had finished the rough cut of Making of the President 1960, and Theodore White was going to write the words and finish it off. And the last shot of the film was Eisenhower, who was president, shaking Kennedy’s hand. So I said, “Now Teddy, at this moment, I’m going to freeze the frame, Eisenhower shakes Kennedy’s hand. Kennedy is now president. And I want you to write about this.”

And so he looks at me without blinking — I’ll never forget this as long as I live — and says, “How about, ‘So power passes’?” And that’s what it’s all about. An election is the passage of power to one person. So you better pick the right one when you’re voting.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at [email protected].

This story originally ran October 23, 2008.

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The Promise And Peril Of Creating Art 365 Days A Year

The creative journey can often be challenging, filled with the endless pursuit of perfection and the pressure to produce work each day. But what if the key to unlocking true artistic growth actually lies in embracing the power of daily practice?

Creating something new every day may sound daunting, but for artists Noah Kalina, Jonathan Mann, and Justin Aversano, it has become a way of life. Each has committed to a daily practice — to an art project that they add to every day of the year. This daily practice has shaped their art as well as their relationship with themselves and their communities.

Through Kalina’s Everyday series, Mann’s Song a Day project, and Aversano’s Every Day is a Gift collection, these artists have learned valuable lessons that can be applied to every artist’s creative endeavor and daily life. We spoke with them to learn more about these lessons and the struggles and rewards they’ve faced since committing to these ongoing projects.

Noah Kalina‘s Everyday

Noah Kalina is a photographer and artist who is best known for Everyday, a self-portrait series that spans decades. Kalina began taking a daily photo of himself when he turned 19, on January 10, 2000. Now 42, his collection includes over 8,400 self-portraits.

Kalina first shared these images in a timelapse on YouTube six years after he began, on July 31, 2006. Since that time, he has shared three other videos. All-in-all, these pieces have more than 45.7 million views.

But growth doesn’t happen overnight, and it can take a long time to see the results of a daily practice.

Credit: Noah Kalina

For Kalina, it took years of dedicated work before the world responded. “Years before I put the YouTube video up, in 2006, a friend suggested I should make it a timelapse, and I thought: ‘that’s so dumb,’ he told nft now. “When I did post it, nothing happened for a week. Then it went viral. I had hundreds of emails, my website was down from the traffic, I was fielding calls from Oprah and Ellen, and The Simpsons even made a Homer version.”

Kalina says that he credits the project’s popularity to both his own dedication and the work’s relatability. “Doing something over and over again is inherently fascinating to others. When the idea is so simple, and all it takes is commitment, it’s easy for the viewer to put themself into the shoes of the artist and reflect upon their own life,” he explained. In this respect, Kalina argues that his commitment and persistence paid off.

On January 10, 2023, Kalina added a new dimension to the project with the launch of everyday.photo, an interactive gallery of his Everyday project. The site, an evolving capsule of Noah’s life, offers a new way to explore time’s subtle yet profound impact. Each day is tagged with identifying traits, such as Kalina’s location, clothing, accessories, and beard length. Visitors to the gallery can mint each self-portrait as an NFT.

Regarding what’s next for the Everyday project, Kalina shows no signs of stopping. In fact, it sounds like he’s in it until the very end. “There’s always the question with projects like this of ‘when does it end?’” he tells nft now. “I’m not really obsessed with doing it, and I’m not obsessed with myself. I just started it, and at this point, it makes no sense to stop. And I think we all know how this ultimately ends.”

Jonathan Mann’s Song a Day

Jonathan Mann is a singer-songwriter and internet sensation known for his 14-year commitment to daily work. He rose to prominence with his Song a Day project, for which he writes and records a new original song each and every day. The song is then minted as NFT, paired with an accompanying illustration, and auctioned over the following 24 hours.

Credit: Jonathan Mann

This unwavering dedication to his craft has earned Mann tens of thousands of followers and established him as a leading voice when it comes to daily practice and artistic self-expression. But Mann doesn’t believe his work and practice are necessarily unique. “Most people I know, who are artists of all kinds, have some kind of daily practice. It’s never as structured as my ‘One Song a Day,’ but everyone I know works on some piece of a project every day. I think it’s just what artists do,” he tells nft now.

While Mann’s consistency and commitment gave rise to his popularity, he partially credits his success to embracing the imperfections — to letting go and allowing the work to be whatever it will be. “You never know what will happen when you sit down to make something. But the key is giving myself leeway, giving myself space to just let the song be whatever it needs to be that day. Whatever there is room for. Not putting too much pressure on myself. There’s not really anything more to it,” he explains.

While others may see Mann entirely through the lens of this project, he tells nft now that it’s important for him to remember that what is is known for is not the same as what he is.

“It’s pretty much the only thing I’m known for, so I’d say that, in a wider sense, it defines me entirely. But also, I like to regularly remind myself, in a Ram Dass kind of way, that we are only ever playing a part. All the ambition, and creativity, and even our relationships, it’s all just stories we tell ourselves and each other,” he said. “If you strip everything away, somewhere in there is the true ‘me,’ and that has nothing to do with being a father, a son, a husband, a song-a-day guy, an NFT bro, a musician, a Bob Dylan fan, etc. The things we do define us only inasmuch as we live in a society. But there’s a deeper thing going on, and I try to remember that.”

Justin Aversano’s Every Day is a Gift

Justin Aversano is a photographer, curator, creative director, and social entrepreneur who is perhaps best known for his Twin Flames collection, the highest-selling photography NFT collection of all time. He also co-founded the digital art curation platform Quantum and the non-profit SaveArtSpace, which aims to bring community art into more public spaces.

Credit: Justin Aversano

In addition to these accolades, Aversano created Every Day is a Gift, a collection of polaroids taken each day over a year that show different people celebrating their birthdays. The pursuit often led to him wandering the streets holding an “Is it your birthday?” sign.

Reflecting on that time, Aversano tells nft now that the project ended up dominating his life and habits. “Every single day, my only focus and goal were to find someone and make art. When that comes before eating, showering, or anything, you become obsessed with the process and obsessed with the project,” he explained.

Ultimately, Aversano noted that the biggest lesson he took from his daily practice is to “learn to live with the things you hate, learn to live with the things you think make you fail, and when you look at them and confront them, that’s actually what makes you better, that’s actually what makes you more diligent in your craft.”

Making The Most Of The Holidays In It

I was in the office during the week of Christmas and not a soul was stirring, not even a mouse. To be truthful, the little rolling ball in my mouse was making an annoying squeaking sound and I really had been meaning to order a wireless mouse. But you know how the little things never get done in IT because we are all so busy (barely) keeping up with the big things day by day (and sometimes night by night).

Well guess what? This is the perfect time of year to tackle the tasks resulting from your year long procrastination. You need to get off your rump and put all that energy stored from over consumption of holiday party treats to good use.

A lot of people take this time off for vacation and if that includes you, stop reading this article and go back to sunning yourself on the beach. But if you are one of the unfortunate souls stuck behind the desk the last week of December, this is your time to make a list and check it twice.

Over the years, here are some tasks I have tackled and a few I wish I would have (and still might this year). Not all of these are tangible, but that doesn’t make them less important.

• Take a look at your desk. Can you see it? Or do you see a stack of papers? It may be that you know exactly where everything is (as I claim) but one strong breeze from a hastily closed door or an accidental spill of your coffee mug would put your “filing” system in disarray. Take this time to clean up your desk and do some filing. You may even come across some papers that will add a couple more tasks that otherwise would have been overlooked.

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• The holiday season is a great time to network. Take account of important people in your network that you haven’t connected with recently. Either drop them an email or give them a call to see what’s new and fill them in on your recent doings. This is the time of year where people are in a good mood to connect and you might set the stage for a business or personal opportunity in the coming year.

• Continuing on the networking front, if you have been postponing joining an online network now is the time. The dominant player is LinkedIn and it seems to be loaded with IT professionals. If you enter your professional profile now, by the end of next year at this time you’ll have a burgeoning network that you can leverage for answers to technical questions, finding recommended contractors and job searches (hiring for your team and for your next job).

• Take a close look at your heavy usage personal hardware. Many companies have set plans to cycle equipment every so many years, but many do not. Identify the desktops, laptops, printers, PDA’s, etc. that keep needing repairs or are more than a few years old and do some holiday shopping for the business.

How Businesses Can Use Technology To Make The Most Of Marketing

The worldwide pandemic has increased the need for businesses to adopt more sophisticated digital marketing technology. This has led to an increased move to online software solutions that may have not been needed before.

Businesses of all sizes have had to quickly adapt to changing circumstances so that they can continue to operate as best they can. This has increased the demand for technical solutions – from team online collaborative meetings to organizing virtual events.

The technology sector has always experienced fast-paced growth since the mid-1980s.  When the invention of mobile phones, laptops, PCs and Personal Digital Assistants – now known as Smartphones – came about.

To this day, new emerging tech, software, hardware, mobile and IoT solutions are constantly evolving.

As a result, there has had to be a new approach to digital marketing.

That’s why we wanted to share the latest digital trends, frameworks, techniques and technology marketing examples with you. These trends can help you engage with your customers and build better relationships to help grow your business.

IT and High Tech Trends Guide

Understand the marketing communications trends at play in the technology industry for new opportunities for start-ups and challengers.

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1) A multi-channel approach to your marketing

Competition in the digital marketing space can be fierce.

Staying relevant and engaging with your customers is key to elevate your brand in a crowded, competitive and potentially expensive space.

With a multitude of options available to ignite your brand, a strategic approach is always best.

If you want to learn more – as a Starter member you can access our digital marketing benchmarking guide which allows you to assess your position and audit your strategy against competitors.

Researching which digital communications channels are best for you will be a key player in reaching your customers and building engaging relationships.

What channels are your customers engaging with?

An omnichannel marketing approach helps to gain knowledge of what your customers are thinking/searching for. Then you can understand what will be useful for them. For example, how can you help them and where?

This helps to plan how you will engage with them, what topics are of interest and how you can build relationships for ongoing retention.

To help you understand your customers, our customer persona template is really useful for our members. It can help to fully embrace who your customers are and create a better customer journey for increased engagement and retention.

2) Embrace digital transformation

In the past, some companies have been reluctant to integrate new technologies with their current business models. However, during the last few years especially, it has become crucial for businesses to embrace digital transformation to remain competitive.

In the digital world that we live in today, creating brand awareness online, e-commerce and digital marketing have become more important than ever. It not only impacts your bottom line as a business but has also the digital world has become a strong platform to build relationships with your customers. Whether that means social media connectivity or a high performing website, it’s important to connect with your customers.

Particularly when it comes to digital marketing, technology has helped companies to build their brand awareness to attract new prospects; both locally and globally.

One of the most significant driving forces for reaching customers and meeting their needs has been improving and cleaning data. It allows businesses to speak to the right customers with a more personalized touch.  This also supports a more proactive approach for businesses and facilitates the ability to thrive.

Digital transformation doesn’t have to mean investing in the latest AI, VR or even 5G technologies. Instead, it can be as simple as upgrading your telephony system, holding webinars or online events, and creating more accessible ways to do business online or remotely. It could even be updating your marketing strategy to a more digital approach.

To create the right digital transformation strategy for your business, our guide, ‘Set your vision for digital channel transformation’ is a great source to help focus and align your digital and business goals.

Free digital marketing plan template

Our popular marketing planning template is structured across the Smart Insights RACE Framework. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member to download our digital marketing plan template today

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3) Re-evaluate your content strategy

Once upon a time, it was enough for a business to have quality web page content, update their blog regularly and keep in touch with clients predominantly via email. As technology has evolved, including social media, there are now multiple channels to reach out to your customers.

We have a great Quick Win for our members that really helps plan out how to write copy for social media in order to engage with your customer base.

Your content can include regularly sharing new content or repurposing content. This can be via social media, joining communities online, building personal brands, creating videos, infographics, reels, working with online publications and many more. All of which can be great ways to increase your reach using the RACE framework for digital marketing strategies.

Part of a great business plan includes investigating the avenues that are relevant for your customers. This enables a greater reach of customers, that are more engaged, informed and compelled to buy. Which, in turn, drives up your sales.

How do I reach a digital audience?

There are various ways you can reach your audience through technology. If anything, the pandemic really highlighted how we can work together remotely.  But we can also connect in new ways and reaching out to our customers.

Luckily, technology is on our side. That means that image sizes, metadata, and all things AI/VR are at our fingertips when we are ready for them. What’s more, is that we don’t always need to be that complicated.

The best thing businesses can do to relate to their customers is to have conversations. In order to do that, it’s important to find where they are in the digital space. Once you’re there you can get involved and solve their problems with your solution – aka your product or service.

It’s simply just a matter of reaching out to people that have a need for something and doing it in the right way.

People will always be people. So, let’s continue to treat them as such, digitally or otherwise.

For some more great insight into how you can make digital marketing work for your business, tech or otherwise, our IT and High Tech Marketing Trends guide is available to all our free members to download.

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Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

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How To Understand And Apply Lessons From “The Art Of War”: 8 Steps

Realize that the victorious strategist is he who only seeks battle after the victory has been won. He who is destined to lose, fights first and then looks for victory. It is the acme of excellence to not only win, but to master winning at ease. The clever fighter makes no mistakes and establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. He secures his position so that he may seem invincible and judiciously hides his weaknesses.

Understand that the control of a large force is no different than controlling of a few men, being merely the question of dividing the force. The true leader knows both how to utilize his resources and when to make a decision. He plans by making a combination of direct and indirect tactics. He combines his forces so that the enemy may bear similarity to an egg in the path of a grinding stone. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

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Know that to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence. Supreme excellence consists of breaking you’re enemy’s resistance without fighting. It is better to recapture an entire army, establishment or company than to destroy it. Hence, the highest form of generalship is to foil you’re enemy’s plans. Second best is to prevent the junction of his forces. Next in order is to attack his forces in the field(direct encounter) and the worst is to conquer his forces. The rule is to avoid destruction if possible. The skillful leader subdues his enemies troops without any fighting. He captures their kingdom without laying siege to them. He overthrows their nation without lengthy operations. He triumphs without losing a man.

who knows when to fight and when not to

who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

who’s army is animated by the same spirit throughout all the ranks.

who prepares and takes the enemy unprepared.

who has full control over his decisions.

Know your enemy as you know chúng tôi war, let your objective be victory and not lengthy campaign. Avoid prolonged warfare. Invade your enemy’s resources, for 1 quota of his provisions is equivalent to 20 of our own. Use your enemy’s strength to augment your own.

Understand that the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy and does not allow his will to be imposed on him. You can be successful only if you attack those points that are undefended and only defend those which cannot be attacked. Throw in you’re enemy’s way that which he cannot comprehend. This will force him to come out even of the darkest of shadows and reveal himself. Divide his forces and keep your forces concentrated. Scheme so as to discover an enemy’s plan. Find his vulnerabilities. Compare your strength to his. Supreme strategy always aids the inferior side. Do not repeat those tactics that have previously gained you victory. Let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.

Accept that soldiers must be treated with humanitarianism but controlled by the means of iron discipline. Treat them as your own children and they will stand by you unto death.

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