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corner M AGA ZINE

PAUL NYLANDER


The Making of Corner Magazine A Process Book

Paul Nylander


Corner Magazine is a conceptual editorial design project by Paul Nylander. All design contents Š Paul Nylander, illustrada design, 2016. Magazine content is based on materials found online for this project, and has been used without permission. Printed in the U.S.A. May 9, 2016


The Making of Corner Magazine A Process Book

Contents Introduction 1 Project Brief

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Research 5 System Design

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Enhancement 37 Identity 49 Finalization 67 Conclusion 93


PB 6520 Typography Studio

October 27, 2015 // Paul Nylander

Project 2: B2B Business Magazine Not all news and information is suitable for web consumption. While the web is a great place for rapidly changing content, its interface is ill suited for deep thinking contemplation. That is where a print journal makes sense: something which can be handled, flipped through; something a business person could actually read. In the spirit of the (now defunct) BUILD magazine, from the publisher of Inc., this periodical will offer advice and techniques for the small (or mid-sized?) business person to address both day-to-day and also longer term strategic issues by encouraging reflection and analysis.

What is a B2B Business Magazine? • A publication for “offline” reading, which is designed to address marketing and business concerns in small to mid-sized businesses. The design of a B2B business magazine, in the spirit of the (now defunct) BUILD magazine, from the publisher of Inc. Focusing on analysis and insights appropriate to businesses operating at a business–to–business (i.e. not consumer) level, this concept project would include pulling content from the internet related to business–to–business information and assembling into a systematic presentation, to be printed in an ‘executive’ format on uncoated or matte paper stock. Likely a perfect bound finish and cover.

Why am I doing this? • Enhance portfolio with magazine-style publication design; plus it is a topic I am personally very interested in becoming more proficient

Steps to pull off by December 11 deadline • Examine existing BUILD magazine to understand structural elements of design (System & Style) • Research // Content Collection: Content gleaned from blogs, Inc., etc. targeting articles 1 - 3 pages each, grouped into sections, with additional ads / graphical content • Research possible paper stocks, especially post-consumer recycled options suitable for printing on the Konika. • Cover Design • Print, perfect bound; ~100 pp.

Original project proposal, from October 27, 2015.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Introduction This book documents the process I used for creating Corner Magazine, a conceptual editorial design project. The Corner Magazine project actually began a year and a half ago, not long after I started in the Graphic Design Certificate program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Tasked with documenting in poster form our personal design standards, the “Storehouse of Treasures” (à la Gerhard Richter), one of the items I chose was the now defunct business magazine known as “Build.”

From that point forward I knew, at some point, I wanted to tackle a magazine design, geared toward business readers (like Build), but with my own spin on the subject. The opportunity came last fall in the form of Typography Studio project (at left). Of note was the original, ambitious deadline of December 11; it would in fact be over four months later when the final, expanded, conceptual project would come to fruition as part of a subsequent Advanced Projects Studio. This additional time, as you’ll see, allowed me the opportunity to explore more content, and fully realize my vision for what would become Corner Magazine.

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Business lo

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orm quarte Working tit rly le: Point Target & pu rpose: smal l business e in the sea of ntrepreneu ly their daily li r e t r a rs in B2B fie u ves. By pro st q imulating, e lds; provide fo rm viding longg d n gy o d l s a respite, a e s si form, thou s gn e , r a e in m ad s o e m point of re rs gh e t c Bu n an t provoking t in to b o c o P th at : st ch b le e t t it h articles cou h e t in ir g c ki ollective bre ng about th pled with a Workin e s at ir h b le . u b si a n r e e ss v e s li A w e lt hile also tak ernate title ule - D d id in e g h e c a s S ion • Thread Product – emphasiz ing the lon • Oasis – the g form natu adlines respite, re e D r re a – d 0 n plenishmen le • a A C W 2/1 p n p o re ti n t c ti ce u – d R o r e s fl P m s e ct e te s c s • lenar g ning from • a…zin ro sy the season uction P ag e / proofi ed experts • Prod nt an d m mpling,’ editing te n o C – a s ff ‘ tu – s te g A le d in d r p it b io m ; n o al -in on c – Check Collecti nts In addition M 2/22 to the mag curring eleme Content elements l a tu x e e az l r in a d e u r it s • T a is se • d le lf, this proje r v Adds; iosta mp nanl covers / ct can inclu cepts fo tem / sa atureit issues à d de • Con isual sys epartments, fe v o e emonstrate p “S ty ty le to d G o r – u P the magaz id m e ” te b • s o y o k S to l ine’s system d em dm – a proposa ditoria raaterk/e l for seekiwnorks, oennst xplain com e•l Ads fo • (*) E e f & g k mon design e in r o r vest ors inclusion inrrupts/fi elements – alize lo in te o te F th le p e in • – r , n m m In-stotrre vis a vis re nd heck-i coazines ments uc ptu fingag le ro C o m e s o r o e n 2 ti g p o ig a – n s / , de M 3/7 entity diting al / angnroaupnhce dar•d pSubscsriupeti icsm d n e I ta – & s e e n – o t n card poster or b ple is s y, info • Nam ystem Defined ph anner for s•amSub s – ri p ptihoonto wgerabsi al S llection • articlesc o C te t • Visu n te y n n C o o a n C p te l n a t website om • Textu on work to acc • Best of… / collected trati s ts lu p Il e c works / an • • Confere con nual nce / event er / TOC • Cov collateral • ts e n B e o ok version m e n fi e R lan • Trade c rd eck-in – embly p onference t – 3 Ch design • tionpg, ass ts n in ab r te p le n M 3/28 , t s o Staff busien sample per le of c pag ess card • Tab s tterhead has,n le ation – esign p e r o d r r o , envelope – c e C / d v o s rp n o idow orate identity s • C LOGO esign a / w •ernin Adgve ystem rt uction d is k d e l. o r c r P ro P in sp , g e • ct in u s tt t • Aenn l typese s docum nual Report / Investo • Fina uideline • Swag r Prospectu G le ty S s ov ers • (*) C l a n io ddit n itio • (*) A Book defiTnim eline ess or edits W 2/10 – D • Proc chance f t s la e ; ution, ad n lin es ec/2k-i s, distrib Mh 2 e n li th nd final C 2 d – a C mbly ar, de ps heck-inn; gb, riansg sest – 4 a k-u hat, …? uff ditorial calend /7 – 2 nds C ti moMc 3 M 4/11 , phreinck s; swag – ture d e r ertising M sam le a – v p -i s c d n e n A s a o • ign age 3/2 3 rds C bscripti rospectu email s k-up – pM B8u – sineth s pheck-iner tisement; su mplate), te • Moc & 4 ( g /1 v y 1 in r d – s a a 4 ti dver M Item dra aftnsd: final Cahredck tation l 5 – Final siness c s, -isn; last chan • (*) A otion 4a/2 u m ce for edits b o r – P l ) a r ollate • (* usine ss c eliminary look B ) (* • k pr ess Boo • Proc – Final tion M 4/25 l Produc • Fina n o ti enta rials • Pres nal mate o ti o m o r P ) • (* rsion Book ve • (*) e ocess Book l Pr • Fina

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Updated project proposal, from February 10, 2016 project reboot.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Project Brief The challenge: “Create [a] proposal for… professional research—a new portfolio piece to propel you on your path or a project to investigate an area of personal interest to you.” My idea: small business entrepreneurs in B2B fields; provides a respite, a point of rest in the sea of their daily lives. By providing long-form, thought provoking articles coupled with a stimulating, edgy design, readers can both be thinking about their businesses while also taking a moment to catch their collective breath. The project goal to design of a B2B business magazine was inspired by the (now defunct) build magazine, from the publisher of Inc. For purposes of developing an conceptual issue, the project was envisioned to include content from the web related to business–to–business information. From the beginning, I knew it would be assembled into a systematic presentation, to be printed in an ‘executive’ format on uncoated or matte paper stock. Likely a perfect bound finish and cover. The Business Zine I envisioned would • B2B marketing publication • Content gleaned from blogs, Inc., etc. • Print, perfect bound; ~100 pp. • Enhance portfolio with magazine-style publication design

And would include • Research // Content Collection • Explore BUILD design // System & Style • Evaluate concept of articles 1 – 3 pages each, grouped into sections • Additional ads / graphical content • Cover The planned first steps of research • Examine existing ‘Build’ magazine to understand structural elements of design • Research possible paper stocks, especially post-consumer recycled options suitable for printing on the Konika laser printer. • Begin collecting suitable content, noting where additional images / graphics may be required.

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

Research

Establishing the project aesthetic and editorial direction

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Research

STRUCTURAL Business Journal // Mood Boards Keywords: B2B, Essays, Deep Thinking, Contemplation, Strategic, Psychology (Mgmt, Sales), Small Biz / Solopreneur

Paul Nylander


Corner Magazine: Processbook

The initial conceptualization for the magazine design starts with the mood boards. Five boards were initially produced to communicate my ideas of the structural, imagery, visual illustration, textual content and other miscellaneous ideas. Shown here, the structural ideas are strongly influenced by the original Build magazine (upper left), its four lettered and color-coded sections. My clear idea from the outset was to create a clean, structured look which would help guide the reader and elevate the authority of the content.

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Research

Imagery is a strong element of most business magazines, and so, too here my initial vision included a lot of strong visuals. Visuals, in my mind, provide a strong context and framework for the article.

Bold Images and Bold Colors.

IMAGERY Business Journal // Mood Boards Keywords: B2B, Essays, Deep Thinking, Contemplation, Strategic, Psychology (Mgmt, Sales), Small Biz / Solopreneur

Paul Nylander


Corner Magazine: Processbook

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Research

VISUAL ILLUSTRATION Business Journal // Mood Boards Keywords: B2B, Essays, Deep Thinking, Contemplation, Strategic, Psychology (Mgmt, Sales), Small Biz / Solopreneur

Paul Nylander


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Along with photographs, the illustrations are key elements to bringing complex ideas, frequently found in business discussions, forward. Again, leaning heavily on the Build design, flat muted colors are commonly used. Illustrations are commonly simple one or two colors renditions. This use of color also becomes structural, drawing elements together or helping push them apart.

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Research

The textual content will be the most important element, if least observed by the reader. And as my decision to move beyond the short 1 – 2 page articles common to Build and so many other business journals, textual structure would become increasingly important.

+ Long-form Articles. From the outset I planned a multi-column structure for the bulk of the body text, with certain sections interrupting this standard layout. The decision to do two columns also helped determine my type choice and page size, owing to my desire to keep line lengths “comfortably readable” in the 50 – 65 character range. The text for this conceptual project will be culled from a variety of internet sources. The initial goal is for intellectually stimulating content, which can be readily illustrated for use in a print magazine.

TEXTUAL CONTENT Business Journal // Mood Boards Keywords: B2B, Essays, Deep Thinking, Contemplation, Strategic, Psychology (Mgmt, Sales), Small Biz / Solopreneur

Paul Nylander


Corner Magazine: Processbook

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Research

MISCELLANEOUS Business Journal // Mood Boards Keywords: B2B, Essays, Deep Thinking, Contemplation, Strategic, Psychology (Mgmt, Sales), Small Biz / Solopreneur

Paul Nylander


Corner Magazine: Processbook

The miscellaneous visual elements board represented the expression of other visual ideas and samples I had collected. In all, my initial research would take me through a dozen different journal titles, cherry-picking elements that appealed to me.

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Developing the initial concepts and page layouts


Corner Magazine: Processbook

System Design

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System Design


Corner Magazine: Processbook

The layout of Corner magazine started with a few simple goals: book-like readability, comfortable size to hold in hand (rather than lay on a table) for reading. From my notes in October 2015, I already knew there were several shortcomings of the Build design which I wanted to address: • Articles were written like articles for the web: short and punchy, “top 10” lists. Not the sort of “essays” that do better in print. Punchy articles are ill suited for deep thinking and contemplation. • Infographics use may be too excessive (e.g. Fast Co. may go too far). See “business cartoons.” • Too much focus on office dynamics; the anecdotal stories would benefit from more explanation: not just what but why. Preliminary sketches shown here for the magazine size. Since the magazine should read something like a book, I felt the look and feel should be something like a book as well: I wanted to incorporate a clear horizon line to contain the text, providing ample white space on the 6" x 9" page.

A Comfortable 6" x 9" page The next page shows the first layout in InDesign, and served as a perliminary style guide for the initial creation of the magazine.

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System Design

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Full width body text in 12/14 pt Quincy CF Regular, baseline grid. Lores autem in poreperciis vendunt optatquis acesectae provideliti doluptatem et liquunt ibusant vel idebis am ra voluptas vendis solentur, quati berovit quae etur magnihi liquidusam, ut et ipiduntem dem recatios et accab in repelent, voluptatur, quae la voluptum derchitiis estiae

Two Column Body Text in 9/14 pt Quincy CF Regular, baseline grid. Lores autem in poreperciis vendunt

vendis solentur, quati berovit quae etur magnihi liquidusam, ut et ipiduntem dem recatios et accab in repelent, voluptatur, quae la voluptum

optatquis acesectae provideliti doluptatem

derchitiis estiaeUllo dellorerum quisto velicto

et liquunt ibusant vel idebis am ra voluptas

cus evellaut moloriati dollam idelitatiam, is

Titles are in Decour Black 28/33.6 pt (align first row) BYLINE DECOUR LIGHT 8PT ALL CAPS

Pull Quote is Decour Black 16/20pt. Isn’t this a conversational aside?

JOURNAL TITLE // VOLUME & DATE

Initial page design based on the mood boards.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

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Lead-in Quote is Palatino Italic 18pt. This is a conversation?

Sample Title

BYLINE BOB

Full width body text in 12/14 pt Quincy CF Regular, baseline grid. Lores autem in poreperciis vendunt optatquis acesectae provideliti doluptatem et liquunt ibusant vel idebis am ra voluptas vendis solentur, quati berovit quae etur magnihi liquidusam, ut et ipiduntem dem recatios et accab in repelent, voluptatur, quae la voluptum derchitiis estiae. Inum nis aut et quo esci resciliquis maxim quidus ea quos simus ad eium quias explicate con et et parum labor repudis eic temod eum exerehent rem volorio con pratiores apidele niscilit et hit estionsed. Enisquia volorib usapitatem id molupie niasper chillore veliti dolupta doluptat landit et aspero modis et inullantotat fugiam. Conse alitas eos aut volorepudi restis es dolendusam que que conse net eum ea voluptat odist as adis est volorem voloribus doluptatio voluptae maximi, serae exerum lam volupta dolo ium quidebitent aut moluptatur am volupta siminum ad maion prerferum idem num qui tessit min est dolupta turiamuscide nonest, int fugias mos nihictur magnis que c volendesed.

SECTION HEADING

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System Design


Corner Magazine: Processbook

An exploration of the initial concept of righthand article title pages, considering an alternate arangment of the question / title / text structure. My preference at this point was to keep the title to the outside of the right hand page (top image). However, I also experimented with moving the title page to the left hand side of the spread, based on a preference for the right-justified title with right-rag text (bottom image).

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System Design

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Does content drive the design, or design the content? In this project, these two approaches are on equal footing: I had an idea for the magazine feeling based on Build, but I also knew that longer articles would be a critical element of the content, and needed to be incorporated in the design aesthetic. Content for the prototype issue was found on the internet based on searches for business topics of interest to me. I excluded the overdone “10 best…” or “6 ways to…” types of articles so common to blogs, both because they usually lacked the length and almost always lacked the substance I was seeking. One article in particular would drive the initial design ideas, a non-interview profile of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos by George Packer. This was a long article, with many plot twists that would work as a perfect vehicle for the magazine design. Shown here are the elements of the first sample spread: a clear horizon line for the text body, with interrupts for the initial title, and pull quotes.

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?

Cheap Words BY GEORGE PACKER

In the era of the Kin price as a sandwich dependent publisher successfully fostere thing of minimal val Construction by Ian Ed Park Amazon is a Walmart. It’s also a h like Apple, and a util video distributor, lik lisher, like Random H studio, like Paramou like The Paris Review er, like FreshDirect, a package service, li chief executive, Jeff newspaper, the Was streams and tributa thing radically new business. Sam Walto world’s biggest retai the iPod, Steve Jobs for recording contra transmission towers er phone companies

JOURNAL TITLE // VOLUME & DATE


Corner Magazine: Processbook

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ndle, a book costs the same Services provides server infrastructure for startups (not to mention the h. Dennis Johnson, an in-C.I.A.). Amazon’s identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, r, says that “Amazon has which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. ed the idea that a book is aBezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless.com—that lue—it’s a widget.” Credit U.R.L. still takes you to Amazon’s site—before adopting the name of the n Wright / Photograph by world’s largest river by volume. (If Bezos were a reader of classic Ameria global superstore, likecan fiction, he might have hit upon Octopus.com.) Amazon’s shape-shifthardware manufacturer,ing, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it lity, like Con Edison, andunusual a even in the tech industry, where rapid growth, not profitability, ke Netflix, and a book pubis the measure of success. Amazon is not just the “Everything Store,” to House, and a productionquote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; unt, and a literary magazine, it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and w, and a grocery deliverthe search for new things to be ambitious about. It seems preposterous and someday it might be now, but Amazon began as a bookstore. In 1994, at the age of thirty, ike U.P.S. Its founder and Bezos, a Princeton graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and ff Bezos, also owns a major moved to Seattle to found a company that could ride the exponential shington Post. All thesegrowth of the early commercial Internet. (Bezos calculated that, in 1993, aries make Amazon someusage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.) His wife, in the history of American MacKenzie, is a novelist who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeon wanted merely to beton; the according to Stone, Bezos’s favorite novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The iler. After Apple launched Remains of the Day,” which is on the suggested reading list for Amazon didn’t sign up pop starsexecutives. All the other titles, including “Sam Walton, Made in Ameracts. A.T. & T. doesn’t build ica: My Story,” are business books, and even Ishiguro’s novel—about a s and rent them to smallself-erasing English butler who realizes that he has missed his chance s, the way Amazon Webat happiness in love—offers what Bezos calls a “regret-minimization

“Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry” SECTION HEADING

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System Design


Corner Magazine: Processbook

An early mock-up examining outside margin options. In this case, the initial 6-1/4" page width with 2p6 margin was deemed too small; a change to a wider page and margin would be used to give more “space for the fingers� to hold while reading.

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System Design

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Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?

Cheap Words

reviews and thousands of descriptive blurbs; Fried, who edited the Literature and Fiction section with Marcus, posted interviews with authors, including Penelope Fitzgerald and Stanley Kunitz. In 2004, Marcus, now the executive editor of Harper’s, published a wry, bittersweet memoir of his experience, “Amazonia.” He told me, “It was useful to Amazon, as a business strategy, to convey the feeling of your beloved indie bookstore, full of hip, book-loving people.” Readers, especially isolated ones, adored Amazon. “We heard from people all the time,” Marcus said. “ ‘I live in some Podunk town, the nearest bookstore is a hundred miles from my house, and now I can get the most obscure book.’ ” Marcus asked Toni Morrison to do an interview. “I’m happy to talk,” she told him. “I hear you’re selling more books than anyone in the history of the world.” In “Amazonia,” Marcus describes Bezos’s “anticharismatic charisma, which would have mortified a Great Man of a century ago but seemed just right for our nerd-driven meritocracy.” In those years, Bezos joined his staff for the round-the-clock work of “picking” and shipping books at warehouses during the holiday season. One day in 1997, Fried went into the company kitchen and found him absorbed in assembling an ant farm. “He had a lot of curiosity,” she said. “I keep hearing about Jeff ’s temper, but I have to say I never witnessed it. He was really pleasant and fun.” His ambition sometimes had an idealistic cast: he wanted Amazon to warehouse two copies of every book ever printed, an unrealized dream grandly called the Alexandria Project. At Amazon, original writing wasn’t even called “content.” It was

BY GEORGE PACKER

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.” Credit Construction by Ian Wright / Photograph by Ed Park Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like U.P.S. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve Jobs didn’t sign up pop stars for recording contracts. A.T. & T. doesn’t build transmission towers and rent them to smaller phone companies, the way Amazon Web

Services provides server infrastructure for startups (not to mention the C.I.A.). Amazon’s identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless.com—that U.R.L. still takes you to Amazon’s site—before adopting the name of the world’s largest river by volume. (If Bezos were a reader of classic American fiction, he might have hit upon Octopus.com.) Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry, where rapid growth, not profitability, is the measure of success. Amazon is not just the “Everything Store,” to quote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and the search for new things to be ambitious about. It seems preposterous now, but Amazon began as a bookstore. In 1994, at the age of thirty, Bezos, a Princeton graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and moved to Seattle to found a company that could ride the exponential growth of the early commercial Internet. (Bezos calculated that, in 1993, usage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.) His wife, MacKenzie, is a novelist who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton; according to Stone, Bezos’s favorite novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day,” which is on the suggested reading list for Amazon executives. All the other titles, including “Sam Walton, Made in America: My Story,” are business books, and even Ishiguro’s novel—about a self-erasing English butler who realizes that he has missed his chance at happiness in love—offers what Bezos calls a “regret-minimization

“Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry” JOURNAL TITLE // VOLUME & DATE

JOURNAL TITLE // VOLUME & DATE

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framework”: how not to end up like the butler.

sign: “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” Approach-

Bezos is, above all things, pragmatic. (He

ing Bezos, he asked, “Where is Earth’s biggest

declined to be interviewed for this article.) It

bookstore?” “Cyberspace,” Bezos replied. “We

wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an

started a Web site last year. Who are your

online bookstore. “It was totally based on the property of books as a product,” Shel Kaphan, Bezos’s former deputy, says. Books are easy to ship and hard to break, and there was a major

suppliers?” “Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.” “Ours, too. What’s your database?” “ ‘Books in Print.’ ” “Ours, too. So what makes you Earth’s biggest?” “We have the most affiliate links”—a

distribution warehouse in Oregon. Crucially,

form of online advertising. Doeren consid-

there are far too many books, in and out of

ered this, then asked, “What’s your business

print, to sell even a fraction of them at a phys-

model?” Bezos said that Amazon intended

ical store. The vast selection made possible by

to sell books as a way of gathering data on

the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else. For

affluent, educated shoppers. The books would be priced close to cost, in order to increase

Bezos to have seen a bookstore as a means

sales volume. After collecting data on millions

to world domination at the beginning of the

of customers, Amazon could figure out how to

Internet age, when there was already a crisis

sell everything else dirt cheap on the Inter-

of confidence in the publishing world, in a country not known for its book-crazy public,

net. (Amazon says that its original business plan “contemplated only books.”) Afterward,

was a stroke of business genius. In 1995, in

Doeren told his partner at Rainy Day Books,

Chicago, Bezos manned an Amazon booth at

Vivien Jennings, “I just met the world’s biggest

the annual conclave of the publishing industry,

snake-oil salesman. It’s going to be really bad

which is now called BookExpo America. Roger

for books.” Before Google, and long before

Doeren, from a Kansas City store called Rainy

Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest

Day Books, was stopped short by Amazon’s

value of an online company lay in the con-

sumer data it collected. Two decades later, Amazon sells a bewildering array of products: lawnmowers, iPods, art work, toys, diapers, dildos, shoes, bike racks, gun safes, 3-D printers. Amazon’s code of corporate secrecy is extreme—it won’t confirm how many Seattle employees it has, or how many Kindle e-readers have been sold—so it’s impossible to know for sure, but, according to one publisher’s estimate, book sales in the U.S. now make up no more than seven per cent of the company’s roughly seventy-five billion dollars in annual revenue. Origins, though, leave lasting marks, and Amazon remains intimately tangled up in books. Few notice if Amazon prices an electronics store out of business (except its staff); but, in the influential, self-conscious world of people who care about reading, Amazon’s unparalleled power generates endless discussion, along with paranoia, resentment, confusion, and yearning. For its part, Amazon continues to expend considerable effort both to dominate this small, fragile market and to win the hearts and minds of readers. To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator. The company claims to want a more literate world—and it came along when the book world was in distress, offering a vital new source of sales. But then it started asking a lot of personal questions, and it created dependency and harshly exploited “The vast selection its leverage; eventually, the book world realized that Amazon had its made possible by the house keys and its bank-account Internet gave Amazon number, and wondered if that had been the intention all along. its initial advantage,

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Recently, Amazon even started creating its own “content”—publishing books. The results have been decidedly mixed. A monopoly is dangerous because it concentrates so much economic power, but in the book business the prospect of a single owner of both the means of production and the modes of distribution is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history. Even in the iPhone age, books remain central to American intellectual life, and perhaps to democracy. And so the big question is not just whether Amazon is bad for the book industry; it’s whether Amazon is bad for books. In the nineteen-nineties, a different leviathan held publishers and independent bookstores in its grasp: chain stores, led by Barnes & Noble. When Amazon emerged, publishers in New York suddenly had a new buyer that paid quickly, sold their backlist as well as new titles, and, unlike traditional bookstores, made very few returns. Publishers must buy back unsold inventory from retailers, an archaic and costly practice that one ex-Amazon employee called “an absurdly inefficient model, worse than my uncle sending his laundry home from college.” John Sargent, who is the chief executive of Macmillan, first met Bezos in the mid-nineties, at a hotel in Washington, D.C. “He was this incredibly energetic guy,” Sargent said. “I thought it was a really good idea.” Jane Friedman, who was then an associate publisher at Knopf, and subsequently ran HarperCollins, said of Bezos, “I was completely taken with him. He was a skinny kid, he was young, he was excitable, and he was completely serious about what he was doing. I drank the Kool-Aid.” Amazon’s revenue multiplied every year. In the late nineties, an Amazon

vice-president named Mary Morouse e-mailed her colleagues after a trip to visit publishers in New York. “We are certainly popular with them,” she wrote. “They rave about Amazon.com—both as a store/service and a great way to market books. There were several examples cited where Amazon.com ‘made’ titles. And they love our sales numbers.” Publishers weren’t troubled that Amazon sold their books at dramatic discounts. They all wanted to collaborate with the Seattle upstart, and they used Amazon as an information resource; it was a vast improvement over the old green-bound copies of “Books in Print.” A New York marketing executive told me, “When Amazon came into the picture, metadata”—code numbers, Library of Congress categories, search keywords—“became an integral part of books.” A few farsighted publishers wondered if Amazon would eventually control so much of the market that it would stop selling books at cost and raise prices to become more profitable. By 1997, when the company went public, Amazon’s book inventory could have filled six football fields. But someone who read Bezos’s yearend letter to shareholders might well have thought that Amazon’s eighthundred-and-thirty-eight-per-cent sales growth had been in shoes, since he barely mentioned books. In the letter, Bezos noted tersely, “We are planning to add music to our product offering.” (Unlike Jobs, Bezos wasn’t a passionate listener: he once agreed to be interviewed for a program about the Beatles, and when employees, prepping the boss, asked him to name a favorite Beatles tune, Bezos chose “America,” by Simon & Garfunkel.) Soon after music came DVDs and consumer electronics. A

and a wedge into selling everything else.”

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New York literary agent told me that books were Amazon’s version of “a gateway drug.” Sargent said that Bezos’s ambition was apparent to him from the beginning—“My God, he drives hard.” But he couldn’t see Bezos’s master plan “for shit.” “He was already going to be the Everything Store,” Sargent said when we met in his trapezoidal office, in the narrow wedge of the Flatiron Building. “I thought he was just a bookstore, stupid me. Books were going to be the way to get the names and the data. Books were his customer-acquisition strategy.” As long as Amazon kept growing like mad, investors would pour in money and Wall Street wouldn’t pay much attention to profits. (The company didn’t have a profitable quarter until 2001, and still struggles to stay in the black.) In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two dozen writers and editors to produce copy for the Web site. One of them—Amazon employee No. 55—was a cultural critic from New York named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces at the Village Voice. (She had also worked at several New York publishers and at The New York Review of Books.) For these refugees from New York, where jobs in publishing and journalism were already beginning to thin out, Amazon offered the thrill of working at a rising power, with stock options and an enormous audience. Marcus edited the home page, which was visited by at least thirty million people a day. Under the rubric “Books Favorites,” he and his staff often promoted novels that needed a push to claim an audience, such as Myla Goldberg’s “Bee Season.” Marcus wrote hundreds of short book

Douglas Hofstadter’s ‘Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies’ was the first book sold on Amazon.com.

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From this first analysis, I decided to update the layouts to improve readability: • Line length was shortened for a more comfortable reading experience: a standard two column and less than full width single column variant were devised.

• Page number color boxes were dropped. Footers reorganized. • Alternate layouts integrating visuals were explored.

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?

Cheap Words

BY GEORGE PACKER

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.” Credit Construction by Ian Wright / Photograph by Ed Park Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer,

studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like U.P.S. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the

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which prohibits producers from offering price advantages to favored retailers. Although co-op fees weren’t “dreamed up by Amazon,” Marcus told me, “Amazon proved to be particularly good at squeezing this money out of publishers.” Publishers paid ten thousand dollars for a book to be prominently featured on the home page. They never knew exactly how much these payments helped sales, and negotiations over them became tense. (In a statement, Amazon said, “As a general practice, we don’t discuss our business negotiations with publishers.”) Each category within Amazon’s Books division had to collect co-op fees, and revenue targets rose steeply. In 1999, the company received $3,621,250 in co-op fees; the goal for 2000 was set at $9.25 million. When Marcus asked if publishers should be given sales targets in exchange for their payments, Lyn Blake, the executive who had created the co-op program, said no, adding, “Look, it’s the cost of doing business.” The editorial staff was reminded that the money, unlike the receipts on sold books, went straight to Amazon’s bottom line. Judgments about which books should be featured on the site were increasingly driven by promotional fees. Around this time, a group called the “personalization team,” or P13N, started to replace editorial suggestions for readers with algorithms that used customers’ history to make recommendations for future purchases. At Amazon, “personalization” meant data analytics and statistical probability. Author interviews became less frequent, and in-house essays were subsumed by customer reviews, which cost the company nothing. Tim Appelo, the entertainment editor at the time, said, “You could be the Platonic ideal of the reviewer, and

“Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry” 5

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you would not beat even those rather crude early algorithms.” Amazon’s departments competed with one another almost as fiercely as they did with other companies. According to Brad Stone, a trash-talking sign was hung on a wall in the P13N office: “PEOPLE FORGET THAT JOHN HENRY DIED IN THE END.” Machines defeated human beings. In December, 1999, at the height of the dot-com mania, Time named Bezos its Person of the Year. “Amazon isn’t about technology or even commerce,” the breathless cover article announced. “Amazon is, like every other site on the Web, a content play.” Yet this was the moment, Marcus said, when “content” people were “on the way out.” Although the writers and the editors made the site more interesting, and easier to navigate, they didn’t bring more customers. One day, Fried discovered a memo, written by a programmer and accidentally left on a printer, which suggested eliminating the editorial department. Anne Hurley, the editor-in-chief of the DVD and Video section, was viewed dismissively by her boss, Jason Kilar, who went on to run the video-streaming company Hulu. He told her, “I’m sorry, Anne, I just don’t see what value you add.” (Kilar denies saying this.) In July, 2000, Bezos sent out a company-wide e-mail with the subject line “Smile, remember it’s Day 1, and let’s kick some butt.” Several months earlier, the bubble had burst, and Amazon’s overcapitalized share price was plunging. For the first time, Wall Street lost faith in the company, and Bezos announced that the next eighteen months would be devoted to making “serious profits.” Marcus and Fried quit before they could be laid off. Tim Appelo took Marcus’s place. “I was the last human editor of the home page,” he told me. “By the time

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“The structure of the sentence “take this because of that” induces an innate and automatic response in humans, interrupting the usual fight-or-flight response to an obvious sales pitch.”

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BY ALISON DAVIS

“The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else.”

Spreads from second design review.

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know not to pitch based only on features, but how do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific

words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or ugliness of a person or object.” An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. But it’s not the yawner’s fault; it’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers— they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat gets a positive response.” by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to reFor the furniture salespeople, using place the negative automatic response with a “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really positive one. She suggested that salespeople like this couch because it is made of Italian greeting customers say, “May I offer you this leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great brochure because we’d like you to have more in your home because the design will go with information about our new store?’’ any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase The structure of the sentence—”take this in sales in just the first two weeks they were because of that”—induces an innate and used regularly with customers.” automatic response in humans. It offers peo“Because” works because, as Kunkel illusple a reasonable reason to ethically respond trates, “Trigger words are part of what I call based on an innate socializing instinct, couthe instant appeal response: positive, predictpled with a intellectually plausible justificaable actions that people take in response to a tion for doing so. specific trigger.” Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason So try this persuasive word next time is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits you’re trying to influence someone—because an automatic and innate response to grant it works! the favor! The response mechanism to this

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staff); but, in the influential, self-conscious world of people who care about reading, Amazon’s unparalleled power generates endless discussion, along with paranoia, resentment, confusion, and yearning. For its part, Amazon continues to expend considerable effort both to dominate this small, fragile market and to win the hearts and minds of readers. To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator. The company claims to want a more literate world—and it came along when the book world was in distress, offering a vital new source of sales. But then it started asking a lot of personal questions, and it created dependency and harshly exploited its leverage; eventually, the book world realized that Amazon had its house keys and its bank-account number, and wondered if that had been the intention all along. Recently, Amazon even started creating its own “content”—publishing books. The results have been decidedly mixed. A monopoly is dangerous because it concentrates so much economic power, but in the book business the prospect of a single owner of both the means of production and the modes of distribution is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history. Even in the iPhone age, books remain central to American intellectual life, and perhaps to democracy. And so the big question is not just whether Amazon is bad for the book industry; it’s whether Amazon is bad for books. In the nineteen-nineties, a different leviathan held publishers and independent bookstores in its grasp: chain stores, led by Barnes & Noble.

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data on affluent, educated shoppers. The books would be priced close to cost, in order to increase sales volume. After collecting data on millions of customers, Amazon could figure out how to sell everything else dirt cheap on the Internet. (Amazon says that its original business plan “contemplated only books.”) Afterward, Doeren told his partner at Rainy Day Books, Vivien Jennings, “I just met the world’s biggest snake-oil salesman. It’s going to be really bad for books.” Before Google, and long before Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected. Two decades later, Amazon sells a bewildering array of products: lawnmowers, iPods, art work, toys, diapers, dildos, shoes, bike racks, gun safes, 3-D printers. Amazon’s code of corporate secrecy is extreme—it won’t confirm how many Seattle employees it has, or how many Kindle e-readers have been sold—so it’s impossible to know for sure, but, according to one publisher’s estimate, book sales in the U.S. now make up no more than seven per cent of the company’s roughly seventy-five billion dollars in annual revenue. Origins, though, leave lasting marks, and Amazon remains intimately tangled up in books. Few notice if Amazon prices an electronics store out of business (except its

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What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget? and there was a major distribution warehouse in Oregon. Crucially, there are far too many books, in and out of print, to sell even a fraction of them at a physical store. The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else. For Bezos to have seen a bookstore as a means to world domination at the beginning of the Internet age, when there was already a crisis of confidence in the publishing world, in a country not known for its book-crazy public, was a stroke of business genius. In 1995, in Chicago, Bezos manned an Amazon booth at the annual conclave of the publishing industry, which is now called BookExpo America. Roger Doeren, from a Kansas City store called Rainy Day Books, was stopped short by Amazon’s sign: “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” Approaching Bezos, he asked, “Where is Earth’s biggest bookstore?” “Cyberspace,” Bezos replied. “We started a Web site last year. Who are your suppliers?” “Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.” “Ours, too. What’s your database?” “ ‘Books in Print.’ ” “Ours, too. So what makes you Earth’s biggest?” “We have the most affiliate links”—a form of online advertising. Doeren considered this, then asked, “What’s your business model?” Bezos said that Amazon intended to sell books as a way of gathering

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lisher, like Random House, and a production

graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and moved to Seattle to found a company that could ride the exponential growth of the early commercial Internet. (Bezos calculated that, in 1993, usage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.) His wife, MacKenzie, is a novelist who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton; according to Stone, Bezos’s favorite novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day,” which is on the suggested reading list for Amazon executives. All the other titles, including “Sam Walton, Made in America: My Story,” are business books, and even Ishiguro’s novel—about a self-erasing English butler who realizes that he has missed his chance at happiness in love—offers what Bezos calls a “regret-minimization framework”: how not to end up like the butler. Bezos is, above all things, pragmatic. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) It wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an online bookstore. “It was totally based on the property of books as a product,” Shel Kaphan, Bezos’s former deputy, says. Books are easy to ship and hard to break,

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like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book pub-

world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve Jobs didn’t sign up pop stars for recording contracts. A.T. & T. doesn’t build transmission towers and rent them to smaller phone companies, the way Amazon Web Services provides server infrastructure for startups (not to mention the C.I.A.). Amazon’s identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless.com—that U.R.L. still takes you to Amazon’s site—before adopting the name of the world’s largest river by volume. (If Bezos were a reader of classic American fiction, he might have hit upon Octopus.com.) Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry, where rapid growth, not profitability, is the measure of success. Amazon is not just the “Everything Store,” to quote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and the search for new things to be ambitious about. It seems preposterous now, but Amazon began as a bookstore. In 1994, at the age of thirty, Bezos, a Princeton

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• Additional content was included, allowing me to flesh out the system more fully: opening page with larger 12pt type; one and two column variants with pull quotes or graphics.

• And a first look at a cover concept, here still using the original working title “Point.” Although the color scheme isn’t seen often in these designs, here on the cover it reigns supreme, paired with a photographed texture.

Why Is This Tiny Mountain Town Is Home to MultimillionDollar Startups?

Park City, UT BY ANNA HENSEL

The city of fewer than 8,000 people is wellknown to ski bums and film buffs, but its entre-

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their laps. Bandura calls this process “guided mastery.” I love that term: guided mastery. And something else happened, these people who went through the process and touched the snake ended up having less anxiety about other things in their lives. They tried harder, they persevered longer, and they were more resilient in the face of failure. They just gained a new confidence. And Bandura calls that confidence self-efficacy—the sense that you can change the world and that you can attain what you set out to do. Well meeting Bandura was really cathartic for me because I realized that this famous scientist had documented and scientifically validated something that we’ve seen happen for the last 30 years. That we could take people who had the fear that they weren’t creative, and we could take them through a series of steps, kind of like a series of small successes, and they turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing. We see it at the d.school all the time. People from all different kinds of disciplines, they think of themselves as only analytical. And they come in and they go through the process, our process, they build confidence and now they think of themselves differently.

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Tech talent. Salt Lake City and Provo both boast growing startup scenes and a ready population of programmers. “Park City is unique because it has a really large talent base of engineers located nearby,” says Eric Cylvick, co-founder of ZipRider, a company that installs zip lines, mostly at ski resorts. For ZipRider, the city offers the best of both worlds. The business, founded in 2002, has more than $1 million in annual revenue. Park City is home to both a ski resort that was large enough to support a Zip Rider zip line (Park City Mountain Resort, which was Zip Rider’s first customer), but is also close enough to a talent pool of developers and engineers that Zip Rider needs. One downside, says Park City Angels Chairman Paul Wozniak, is that when compa-

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And they’re totally emotionally excited about the fact that they walk around thinking of themselves as a creative person. So I thought one of the things I’d do today is take you through and show you what this journey looks like. To me, that journey looks like Doug Dietz. Doug Dietz is a technical person. He designs medical imaging equipment, large medical imaging equipment. He’s worked for GE, and he’s had a fantastic career. But at one point he had a moment of crisis. He was in the hospital looking at one of his MRI machines in use when he saw a young family. There was a little girl, and that little girl was crying and was terrified. And Doug was really disappointed to learn that nearly 80 percent of the pediatric patients in this hospital had to be sedated in order to deal with his MRI machine. And this was really disappointing to Doug, because before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives with this machine. But it really hurt him to see the fear that this machine caused in kids. About that time he was at the d.school at Stanford taking classes. He was learning about our process about design thinking,

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about empathy, about iterative prototyping. And he would take this new knowledge and do something quite extraordinary. He would redesign the entire experience of being scanned. And this is what he came up with. He turned it into an adventure for the kids. He painted the walls and he painted the machine, and he got the operators retrained by people who know kids, like children’s museum people. And now when the kid comes, it’s an experience. And they talk to them about the noise and the movement of the ship. And when they come, they say, “Okay, you’re going to go into the pirate ship, but be very still because we don’t want the pirates to find you.” And the results were super dramatic. So from something like 80 percent of the kids needing to be sedated, to something like 10 percent of the kids needing to be sedated. And the hospital and GE were happy too. Because you didn’t have to call the anesthesiologist all the time, they could put more kids through the machine in a day. So the quantitative results were great. But Doug’s results that he cared about were much more qualitative. He was with one of the mothers waiting for her child to come out of the scan.

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In four hours he had a huge cure rate of people who had phobias. And we talked about snakes. I don’t know why we talked about snakes. We talked about snakes and fear of snakes as a phobia. And it was really enjoyable, really interesting. He told me that he’d invite the test subject in, and he’d say, “You know, there’s a snake in the next room and we’re going to go in there.” To which, he reported, most of them replied, “Hell no, I’m not going in there, certainly if there’s a snake in there.” But Bandura has a step-by-step process that was super successful. So he’d take people to this two-way mirror looking into the room where the snake was, and he’d get them comfortable with that. And then through a series of steps, he’d move them and they’d be standing in the doorway with the door open and they’d be looking in there. And he’d get them comfortable with that. And then many more steps later, baby steps, they’d be in the room, they’d have a leather glove like a welder’s glove on, and they’d eventually touch the snake. And when they touched the snake everything was fine. They were cured. In fact, everything was better than fine. These people who had life-long fears of snakes were saying things like, “Look how beautiful that snake is.” And they were holding it in

angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City a hub for this growing business niche. Events like Sundance are a boon to Park City, because they attract aspiring entrepreneurs who might never have thought of the location, says Ted McAleer, a co-founder of Park City Angels, an angel-investor network. “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, and a really interesting, vibrant, entrepreneurial community,” McAleer says. For Skullcandy, the company’s Park City location is an integral part of its identity, says CEO Hoby Darling. One of Darling’s first moves as CEO in 2013 was to close the company’s Los Angeles office to focus operations back to Park City. Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, now has about 175 full-time employees at its headquarters. “We had to be really aligned to our consumer, and to do that we really had to have product, marketing, and sales altogether in one building,” Darling says. “When you go, ‘Who is the customer that I just love wearing Skullcandy?’...I think a lot of that goes right back to our heritage. It’s people who are on the mountain. They’re in the park. They’re in the gym, pushing what they love to do.”

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preneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

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Lead-in Question is Palatino Italic 18pt. Is this a conversation? Full width body text in 12/18 pt Quincy CF Regular, baseline grid. Lores autem in poreperciis vendunt optatquis acesectae provideliti doluptatem et liquunt ibusant vel idebis am ra voluptas vendis solentur, quati berovit quae etur magnihi liquidusam, ut et ipiduntem dem recatios et accab in repelent, voluptatur, quae la voluptum derchitiis estiae magnihi liquidusam, ut et ipiduntem dem recatios et accab in repelent, voluptatur, quae la voluptum derchitiis estiaeUllo dellorerum quisto velicto cus evellaut moloriati dollam idelitatiam, is

Titles are in Decour Black 28/33.6 pt (align first row) BYLINE DECOUR LIGHT 8PT ALL CAPS

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?

Cheap Words

2. Park City, UT 3. Persuasion with Because 4. Creative Confidence

BY GEORGE PACKER

5. Verna Myers, Go Boldly

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.” Credit Construction by Ian Wright / Photograph by Ed Park Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer,

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BYLINE BOB

ular, baseline grid. Lores autem in poreperciis vendunt optatquis acesectae provideliti doluptatem et liquunt ibusant vel idebis am ra voluptas vendis solentur, quati berovit quae etur magnihi liquidusam, ut et ipiduntem dem recatios et accab in repelent, voluptatur, quae la voluptum derchitiis estiae. Inum nis aut et quo esci resciliquis maxim quidus ea quos simus ad eium quias explicate con et et parum labor repudis eic temod eum exerehent rem volorio con pratiores apidele niscilit et hit estionsed. Enisquia volorib usapitatem id molupie niasper chillore veliti dolupta doluptat landit et aspero modis et inullantotat fugiam. Conse alitas eos aut volorepudi restis es dolendusam que que conse net eum ea voluptat odist as adis est volorem voloribus doluptatio voluptae maximi, serae exerum lam volupta dolo ium quidebitent aut moluptatur am volupta

Contents

1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon

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like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliver-

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er, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be

1. Divider Lines / Pauses in Text (e.g. section breaks)

a package service, like U.P.S. Its founder and

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chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the

Pull Quote is Decour Black 16/20pt. Isn’t this a conversational aside?

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Park City, UT BY ANNA HENSEL

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The city of fewer than 8,000 people is wellknown to ski bums and film buffs, but its entrepreneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

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angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City a hub for this growing business niche. Events like Sundance are a boon to Park City, because they attract aspiring entrepreneurs who might never have thought of the location, says Ted McAleer, a co-founder of Park City Angels, an angel-investor network. “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, and a really interesting, vibrant, entrepreneurial community,” McAleer says. For Skullcandy, the company’s Park City location is an integral part of its identity, says CEO Hoby Darling. One of Darling’s first moves as CEO in 2013 was to close the company’s Los Angeles office to focus operations back to Park City. Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, now has about 175 full-time employees at its headquarters. “We had to be really aligned to our consumer, and to do that we really had to have product, marketing, and sales altogether in one building,” Darling says. “When you go, ‘Who is the customer that I just love wearing Skullcandy?’...I think a lot of that goes right back to our heritage. It’s people who are on the mountain. They’re in the park. They’re in the gym, pushing what they love to do.”

Tech talent. Salt Lake City and Provo both boast growing startup scenes and a ready population of programmers. “Park City is unique because it has a really large talent base of engineers located nearby,” says Eric Cylvick, co-founder of ZipRider, a company that installs zip lines, mostly at ski resorts. For ZipRider, the city offers the best of both worlds. The business, founded in 2002, has more than $1 million in annual revenue. Park City is home to both a ski resort that was large enough to support a Zip Rider zip line (Park City Mountain Resort, which was Zip Rider’s first customer), but is also close enough to a talent pool of developers and engineers that Zip Rider needs. One downside, says Park City Angels Chairman Paul Wozniak, is that when companies reach a certain size, they tend to outgrow the tiny local labor market and have to move. Take WAVE, a startup that’s helping cities develop wireless electric buses. WAVE moved

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to Salt Lake City in 2013 after it outgrew its Park City facilities. Active angels. Park City does have one advantage over Salt Lake City and Provo: It’s home to Park City Angels, the largest angel-investment network in Utah with 45 dues-paying members who invested $6.55 million in Utah startups in 2015. Further evidence of the mountain town’s robust startup scene is its new business incubator and accelerator, PandoLabs, which launched with the help of Park City Angels. PandoLabs now works with 50 startups in the area. “We’re seeing a number of entrepreneurs who were already in Park City, but who now want to be part of a larger community,” says McAleer. Ready test market. For companies like ZipRider and Skullcandy, Park City is home to their ideal product testers. Eric and his wife and co-founder, Sarah Cylvick, got the idea for ZipRider after returning from a trip from Costa Rica where they went zip lining. Their home--located in the mountains--was high up enough that they built a 550-foot zip-line prototype, which allowed them to perfect their product

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mendations for future purchases. At Amazon, “personalization” meant data analytics and statistical probability. Author interviews became less frequent, and in-house essays were subsumed by customer reviews, which cost the company nothing. Tim Appelo, the entertainment editor at the time, said, “You could be the Platonic ideal of the reviewer, and you would not beat even those rather crude early algorithms.” Amazon’s departments competed with one another almost as fiercely as they did with other companies. According to Brad Stone, a trash-talking sign was hung on a wall in the P13N office: “PEOPLE FORGET THAT JOHN HENRY DIED IN THE END.” Machines defeated human beings. In December, 1999, at the height of the dot-com mania, Time named Bezos its Person of the Year. “Amazon isn’t about technology or even commerce,” the breathless cover article announced. “Amazon is, like every other site on the Web, a content play.” Yet this was the moment, Marcus said, when “content” people were “on the way out.” Although the writers and the editors made the site more interesting, and easier to navigate, they didn’t bring more customers. One day, Fried discovered a memo, written by a programmer and accidentally left on a printer, which suggested eliminating the editorial department. Anne Hurley, the editor-in-chief of the DVD and Video section, was viewed dismissively by her boss, Jason Kilar, who went on to run the video-streaming company Hulu. He told her, “I’m sorry, Anne, I just don’t see what value you add.” (Kilar denies saying this.) In July, 2000, Bezos sent out a company-wide e-mail with the subject line “Smile, remember it’s Day 1, and let’s kick some butt.” Several months earlier, the bubble had burst, and

felt safe,” Fried said of her editorial colleagues. “I took home my Rolodex every day.” Book retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, negotiate “co-op,” or coöperative promotional fees, from publishers in exchange for prominent product placement. It’s a way for a retailer to get a larger discount without violating the 1936 Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits producers from offering price advantages to favored retailers. Although co-op fees weren’t “dreamed up by Amazon,” Marcus told me, “Amazon proved to be particularly good at squeezing this money out of publishers.” Publishers paid ten thousand dollars for a book to be prominently featured on the home page. They never knew exactly how much these payments helped sales, and negotiations over them became tense. (In a statement, Amazon said, “As a general practice, we don’t discuss our business negotiations with publishers.”) Each category within Amazon’s Books division had to collect co-op fees, and revenue targets rose steeply. In 1999, the company received $3,621,250 in co-op fees; the goal for 2000 was set at $9.25 million. When Marcus asked if publishers should be given sales targets in exchange for their payments, Lyn Blake, the executive who had created the co-op program, said no, adding, “Look, it’s the cost of doing business.” The editorial staff was reminded that the money, unlike the receipts on sold books, went straight to Amazon’s bottom line. Judgments about which books should be featured on the site were increasingly driven by promotional fees. Around this time, a group called the “personalization team,” or P13N, started to replace editorial suggestions for readers with algorithms that used customers’ history to make recom-

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ing that the New York publishing business was just this cloistered, Gilded Age antique just barely getting by in a sort of Colonial Williamsburg of commerce, but when Amazon waded into this they would show publishing how it was done.” During the 1999 holiday season, Amazon tried publishing books, leasing the rights to a defunct imprint called Weathervane and putting out a few titles. “These were not incipient best-sellers,” Marcus writes. “They were creatures from the black lagoon of the remainder table”—Christmas recipes and the like, selected with no apparent thought. Employees with publishing experience, like Fried, were not consulted. Weathervane fell into an oblivion so complete that there’s no trace of it on the Internet. (Representatives at the company today claim never to have heard of it.) Nobody at Amazon seemed to absorb any lessons from the failure. A decade later, the company would try again. Amazon was a megastore, not an indie bookshop, let alone a literary review, and its writers were under pressure to prove that their work produced sales. If a customer clicked on a review or an interview, then left the page without making a purchase, it was logged as a Repel. Marcus was informed that his repulsion rate was too high. “Nobody ever

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is still Day 1.” Marcus and Fried joked about writing a novel that would begin, “It was Day 1. Again.” (Amazon recently began publishing a literary magazine for its Kindle device: Day One.) One important way that Bezos’s writers and editors differed from the tech and business people was in their gentler attitude toward book publishers. Even when Amazon’s entire business was in books, and its relations with publishers were fairly good, it nurtured a certain impatience with New York houses that supplied the products it sold. Mary Morouse’s account of her trip east in 1999 reported, “I had one S.V.P. of sales tell me, ‘We like any account who is growing faster than we are, but we don’t really forecast that way.’ When I asked him how much they are growing, he said ‘I don’t know. I think we were flat last year.’ That gives you some idea of the level of business focus.” According to Marcus, Amazon executives considered publishing people “antediluvian losers with rotary phones and inventory systems designed in 1968 and warehouses full of crap.” Publishers kept no data on customers, making their bets on books a matter of instinct rather than metrics. They were full of inefficiences, starting with overpriced Manhattan offices. There was “a general feel-

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before pitching it to ski resorts. The idea for Skullcandy’s first set of headphones was also born on Park City slopes. Darling says that it’s important that Skullcandy’s products are able to withstand use while snowboarding and skiing. With the headquarters of the U.S. Ski Team in Park City, Skullcandy can get input from athletes like two-time Olympic skier Emily Cook. Cook joined the company after ending her athletic career, becoming a manager of Skullcandy’s Sport and Human Potential Program. Park City’s seasonal events also provide an ideal way for aspiring entrepreneurs to recruit out-of-town customers without leaving the state. Friends Josh Mahoney and Jake Jones founded the transportation company Chariot Enterprises in 2010, after chauffeuring at the Sundance Film Festival for four years. As Mahoney explains, working at Sundance for so long allowed them to start a business with customers who were already loyal. “I had a really good relationship with one of the clients I was assigned to--their coordinator really liked me,” Mahoney said. “I mentioned that they could just hire me directly. From there, we just kept getting new clients.” Mahoney says that when he was working as a chauffeur for Sundance, he would earn

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How do we overcome our biases?

beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on the ground dead, blood running for four hours while his grandmother and little children

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nered mea culpa and ultimate resignation. I was glad that finally someone this high up was being made to account for an institution’s failure to listen to and take seriously the concerns of their black students. But President Wolfe’s lowered head, his measured and halted speech, and his inability to utter one word of apology made the entire press conference seem lackluster and pro forma. On the other hand, the decision made by Jonathan Butler, a 25-year old student, to go on a hunger strike to protest what he and others believe was the University of Missouri’s failure to adequately address bigotry on campus was very impressive and impactful. Likewise, I was impressed, frankly surprised, and moved by the refusal of the entire University of Missouri football team and their coaches to play in their nationally televised game against BYU -- or even practice ahead of time -- an act of solidarity that brought national attention to Butler’s call for the resignation of President Wolfe. The undeniable effectiveness and boldness of these protests lay in stark juxtaposition to the lack of stewardship and proper attention paid to important issues by school leaders. While I am grateful that Butler, the football team, and the diverse body of students who supported them led a swift

and powerful movement to hold the school responsible, I found myself thinking that although this battle may be won, how are these students going to achieve the environment they are demanding and so rightly deserve? The University of Missouri, like so many other institutions can be well intended, but that intent is often coupled with the repeated reality that most officially appointed leaders in our nation’s schools, companies and communities lack the awareness, skills and courage it takes to create the inclusive, respectful and nurturing environments needed for people of all backgrounds to thrive. Of course, the issues of racism, sexism, religious intolerance and other forms of personal and institutional bias against marginalized groups are not unique or new at our academic establishments. For decades, students from non-majority groups have arrived on campuses with great excitement -- only to find themselves trying to learn in environments that did not expect them, reflect them or respect them. Some will point to the middle of the country and stereotype those there as not as open or respectful of difference. But the issue of racism and other forms of bigotry are everywhere in our country. Last week, I spoke to an East Coast graduate school audience of students, professors,

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been to graduate school knows what it’s like to try and convince a group of traditionally minded master craftsman of the validity of your own new ideas. But what I like about this model is that there’s a clean break, a right of passage, a point at which you are birthed into the world of creative professionalism. Nowadays, I think there’s a huge problem in that getting your career started is in a tbone collision with study and creative growth. Now we should always continue to grow and we should always continue to study, but when you’re in what should be sort of this cocoon phase, the student phase, the art school phase whether you’re actually in art school or not, it’s hard to get good enough to be professional when you’re already worrying so much about being professional, and you’re already worrying…you shouldn’t worry about your portfolio freshman year, do you know what I mean? Sean: Oh yeah, definitely. That’s another issue, not worrying about your portfolio freshman year but this idea of this master apprentice…my dad’s a machinist, that’s part impartial to the trade, it’s changed because it’s gone digital and everything. But for the hundred years of manufacturing and C&C machines out there, and lays, and drill presses, and mills and all that – I mean, that’s how

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you learn. You did a couple years of trade school and then you were taken on as an apprentice, and that’s how you operated for two years until you were considered a…I don’t know what the term is but maybe a master machinist or something like those terms. But yeah, most professions operate that way, and they do to an extent I’m sure once you came on at Disney, there was like a period…I’m guessing, I’m sure there was a period where you were kind of an apprentice. For me and blogging, it was kind of like that. I was running sites but running them with Calista, the main guy behind Envato, being able to reach out to him and ask questions and really doing things his way for the first few years before I started doing things my way. And then we’ve grown our own team that’s like that and now we have kind of a team way plus everyone’s got their own experience to bring. How can you emulate that now I think is the big question because it’s not necessarily required. Something like the program that you offer is awesome, I mean you have the experience, you have done it, you have walked that path, and people can come on and get all that experience from you. And it’s not the same as being in your studio but it’s the closest you can get right now by doing it over the internet, by whatever you offer on

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and administrators about what it takes to create a culturally competent learning environment where people of all backgrounds feel respected and included. I had been called in because of a racially-charged incident among the student body that brought into sharper focus even more troubling issues of exclusion and bias experienced by people of color and women. Significantly, the leaders of this institution decided not to hide, downplay, or deny the problem. Instead, they engaged and worked to understand the complex issues. The top leader made it his business to talk to the individuals, the offenders and the offended, and together with student, faculty and administrative voices, he began to develop a plan to address the issues that had surfaced, including learning how to have authentic conversations and learning to be more culturally competent. The work of transforming an institution whose foundation was shaped by exclusive

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and supremacist ways of thinking -- which is, incidentally, true of most of our established American organizations -- into a multi-cultural, anti-racist institution takes an enormous commitment, a deep understanding of culture, an intolerance for denying the impact of exclusion and bias, and bold, courageous, and inclusive leadership. I have worked with many leaders, most of them white, male, straight and protestant. I have seen brilliant, capable executives cower and become impotent when they are asked to speak to issues of difference, especially racial issues. They are often blind-sided and ineffective when faced with demands for fairness and respect from those who have put their trust in their organization. They have no framework for understanding institutional racism and the way biases against certain groups have been embedded into the organizations that they care so deeply about. Instead of moving forward with conviction to solve the issues, they remain paralyzed with the fear of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, angering the wrong people, and ultimately lose their footing. They are often tone deaf to the voices that are appealing to their leadership because they have not been taught to listen and their privilege has drawn small circles of comfort around them -- even

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“But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. ”

as they have been appointed to lead a diverse often, leaders of these organizations don’t group of people. They take the demand for seem to understand what time it is. The change personally, and even though they can “Black Lives Matter” movement has become a see signs that something might be wrong, wake-up call emboldening people of all backthey seem unwilling to change the institution grounds, especially young people, to stand up in any significant way. and say, “No more!” At this point in history, However, many leaders in the private and you can’t be an effective leader unless you are public spheres are starting to realize that they culturally aware and inclusive. Students can’t can no longer remain good leaders without be appeased with a few budget increases, understanding how to recognize and adapt conducting one session on diversity, and to difference in a way that will enhance their hiring a visiting professor of color. Real institutions’ survival in our constantly chang- change will require deep introspection and examination of the institution and those ing world. I remember coaching one of these who are leading it. These leaders have to be CEO’s who was determined to get it right, to willing to look humbly and honestly into their expand his comfort zone and ability to see own worldviews and the way those views what was beyond his experience and culture. have been impacted by racism. Ultimately, When we first started, I had to convince him they have to believe that difference is not to that it was okay for him to say, “people of be feared, covered or contained -- rather it color” to a person of color. We had to practice is to be understood, respected and seen as a the phrase out loud before he felt comfortpowerful asset. True leaders are curious and able. He ultimately developed a facility with eager to hear the stories of those different the language of inclusion, and a greater ease from themselves, even when those narratives and authenticity in his relationships with are painful and point to shortcomings in the the people themselves. As he became more institution. proactive rather than reactive, an inclusive Most importantly, they have to be willing tone was set for all, policies changed, and his to examine the culture and practices of the leaders were evaluated based on how well they practiced inclusion in hiring, promotions, establishment, and in doing so, be willing to let go of “the way we always do things.” mentoring and opportunity. There may be apparent comfort and preWhat I think Missouri shows us is that,

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all those videos or… Chris: Everything, and interactive…I mean as often as possible, I was working on a freelance job just a few months ago and I wrote all my students, everyone who was currently subscribed or signed up for a course whether they had finished the course or not, everybody. I just wrote them all and was like, “Hey guys, I’ve got a deadline on Monday. It’s Tuesday, I’m going to be working nonstop for the next six days. Here’s the

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dictability in these practices, but a fierce commitment to the status quo is a ticking time bomb contaminated with exclusion and bigotry. Inclusive leaders have to be bold enough to tell beneficiaries of the status quo that it is time they relinquish some of their power and privilege so that the organization can accomplish its mission, be relevant, and able to thrive in the future.

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and the brilliance of African-Americans, and the horrors and the humility, and all the humiliations. It was especially hard to hear about the

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thing but it is possible to be so doing your own thing that it’s not relevant to anybody, or it’s not relevant to enough people to be able to make a living. Sean: Yeah, don’t go off on a desert island and just make your thing and then expect it to be relevant in the marketplace a year later. Yeah, there’s that line between commercial appeal and companies, what they’re looking for, and then what you can produce and that line where you’re unique but you’re also working a certain vein and there’s a certain demographic you’re looking to hit, a certain type of work. So if you really want to work at Disney, then you’ve really got to produce stuff that’s in line with that. Chris: During the renaissance, we had the master apprentice model for art education and you as the apprentice would go work under the master craftsman, and at some point you would attempt a masterpiece. And then, that masterpiece would be evaluated by the guild of master craftsman and if you won their approval, they would allow you to join the guild of master craftsman and then you got to go set up your own shop and have your own apprentices and so on. There’s a lot to like about this model and although I’m sure it was full of frustration for the apprentices and the master craftsman, anyone who’s

and it was filled with stories of the resilience it was also really hard to hear all the stories of

Let me just start with number one. We gotta get out of denial. Stop trying to be good people. We need real people. You know, I do a lot of diversity work, and people will come up to me at the beginning of the workshop. They’re like, “Oh, Ms. Diversity Lady, we’re so glad you’re here” — (Laughter) — “but we don’t have a biased bone in our body.” And I’m like, “Really? Because I do this work every day, and I see all my biases.” I mean, not too long ago, I was on a plane and I heard the voice of a woman pilot coming over the P.A. system, and I was just so excited, so thrilled. I was like, “Yes, women, we are rocking it. We are now in the stratosphere.” It was all good, and then it started getting turbulent and bumpy, and I was like, “I hope she can drive.” (Laughter) I know. Right. But it’s not even like I knew that was a bias until I was coming back on the other leg and there’s always a guy driving and it’s often turbulent and bumpy, and I’ve never questioned the confidence of the male driver. The pilot is good. Now, here’s the problem. If you ask me explicitly, I would say, “Female pilot: awesome.” But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. You know, fast-moving planes in the sky, I want a guy. That’s my default. Men are my default. Who is your default? Who do you trust? Who are you afraid of? Who do you implicitly feel connected to? Who do you run away from? I’m going to tell you what we have learned. The implicit association test, which measures unconscious bias, you can go online and take it. Five million people have taken it. Turns out,

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VM on Are Horrific Viral Videos of Police Violence Wearing Us Out? When the latest horrific act of excessive, out of control violence by a police officer against a young black girl at Spring Valley High School hit CNN and the social media loops, did you think about withdrawing from the fight, exhausted and overwhelmed by it all? Did you want to distance yourself from the pain and anger? Or did you ask yourself how you would have been able to deal with the situation if that teenage girl, who was violently flipped and dragged still pinned in her desk, was your daughter, granddaughter or niece? Did your stomach hurt, your head swell with disbelief and anger? I started worrying. What if all these video recordings exposing us to yet another police officer’s over the top force against an unarmed citizen may be taking its toil

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and wearing us out emotionally? What if repeated witnessing of these injustices will, eventually, lead us to withdraw, just as a matter of survival? It is painfully clear that the police are routinely brutalizing, bullying and killing us. Not all of the police, to be sure, but way too many of them have certainly developed a devastating disregard for some of us: the young, black, brown, poor, transgender, intellectually disabled, immigrants of us. In other words, the most marginalized of us. What if most Americans, especially those who don’t feel connected to the most vulnerable of our residents, can’t handle seeing another despicable act on their news feed? Are we in danger of paralysis? Suppose that instead of us getting to the tipping point for change that so many of us are hoping for, we get so emotionally exhausted by it all that we retreat, go back

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our default is white. We like white people. We prefer white. What do I mean by that? When people are shown images of black men and white men, we are more quickly able to associate that picture with a positive word, that white person with a positive word, than we are when we are trying to associate positive with a black face, and vice versa. When we see a black face, it is easier for us to connect black with negative than it is white with negative. Seventy percent of white people taking that test prefer white. Fifty percent of black people taking that test prefer white. You see, we were all outside when the contamination came down. What do we do about the fact that our brain automatically associates? You know, one of the things that you probably are thinking about, and you’re probably like, you know what, I’m just going to double down on my color blindness. Yes, I’m going to recommit to that. I’m going to suggest to you, no. We’ve gone about as far as we can go trying to make a difference trying to not see color. The problem was never that we saw color. It was what we did when we saw the color. It’s a false ideal. And while we’re busy pretending not to see, we are not being aware of the ways in which racial difference is changing people’s possibilities, that’s keeping them

from thriving, and sometimes it’s causing them an early death. So in fact, what the scientists are telling us is, no way. Don’t even think about color blindness. In fact, what they’re suggesting is, stare at awesome black people. (Laughter) Look at them directly in their faces and memorize them, because when we look at awesome folks who are black, it helps to dissociate the association that happens automatically in our brain. Why do you think I’m showing you these beautiful black men behind me? There were so many, I had to cut them. Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m trying to reset your automatic associations about who black men are. I’m trying to remind you that young black men grow up to be amazing human beings who have changed our lives and made them better. So here’s the thing. The other possibility in science, and it’s only temporarily changing our automatic assumptions, but one thing we know is that if you take a white person who is odious that you know, and stick it up next to a person of color, a black person, who is fabulous, then that sometimes actually causes us to disassociate too. So think Jeffrey Dahmer and Colin Powell. Just stare at them, right? (Laughter) But these are the things. So go looking for your bias. Please, please, just

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into our complacency, go shopping instead of showing up to protests, go back to voting for candidates who don’t care instead of demanding real policy changes from our officials. What if we even stop posting or talking about the last horrible video? How long can we sustain our outrage when, in so many cases, there appears to be no justice for the victims of the type of abhorrent violent behavior we are witnessing? I also wonder if many of us are more afraid of the police after witnessing their actions in all these recordings. I believe these viral commercials of police intimidation work in the police’s favor, promoting more social control. I know that the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel and FBI Commissioner James Comey have voiced concerns that police are reluctant to do their jobs now for fear that they will be caught on video and their lives and careers will be ruined. According to them, this reluctance could explain the rise in crime in urban areas. But watching those kids motionless in that Spring Valley classroom while they observed such violence against their classmate and hearing what they were told would happen to them if they intervened, it is clear to me who is more

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afraid, and it’s not the police. That classroom was a microcosm of so many communities in this country that have experienced firsthand this type of intimidation, this kind of social control. Even suggesting that the Black Lives Matter movement is causing more crime is an attempt to scapegoat, manipulate and induce fearful compliance. I was never afraid of the police before this past year. For years now, I’ve been living a life of privilege, an unpoliced life. But the other day, in this year of being up close with the truth of police brutality, I was driving down the highway a little too fast and caught sight of a police car behind me. And I became aware that so much has changed. As I acted to quickly decelerate, I felt my heart rate escalating. All this exposure to police misconduct has caused me to be more compliant, hoping to avoid all police officers. I fear that I might encounter that out of control officer who is triggered just by the fact that I am a black woman with a sense of my own dignity. I have decided however, that my response to this fear and the sense of rage and hopelessness that creeps in each time I watch another terrifying incident is to be vigilant, and not withdraw. I can’t withdraw; I won’t withdraw.

get out of denial and go looking for disconfirming data that will prove that in fact your old stereotypes are wrong. Okay, so that’s number one: number two, what I’m going to say is move toward young black men instead of away from them. It’s not the hardest thing to do, but it’s also one of these things where you have to be conscious and intentional about it. You know, I was in a Wall Street area one time several years ago when I was with a colleague of mine, and she’s really wonderful and she does diversity work with me and she’s a woman of color, she’s Korean. And we were outside, it was late at night, and we were sort of wondering where we were going, we were lost. And I saw this person across the street, and I was thinking, “Oh great, black guy.” I was going toward him without even thinking about it. And she was like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” The guy across the street, he was a black guy. I think black guys generally know where they’re going. I don’t know why exactly I think that, but that’s what I think. So she was saying, “Oh, you were going, ‘Yay, a black guy’?” She said, “I was going, ‘Ooh, a black guy.’” Other direction. Same need, same guy, same clothes, same time, same street, different reaction. And she said, “I feel so bad. I’m a diversity consultant. I did the black guy thing.

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I’m a woman of color. Oh my God!” And I said, “You know what? Please. We really need to relax about this.” I mean, you’ve got to realize I go way back with black guys. (Laughter) My dad is a black guy. You see what I’m saying? I’ve got a 6’5” black guy son. I was married to a black guy. My black guy thing is so wide and so deep that I can pretty much sort and figure out who that black guy is, and he was my black guy. He said, “Yes, ladies, I know where you’re going. I’ll take you there.” You know, biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are. But how are we going to know who they are when we’ve been told to avoid and be afraid of them? So I’m going to tell you to walk toward your discomfort. And I’m not asking you to take any crazy risks. I’m saying, just do an inventory, expand your social and professional circles. Who’s in your circle? Who’s missing? How many authentic relationships do you have with young black people, folks, men, women? Or any other major difference from who you are and how you roll, so to speak? Because, you know what? Just look around your periphery. There may be somebody at work, in your classroom, in your house of worship, somewhere, there’s some black young guy there. And you’re nice. You say hi. I’m saying go deeper, closer,

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injustices and stand up and fight for others, Every testimony I hear from young black many of us do not. folks living in their over-policed commuWe asked people that had come to the nities of Baltimore, where I live, helps me Circle of Voices session, men and women of stay focused. They have bore witness and different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic experienced this kind of violence for a long backgrounds to find someone in the room time; some of them have grown weary and who they didn’t know and thought of as petulant, but I am inspired by the ones who have decided to speak up and demand justice. being different from them in some significant way. Once paired, we asked perfect strangers Recently JC Faulk, the creator of Circle of to confide in each other about where they Voices, and I facilitated a powerfully enlightfind themselves ignoring the pain of other ening conversation in Baltimore, where the death of Freddie Gray has awakened many to groups and why they choose to do so. The group found a strange and unexpectpolice brutality and the structural racism that has created black neighborhoods of concened comfort in revealing where and why they detach and in finding out that we all close our trated poverty. eyes to some group’s pain. When we inquired Hadji Bakara, a graduate student from about why we move away from the pain of the University of Chicago, had just finished others, the reasons were many: too much to presenting to us a horrible story that most of bear emotionally - too sad, too angry, too conus had never heard about - the literal torture, over decades, of more than 100 black men in fused, too embarrassed; being afraid of the Chicago by police commander Jon Burge and “other;” ignorance and guilt; not knowing how his henchmen, and the long and hard battle of to make a difference; worried you will make it enraged citizens to bring this man to justice worse or won’t be welcomed by those you are and seek redress for the victims. trying to help. Bakara believes that we have to stand They talked about the truth of trying to up and fight against inhumane treatment preserve one’s stuff; one’s sense of control, of others, even if we don’t consider them energy, sanity, safety and one’s life. This is part of our tribe; if we don’t, we make space the truth of where we are in America right for atrocities to take place somewhere else now. There are so many feelings that urge us against another group. While some of us see to turn away and some of us have the privi-

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trying to be just like some other illustrator, like you’re saying microwave leftover of what they’ve created, you’re not developing that unique thing that is you. I mean you haven’t gone deep enough into that hole of developing your own style. But as a student, you should copy other people, I mean outright copy, just until you can draw in that style. And then do it a million times, just do that and then develop that nuance that feels like it’s you but in that style and then eventually try to pull it together man, like pull these threads and what does that thread create plus you, plus what interests you? And that’s where you come up with something that’s interesting you know, and that’s why people will search you out. And at the same time, as you’re developing your business savvy, it doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to trends, I mean ideally your style and what you do, it meets with what the market’s looking for, you know? So you kind of have to pay some attention. Chris: Oftentimes I’ll get these portfolios that are torture, bleeding from the eyballs, and I’m going – maybe there’s an industry for that, but I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve never seen that industry. And maybe that’s just because I don’t hang out in places where people are into that kind of

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VM on A Crisis of Leadership at MIZZOU: Why White Male Leaders Must Learn the Language of Inclusion I had mixed feelings as I watched University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe, stand before the cameras and deliver his mild man-

trying to get to a better opportunity up North,

and his neighbors watched in horror, and I thought, here it is again. This violence, this brutality against black men has been going on for centuries. I mean, it’s the same story, just different names. It could have been Amadou Diallo. It could have been Sean Bell. It could have been Oscar Grant. It could have been Trayvon Martin. This violence, this brutality, is really something that’s part of our national psyche. It’s part of our collective history. What are we going to do about it? You know that part of us that still crosses the street, locks the doors, clutches the purses, when we see young black men? That part. I know we’re not shooting people down in the street, but I’m saying that the same stereotypes and prejudices that fuel those kinds of tragic incidents are in us. We’ve been schooled in them as well. I believe that we can stop these types of incidents, these Fergusons from happening, by looking within and being willing to change ourselves. So I have a call to action for you. There are three things that I want to offer us today to think about as ways to stop Ferguson from happening again; three things that I think will help us reform our images of young black men and, I’m hoping, will not only protect them but will open the world so that they can thrive. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine our country embracing young black men, seeing them as part of our future, giving them that kind of openness, that kind of grace we give to people we love? How much better would our lives be? How much better would our country be?

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One thing that it could mean is a much needed rest for everyone in our society. Because, while many Blacks and other marginalized groups are constantly fighting against the fatigue of racism and oppression, it is also tiring for all people to be constantly in suspicion, fear and ignorance about another group of people. This preoccupation also robs us of precious opportunities to connect across our differences and to experience the richness of our humanity. It sustains a feeling of discomfort and distance. It prevents us for extending to others the empathy, understanding and opportunities that we all want and need. Some of us think that we can protect ourselves by sealing away from certain groups and surrounding ourselves with people who are like us. But, I would hope that by now we are learning that this type of exclusion will not keep us safe. We have to face the ills in our society together, connected, and doing whatever we can to confront the biases that separate us.

amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns.” It documents six million black folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970 looking for a respite from all the brutality and

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sumptions about inferiority are accurate. In this situation, it appears that there is nothing young white men can do, including killing lots of innocent people at a prayer meeting at church, that will tarnish the positive bias toward that group and there is nothing amazing enough that black men can do that will allow them to escape being perceived as the ones to be feared. The fact that all young white men who walk into a school are not presumed to be Eric David Harris or Dylan Klebold, the architects of the massacre at Columbine High School, is not the problem. Not being treated with the benefit of the doubt is the problem. Not being given a chance to be judged on your own merits is the injustice. Again, I am not advocating that we begin seeing young white men as villains. Just the opposite, I am saying, wouldn’t it be great if young black men could enjoy the chance of being seen and judged for who they are, good or bad? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if black people were not painted with the brush of negative stereotypes or judged by the actions of some other black person? What would it mean to be relieved of the exhaustion, the anxiety and sometimes the physical harm that comes with being viewed first through the lens of negative biases and assumptions?

I was on a long road trip this summer, and I was having a wonderful time listening to the

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BY VERNĀ MYERS

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Walk Boldly

I most wanted to do -- was to help as many people as possible regain the creative confidence they lost along their way. And if I was going to survive, that’s what I wanted to do. I survived, just so you know. I really believe that when people gain this confidence -- and we see it all the time at the d.school and at IDEO -- they actually start working on the things that are really important in their lives. We see people quit what they’re doing and go in new directions. We see them come up with more interesting, and just more, ideas so they can choose from better ideas. And they just make better decisions. So I know at TED you’re supposed to have a change-the-world kind of thing. Everybody has a change-the-world thing. If there is one for me, this is it. To help this happen. So I hope you’ll join me on my quest—you as thought leaders. It would be really great if you didn’t let people divide the world into the creatives and the non-creatives, like it’s some God-given thing, and to have people realize that they’re naturally creative. And those natural people should let their ideas fly. That they should achieve what Bandura calls self-efficacy, that you can do what you set out to do, and that you can reach a place of creative confidence and touch the snake.

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And when the little girl came out of her scan, she ran up to her mother and said, “Mommy, can we come back tomorrow?” (Laughter) And so I’ve heard Doug tell the story many times, of his personal transformation and the breakthrough design that happened from it, but I’ve never really seen him tell the story of the little girl without a tear in his eye. Doug’s story takes place in a hospital. I know a thing or two about hospitals. A few years ago I felt a lump on the side of my neck, and it was my turn in the MRI machine. It was cancer. It was the bad kind. I was told I had a 40 percent chance of survival. So while you’re sitting around with the other patients in your pajamas and everybody’s pale and thin and you’re waiting for your turn to get the gamma rays, you think of a lot of things. Mostly you think about, Am I going to survive? And I thought a lot about, What was my daughter’s life going to be like without me? But you think about other things. I thought a lot about, What was I put on Earth to do? What was my calling? What should I do? And I was lucky because I had lots of options. We’d been working in health and wellness, and K through 12, and the Developing World. And so there were lots of projects that I could work on. But I decided and I committed to at this point to the thing

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

quality, its tentacles extending in all

economic power, but in the book business the prospect of a single owner of both the means of production and the modes of distribution is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history. Even in the iPhone age, books remain central to American intellectual life, and perhaps to democracy. And so the big question is not just whether Amazon is bad for the book industry; it’s whether Amazon is bad for books. In the nineteen-nineties, a different leviathan held publishers and independent bookstores in its grasp: chain stores, led by Barnes & Noble. When Amazon emerged, publishers in New York suddenly had a new buyer that paid quickly, sold their backlist as well as new titles, and, unlike traditional bookstores, made very few returns. Publishers must buy back unsold inventory from retailers, an archaic and costly practice that one ex-Amazon employee called “an absurdly inefficient model, worse than my uncle sending his laundry

“The vast selection made possible by the

Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into

selling everything

home from college.” John Sargent, who is the chief executive of Macmillan, first met Bezos in the mid-nineties, at a hotel in Washington, D.C. “He was this incredibly energetic guy,” Sargent said. “I thought it was a really good idea.” Jane Friedman, who was then an associate publisher at Knopf, and subsequently ran HarperCollins, said of Bezos, “I was completely taken with him. He was a skinny kid, he was young, he was excitable, and he was completely serious about what he was doing. I drank the Kool-Aid.” Amazon’s revenue multiplied every year. In the late nineties, an Amazon vice-president named Mary Morouse e-mailed her colleagues after a trip to visit publishers in New York. “We are certainly popular with them,” she wrote. “They rave about Amazon.com—both as a store/service and a great way to market books. There were several examples cited where Amazon.com ‘made’ titles. And they love our sales numbers.” Publishers weren’t troubled that Amazon sold their books at dramatic discounts. They

all wanted to collaborate with the Seattle upstart, and they used Amazon as an information resource; it was a vast improvement over the old green-bound copies of “Books in Print.” A New York marketing executive told me, “When Amazon came into the picture, metadata”—code numbers, Library of Congress categories, search keywords—“became an integral part of books.” A few farsighted publishers wondered if Amazon would eventually control so much of the market that it would stop selling books at cost and raise prices to become more profitable. By 1997, when the company went public, Amazon’s book inventory could have filled six football fields. But someone who read Bezos’s year-end letter to shareholders might well have thought that Amazon’s eight-hundredand-thirty-eight-per-cent sales growth had been in shoes, since he barely mentioned books. In the letter, Bezos noted tersely, “We are planning to add music to our product offering.” (Unlike Jobs, Bezos wasn’t a passionate listener: he once agreed to be interviewed for a program about the Beatles, and when employees, prepping the boss, asked him to name a favorite Beatles tune, Bezos chose “America,” by Simon & Garfunkel.) Soon after music came DVDs and consumer electronics. A New York literary agent told me that books

were Amazon’s version of “a gateway drug.” Sargent said that Bezos’s ambition was apparent to him from the beginning—“My God, he drives hard.” But he couldn’t see Bezos’s master plan “for shit.” “He was already going to be the Everything Store,” Sargent said when we met in his trapezoidal office, in the narrow wedge of the Flatiron Building. “I thought he was just a bookstore, stupid me. Books were going to be the way to get the names and the data. Books were his customer-acquisition strategy.” As long as Amazon kept growing like mad, investors would pour in money and Wall Street wouldn’t pay much attention to profits. (The company didn’t have a profitable quarter until 2001, and still struggles to stay in the black.) In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two dozen writers and editors to produce copy for the Web site. One of them—Amazon employee No. 55—was a cultural critic from New York named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces at the Village Voice. (She had also worked at several New York publishers and at The New York Review of Books.) For these refugees from New York, where jobs in publishing and journalism were already beginning to thin out, Amazon offered the thrill of working at a rising power, with stock options

Douglas Hofstadter’s

and an enormous audience. Marcus edited the home page, which was visited by at least thirty million people a day. Under the rubric “Books Favorites,” he and his staff often promoted novels that needed a push to claim an audience, such as Myla Goldberg’s “Bee Season.” Marcus wrote hundreds of short book reviews and thousands of descriptive blurbs; Fried, who edited the Literature and Fiction section with Marcus, posted interviews with authors, including Penelope Fitzgerald and Stanley Kunitz. In 2004, Marcus, now the executive editor of Harper’s, published a wry, bittersweet memoir of his experience, “Amazonia.” He told me, “It was useful to Amazon, as a business strategy, to convey the feeling of your beloved indie bookstore, full of hip, book-loving people.” Readers, especially isolated ones, adored Amazon. “We heard from people all the time,” Marcus said. “ ‘I live in some Podunk town, the nearest bookstore is a hundred miles from my house, and now I can get the most obscure book.’ ” Marcus asked Toni Morrison to do an interview. “I’m happy to talk,” she told him. “I hear you’re selling more books than anyone in the history of the world.” In “Amazonia,” Marcus describes Bezos’s “anticharismatic charisma, which would have mortified a Great Man of a century ago but seemed just right for our nerd-driven meritocracy.” In those years, Bezos joined his staff for the round-theclock work of “picking” and shipping books at warehouses

during the holiday season. One day in 1997, Fried went into the company kitchen and found him absorbed in assembling an ant farm. “He had a lot of curiosity,” she said. “I keep hearing about Jeff’s temper, but I have to say I never witnessed it. He was really pleasant and fun.” His ambition sometimes had an idealistic cast: he wanted Amazon to warehouse two copies of every book ever printed, an unrealized dream grandly called the Alexandria Project. At Amazon, original writing wasn’t even called “content.” It was known as “verbiage,” simplified to “verbage.” Amazon’s writers and editors formed a counterculture that never fit easily in a company ruled by computer engineers and M.B.A.s, who valued data most and believed only in measurable truths. “The key to understanding Amazon is the hiring process,” one former employee said. “You’re not hired to do a particular job—you’re hired to be an Amazonian. Lots of managers had to take the Myers-Briggs personality tests. Eighty per cent of them came in two or three similar categories, and Bezos is the same: introverted, detail-oriented, engineer-type personality. Not musicians, designers, salesmen. The vast majority fall within the same personality type—people who graduate at the top of their class at M.I.T. and have no idea what to say to a woman in a bar.” The humanists at Amazon brought a strain of intellectual irony that set them apart from the company’s cult of relentlessness. Bezos closed annual reports to shareholders with an exhortation to experiment and to fight complacency: “This

‘Fluid Concepts and

Creative Analogies’ was the first book sold on Amazon.com.

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shifting, engulfing

of products: lawnmowers, iPods, art work, toys, diapers, dildos, shoes, bike racks, gun safes, 3-D printers. Amazon’s code of corporate secrecy is extreme—it won’t confirm how many Seattle employees it has, or how many Kindle e-readers have been sold—so it’s impossible to know for sure, but, according to one publisher’s estimate, book sales in the U.S. now make up no more than seven per cent of the company’s roughly seventy-five billion dollars in annual revenue. Origins, though, leave lasting marks, and Amazon remains intimately tangled up in books. Few notice if Amazon prices an electronics store out of business (except its staff); but, in the influential, self-conscious world of people who care about reading, Amazon’s unparalleled power generates endless discussion, along with paranoia, resentment, confusion, and yearning. For its part, Amazon continues to expend considerable effort both to dominate this small, fragile market and to win the hearts and minds of readers. To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator. The company claims to want a more literate world—and it came along when the book world was in distress, offering a vital new source of sales. But then it started asking a lot of personal questions, and it created dependency and harshly exploited its leverage; eventually, the book world realized that Amazon had its house keys and its bank-account number, and wondered if that had been the intention all along. Recently, Amazon even started creating its own “content”—publishing books. The results have been decidedly mixed. A monopoly is dangerous because it concentrates so much

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“Amazon’s shape-

now called BookExpo America. Roger Doeren, from a Kansas City store called Rainy Day Books, was stopped short by Amazon’s sign: “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” Approaching Bezos, he asked, “Where is Earth’s biggest bookstore?” “Cyberspace,” Bezos replied. “We started a Web site last year. Who are your suppliers?” “Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.” “Ours, too. What’s your database?” “ ‘Books in Print.’ ” “Ours, too. So what makes you Earth’s biggest?” “We have the most affiliate links”—a form of online advertising. Doeren considered this, then asked, “What’s your business model?” Bezos said that Amazon intended to sell books as a way of gathering data on affluent, educated shoppers. The books would be priced close to cost, in order to increase sales volume. After collecting data on millions of customers, Amazon could figure out how to sell everything else dirt cheap on the Internet. (Amazon says that its original business plan “contemplated only books.”) Afterward, Doeren told his partner at Rainy Day Books, Vivien Jennings, “I just met the world’s biggest snake-oil salesman. It’s going to be really bad for books.” Before Google, and long before Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected. Two decades later, Amazon sells a bewildering array

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executives. All the other titles, including “Sam Walton, Made in America: My Story,” are business books, and even Ishiguro’s novel—about a self-erasing English butler who realizes that he has missed his chance at happiness in love—offers what Bezos calls a “regret-minimization framework”: how not to end up like the butler. Bezos is, above all things, pragmatic. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) It wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an online bookstore. “It was totally based on the property of books as a product,” Shel Kaphan, Bezos’s former deputy, says. Books are easy to ship and hard to break, and there was a major distribution warehouse in Oregon. Crucially, there are far too many books, in and out of print, to sell even a fraction of them at a physical store. The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else. For Bezos to have seen a bookstore as a means to world domination at the beginning of the Internet age, when there was already a crisis of confidence in the publishing world, in a country not known for its book-crazy public, was a stroke of business genius. In 1995, in Chicago, Bezos manned an Amazon booth at the annual conclave of the publishing industry, which is

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world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve Jobs didn’t sign up pop stars for recording contracts. A.T. & T. doesn’t build transmission towers and rent them to smaller phone companies, the way Amazon Web Services provides server infrastructure for startups (not to mention the C.I.A.). Amazon’s identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless. com—that U.R.L. still takes you to Amazon’s site—before adopting the name of the world’s largest river by volume. (If Bezos were a reader of classic American fiction, he might have hit upon Octopus.com.) Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry, where rapid growth, not profitability, is the measure of success. Amazon is not just the “Everything Store,” to quote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and the search for new things to be ambitious about. It seems preposterous now, but Amazon began as a bookstore. In 1994, at the age of thirty, Bezos, a Princeton graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and moved to Seattle to found a company that could ride the exponential growth of the early commercial Internet. (Bezos calculated that, in 1993, usage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.) His wife, MacKenzie, is a novelist who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton; according to Stone, Bezos’s favorite novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day,” which is on the suggested reading list for Amazon

else.”

directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry” 7

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“The structure of the sentence ‘take

What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget? not to pitch based only on features, but how do

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I want to talk to you today about creative confi-

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the usual fight-or-flight response to an obvious sales pitch.”

BY DAVID KELLEY

“In the hopes of being respectful and sensitive, people create distance between themselves and people they don’t know well. The only remedy for that is to actually get to know people.”

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of difference. Get a little bit closer and go deeper. Listen longer in a conversation, be more curious about what people’s views are, share your own life with them. Instead of just, “Hi,” and keeping it neat, really lean into the conversation and be curious about what you don’t know. And be okay about sharing your own worldview. That makes sense in an office or school situation, but you also suggest in your work that we practice this in the street. Couldn’t that be dangerous? Don’t get crazy. Don’t go anywhere that could be stressful or where you could be afraid. But there are a million safe opportunities every day to engage with black men. In the elevator, for example. If you find these small opportunities, then you start to find a level of comfort, and then your zone of comfort increases, so the thing you perceive as dangerous is actually not. How does class factor in here? If I were to talk to ten black people that I see every day, it would probably be publicists who work in my building and people who work at TED. That might not expose me to a wider range of people and may actually reinforce other biases about class. Class is so important. Certainly when class is the same or when educational level is

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the same or you’re in an environment where people have been vetted, so to speak, it may be easier; however, I have spent thousands of hours talking to white executives in major corporations and thousands of hours talking to the people of color in their organizations, and the latter still see this issue. They’re all in the same socioeconomic strata, but the people of color still perceive and experience the type of bias that people on the street who don’t know each other experience. So class can trump race, but often it doesn’t. I was once at a beautiful event where I was being given an award. I was with my boyfriend, who’s a decorated soldier. He decided, instead of wearing black tie, to wear his blues. He had a chest full of medals, and at this lovely event he was lauded. People loved him. He went downstairs to get the car out of valet, and a middle-aged white woman turned to him and said, “Boy, what’s taking so long to get the cars out?” Somehow she was completely unaware that he had on a military uniform with brass all across his chest. Somehow, he became her servant. In some cases, yes, a person may have the same cultural upbringing as you even though they’re of a different race, but many people don’t. Many people have masked their difference in order to assimilate and make

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In four hours he had a huge cure rate of people who had phobias. And we talked about snakes. I don’t know why we talked about snakes. We talked about snakes and fear of snakes as a phobia. And it was really enjoyable, really interesting. He told me that he’d invite the test subject in, and he’d say, “You know, there’s a snake in the next room and we’re going to go in there.” To which, he reported, most of them replied, “Hell no, I’m not going in there, certainly if there’s a snake in there.” But Bandura has a step-by-step process that was super successful. So he’d take people to this two-way mirror looking into the room where the snake was, and he’d get them comfortable with that. And then through a series of steps, he’d move them and they’d be standing in the doorway with the door open and they’d be looking in there. And he’d get them comfortable with that. And then many more steps later, baby steps, they’d be in the room, they’d have a leather glove like a welder’s glove on, and they’d eventually touch the snake. And when they touched the snake everything was fine. They were cured. In fact, everything was better than fine. These people who had life-long fears of snakes were saying things like, “Look how beautiful that snake is.” And they were holding it in

“I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have. That you don’t do things because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged. If you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged.”

people comfortable. Say you have befriended a black family. They come over to your house, and they tell you their black son just got stopped. This is a boy you care about. It feels distant when you read the newspaper; here you start to see things that you couldn’t see because you have that relationship. Because you’re peers, you begin to make their reality your own. And that’s actually more powerful because you’re on the same socioeconomic level. Is your message about racism toward black people specifically? What about other groups? These suggestions can be used to reconnect to the human family all sorts of groups that have been excluded, maligned, ostracized, undervalued. The minute you think, “I don’t do [blank] biased thing with [blank] group,” you can always find some group with whom you do it. Every way that you can notice your own victimization or the ways you’ve been marginalized, you can access the feelings other people might be having. Everybody has an experience of exclusion. Maybe it’s not around a group identity; maybe it’s just an individual experience, but there’s power in recalling that and extrapolating it. Let’s talk about introverts. What if you’re

equal-opportunity awkward? [Laughs.] So many of my suggestions come out of my lens as an extrovert. So for introverts: Get curious. Don’t do things out of guilt or shame – that rarely actually shifts things, because you get paternalistic or condescending. Be curious; read; notice, notice, notice. Ask open-ended questions instead of questions that have embedded assumptions about people. Recently I was at a Whole Foods late at night in an elevator with a really short person. She had on medical scrubs, and she was a black woman. So don’t you know that out of my mouth almost came, “I love nurses!” Seriously. Finally I said, “What’s got you here so late?” And she said, “I just delivered a bunch of babies.” And I was like, “Oh, thank God.” When it comes from your “sister,” it’s probably even worse. We’re not all going out and shooting people down, but we’re schooled in the same stereotypes. There are so many other forms of violence that are not physical, but are assaults to your sense of self. When people clutch their purses when a CEO walks into an elevator and he just happens to be black: That’s an assault. Any last thoughts? Part of my message is: No blame, shame

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VM on Why Aren’t We More Afraid of Young White Men? I know that I am not the only one that has noticed the pattern. On Thursday, James Holmes, a 27-year-old white man, was found guilty of the murder of 12 people (70 others were wounded) in a Colorado theater shooting in 2012. Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white man, has confessed to murdering in cold blood nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina in

BY JINSOP LEE

about empathy, about iterative prototyping. And he would take this new knowledge and do something quite extraordinary. He would redesign the entire experience of being scanned. And this is what he came up with. He turned it into an adventure for the kids. He painted the walls and he painted the machine, and he got the operators retrained by people who know kids, like children’s museum people. And now when the kid comes, it’s an experience. And they talk to them about the noise and the movement of the ship. And when they come, they say, “Okay, you’re going to go into the pirate ship, but be very still because we don’t want the pirates to find you.” And the results were super dramatic. So from something like 80 percent of the kids needing to be sedated, to something like 10 percent of the kids needing to be sedated. And the hospital and GE were happy too. Because you didn’t have to call the anesthesiologist all the time, they could put more kids through the machine in a day. So the quantitative results were great. But Doug’s results that he cared about were much more qualitative. He was with one of the mothers waiting for her child to come out of the scan.

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of all 20-something white men. We all know that would be wrong. After all, we know that there are a whole lot of really trustworthy, non-violent young white men who grow up to be great fathers, leaders and neighbors, just as there are young men from every racial and ethnic group and economic background who do the same. What I want to point out here is how the category of “young white men” has emerged from all of these horrible incidents unscathed as a group -- and how this is one of the starkest examples of white male privilege imaginable (or another term I use, “unearned advantage”). Unearned advantage is how we describe the fact, for example, that virtually all of the culprits on Wall Street who were responsible for bringing our economy to its knees in 2008, the politicians and corporate figures found guilty of premeditated, injurious and heedlessly greedy crimes are white men, but white men are not condemned as a group for their behavior. In fact, some part of us thinks that would be silly. However, whenever a black man appears on the nightly news or in the newspaper having committed a crime, the automatic association, the schema or framework that most people default to renders black men (as a group) as mostly dangerous, menacing and

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scary. I believe it is even worse for young black men. In fact, in 2014 the American Psychological Association released a study found that, “Black boys as young as 10 may not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white peers, but are instead more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime...” The way unearned advantage works is that if one is a member of a group that has been deemed by society for centuries as superior or as “better than” and does something that isn’t good and smart and right, his behavior is attributed only to him, is ignored or explained away, so that the group’s supremacy stays in place. In the cases of the mind-numbing violence I cited at the beginning, we find other things to talk about: We talk about mental illness, about catching signs of tendencies earlier; we talk of the role of the school counselors, of the psychodynamics of the family that the killer came from -- all powerful and heartfelt and useful avenues to explore. We rarely mention race or gender as issues that might be relevant. However, if an individual from the “less than” or “one down” group does something bad, his behavior is confirmation of the negative group stereotype, evidence that group pre-

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you know what I mean. Now, before we get to that answer, let me tell you about Chris Hosmer. Chris is a great friend of mine from my university days, but secretly, I hate him. Here’s why. Back in university, we had a quick project to design some solar-powered clocks. Here’s my clock. It uses something called the dwarf sunflower, which grows to about 12 inches in height. Now, as you know, sunflowers track the sun during the course of the day. So in the morning, you see which direction the sunflower is facing, and you mark it on the blank area in the base. At noon, you mark the changed position of the sunflower, and in the evening again, and that’s your clock. Now, I know my clock doesn’t tell you the exact time, but it does give you a general idea using a flower. So, in my completely unbiased, subjective

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that I gathered data, only one experience came close to being the perfect one. That is, of course, sex. Great sex. Respondents said that great sex hits all of the five senses at an extreme level. Here I’ll quote one of my students who said, “Sex is so good, it’s good even when it’s bad.” So the five senses theory does help explain why sex is so good. Now in the middle of all this five senses work, I suddenly remembered the solar-powered clocks project from my youth. And I realized this theory also explains why Chris’ clock is so much better than mine. You see, my clock only focuses on sight, and a little bit of touch. Here’s Chris’ clock. It’s the first clock ever that uses smell to tell the time. In fact, in terms of the five senses, Chris’ clock is a revolution. And that’s what this theory taught me about my field. You see, up till now, us designers, we’ve mainly focused on making things look very pretty, and a little bit of touch, which means we’ve ignored the other three senses. Chris’ clock shows us that even raising just one of those other senses can make for a brilliant product. So what if we started using the five senses theory in all of our designs? Here’s three quick ideas I came up with. This is an iron, you know, for your clothes, to which I added

this graph like a five senses diary. And that’s how the five senses graph works. Now, for a period of three years, I gathered data, not just me but also some of my friends, and I used to teach in university, so I forced my -- I mean, I asked my students to do this as well. So here are some other results. The first is for instant noodles. Now obviously, taste and smell are quite high, but notice sound is at three. Many people told me a big part of the noodle-eating experience is the slurping noise. You know. Slurp. Needless to say, I no longer dine with these people. Okay, next, clubbing. Okay, here what I found interesting was that taste is at four, and many respondents told me it’s because of the taste of drinks, but also, in some cases, kissing is a big part of the clubbing experience. These people I still do hang out with. All right, and smoking. Here I found touch is at [six], and one of the reasons is that smokers told me the sensation of holding a cigarette and bringing it up to your lips is a big part of the smoking experience, which shows, it’s kind of scary to think how well cigarettes are designed by the manufacturers. Okay. Now, what would the perfect experience look like on the five senses graph? It would, of course, be a horizontal line along the top. Now you can see, not even as intense an experience as riding a motorbike comes close. In fact, in the years

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a spraying mechanism, so you fill up the vial with your favorite scent, and your clothes will smell nicer, but hopefully it should also make the ironing experience more enjoyable. We could call this “the perfumator.” All right, next. So I brush my teeth twice a day, and what if we had a toothbrush that tastes like candy, and when the taste of candy ran out, you’d know it’s time to change your toothbrush? Finally, I have a thing for the keys on a flute or a clarinet. It’s not just the way they look, but I love the way they feel when you press down on them. Now, I don’t play the flute or the clarinet, so I decided to combine these keys with an instrument I do play: the television remote control. Now, when we look at these three ideas together, you’ll notice that the five senses theory doesn’t only change the way we use these products but also the way they look. So in conclusion, I’ve found the five senses theory to be a very useful tool in evaluating different experiences in my life, and then taking those best experiences and hopefully incorporating them into my designs. Now, I realize the five senses isn’t the only thing that makes life interesting. There’s also the six emotions and that elusive x-factor. Maybe that could be the topic of my next

Why tell you that bad clients and boring gigs are common roadblocks to a fulfilling creative caFree- reer. The popular blog knows as Clients From posts a new true and hilarious freelance lance Hell horror story almost every day. Even the legDrew Struzan struggled with the client Artists endary side of his now famous career. In the recent documentary about his life, he told a story Fail Even the most successful freelance artists will

BY CHRIS OATLEY

better clients with better business

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I’m here to answer the all important question: Why is sex so damn good? If you’re laughing,

opinion, it’s brilliant. However, here’s Chris’ clock. It’s five magnifying glasses with a shot glass under each one. In each shot glass is a different scented oil. In the morning, the sunlight will shine down on the first magnifying glass, focusing a beam of light on the shot glass underneath. This will warm up the scented oil inside, and a particular smell will be emitted. A couple of hours later, the sun will shine on the next magnifying glass, and a different smell will be emitted. So during the course of the day, five different smells are dispersed throughout that environment. Anyone living in that house can tell the time just by the smell. You can see why I hate Chris. I thought my idea was pretty good, but his idea is genius, and at the time, I knew his idea was better than mine, but I just couldn’t explain why. One thing you have to know about me is I hate to lose. This problem’s been bugging me for well over a decade. All right, let’s get back to the question of why sex is so good. Many years after the solar powered clocks project, a young lady I knew suggested maybe sex is so good because of the five senses. And when she said this, I had an epiphany. So I decided to evaluate different experiences I had in my life from the point of view of the five senses. To do this, I devised something called the five senses graph. Along the y-axis, you have a scale from zero to 10, and along the x-axis, you have, of course, the five senses. Anytime I had a memorable experience in my life, I would record it on

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And they’re totally emotionally excited about the fact that they walk around thinking of themselves as a creative person. So I thought one of the things I’d do today is take you through and show you what this journey looks like. To me, that journey looks like Doug Dietz. Doug Dietz is a technical person. He designs medical imaging equipment, large medical imaging equipment. He’s worked for GE, and he’s had a fantastic career. But at one point he had a moment of crisis. He was in the hospital looking at one of his MRI machines in use when he saw a young family. There was a little girl, and that little girl was crying and was terrified. And Doug was really disappointed to learn that nearly 80 percent of the pediatric patients in this hospital had to be sedated in order to deal with his MRI machine. And this was really disappointing to Doug, because before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives with this machine. But it really hurt him to see the fear that this machine caused in kids. About that time he was at the d.school at Stanford taking classes. He was learning about our process about design thinking,

Are bad clients and boring gigs the real roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career?

In an age of global strife and climate change,

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together with folks who are trying to make a difference, people of all backgrounds like those coming out to our Circle of Voices conversations on a Sunday night, breaking bread and breaking down barriers. I am seeing more people asking questions, joining protests, tweeting, posting, prodding, and that makes me hopeful. Most importantly, I see people in our circles building new communities of conviction. While cameras may be causing some police to cower, they are empowering those who have been bent down and controlled by fear for too long to stand up. This is the time we cannot afford to avert our attention. Everything counts, little and small when you are trying to move the needle toward justice. Spending time to take in the face of a stranger, building trust across difference and finding a way to be part of the beloved community - this is my antidote for the distance, fear, exhaustion and paralysis that threatens to undermine our resolve. Let the cameras record, but in addition to watching, let’s get up, go out and move closer where you can feel and see that change is possible. Let’s move toward the pain not away from it. This is what strengthens our empathy and builds our courage for change. Most of us seek security and a sense of con-

June of this year. Days after that shooting, a 21-year-old white man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was sentenced to death for killing three people (and being responsible for the death of a fourth) while injuring over 250 more at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. And at the end of 2012, 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook elementary school by 20-year old Adam Lanza after he shot his mom in their home in Newtown, Connecticut. These recent examples are just a few of many mass shootings that have been committed by young, “innocent”-looking, 20-something-year-old white men. So, here’s my question: Why aren’t we more afraid of them? Why haven’t they been demonized or stigmatized as a group? Why are there no stereotypes catching hold or preventing young, white men from being trusted and welcomed into our places of work, schools or houses of worship? We don’t run for cover or get out of elevators when we see them. We don’t cross the street clutching our purses or ask security to keep an eye on them. Police don’t just pat them down in the street. We don’t decide not to live in the neighborhoods in which they live. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting we start marginalizing and being suspicious

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Good design looks great, yes — but why shouldn’t it also feel, smell, and sound great? lege to ignore and separate from the struggle. Some of us don’t. Our strategies for surviving this fractured society prevent us from experiencing and drawing upon the power of community. If we hope to save cities like Baltimore, our children in South Carolina, our country and our world, we cannot turn away from the stories that make us sick to our stomachs. We say, “Enough! I’ve had enough. I can’t deal with another one of these.” But these utterances cannot be a declaration of retreat, but a rallying call of a personal re-commitment to being part of the change. Every week, we must meet with emotional fortitude each viral victim, each unfathomable act of disregard for human life, and each official denying culpability. We have to “stand our ground.” I probably can’t stop holding on to my convulsing belly, shaking my disbelieving head and quieting my screams when I see these videos, hear stories about the torture of black men and the testimonies of the young people illegally detained in their communities, but I am not going to turn away. When we embrace our pain, the pain of others and even the anger, we stay connected and we resist surrendering to fear and a sense of helplessness. I feel most encouraged about the possibility for change, when I come

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or attack. Most of us know that we aren’t exactly as good on this as we would like to be, and there are good reasons for that that have nothing to do with us being bad. We just didn’t know — nobody taught us. I went to college and discovered that black people wrote books, and I had come up in an allblack family in an all-black neighborhood. I say: Low guilt, but high responsibility. Once you know these biases are wrong, what do you want to do about it?

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their laps. Bandura calls this process “guided mastery.” I love that term: guided mastery. And something else happened, these people who went through the process and touched the snake ended up having less anxiety about other things in their lives. They tried harder, they persevered longer, and they were more resilient in the face of failure. They just gained a new confidence. And Bandura calls that confidence self-efficacy—the sense that you can change the world and that you can attain what you set out to do. Well meeting Bandura was really cathartic for me because I realized that this famous scientist had documented and scientifically validated something that we’ve seen happen for the last 30 years. That we could take people who had the fear that they weren’t creative, and we could take them through a series of steps, kind of like a series of small successes, and they turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing. We see it at the d.school all the time. People from all different kinds of disciplines, they think of themselves as only analytical. And they come in and they go through the process, our process, they build confidence and now they think of themselves differently.

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Q&A – The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have rocked the United States. But beyond policy reform, what can ordinary people do to combat systemic racism? We ask diversity advocate Vernā Myers: In your work, you encourage people to talk to young black men, to get out of one’s comfort zone. Who are you speaking to in particular? Who is your audience? Everyone. This is something that every human being has to deal with. It’s not like, “White people have to deal with this and black people don’t.” All of us have a comfort zone. My observation is: In the hopes of being respectful and sensitive, people create distance between themselves and people they don’t know well. The only remedy for that is to actually get to know people. So look for opportunities to extend the connection that you do have with people

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in childhood, and it moves in and becomes more ingrained, even by the time you get to adult life. So we see a lot of this. When we have a workshop or when we have clients in to work with us side-by-side, eventually we get to the point in the process that’s fuzzy or unconventional. And eventually these bigshot executives whip out their Blackberries and they say they have to make really important phone calls, and they head for the exits. And they’re just so uncomfortable. When we track them down and ask them what’s going on, they say something like, “I’m just not the creative type.” But we know that’s not true. If they stick with the process, if they stick with it, they end up doing amazing things and they surprise themselves just how innovative they and their teams really are. So I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have. That you don’t do things because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged. If you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged. And I had a major breakthrough when I met the psychologist Albert Bandura. I don’t know if you know Albert Bandura. But if you go to Wikipedia, it says that he’s the fourth most important psychologist in history—like Freud, Skinner, somebody and Bandura. Bandura’s 86 and he still works at Stanford. And he’s just a lovely guy. And so I went to see him because he has just worked on phobias for a long time, which I’m very interested in. He had developed this way, this kind of methodology, that ended up curing people in a very short amount of time.

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acter of young black men, but that you, and you expect them, to be part of the forces of change in this society that will stand against injustice and is willing, above all other things, to make a society where young black men can be seen for all of who they are. So many amazing black men, those who are the most amazing statesmen that have ever lived, brave soldiers, awesome, hardworking laborers. These are people who are powerful preachers. They are incredible scientists and artists and writers. They are dynamic comedians. They are doting grandpas, caring sons. They are strong fathers, and they are young men with dreams of their own.

der the sink. And at one point, one of the girls who was sitting at his table, seeing what he was doing, leaned over and said to him, “That’s terrible. That doesn’t look anything like a horse.” And Brian’s shoulders sank. And he wadded up the clay horse and he threw it back in the bin. I never saw Brian do a project like that ever again. And I wonder how often that happens. It seems like when I tell that story of Brian to my class, a lot of them want to come up after class and tell me about their similar experience, how a teacher shut them down or how a student was particularly cruel to them. And some opt out thinking of themselves as creative at that point. And I see that opting out that happens

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to say something, even to the people we love. You know, it’s holidays and it’s going to be a time when we’re sitting around the table and having a good time. Many of us, anyways, will be in holidays, and you’ve got to listen to the conversations around the table. You start to say things like, “Grandma’s a bigot.” (Laughter) “Uncle Joe is racist.” And you know, we love Grandma and we love Uncle Joe. We do. We know they’re good people, but what they’re saying is wrong. And we need to be able to say something, because you know who else is at the table? The children are at the table. And we wonder why these biases don’t die, and move from generation to generation? Because we’re not saying anything. We’ve got to be willing to say, “Grandma, we don’t call people that anymore.” “Uncle Joe, it isn’t true that he deserved that. No one deserves that.” And we’ve got to be willing to not shelter our children from the ugliness of racism when black parents don’t have the luxury to do so, especially those who have young black sons. We’ve got to take our lovely darlings, our future, and we’ve got to tell them we have an amazing country with incredible ideals, we have worked incredibly hard, and we have made some progress, but we are not done. We still have in us this old stuff about superiority and it is causing us to embed those further into our institutions and our society and generations, and it is making for despair and disparities and a devastating devaluing of young black men. We still struggle, you have to tell them, with seeing both the color and the char-

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Creative dence. I’m going to start way back in the third at Oakdale School in Barberton, Ohio. Confi- grade I remember one day my best friend Brian working on a project. He was making a dence was horse out of the clay that our teacher kept un-

automatic response in

humans, interrupting

BECAUSE BECAUSE

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further, and build the kinds of relationships, the kinds of friendships that actually cause you to see the holistic person and to really go against the stereotypes. I know some of you are out there, I know because I have some white friends in particular that will say, “You have no idea how awkward I am. Like, I don’t think this is going to work for me. I’m sure I’m going to blow this.” Okay, maybe, but this thing is not about perfection. It’s about connection. And you’re not going to get comfortable before you get uncomfortable. I mean, you just have to do it. And young black men, what I’m saying is if someone comes your way, genuinely and authentically, take the invitation. Not everyone is out to get you. Go looking for those people who can see your humanity. You know, it’s the empathy and the compassion that comes out of having relationships with people who are different from you. Something really powerful and beautiful happens: you start to realize that they are you, that they are part of you, that they are you in your family, and then we cease to be bystanders and we become actors, we become advocates, and we become allies. So go away from your comfort into a bigger, brighter thing, because that is how we will stop another Ferguson from happening. That’s how we create a community where everybody, especially young black men, can thrive. So this last thing is going to be harder, and I know it, but I’m just going to put it out there anyway. When we see something, we have to have the courage

What does a fear of snakes have to do with creativity?

this because of that’ induces an innate and

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we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific

words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or ugliness of a person or object.” An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. But it’s not the yawner’s fault; it’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers— they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat gets a positive response.” by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to reFor the furniture salespeople, using place the negative automatic response with a “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really positive one. She suggested that salespeople like this couch because it is made of Italian greeting customers say, “May I offer you this leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great brochure because we’d like you to have more in your home because the design will go with information about our new store?’’ any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase The structure of the sentence—”take this in sales in just the first two weeks they were because of that”—induces an innate and used regularly with customers.” automatic response in humans. It offers peo“Because” works because, as Kunkel illusple a reasonable reason to ethically respond trates, “Trigger words are part of what I call based on an innate socializing instinct, couthe instant appeal response: positive, predictpled with a intellectually plausible justificaable actions that people take in response to a tion for doing so. specific trigger.” Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason So try this persuasive word next time is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits you’re trying to influence someone—because an automatic and innate response to grant it works! the favor! The response mechanism to this

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BY ALISON DAVIS

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know

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Use This Word

that was actually painful for me to hear. But

bad clients are so common and the stories so egregious that it’s easy for artists to remain blind to a hard truth, that we are often part of the problem. I’ve worked with many freelance illustrators and designers over the course of my career and I’ve noticed three common problems that sabotage freelance success. In this second half of our two-part interview, freelancing expert Sean Hodge shares insight into how you can avoid these common problems and attract

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The fu projec a his poin , v.3. The dry mono ony of he “basic” wo co umn page wi need some spice added, and p aceho der graphics wi need o be upda ed for he ac ua con en .

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

Enhancement

Moving beyond a “content carrier� to engage and compel the reader

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I was on a long road trip this summer

Enhancement

was having a wonderful time listenin

amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The War Other Suns.” It documents six million

How do we overcome bias?

How do we overcome our biases?

Walk Boldly BY VERNĀ MYERS

I was on a long road trip this summer, and I was having a wonderful time listening to the amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns.” It documents six million black folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970 looking for a respite from all the brutality and trying to get to a better opportunity up North, and it was filled with stories of the resilience

the horrors and the humility, and all the humiliations. It was especially hard to hear about the beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on the ground dead, blood running for four hours while his grandmother and little children

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trying to get to a better opportunity u

and it was filled with stories of the re

and the brilliance of African-America

it was also really hard to hear all the s

the horrors and the humility, and all t iations. It was especially hard to hear

black men. And I said, “You know, thi

deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn

radio.” I turned it on, and there it was:

Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old

man, unarmed, shot by a white police

laid on the ground dead, blood runnin

hours while his grandmother and littl

Walk Boldly I was on a long road trip this summer, and I

BY VERNĀ MYERS

was having a wonderful time listening to the amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns.” It documents six million black

How do we overcome bias?

folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970

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looking for a respite from all the brutality and

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looking for a respite from all the bruta

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and the brilliance of African-Americans, and it was also really hard to hear all the stories of

and his neighbors watched in horror, and I thought, here it is again. This violence, this brutality against black men has been going on for centuries. I mean, it’s the same story, just different names. It could have been Amadou Diallo. It could have been Sean Bell. It could have been Oscar Grant. It could have been Trayvon Martin. This violence, this brutality, is really something that’s part of our national psyche. It’s part of our collective history. What are we going to do about it? You know that part of us that still crosses the street, locks the doors, clutches the purses, when we see young black men? That part. I know we’re not shooting people down in the street, but I’m saying that the same stereotypes and prejudices that fuel those kinds of tragic incidents are in us. We’ve been schooled in them as well. I believe that we can stop these types of incidents, these Fergusons from happening, by looking within and being willing to change ourselves. So I have a call to action for you. There are three things that I want to offer us today to think about as ways to stop Ferguson from happening again; three things that I think will help us reform our images of young black men and, I’m hoping, will not only protect them but will open the world so that they can thrive. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine our country embracing young black men, seeing them as part of our future, giving them that kind of openness, that kind of grace we give to people we love? How much better would our lives be? How much better would our country be?

folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 19

and the brilliance of African-Americans, and

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it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the horrors and the humility, and all the humiliations. It was especially hard to hear about the beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on the ground dead, blood running for four hours while his grandmother and little children

what, I’m just going to double down on my color blindness. Yes, I’m going to recommit to that. I’m going to suggest to you, no. We’ve gone about as far as we can go trying to make a difference trying to not see color. The problem was never that we saw color. It was what we did when we saw the color. It’s a false ideal. And while we’re busy pretending to see, we are not&being aware of the Journalnot Title // Volume Date ways in which racial difference is changing people’s possibilities, that’s keeping them from thriving, and sometimes it’s causing them an early death. So in fact, what the scientists are telling us is, no way. Don’t even think about color blindness. In fact, what they’re suggesting is, stare at awesome black people. (Laughter) Look at them directly in their faces and memorize them, because when we look at awesome folks who are black, it helps to dissociate the association that happens automatically in our brain. Why do you think I’m showing you these beautiful black men behind me? There were so many, I had to cut them. Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m trying to reset your automatic associations about who black men are. I’m trying to remind you that young black men grow up to be amazing human beings who have changed our lives and made them better.

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I was on a long road trip this summer

was having a wonderful time listenin

amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The War Other Suns.” It documents six million 126

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How do we overcome bias? 127

Walk Boldly

I was on a long road trip this summer, and I

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looking for a respite from all the bruta

trying to get to a better opportunity u

and it was filled with stories of the re

and the brilliance of African-America

it was also really hard to hear all the s

the horrors and the humility, and all t iations. It was especially hard to hear

beatings and the burnings and the lyn

BY VERNĀ MYERS

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amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of

erent names. It could deep. I need a break. I’mdiff going to turn have been Sean Bell. It c

been going on for centu

Other Suns.” It documents six million black

How do we overcome bias?

folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 19

folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970

been Trayvon Mar radio.” I turned it on, andhave there it was: This violence, this br

looking for a respite from all the brutality and

of our national psyche. I Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old are we going to do abou

trying to get to a better opportunity up North,

crosses the street, locks man, unarmed, shot by awe white police see young black men

and it was filled with stories of the resilience it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the horrors and the humility, and all the humiliations. It was especially hard to hear about the beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of

I know we’re not sho laid on the ground dead,I’mblood runnin saying that the same

SECTION HEADING

and the brilliance of African-Americans, and

those kinds of tragic inc hours while his grandmother and littl in them as well. I believe

cidents, these Ferguson and being willing to cha So I have a call to act that I want to offer us to Ferguson from happeni will help us reform our i hoping, will not only pro that they can thrive. Can our country embracing of our f ness, th love? H How mu Let m gotta ge

How we o com “Long Form” Business Magazinebias black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the

radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson,

Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black

man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer,

12

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laid on the ground dead, blood running for four

website.com

hours while his grandmother and little children

Journal Title // Volume & Date

13

“But it appears that things get Journalwhen Title // Volume & Date funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. ” 14

ARTICLE LEAD CONCEPTS

“Long Form” Business Magazine ARTICLE LEAD CONCEPTS

Magazine versions 1 & 2, 3, 4 and 5 with a variety stylistic updates, emphasizing a more bold approach.


Walk Boldly

r, and I

BY VERNĀ MYERS

rmth of black

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So here’s the thing. The other possibility in science, and it’s only temporarily changing our automatic assumptions, but one thing we know is that if you take a white person who is odious that you know, and stick it up next to a person of color, a black person, who is fabulous, then that sometimes actually causes us to disassociate too. So think Jeffrey Dahmer and Colin Powell. Just stare at them, right? (Laughter) But these are the things. So go looking for your bias. Please, please, just get out of denial and go looking for disconfirming data that will prove that in fact your old stereotypes are wrong. Okay, so that’s number one: number two, what I’m going to say is move toward young black men instead of away from them. It’s not the hardest thing to do, but it’s also one of these things where you have to be conscious and intentional about it. You know, I was in a Wall Street area one time several years ago when I was with a colleague of mine, and she’s really wonderful and she does diversity work with me and she’s a woman of color, she’s Korean. And we were outside, it was late at night, and we were sort of wondering where we were going, we were lost. And I saw this person across the street, and I was thinking, “Oh great, black guy.” I was going toward him without even thinking about

• Bringing all of the planned content into the document, applying (and tweaking) global formatting. • Refining the design to improve the reading experience; especially better engagement of the reader as they move through the magazine.

16

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rmth of black

970

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: Ferguson,

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w do overme s?

and his neighbors watched in horror, and I thought, here it is again. This violence, this brutality against black men has been going on for centuries. I mean, it’s the same story, just different names. It could have been Amadou Diallo. It could have been Sean Bell. It could have been Oscar Grant. It could have been Trayvon Martin. This violence, this brutality, is really something that’s part of our national psyche. It’s part of our collective history. What are we going to do about it? You know that part of us that still crosses the street, locks the doors, clutches the purses, when we see young black men? That part. I know we’re not shooting people down in the street, but I’m saying that the same stereotypes and prejudices that fuel those kinds of tragic incidents are in us. We’ve been schooled in them as well. I believe that we can stop these types of incidents, these Fergusons from happening, by looking within and being willing to change ourselves. So I have a call to action for you. There are three things that I want to offer us today to think about as ways to stop Ferguson from happening again; three things that I think will help us reform our images of young black men and, I’m hoping, will not only protect them but will open the world so that they can thrive. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine our country embracing young black men, seeing them as part of our future, giving them that kind of openness, that kind of grace we give to people we love? How much better would our lives be? How much better would our country be? Let me just start with number one. We gotta get out of denial. Stop trying to be good

But pushing the style forward would be a challenging task for me: I wanted to maintain a clean, legible reading environment, while also realizing that, especially as a magazine, this document needed more “pop.” Initial peer feedback supported this need.

“But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know I had. ” I was on a long road trip this summer, andthat I was13having a wonderful time listening14to the amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of

people. We need real people. You know, I do a lot of diversity work, and people will come up to me at the beginning of the workshop. They’re like, “Oh, Ms. Diversity Lady, we’re so glad you’re here” — (Hah!) — “but we don’t have a biased bone in our body.” And I’m like, “Really? Because I do this work every day, and I see all my biases.” I mean, not too long ago, I was on a plane and I heard the voice of a woman pilot coming over the P.A. system, and I was just so excited, so thrilled. I was like, “Yes, women, we are rocking it. We are now in the stratosphere.” It was all good, and then it started getting turbulent and bumpy, and I was like, “I hope she can drive.” I know. Right? But it’s not even like I knew that was a bias until I was coming back on the other leg and there’s always a guy driving and it’s often turbulent and bumpy, and I’ve never questioned the confidence of the male driver. The pilot is good. Now, here’s the problem. If you ask me explicitly, I would say, “Female pilot: awesome.” But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky,

I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. You know, fast-moving planes in the sky, I want a guy. That’s my default. Men are my default. Who is your default? Who do you trust? Who are you afraid of? Who do you implicitly feel connected to? Who do you run away from? I’m going to tell you what we have learned. The implicit association test, which measures unconscious bias, you can go online and take it. Five million people have taken it. Turns out, our default is white. We like white people. We prefer white. What do I mean by that? When people are shown images of black men and white men, we are more quickly able to associate that picture with a positive word, that white person with a positive word, than we are when we are trying to associate positive with a black face, and vice versa. When we see a black face, it is easier for us to connect black with negative than it is white with negative. Seventy percent of white people taking that test prefer white. Fifty percent of black people taking that test prefer white. You see, we were all outside when the contamination came down. What do we do about the fact that our brain automatically associates? You know, one of the things that you probably are thinking about, and you’re probably like, you know

SECTION HEADING

the humil-

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ans, and

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Journal Title // Volume & Date

To help manage the content, I split the magazine apart into each of the principle “departments” or sections, and utilized InDesign’s Book commands.

BY VERNĀ MYERS

g to the

stories of

39

With the basic design in hand, my work focused on two parallel efforts to continue the progress of what was quickly becoming Corner Magazine.

Walk Boldly

r, and I

it. And she was like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” The guy across the street, he was a black guy. I think black guys generally know where they’re going. I don’t know why exactly I think that, but that’s what I think. So she was saying, “Oh, you were going, ‘Yay, a black guy’?” She said, “I was going, ‘Ooh, a black guy.’” Other direction. Same need, same guy, same clothes, same time, same street, different reaction. And she said, “I feel so bad. I’m a diversity consultant. I did the black guy thing. I’m a woman of color. Oh my God!” And I said, “You know what? Please. We really need to relax about this.” I mean, you’ve got to realize I go way back with black guys. (Laughter) My dad is a black guy. You see what I’m saying? I’ve got a 6’5” black guy son. I was married to a black guy. My black guy thing is so wide and so deep that I can pretty much sort and figure out who that black guy is, and he was my black guy. He said, “Yes, ladies, I know where you’re going. I’ll take you there.” You know, biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are. But how are we going to know who they are when we’ve been told to avoid and be afraid of them? So I’m going to tell you to walk toward your discomfort. And I’m not asking you to take any crazy risks. I’m saying, just do an inventory, expand your social and professional circles. Who’s in your circle? Who’s missing? How many authentic relationships do you have with young black people, folks, men, women? Or any other major difference from who you are and how you roll, so to speak? Because,

Corner Magazine: Processbook

SECTION HEADING

what, I’m just going to double down on my color blindness. Yes, I’m going to recommit to that. I’m going to suggest to you, no. We’ve gone about as far as we can go trying to make a difference trying to not see color. The problem was never that we saw color. It was what we did when we saw the color. It’s a false ideal. And while we’re busy pretending not to see, we are not being aware of the ways in which racial difference is changing people’s possibilities, that’s keeping them from thriving, and sometimes it’s causing them an early death. So in fact, what the scientists are telling us is, no way. Don’t even think about color blindness. In fact, what they’re suggesting is, stare at awesome black people. (Laughter) Look at them directly in their faces and memorize them, because when we look at awesome folks who are black, it helps to dissociate the association that happens automatically in our brain. Why do you think I’m showing you these beautiful black men behind me? There were so many, I had to cut them. Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m trying to reset your automatic associations about who black men are. I’m trying to remind you that young black men grow up to be amazing human beings who have changed our lives and made them better.

g to the

Walk Boldly

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BY VERNĀ MYERS

Journal Title // Volume & Date

15

Other Suns.” It documents six million black

commo

reer. T

folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970

As shown here, the opening spread for the “Walk Boldly” article evolved dramatically from the initial concept:

looking for a respite from all the brutality and trying to get to a better opportunity up North, and it was filled with stories of the resilience and the brilliance of African-Americans, and it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the horrors and the humility, and all the humilbeatings and the burnings and the lynchings of deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black

• Weighted opening text page to add initial article pop (12 pt vs. 9.2 pt body text on following pages).

man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on the ground dead, blood running for four hours while his grandmother and little children

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docum

that w

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• Shift of emphasis from the short title to the teaser question

black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little

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iations. It was especially hard to hear about the

Corner // April 2016

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Enhancement

Why Is This Tiny Mountain Town Is Home to MultimillionDollar Startups?

Park City, UT BY ANNA HENSEL

known to ski bums and film buffs, but its entrepreneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

website.com

angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City a hub for this growing business niche. Events like Sundance are a boon to Park City, because they attract aspiring entrepreneurs who might never have thought of the location, says Ted McAleer, a co-founder of Park City Angels, an angel-investor network. “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, and a really interesting, vibrant, entrepreneurial community,” McAleer says. For Skullcandy, the company’s Park City location is an integral part of its identity, says CEO Hoby Darling. One of Darling’s first moves as CEO in 2013 was to close the company’s Los Angeles office to focus operations back to Park City. Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, now has about 175 full-time employees at its headquarters. “We had to be really aligned to our consumer, and to do that we really had to have product, marketing, and sales altogether in one building,” Darling says. “When you go, ‘Who is the customer that I just love wearing Skullcandy?’...I think a lot of that goes right back to our heritage. It’s people who are on the mountain. They’re in the park. They’re in the gym, pushing what they love to do.”

Journal Title // Volume & Date

Tech talent. Salt Lake City and Provo both boast growing startup scenes and a ready population of programmers. “Park City is unique because it has a really large talent base of engineers located nearby,” says Eric Cylvick, co-founder of ZipRider, a company that installs zip lines, mostly at ski resorts. For ZipRider, the city offers the best of both worlds. The business, founded in 2002, has more than $1 million in annual revenue. Park City is home to both a ski resort that was large enough to support a Zip Rider zip line (Park City Mountain Resort, which was Zip Rider’s first customer), but is also close enough to a talent pool of developers and engineers that Zip Rider needs. One downside, says Park City Angels Chairman Paul Wozniak, is that when companies reach a certain size, they tend to outgrow the tiny local labor market and have to move. Take WAVE, a startup that’s helping cities develop wireless electric buses. WAVE moved

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18

The city of fewer than 8,000 people is well-

19

Initial page design in the magazine v. 3 style.

The “Park City, Utah” article’s opening was particularly challenging: I knew I wanted to use an image of the town’s main street, but the image was too visually cluttered to work with with a text overlay. Here it is shown in its original, minimally formatted version, and two ideas I

explored for the magazine version 4: • “Bleed over” image crosses the gutter and begins to interact with the article text, serving to help visually connect the question with the article. • Combinations of gradient overlays to further aid readability.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

41

Park City, Utah

Why Is This Tiny Mountain Town Home to MultimillionDollar Startups?

4

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Why Is This Tiny Mountain Town Home to MultimillionDollar Startups?

118

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The city of fewer than 8,000 people is wellpreneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

5

Journal Title // Volume & Date

The city of fewer than 8,000 people is wellknown to ski bums and film buffs, but its entrepreneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

Park City, Utah

wo pa ug

BY ANNA HENSEL

ter se ya it’s th

att sto ing ad po ers to

th It o on pla

BECAU

Journal Title // Volume & Date

v.4 stylistic update, emphasizing a more bold approach to article openings.

“Long Form” Business Magazine ARTICLE LEAD CONCEPTS

BY ANNA HENSEL

known to ski bums and film buffs, but its entre-

ge gr ing

th as lea

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42

Enhancement

Why Is This Tiny Mountain Town Home to Multimillion­ Dollar Startups?

The city of fewer than 8,000 people is wellknown to ski bums and film buffs, but its entrepreneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

Corner // April 2016

v.5 stylistic update, further exploring ideas for the opening spread of this article. Concept 3.3 Book.indb 18

3/28/16 11:09 AM

In the next iteration of the magazine design, I tried pushing this gradient further, but decided to use the yellow field to obscure the image below—favoring legibility over the background image.

Early sketch of standardized page structures.

Concept 3.3 Book.indb 19

Park City, Utah

BY ANNA HENSEL

19

3/28/16 11:09 AM


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Salt Lake City and Provo both boast growing startup scenes and a ready population of programmers. “Park City is unique because it has a really large talent base of engineers located nearby,” says Eric Cylvick, co-founder of ZipRider, a company that installs zip lines, mostly at ski resorts. For ZipRider, the city offers the best of both worlds. The business, founded in 2002, has more than $1 million in annual revenue. Park City is home to both a ski resort that was large enough to support a Zip Rider zip line (Park City Mountain Resort, which was Zip Rider’s first customer), but is also close enough to a talent pool of developers and engineers that Zip Rider needs. One downside, says Park City Angels Chairman Paul Wozniak, is that when companies reach a certain size, they tend to outgrow the tiny local labor market and have to move. Take WAVE, a startup that’s helping cities develop wireless electric buses. WAVE moved to Salt Lake City in 2013 after it outgrew its Park City facilities.

ACTIVE ANGELS Park City does have one advantage over Salt Lake City and Provo: It’s home to Park City Angels, the largest angel-investment network in Utah with 45 dues-paying

TECH TALENT

20

corner-mag.com

Corner // April 2016

System refinements for the body pages as well: two basic page constructs. Concept 3.3 Book.indb 20

3/28/16 11:09 AM

This article was also a nice testing area for the body copy, helping me to standardize the three basic text page layouts: • Page 1: single column, with larger type

2/ 3

margin width

• Standard 2-column page • Special 1-column page, 2/3 width with interruptions, such as pull quotes or images.

Concept 3.3 Book.indb 21

members who invested $6.55 million in Utah startups in 2015. Further evidence of the mountain town’s robust startup scene is its new business incubator and accelerator, PandoLabs, which launched with the help of Park City Angels. PandoLabs now works with 50 startups in the area. “We’re seeing a number of entrepreneurs who were already in Park City, but who now want to be part of a larger community,” says McAleer.

READY TEST MARKET For companies like ZipRider and Skullcandy, Park City is home to their ideal product testers. Eric and his wife and co-founder, Sarah Cylvick, got the idea for ZipRider after returning from a trip from Costa Rica where they went zip lining. Their home--located in the mountains--was high up enough that they built a 550-foot zip-line prototype, which allowed them to perfect their product before pitching it to ski resorts. The idea for Skullcandy’s first set of headphones was also born on Park City slopes. Darling says that it’s important that Skullcandy’s products are able to withstand use while snowboarding and skiing. With

park City, Utah

angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City a hub for this growing business niche. Events like Sundance are a boon to Park City, because they attract aspiring entrepreneurs who might never have thought of the location, says Ted McAleer, a co-founder of Park City Angels, an angel-investor network. “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, and a really interesting, vibrant, entrepreneurial community,” McAleer says. For Skullcandy, the company’s Park City location is an integral part of its identity, says CEO Hoby Darling. One of Darling’s first moves as CEO in 2013 was to close the company’s Los Angeles office to focus operations back to Park City. Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, now has about 175 full-time employees at its headquarters. “We had to be really aligned to our consumer, and to do that we really had to have product, marketing, and sales altogether in one building,” Darling says. “When you go, ‘Who is the customer that I just love wearing Skullcandy?’...I think a lot of that goes right back to our heritage. It’s people who are on the mountain. They’re in the park. They’re in the gym, pushing what they love to do.”

21

3/28/16 11:09 AM

By standardizing on these basic forms, I believe it provides the reader a predictable, comfortable, reading environment while still providing visual interest. Balancing these two, I discovered, was the real challenge. .

Balancing visual interest and readability is the secret sauce.

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“The structure of the sentence ‘take this because of that’

What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget?

BY ALISON DAVIS

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know not to pitch based only on features, but how do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific

induces an innate and automatic response in

words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or ugliness of a person or object.” An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. But it’s not the yawner’s fault; it’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers— they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat gets a positive response.” by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to reFor the furniture salespeople, using place the negative automatic response with a “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really positive one. She suggested that salespeople like this couch because it is made of Italian greeting customers say, “May I offer you this leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great brochure because we’d like you to have more in your home because the design will go with information about our new store?’’ any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase The structure of the sentence—”take this in sales in just the first two weeks they were because of that”—induces an innate and used regularly with customers.” automatic response in humans. It offers peo“Because” works because, as Kunkel illusple a reasonable reason to ethically respond trates, “Trigger words are part of what I call based on an innate socializing instinct, couthe instant appeal response: positive, predictpled with a intellectually plausible justificaable actions that people take in response to a tion for doing so. specific trigger.” Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason So try this persuasive word next time is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits you’re trying to influence someone—because an automatic and innate response to grant it works! the favor! The response mechanism to this

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Use This Word

Journal Title // Volume & Date

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humans, interrupting the usual fight-or-flight response to an obvious sales pitch.”

BECAUSE BECAUSE 22

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Initial page design in the magazine v.3 style.

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know

What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget?

not to pitch based only on features, but how do

BECAU

v.4 stylistic update, emphasizing a more bold approach to article openings.

induces an innate and

BY ALISON DAVIS

we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific

Journal Title // Volume & Date

“The structure of the sentence ‘take this because of that’

Use This Word

9


Corner Magazine: Processbook Use This Word

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know

What Each article became an experimentation is the one ground for me. The “Use This Word” spread, magic word a short article, allowed experimentation with of persua sion bold color use we so often • Breaking words across the gutter (“split” forget? since the planned perfect binding would

45

BY ALISON DAVIS

not to pitch based only on features, but how do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific

Of course, more needed to be done to finish this article, and fill out the final page. But I intended to leave final fittings, as well as kerning adjustments, for later.

BECAU

obscure some of the crossing character.

• Shifted to left page leading question, designed to match the playful, assertive tone of the article.

Journal Title // Volume & Date

“The structure of the sentence ‘take this because of that’ induces an innate and automatic response in humans, interrupting the usual fight-or-flight response to an obvious sales pitch.”

CAUSE 10

because the design will go with any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase in sales in just the first two weeks they were used regularly with customers.” “Because” works because, as Kunkel illustrates, “Trigger words are part of what I call the instant appeal response: positive, predictable actions that people take in response to a specific trigger.” So try this persuasive word next time you’re trying to influence someone—because it works!

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words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or ugliness of a person or object.” An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. But it’s not the yawner’s fault; it’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers—they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to replace the negative automatic response with a positive one. She suggested that salespeople greeting customers say, “May I offer you this brochure because we’d like you to have more information about our new store?’’ The structure of the sentence—”take this because of that”—induces an innate and automatic response in humans. It offers people a reasonable reason to ethically respond based on an innate socializing instinct, coupled with a intellectually plausible justification for doing so. Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits an automatic and innate response to grant the favor! The response mechanism to this trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason gets a positive response.” For the furniture salespeople, using “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really like this couch because it is made of Italian leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great in your home

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Journal Title // Volume & Date

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corner

From the corner store to the corner office.

Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

Contents Creativity

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CREATIVE CONFIDENCE, David Kelley

Interviews

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SHEPARD FAIREY, Iggy Pop

Locations

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PARK CITY, UTAH, Anna Hensel

Sales 23 USE THIS WORD, Alison Davis Voices 27

WALK BOLDLY, Vernā Myers

Stories 49

CHEAP WORDS, George Packer

Potpourri 83 Management 89

FIVE SENSES, Jinsop Lee INNOVATION LEADERSHIP, David Horth and Jonathan Vehar

Perspectives 107 ENGINEERING THE FALL, Jane Lamm Carroll Discussions 119 WHY FREELANCERS FAIL, Chris Oatley and Sean Hodge

We’ve designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interestenjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just having too much fun at work to do it. Between these covers we therefore present the intersection of your Venn diagram: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. And we want to come back for more. In that spirit, we’ve

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Fairey about his belief that the American public is generally pretty superficial, so an image like the Obama HOPE poster he created just allows them (us?) to project whatever limited idea we have onto it—and the resultant unanticipated success. And so very much more.

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late at night, and we were sort of wondering where we were going, we were lost. And I saw this person across the street, and I was thinking, “Oh great, black guy.” I was going toward him without even thinking about it. And she was like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” The guy across the street, he was a black guy. I think black guys generally know where they’re going. I don’t know why exactly I think that, but that’s what I think. So she was saying, “Oh, you were going, ‘Yay, a black guy’?” She said, “I was going, ‘Ooh, a black guy.’” Other direction. Same need, same guy, same clothes, same time, same street, different reaction. And she said, “I feel so bad. I’m a diversity consultant. I did the black guy thing. I’m a woman of color. Oh my God!” And I said, “You know what? Please. We really need to relax about this.” I mean, you’ve got to realize I go way back with black guys. (Laughter) My dad is a black guy. You see what I’m saying? I’ve got a 6’5” black guy son. I was married to a black guy. My black guy thing is so wide and so deep that I can pretty much sort and figure out who that black guy is, and he was my black guy. He said, “Yes, ladies, I know where you’re going. I’ll take you there.” You know, biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are. But how are we going to know

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creative thing, you’re going to be judged.”

suals, but I didn’t know how to make a living doing it. I came up through skating and punk rock, and everybody in those cultures wears T-shirts. So I’m out there doing this street-art stuff, and I think that maybe what I can do to pay for it is to make some T-shirts and prints and stickers that I can sell. That was basically the genesis of all my entrepreneurial endeavors, which were very much an afterthought. Now I have a crew of about four art assistants who help me do the murals on the street and everything. One of them was actually the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind [1991]. He’s 19, and he’s really into drawing and street art and all that stuff. pop: So that’s the posse. fairey: We’ve got those guys. I’ve sort of built the whole Obey thing around the idea that all these people can work on the art side and the business side, and this sort of utopian ideal of art and commerce working in harmony somehow functions. My dad always had a really great work ethic. He always accused me of being a hedonist, because all I wanted to do was skateboard. But I worked hard at skateboarding when I was in high school. And I’ve found that everything worth trying to get is maybe worth a little extra effort—versus just plugging into the grid or whatever. I think the biggest thing that

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who they are when we’ve been told to avoid and be afraid of them? So I’m going to tell you to walk toward your discomfort. And I’m not asking you to take any crazy risks. I’m saying, just do an inventory, expand your social and professional circles. Who’s in your circle? Who’s missing? How many authentic relationships do you have with young black people, folks, men, women? Or any other major difference from who you are and how you roll, so to speak? Because, you know what? Just look around your periphery. There may be somebody at work, in your classroom, in your house of worship, somewhere, there’s some black young guy there. And you’re nice. You say hi. I’m saying go deeper, closer, further, and build the kinds of relationships, the kinds of friendships that actually cause you to see the holistic person and to really go against the stereotypes. I know some of you are out there, I know because I have some white friends in particular that will say, “You have no idea how awkward I am. Like, I don’t think this is going to work for me. I’m sure I’m going to blow this.” Okay, maybe, but this thing is not about perfection. It’s about connection. And you’re not going to get comfortable before you get uncomfortable. I mean, you just have to do it. And young black men, what I’m say-

ing is if someone comes your way, genuinely and authentically, take the invitation. Not everyone is out to get you. Go looking for those people who can see your humanity. You know, it’s the empathy and the compassion that comes out of having relationships with people who are different from you. Something really powerful and beautiful happens: you start to realize that they are you, that they are part of you, that they are you in your family, and then we cease to be bystanders and we become actors, we become advocates, and we become allies. So go away from your comfort into a bigger, brighter thing, because that is how we will stop another Ferguson from happening. That’s how we create a community where everybody, especially young black men, can thrive. So this last thing is going to be harder, and I know it, but I’m just going to put it out there anyway. When we see something, we have to have the courage to say something, even to the people we love. You know, it’s holidays and it’s going to be a time when we’re sitting around the table and having a good time. Many of us, anyways, will be in holidays, and you’ve got to listen to the conversations around the table. You start to say things like, “Grandma’s a bigot.” “Uncle Joe is racist.” And you know, we love Grandma and we love Un-

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SEAN THOMAS

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Why Is This Tiny Mountain Town Home to Multimillion­ Dollar Startups?

“On the street, people aren’t bashful. They will say if they like something or if they think it sucks.”

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cle Joe. We do. We know they’re good people, but what they’re saying is wrong. And we need to be able to say something, because you know who else is at the table? The children are at the table. And we wonder why these biases don’t die, and move from generation to generation? Because we’re not saying anything. We’ve got to be willing to say, “Grandma, we don’t call people that anymore.” “Uncle Joe, it isn’t true that he deserved that. No one deserves that.” And we’ve got to be willing to not shelter our children from the ugliness of racism when black parents don’t have the luxury to do so, especially those who have young black sons. We’ve got to take our lovely darlings, our future, and we’ve got to tell them we have an amazing country with incredible ideals, we have worked incredibly hard, and we have made some progress, but we are not done. We still have in us this old stuff about superiority and it is causing us to embed those further into our institutions and our society and generations, and it is making for despair and disparities and a devastating devaluing of young black men. We still struggle, you have to tell them, with seeing both the color and the character of young black men, but that you, and you expect them, to be part of the forces of change in this society that will stand against injustice and is willing, above all other things, to make a society where young black men can be seen for all of who they are. So many amazing black men, those who are the most amazing statesmen that have ever lived, brave soldiers, awesome, hardworking laborers. These are people who are powerful preachers. They are incredible

Q&A The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have rocked the United States. But beyond policy reform, what can ordinary people do to combat systemic racism? We ask diversity advocate Vernā Myers at her recent Ted talk: ted: In your work, you encourage people to talk to young black men, to get out of one’s comfort zone. Who are you speaking to in particular? Who is your audience? vernā myers: Everyone. This is something that every human being has to deal with. It’s not like, “White people have to deal with this and black people don’t.” All of us have a comfort zone. My observation is: In the hopes of being respectful and sensitive, people create distance between themselves and people they don’t know well. The only remedy for that is to actually get to know people. So look for opportunities to extend the connection that you do have with people of difference. Get a little bit closer and go deeper. Listen longer in a conversation, be more curious about what people’s views are, share your own life with

“In the hopes of being respectful and sensitive, people create distance between themselves and people they don’t know well. The only remedy for that is to actually get to know people.” 33

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price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has

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Am A Bu m B utt aazzoo iiss i nn i itt g iss g goo gooo oodd odd ffoor ffoor r bb r ccu oooo usst kkss? toom ? meer rss. .

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Cheap Words

C n B n A nn

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utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like UPS. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and

“Amazon’s shape­ shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry”

tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve

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Jobs didn’t sign up pop stars for recording contracts. AT&T doesn’t build transmission towers and rent them to smaller phone companies, the way Amazon Web Services provides server infrastructure for startups (not to mention the C.I.A.). Amazon’s identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless. com—that URL still takes you to Amazon’s site—before adopting the name of the world’s largest river by volume. (If Bezos were a reader of classic American fiction, he might have hit upon Octopus.com.) Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry, where rapid growth, not profitability, is the measure of success. Amazon is not just the “Everything Store,” to quote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and the search for new things to be ambitious about. It seems preposterous now, but Amazon began as a bookstore. In 1994, at the age of thirty, Bezos, a Princeton graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and moved to Seattle to found a company that could ride the exponential growth of the early commercial Internet. (Bezos calculated that, in 1993, usage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.) His wife, MacKenzie, is a novelist who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton; according to Stone, Bezos’s favorite novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day,” which is on the suggested reading list for Amazon executives. All the other titles, including “Sam Walton, Made in America:

BY GEORGE PACKER

a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a

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The city of fewer than 8,000 people is wellknown to ski bums and film buffs, but its entrepreneurs are cultivating their own reputations. Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival and great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing business and live an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audio-equipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years—five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of

Park City, Utah

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things, because you get paternalistic or condescending. Be curious; read; notice, notice, notice. Ask open-ended questions instead of questions that have embedded assumptions about people. Recently I was at a Whole Foods late at night in an elevator with a really short person. She had on medical scrubs, and she was a black woman. So don’t you know that out of my mouth almost came, “I love nurses!” Seriously. Finally I said, “What’s got you here so late?” And she said, “I just delivered a bunch of babies.” And I was like, “Oh, thank God.” When it comes from your “sister,” it’s probably even worse. We’re not all going out and shooting people down, but we’re schooled in the same stereotypes. There are so many other forms of violence that are not physical, but are assaults to your sense of self. When people clutch their purses when a CEO walks into an elevator and he just happens to be black: That’s an assault.

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Park City does have one advantage over Salt Lake City and Provo: It’s home to Park City Angels, the largest angel-investment network in Utah with 45 dues-paying

ted: Any last thoughts? vm: Part of my message is: No blame, shame or attack. Most of us know that we aren’t exactly as good on this as we would like to be, and there are good reasons for that that have nothing to do with us being bad. We just didn’t know — nobody taught us. I went to college and discovered that black people wrote books, and I had come up in an all-black family in an all-black neighborhood. I say: Low guilt, but high responsibility. Once you know these biases are wrong, what do you want to do about it?

VM ON WHY AREN’T WE MORE AFRAID OF YOUNG WHITE MEN? I know that I am not the only one that has noticed the pattern. On Thursday, James Holmes, a 27-year-old white man, was found guilty of the murder of 12 people (70 others were wounded) in a Colorado theater shooting in 2012. Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white man, has confessed to murdering in cold blood nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June of this year. Days after that shooting, a 21-year-old white man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was sentenced to death for killing three people (and being responsible for the death

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members who invested $6.55 million in Utah startups in 2015. Further evidence of the mountain town’s robust startup scene is its new business incubator and accelerator, PandoLabs, which launched with the help of Park City Angels. PandoLabs now works with 50 startups in the area. “We’re seeing a number of entrepreneurs who were already in Park City, but who now want to be part of a larger community,” says McAleer.

READY TEST MARKET For companies like ZipRider and Skullcandy, Park City is home to their ideal product testers. Eric and his wife and co-founder, Sarah Cylvick, got the idea for ZipRider after returning from a trip from Costa Rica where they went zip lining. Their home--located in the mountains--was high up enough that they built a 550-foot zip-line prototype, which allowed them to perfect their product before pitching it to ski resorts. The idea for Skullcandy’s first set of headphones was also born on Park City slopes. Darling says that it’s important that Skullcandy’s products are able to withstand use while snowboarding and skiing. With

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of a fourth) while injuring over 250 more at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. And at the end of 2012, 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook elementary school by 20-year old Adam Lanza after he shot his mom in their home in Newtown, Connecticut. These recent examples are just a few of many mass shootings that have been committed by young, “innocent”-looking, 20-something-year-old white men. So, here’s my question: Why aren’t we more afraid of them? Why haven’t they been demonized or stigmatized as a group? Why are there no stereotypes catching hold or preventing young, white men from being trusted and welcomed into our places of work, schools or houses of worship? We don’t run for cover or get out of elevators when we see them. We don’t cross the street clutching our purses or ask security to keep an eye on them. Police don’t just pat them down in the street. We don’t decide not to live in the neighborhoods in which they live. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting we start marginalizing and being suspicious of all 20-something white men. We all know that would be wrong. After all, we know that there are a whole lot of really trustworthy, non-violent young white men who grow up

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to be great fathers, leaders and neighbors, just as there are young men from every racial and ethnic group and economic background who do the same. What I want to point out here is how the category of “young white men” has emerged from all of these horrible incidents unscathed as a group -- and how this is one of the starkest examples of white male privilege imaginable (or another term I use, “unearned advantage”). Unearned advantage is how we describe the fact, for example, that virtually all of the culprits on Wall Street who were responsible for bringing our economy to its knees in 2008, the politicians and corporate figures found guilty of premeditated, injurious and heedlessly greedy crimes are white men, but white men are not condemned as a group for their behavior. In fact, some part of us thinks that would be silly. However, whenever a black man appears on the nightly news or in the newspaper having committed a crime, the automatic association, the schema or framework that most people default to renders black men (as a group) as mostly dangerous, menacing and scary. I believe it is even worse for young black men. In fact, in 2014 the American Psychological Association released a study found that, “Black boys as young as 10 may

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bike racks, gun safes, 3-D printers. Amazon’s code of corporate secrecy is extreme—it won’t confirm how many Seattle employees it has, or how many Kindle e-readers have been sold—so it’s impossible to know for sure, but, according to one publisher’s estimate, book sales in the U.S. now make up no more than seven per cent of the company’s roughly seventy-five billion dollars in annual revenue. Origins, though, leave lasting marks, and Amazon remains intimately tangled up in books. Few notice if Amazon prices an electronics store out of business (except its staff); but, in the influential, self-conscious world of people who care about reading, Amazon’s unparalleled power generates endless discussion, along with paranoia, resentment, confusion, and yearning. For its part, Amazon continues to expend considerable effort both to dominate this small, fragile market and to win the hearts and minds of readers. To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator. The company claims

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to want a more literate world—and it came along when the book world was in distress, offering a vital new source of sales. But then it started

database?” “ ‘Books in Print.’ ” “Ours, too. So what makes you Earth’s biggest?” “We have the most affiliate links”—a form of online advertising. Doeren considered this, then asked, “What’s your business model?” Bezos said that Amazon intended to sell books as a way of gathering data on affluent, educated shoppers. The books would be priced close to cost, in order to increase sales volume. After collecting data on millions of customers, Amazon could figure out how to sell everything else dirt cheap on the Internet. (Amazon says that its original business plan “contemplated only books.”) Afterward, Doeren told his partner at Rainy Day Books, Vivien Jennings, “I just met the world’s biggest snake-oil salesman. It’s going to be really bad for books.” Before Google, and long before Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected. Two decades later, Amazon sells a bewildering array of products: lawnmowers, iPods, art work, toys, diapers, dildos, shoes,

“The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else.”

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ACTIVE ANGELS

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Salt Lake City and Provo both boast growing startup scenes and a ready population of programmers. “Park City is unique because it has a really large talent base of engineers located nearby,” says Eric Cylvick, co-founder of ZipRider, a company that installs zip lines, mostly at ski resorts. For ZipRider, the city offers the best of both worlds. The business, founded in 2002, has more than $1 million in annual revenue. Park City is home to both a ski resort that was large enough to support a Zip Rider zip line (Park City Mountain Resort, which was Zip Rider’s first customer), but is also close enough to a talent pool of developers and engineers that Zip Rider needs. One downside, says Park City Angels Chairman Paul Wozniak, is that when companies reach a certain size, they tend to outgrow the tiny local labor market and have to move. Take WAVE, a startup that’s helping cities develop wireless electric buses. WAVE moved to Salt Lake City in 2013 after it outgrew its Park City facilities.

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My Story,” are business books, and even Ishiguro’s novel— about a self-erasing English butler who realizes that he has missed his chance at happiness in love—offers what Bezos calls a “regret-minimization framework”: how not to end up like the butler. Bezos is, above all things, pragmatic. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) It wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an online bookstore. “It was totally based on the property of books as a product,” Shel Kaphan, Bezos’s former deputy, says. Books are easy to ship and hard to break, and there was a major distribution warehouse in Oregon. Crucially, there are far too many books, in and out of print, to sell even a fraction of them at a physical store. The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else. For Bezos to have seen a bookstore as a means to world domination at the beginning of the Internet age, when there was already a crisis of confidence in the publishing world, in a country not known for its book-crazy public, was a stroke of business genius. In 1995, in Chicago, Bezos manned an Amazon booth at the annual conclave of the publishing industry, which is now called BookExpo America. Roger Doeren, from a Kansas City store called Rainy Day Books, was stopped short by Amazon’s sign: “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” Approaching Bezos, he asked, “Where is Earth’s biggest bookstore?” “Cyberspace,” Bezos replied. “We started a Web site last year. Who are your suppliers?” “Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.” “Ours, too. What’s your

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TECH TALENT

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you start to see things that you couldn’t see because you have that relationship. Because you’re peers, you begin to make their reality your own. And that’s actually more powerful because you’re on the same socioeconomic level. ted: Is your message about racism toward black people specifically? What about other groups? vm: These suggestions can be used to reconnect to the human family all sorts of groups that have been excluded, maligned, ostracized, undervalued. The minute you think, “I don’t do [blank] biased thing with [blank] group,” you can always find some group with whom you do it. Every way that you can notice your own victimization or the ways you’ve been marginalized, you can access the feelings other people might be having. Everybody has an experience of exclusion. Maybe it’s not around a group identity; maybe it’s just an individual experience, but there’s power in recalling that and extrapolating it. ted: Let’s talk about introverts. What if you’re equal-opportunity awkward? vm: [Laughs.] So many of my suggestions come out of my lens as an extrovert. So for introverts: Get curious. Don’t do things out of guilt or shame – that rarely actually shifts

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angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City a hub for this growing business niche. Events like Sundance are a boon to Park City, because they attract aspiring entrepreneurs who might never have thought of the location, says Ted McAleer, a co-founder of Park City Angels, an angel-investor network. “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, and a really interesting, vibrant, entrepreneurial community,” McAleer says. For Skullcandy, the company’s Park City location is an integral part of its identity, says CEO Hoby Darling. One of Darling’s first moves as CEO in 2013 was to close the company’s Los Angeles office to focus operations back to Park City. Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, now has about 175 full-time employees at its headquarters. “We had to be really aligned to our consumer, and to do that we really had to have product, marketing, and sales altogether in one building,” Darling says. “When you go, ‘Who is the customer that I just love wearing Skullcandy?’...I think a lot of that goes right back to our heritage. It’s people who are on the mountain. They’re in the park. They’re in the gym, pushing what they love to do.”

BY ANNA HENSEL

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to the people of color in their organizations, and the latter still see this issue. They’re all in the same socioeconomic strata, but the people of color still perceive and experience the type of bias that people on the street who don’t know each other experience. So class can trump race, but often it doesn’t. I was once at a beautiful event where I was being given an award. I was with my boyfriend, who’s a decorated soldier. He decided, instead of wearing black tie, to wear his blues. He had a chest full of medals, and at this lovely event he was lauded. People loved him. He went downstairs to get the car out of valet, and a middle-aged white woman turned to him and said, “Boy, what’s taking so long to get the cars out?” Somehow she was completely unaware that he had on a military uniform with brass all across his chest. Somehow, he became her servant. In some cases, yes, a person may have the same cultural upbringing as you even though they’re of a different race, but many people don’t. Many people have masked their difference in order to assimilate and make people comfortable. Say you have befriended a black family. They come over to your house, and they tell you their black son just got stopped. This is a boy you care about. It feels distant when you read the newspaper; here

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titles, and, unlike traditional bookstores, made very few returns. Publishers must buy back unsold inventory from retailers, an archaic and costly practice that one ex-Amazon employee called “an absurdly inefficient model, worse than my uncle sending his laundry home from college.” John Sargent, who is the chief executive of Macmillan, first met Bezos in the mid-nineties, at a hotel in Washington, D.C. “He was this incredibly energetic guy,” Sargent said. “I thought it was a really good idea.” Jane Friedman, who was then an associate publisher at Knopf, and subsequently ran HarperCollins, said of Bezos, “I was completely taken with him. He was a skinny kid, he was young, he was excitable, and he was completely serious about what he was doing. I drank the Kool-Aid.” Amazon’s revenue multiplied every year. In the late nineties, an Amazon vice-president named Mary Morouse e-mailed her colleagues after a trip to visit publishers in New York. “We are certainly popular with them,” she wrote. “They rave about Amazon.com—both as a store/service and a great way to market books. There were several examples cited where Amazon.com ‘made’ titles. And they love our sales numbers.” Publishers weren’t troubled that Amazon sold their books at dramatic discounts. They all wanted to collaborate with the Seattle

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them. Instead of just, “Hi,” and keeping it neat, really lean into the conversation and be curious about what you don’t know. And be okay about sharing your own worldview. ted: That makes sense in an office or school situation, but you also suggest in your work that we practice this in the street. Couldn’t that be dangerous? vm: Don’t get crazy. Don’t go anywhere that could be stressful or where you could be afraid. But there are a million safe opportunities every day to engage with black men. In the elevator, for example. If you find these small opportunities, then you start to find a level of comfort, and then your zone of comfort increases, so the thing you perceive as dangerous is actually not. ted: How does class factor in here? If I were to talk to ten black people that I see every day, it would probably be publicists who work in the building. That might not expose me to a wider range of people and may actually reinforce other biases about class. vm: Class is so important. Certainly when class is the same or when educational level is the same or you’re in an environment where people have been vetted, so to speak, it may be easier; however, I have spent thousands of hours talking to white executives in major corporations and thousands of hours talking

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successfully fostered the idea that a book is a

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scientists and artists and writers. They are dynamic comedians. They are doting grandpas, caring sons. They are strong fathers, and they are young men with dreams of their own.

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thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.” Amazon

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people fear when it comes to art becoming a business is those authentic, pure aspirations of art being compromised. But I’ve never put business before what I’ve wanted to say. One of the reasons I worked for years as a graphic designer was that I knew I’d have a solid income. So if I made an anti-Bush or anti-war-in-Iraq poster when it was an unpopular position, it wouldn’t matter that 25 percent of my e-mail group unsubscribed—which is actually what happened at the time. I could say exactly what I wanted to say and not worry about the commercial implications. pop: So maybe sometimes you have to go through the shit of the system in order to come out the other side. fairey: I think there are two different kinds of struggles. When I started out, I was working a $4.25-an-hour job at a skate shop making paper stickers, and I really felt like it was me against the world, which can really be very motivating. That instinct to just survive is pretty powerful. But then there’s another kind of struggle, which is the struggle I have with myself in terms of how I can evolve my ideas and push them forward based on the fact that I’m not going to be perceived as a complete outsider anymore. It’s the struggle of evolution, and not just clinging to this romantic idea of, “I’m a 20-year-old outsider, punk rock kid, putting up stickers in cities. No one knows what it is or who I am.” So I feel that as long as I maintain that struggle within myself, I haven’t become complacent.

is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also

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D

1

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same

we are not alone - and that this is the safest place for us to be.

Walk Boldly

those coming out to our Circle of Voices conversations on a Sunday night, breaking bread and breaking down barriers. I am seeing more people asking questions, joining protests, tweeting, posting, prodding, and that makes me hopeful. Most importantly, I see people in our circles building new communities of conviction. While cameras may be causing some police to cower, they are empowering those who have been bent down and controlled by fear for too long to stand up. This is the time we cannot afford to avert our attention. Everything counts, little and small when you are trying to move the needle toward justice. Spending time to take in the face of a stranger, building trust across difference and finding a way to be part of the beloved community - this is my antidote for the distance, fear, exhaustion and paralysis that threatens to undermine our resolve. Let the cameras record, but in addition to watching, let’s get up, go out and move closer where you can feel and see that change is possible. Let’s move toward the pain not away from it. This is what strengthens our empathy and builds our courage for change. Most of us seek security and a sense of control, but it’s by moving closer to our suffering and the suffering of others, that we realize

are. I’m trying to remind you that young black men grow up to be amazing human beings who have changed our lives and made them better. So here’s the thing. The other possibility in science, and it’s only temporarily changing our automatic assumptions, but one thing we know is that if you take a white person who is odious that you know, and stick it up next to a person of color, a black person, who is fabulous, then that sometimes actually causes us to disassociate too. So think Jeffrey Dahmer and Colin Powell. Just stare at them, right? But these are the things. So go looking for your bias. Please, please, just get out of denial and go looking for disconfirming data that will prove that in fact your old stereotypes are wrong. Okay, so that’s number one: number two, what I’m going to say is move toward young black men instead of away from them. It’s not the hardest thing to do, but it’s also one of these things where you have to be conscious and intentional about it. You know, I was in a Wall Street area one time several years ago when I was with a colleague of mine, and she’s really wonderful and she does diversity work with me and she’s a woman of color, she’s Korean. And we were outside, it was

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And then many more steps later, baby steps, they’d be in the room, they’d have a leather glove like a welder’s glove on, and they’d eventually touch the snake. And when they touched the snake everything was fine. They were cured. In fact, everything was better than fine. These people who had life-long fears of snakes were saying things like, “Look how beautiful that snake is.” And they were holding it in their laps. Bandura calls this process “guided mastery.” I love that term: guided mastery. And something else happened, these people who went through the process and touched the snake ended up having less anxiety about other things in their lives. They tried harder, they persevered longer, and they were more resilient in the face of failure. They just gained a new confidence. And Bandura calls that confidence self-efficacy—the sense that you can change the world and that you can attain what you set out to do. Well meeting Bandura was really cathartic for me because I realized that this famous scientist had documented and scientifically validated something that we’ve seen happen for the last 30 years. That we could take people who had the fear that they weren’t creative, and we could take them through a series of steps, kind of like a series of small successes, and they turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing. We see it at the d.school all the time. People from all different kinds of disciplines, they think of themselves as only analytical. And they come in and they go through the process, our process, they build confidence and now they

Walk Boldly

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you’re afraid you’re

the fourth most important psychologist in history—like Freud, Skinner, somebody and Bandura. Bandura’s 86 and he still works at Stanford. And he’s just a lovely guy. And so I went to see him because he has just worked on phobias for a long time, which I’m very interested in. He had developed this way, this kind of methodology, that ended up curing people in a very short amount of time. In four hours he had a huge cure rate of people who had phobias. And we talked about snakes. I don’t know why we talked about snakes. We talked about snakes and fear of snakes as a phobia. And it was really enjoyable, really interesting. He told me that he’d invite the test subject in, and he’d say, “You know, there’s a snake in the next room and we’re going to go in there.” To which, he reported, most of them replied, “Hell no, I’m not going in there, certainly if there’s a snake in there.” But Bandura has a step-by-step process that was super successful. So he’d take people to this two-way mirror looking into the room where the snake was, and he’d get them comfortable with that. And then through a series of steps, he’d move them and they’d be standing in the doorway with the door open and they’d be looking in there. And he’d get them comfortable with that.

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own decisions. Personally, I’m very worried about my freedom right now because a lot of my freedom depends on my ability to finance my art-making and traveling and putting stuff up. If I lose my AP case, then I basically will have lost the last 20 years of my life. The freedom to express myself the way that I want to is very important to me. My biggest fear is not just that I’m going to go out of business and back to square one, but that all artists can valuably contribute to the cultural dialogue, no matter what their politics are. Whether people agree or don’t agree with me, the idea that these images need to be made without artists worrying that they’re going to be sued is important. If I had just taken the photograph itself and reproduced it verbatim with the words ELECT OBAMA or HOPE underneath it, then I don’t think it would have caught on—and it would have been copyright infringement. pop: I wanted to ask you: What are the activities of Obey? Who are the members of the Obey organization? Are there a thousand of you? Three of you? fairey: I started with the Andre stuff in ’89 and then moved on to Obey in ’95. My dilemma was always that I wanted to do the street-art project, and I wanted to make posters and antagonize people with cool vi-

thinking of themselves as creative at that point. And I see that opting out that happens in childhood, and it moves in and becomes more ingrained, even by the time you get to adult life. So we see a lot of this. When we have a workshop or when we have clients in to work with us side-by-side, eventually we get to the point in the process that’s fuzzy or unconventional. And eventually these bigshot executives whip out their Blackberries and they say they have to make really important phone calls, and they head for the exits. And they’re just so uncomfortable. When we track them down and ask them what’s going on, they say something like, “I’m just not the creative type.” But we know that’s not true. If they stick with the process, if they stick with it, they end up doing amazing things and they surprise themselves just how innovative they and their teams really are. So I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have. That you don’t do things because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged. If you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged. And I had a major breakthrough when I met the psychologist Albert Bandura. I don’t know if you know Albert Bandura. But if you go to Wikipedia, it says that he’s

Walk Boldly

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When I did “I Got a Right,” I had come to the conclusion that the freedoms that we were taught about in civics class didn’t actually exist, and so I was going to have to declare my own. That song was my little declaration of independence. But now I’m at a point where I can just put the top down on my convertible and feel the breeze in my face and feel pretty free. It’s one of those big hokey questions, but what is freedom? What does that mean to you right now? fairey: I think the idea of freedom or liberty is really misused for political reasons, but it’s something that resonates with people to the core. People want to be masters of their own destinies, but at the same time, I think they do so selectively. Sometimes they want to be told exactly what to do so they don’t have to think for themselves—as long as they can still exercise their free will. pop: So as long as they can put the top down whenever they want. fairey: Yes. But if that’s the one thing that you need, then I know how I can control you. I’ll just let you put the top down whenever you want but keep you under my thumb in every other area. So I actually think that the open-endedness of some of my work is important because people do want to be able to come to their own conclusions and make their

Walk Boldly

positive word, that white person with a positive word, than we are when we are trying to associate positive with a black face, and vice versa. When we see a black face, it is easier for us to connect black with negative than it is white with negative. Seventy percent of white people taking that test prefer white. Fifty percent of black people taking that test prefer white. You see, we were all outside when the contamination came down. What do we do about the fact that our brain automatically associates? You know, one of the things that you probably are thinking about, and you’re probably like, you know what, I’m just going to double down on my color blindness. Yes, I’m going to recommit to that. I’m going to suggest to you, no. We’ve gone about as far as we can go trying to make a difference trying to not see color. The problem was never that we saw color. It was what we did when we saw the color. It’s a false ideal. And while we’re busy pretending not to see, we are not being aware of the ways in which racial difference is changing people’s possibilities, that’s keeping them from thriving, and sometimes it’s causing them an early death. So in fact, what the scientists are telling us is, no way. Don’t even think about color blindness. In fact, what they’re suggesting is, stare at awesome black people. Look at them directly in their faces and memorize them, because when we look at awesome folks who are black, it helps to dissociate the association that happens automatically in our brain. Why do you think I’m showing you these beautiful black men behind me? There were so many, I had to cut them. Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m trying to reset your automatic associations about who black men

tagline OBEY for my work, it was based on the idea that there are forces all around us that have agendas, but they are frequently unspoken. So what I was doing was crystallizing that into something tangible. I thought it would make people think about all the mechanisms of control out there. A banner like the one you’re describing is going to set you on that course pretty quickly. But advertising is often packaged in a way that’s friendly, so people don’t think about the I AM NEAR or OBEY element. The funny thing is that a lot of people have told me that my work looks communist. But that’s just because they’re associating it with Russian constructivism, which was such a powerful graphic design. A lot of people think of Russian constructivism as being all about promoting Marx and Lenin, but there were actually state-owned department stores that employed that kind of design and messaging to get people to buy things. They also did some great stuff with it for the airline Aeroflot. So I think the idea of propaganda and advertising being one and the same has been around for a while. pop: Interestingly, in light of what you’ve just said, there’s a certain amount of freedom from meaning in your imagery. Freedom was very, very important to me when I was young.

Creative Confidence

park City, Utah

buildings—sanctioned imagery—that was the nearest thing to some of your Andre the Giants and some of your other larger, simpler imagery. The one in Berlin that I liked best was about seven stories high. It was a milk bottle and it had a slogan, in German, which essentially said, DRINK MILK! DRINK MILCH! It used to fascinate me, because growing up in Michigan in my particular town, we had Milky the Clown—this clown who drank lots of milk. But obviously someone in Germany must have thought, “Well, there’s advertising in the West, and we haven’t got any, so we better catch up. But how can we do this in a positive way? We’ll encourage people to drink milch!” There was another one that I remember seeing the first time I ever drove into East Germany. I still don’t know what it meant, but it was on a banner that was strung from an expressway overpass, and it just said, I AM NEAR. I assumed the banner was referring to the leader. fairey: There are so many ways that could be interpreted. “If you’re thinking of defecting, don’t do it because I am near—I am looking right over your shoulder.” pop: Comforting? fairey: In a paternalistic, protective way. It’s just open-ended enough to be spun whatever way is useful. When I came up with the

Shepard fairey

The Associated Press thinks it’s copyright infringement, and they’re really going after me. It would bankrupt me entirely if they won, so I’m hoping, for the sake of creative expression and political speech, that that doesn’t happen.— Shepard fairey pop: I read something that you wrote, which I entirely understood: that even thinking about entering an art gallery makes you want to doze off. fairey: For me, there has always been a disconnect with the sort of elitist structure of the high-art world—and my distaste for that is at odds with my feeling that art should aspire to do great things. But there’s something powerful about seeing art in public spaces that has a function other than just advertising that’s selling a product. I’m not saying I’m above any of this—I’m a part of it. But one of the things I love about doing what I do is that I am in the mix with people. It’s not like when people walk into a gallery and say, “I know this piece is supposed to be good because it’s in a gallery, so I’ll just go along with the idea that it’s brilliant and wonderful.” On the street, people aren’t bashful. They will say if they like something or if they think it sucks. pop: I lived in Berlin when the wall was still up, and East Berlin was the communist zone. They had imagery there on the walls of the

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dence. I’m going to start way back in the third

included a couple of great conversations, from

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I want to talk to you today about creative confi-

grade at Oakdale School in Barberton, Ohio. BY DAVID KELLEY I remember one day my best friend Brian was working on a project. He was making a horse out of the clay that our teacher kept under the sink. And at one point, one of the girls who was sitting at his table, seeing what he was doing, leaned over and said to him, “That’s terrible. That doesn’t look anything like a horse.” And Brian’s shoulders sank. And he wadded up the clay horse and he threw it back in the bin. I never saw Brian do a project like that ever again. And I wonder how often that happens. It seems like when I tell that story of Brian to my class, a lot of them “I’ve been looking at want to come up after class and tell this fear of judgment me about their similar experience, how a teacher shut them down that we have. That you or how a student was particularly don’t do things because cruel to them. And some opt out

the likes of Iggy Pop chatting with Shepard

Vol. 1 No. 1

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What does a fear of snakes have to do with creativity?

Welcome to Corner!

ed person, really do want to take some time to

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going to survive, that’s what I wanted to do. I survived, just so you know. I really believe that when people gain this confidence—and we see it all the time at the d.school and at IDEO—they actually start working on the things that are really important in their lives. We see people quit what they’re doing and go in new directions. We see them come up with more interesting, and just more, ideas so they can choose from better ideas. And they just make better decisions. So I know at you’re expecting to hear a change-the-world kind of thing. Everybody has a change-the-world thing. If there is one for me, this is it. To help this happen. So I hope you’ll join me on my quest—you as thought leaders. It would be really great if you didn’t let people divide the world into the creatives and the non-creatives, like it’s some God-given thing, and to have people realize that they’re naturally creative. And those natural people should let their ideas fly. That they should achieve what Bandura calls self-efficacy, that you can do what you set out to do, and that you can reach a place of creative confidence and touch the snake.

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During the last presidential election, art-

Is a Street Artist Who Acciden­ tally Goes Mainstream Selling Out?

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ist Shepard Fairey’s poster of Barack Obama—a graphic, vaguely Russian-propa-

Shepard Fairey

while the Obama poster—as well as a diverse, complex, and at times controversial body of work that stretches back two decades— helped set the stage for Fairey’s first solo museum show, titled Supply and Demand, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston last year, it also attracted a different kind of attention. Early last year, Fairey became embroiled in a contentious—and potentially precedent-setting—lawsuit with the Associated Press over his unauthorized use of one of the news service’s photographs, which was taken by photographer Mannie Garcia in 2006, as a reference for the Obama portrait. In a nutshell: The AP claims that Fairey’s use of the image is copyright infringement; Fairey believes that in making the portrait, he was just exercising his First Amendment rights and that his use of the image as a reference falls under the category of fair use. Fairey’s admission in late fall that he attempted to destroy evidence of his using the Garcia image as a reference has thrown a new wrinkle into the proceedings. Fairey’s work, which combines elements of graffiti, pop art, business art, appropriation art, and Marxist theory, has long been divisive. His supporters point to the viral nature of his images, the DIY ethic behind his operation, and the brute cultural impact

BY IGGY POP

gandist-looking portrait of the then candidate with the word HOPE drawn in big, bold letters underneath—achieved the rare feat of becoming a visual emblem of a moment in American history. Obama, of course, won the election. But the ensuing months have been transformative for Fairey, too. Up until a couple of years ago, he was best known in the skateboarding and street-art worlds for his Obey Giant campaign. Conceived while Fairey was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the project involved stickering, stenciling, and painting slogans such as THIS IS YOUR GOD and images of the late professional wrestler Andre the Giant in public spaces in major cities around the globe. But

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of his work. His critics have accused him of everything from being the proverbial sell out (Fairey produces a clothing line, Obey, as a commercial extension of the Obey Giant project, and has done work for Pepsi and others) to exploiting politically charged imagery (pieces have depicted Black Panthers and Zapatistas) to too closely appropriating the work of other artists and hastening the over-commercialization of street culture. But Fairey, now 40, remains ambivalent about both achieving art-world validation and retaining his street cred, aware that artists whose works hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.—as his own Obama portrait does—aren’t necessarily insiders, but they are no longer outsiders, either. Last year, Fairey has a new show at New York City’s Deitch Projects—the last show at the gallery before owner Jeffrey Deitch packed up and headed west to assume his new post as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Iggy Pop recently spoke with the Charleston, South Carolina-born Fairey, who was putting some finishing touches on pieces for the Deitch exhibition in his Los Angeles studio. iggy pop: I wanted to start out by talking to you about the biggest mess you’ve created,

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which is the Barack Obama piece you made in the run-up to the last election. My first thought was that it reminded me a little of something I would have seen in the Middle East—you know, the kind of simple picture of a leader that you see go up when there’s going to be civil unrest or when they die. What were you thinking when you made that image? shepard fairey: I created the Obama image with a little bit of a different intention than a lot of other stuff that I make. It’s not that I haven’t put people who I admire on pedestals before, but they were usually people like the members of Black Sabbath or the Black Panthers. I’ve also made a lot of political art in the past where I was criticizing people like George W. Bush—I worked very hard in 2004 to make anti-Bush imagery. But then Bush got reelected, and so I thought I needed to reevaluate my approach to mainstream politics. At that point, I’d had a kid, a daughter, and as the 2008 election campaign was beginning, I had a second daughter on the way. So I started to think, “This isn’t about me augmenting my existing brand of pissed-off rebellion. This is about my daughters’ future.” I wanted it to have a stylistic connection to my other work, so I didn’t use the typical red, white, and blue—I used the red that I use, and

that cream background, and then I worked with different shades of blue so the image had that patriotic feel. I wanted to make an image that deracialized Obama, where he’s not a black man, but a nationalized man. And then, secondly, when a person is turned into a stylized or idealized icon, it means that someone has decided that the person is worthy of this treatment, and the viewer then maybe takes a step back and says, “Well, they’ve been validated by someone, so maybe I should look at them a little more closely and decide whether they’re worthy of that validation.” So my thinking was that if people took that step, then I was pretty sure that they would want Obama to be president. His opposition to the war in Iraq when it was an unpopular position, his stands on health-care reform and the environment and decreasing the power of lobbyists—those were all things that resonated with me. pop: And yet you had the good sense not to reference any of those issues in the piece itself, because it wouldn’t have had the impact. fairey: Yeah, well, I hate to say this, and some people might get very angry, but the American public is generally pretty superficial, so an image like that just allows them to project whatever limited idea they have

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onto it. Obviously, not everyone is like that—I actually think there were a lot of people who were bummed by the image because they felt it was shallow propaganda. pop: I think I’ve seen the image both with and without the word HOPE. Is that correct? fairey: Yeah, that is correct. I actually initially used the word PROGRESS. I felt like if Obama were elected, then he would shift what was the status quo, and then that would be progress. I did the poster without any input from the campaign—I just did it as a grassroots thing. I figured the campaign wouldn’t want my help because I’m too controversial, kind of like the [Louis] Farrakhan endorsement, where they said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” But when I heard that they did like the image, my friend who was sort of the liaison said, “They love the image, but they really like the word HOPE or CHANGE better…” I was told that progress leads to progressive, which leads to socialism. So I chose hope as the word, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that people are complacent and apathetic when they’re hopeless, and so hope leads to action. It’s also hard to be anti-hope. It’s one of those bulletproof things. pop: Did any trouble or negative energy come shooting your way?

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fairey: Well, I got plenty of hate on the Internet—and not only from right-wingers. There were people from my own cultural background who said that I’d sold out if I wasn’t pushing for Ralph Nader. And then I’m being sued by the Associated Press over the reference image I used to create the illustration. pop: That’s why I was asking. [laughs] fairey: The image was created from a news photograph from a 2006 panel on Darfur that Obama attended, so it didn’t have anything to do with the campaign. I feel like what I did was both aesthetically and conceptually transformative. I think it’s fair use, but the Associated Press thinks it’s copyright infringement, and they’re really going after me. It would bankrupt me entirely if they won, so I’m hoping, for the sake of creative expression and political speech, that that doesn’t happen. pop: The whole idea of copyright and ownership seems to be shifting. fairey: Well, I do think that copyrights and intellectual property are important—it’s important to be able to keep people from making verbatim copies of a particular creation that could somehow hurt the creator. If I spend time conceiving and making a piece of art and somebody else sees that it has

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market value and replicates it in order to steal part of my market, then that’s not cool. But the way I make art—the way a lot of people make art—is as an extension of language and communication, where references are incredibly important. It’s about making a work that is inspired by something preexisting but changes it to have a new value and meaning that doesn’t in any way take away from the original—and, in fact, might provide the original with a second life or a new audience. pop: It’s viral. fairey: Exactly. The problem with copyright enforcement is that when the parameters aren’t incredibly well defined, it means big corporations, who have deeper pockets and better lawyers, can bully people. I don’t want to start making enemies in the corporate world, but there are plenty of cases. For example, there is a tradition of certain fairy tales being reinterpreted, and now, all of a sudden, a big corporation that has a mouse on its logo decides it’s going to copyright these fairy tales, which ends the cycle of these things being reinterpreted. What happens with these big entertainment companies is that they start to get a monopoly on the creation of culture. But I think that the more people participate in the creation of culture, the richer the culture becomes.

In the case of the Obama poster, I was just exercising my First Amendment rights—and my free speech is exercised visually. People who want to talk or write in order to share an opinion about Obama can do that, but when I want to say what I think about him, I need to make a portrait. And if I can’t make a picture based on a reference because all references are copyrighted, then my only options are to pay a licensing fee—and possibly be turned down because the person licensing the image doesn’t agree with my political viewpoint—or to try to get a personal sitting with Barack Obama to make a portrait of him, which presents its own obstacles. So I don’t think all this is good for free speech. pop: The record company is going to hate me for this, but as an artist, when people do things that are inspired by me or my work, I’m happy when I get paid and I’m just as happy when I don’t. In the end, I think it’s the communication of the ideas that really matters. fairey: In a broad way, that’s the most valuable thing to me, as well. If you’re creating something that has some sort of cultural currency—if the idea is getting out there—then that will probably yield money in some form, whether it’s through selling art or selling books or being asked to give a lecture.

Shepard fairey

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And so I’ve heard Doug tell the story many times, of his personal transformation and the breakthrough design that happened from it, but I’ve never really seen him tell the story of the little girl without a tear in his eye. Doug’s story takes place in a hospital. I know a thing or two about hospitals. A few years ago I felt a lump on the side of my neck, and it was my turn in the MRI machine. It was cancer. It was the bad kind. I was told I had a 40 percent chance of survival. So while you’re sitting around with the other patients in your pajamas and everybody’s pale and thin and you’re waiting for your turn to get the gamma rays, you think of a lot of things. Mostly you think about, Am I going to survive? And I thought a lot about, What was my daughter’s life going to be like without me? But you think about other things. I thought a lot about, What was I put on Earth to do? What was my calling? What should I do? And I was lucky because I had lots of options. We’d been working in health and wellness, and K through 12, and the Developing World. And so there were lots of projects that I could work on. But I decided and I committed to at this point to the thing I most wanted to do -- was to help as many people as possible regain the creative confidence they lost along their way. And if I was

Shepard fairey

And he would take this new knowledge and do something quite extraordinary. He would redesign the entire experience of being scanned. And this is what he came up with. He turned it into an adventure for the kids. He painted the walls and he painted the machine, and he got the operators retrained by people who know kids, like children’s museum people. And now when the kid comes, it’s an experience. And they talk to them about the noise and the movement of the ship. And when they come, they say, “Okay, you’re going to go into the pirate ship, but be very still because we don’t want the pirates to find you.” And the results were super dramatic. So from something like 80 percent of the kids needing to be sedated, to something like 10 percent of the kids needing to be sedated. And the hospital and GE were happy too. Because you didn’t have to call the anesthesiologist all the time, they could put more kids through the machine in a day. So the quantitative results were great. But Doug’s results that he cared about were much more qualitative. He was with one of the mothers waiting for her child to come out of the scan. And when the little girl came out of her scan, she ran up to her mother and said, “Mommy, can we come back tomorrow? Hah!”

CreatiVe CoNfideNCe

think of themselves differently. And they’re totally emotionally excited about the fact that they walk around thinking of themselves as a creative person. So I thought one of the things I’d do today is take you through and show you what this journey looks like. To me, that journey looks like Doug Dietz. Doug Dietz is a technical person. He designs medical imaging equipment, large medical imaging equipment. He’s worked for GE, and he’s had a fantastic career. But at one point he had a moment of crisis. He was in the hospital looking at one of his MRI machines in use when he saw a young family. There was a little girl, and that little girl was crying and was terrified. And Doug was really disappointed to learn that nearly 80 percent of the pediatric patients in this hospital had to be sedated in order to deal with his MRI machine. And this was really disappointing to Doug, because before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives with this machine. But it really hurt him to see the fear that this machine caused in kids. About that time he was at the d.school at Stanford taking classes. He was learning about our process about design thinking, about empathy, about iterative prototyping.

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“The structure of the sentence ‘take this because of that’

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know not to pitch based only on features, but how do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—

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upstart, and they used Amazon as an information resource; it was a vast improvement over the old green-bound copies of “Books in Print.” A New York marketing executive told me, “When Amazon came into the picture, metadata”—code numbers, Library of Congress categories, search keywords—“became an integral part of books.” A few farsighted publishers wondered if Amazon would eventually control so much of the market that it would stop selling books at cost and raise prices to become more profitable. By 1997, when the company went public, Amazon’s book inventory could have filled six football fields. But someone who read Bezos’s year-end letter to shareholders might well have thought that Amazon’s eight-hundredand-thirty-eight-per-cent sales growth had been in shoes, since he barely mentioned books. In the letter, Bezos noted tersely, “We are planning to add music to our product offering.” (Unlike Jobs, Bezos wasn’t a passionate listener: he once agreed to be interviewed for a program about the Beatles, and when employees, prepping the boss, asked him to name a favorite Beatles tune, Bezos chose “America,” by Simon & Garfunkel.) Soon after music came DVDs and consumer electronics. A New York literary agent told me that books were Amazon’s version of “a gateway drug.”

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the fatigue of racism and oppression, it is also tiring for all people to be constantly in suspicion, fear and ignorance about another group of people. This preoccupation also robs us of precious opportunities to connect across our differences and to experience the richness of our humanity. It sustains a feeling of discomfort and distance. It prevents us for extending to others the empathy, understanding and opportunities that we all want and need. Some of us think that we can protect ourselves by sealing away from certain groups and surrounding ourselves with people who are like us. But, I would hope that by now we are learning that this type of exclusion will not keep us safe. We have to face the ills in our society together, connected, and doing whatever we can to confront the biases that separate us.

VM ON A CRISIS OF LEADERSHIP AT MIZZOU: WHY WHITE MALE LEADERS MUST LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF INCLUSION I had mixed feelings as I watched University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe, stand before the cameras and deliver his mild mannered mea culpa and ultimate resignation. I was glad that finally someone this high up was being made to account for an institu-

tion’s failure to listen to and take seriously the concerns of their black students. But President Wolfe’s lowered head, his measured and halted speech, and his inability to utter one word of apology made the entire press conference seem lackluster and pro forma. On the other hand, the decision made by Jonathan Butler, a 25-year old student, to go on a hunger strike to protest what he and others believe was the University of Missouri’s failure to adequately address bigotry on campus was very impressive and impactful. Likewise, I was impressed, frankly surprised, and moved by the refusal of the entire University of Missouri football team and their coaches to play in their nationally televised game against BYU—or even practice ahead of time—an act of solidarity that brought national attention to Butler’s call for the resignation of President Wolfe. The undeniable effectiveness and boldness of these protests lay in stark juxtaposition to the lack of stewardship and proper attention paid to important issues by school leaders. While I am grateful that Butler, the football team, and the diverse body of students who supported them led a swift and powerful movement to hold the school responsible, I found myself thinking that although this battle may be won, how are these

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students going to achieve the environment they are demanding and so rightly deserve? The University of Missouri, like so many other institutions can be well intended, but that intent is often coupled with the repeated reality that most officially appointed leaders in our nation’s schools, companies and communities lack the awareness, skills and courage it takes to create the inclusive, respectful and nurturing environments needed for people of all backgrounds to thrive. Of course, the issues of racism, sexism, religious intolerance and other forms of personal and institutional bias against marginalized groups are not unique or new at our academic establishments. For decades, students from non-majority groups have arrived on campuses with great excitement -- only to find themselves trying to learn in environments that did not expect them, reflect them or respect them. Some will point to the middle of the country and stereotype those

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as Amazon kept growing like mad, investors would pour in money and Wall Street wouldn’t pay much attention to profits. (The company didn’t have a profitable quarter until 2001, and still struggles to stay in the black.) In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two dozen writers and editors to produce copy for the Web site. One of them—Amazon employee No. 55—was a cultural critic from New York named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces at the Village Voice. (She had also worked at several New York publishers and at The New York Review of Books.) For these refugees from New York, where jobs in publishing and journalism were already beginning to thin out, Amazon offered the thrill of working at a rising power, with stock options and an enormous audience. Marcus edited the home page, which was visited by at least thirty million people a day. Under the rubric “Books Favorites,” he and his staff often promoted novels that needed a push to claim an audience, such as Myla Goldberg’s “Bee Season.” Marcus wrote hundreds of short book reviews and thousands of descriptive blurbs; Fried, who edited the Literature and Fiction section with Marcus, posted interviews with authors, including Penelope Fitzgerald and Stanley Kunitz. In 2004, Marcus, now the executive editor of Harper’s, published a wry, bittersweet memoir of his experience, “Amazonia.” He told me, “It was useful to Amazon, as a business strategy, to convey the feeling of your beloved indie bookstore, full of hip, book-loving people.”

Sargent said that Bezos’s ambition was apparent to him from the beginning—“My God, he drives hard.” But he couldn’t see Bezos’s master plan “for shit.” “He was already going to be the Everything Store,” Sargent said when we met in his trapezoidal office, in the narrow wedge of the Flatiron Building. “I thought he was just a bookstore, stupid me. Books were going to be the way to get the names and the data. Books were his customer-acquisition strategy.” As long

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Readers, especially isolated ones, adored Amazon. “We heard from people all the time,” Marcus said. “ ‘I live in some Podunk town, the nearest bookstore is a hundred miles from my house, and now I can get the most obscure book.’ ” Marcus asked Toni Morrison to do an interview. “I’m happy to talk,” she told him. “I hear you’re selling more books than anyone in the history of the world.” In “Amazonia,” Marcus describes Bezos’s “anticharismatic charisma, which would have mortified a Great Man of a century ago but seemed just right for our nerd-driven meritocracy.” In those years, Bezos joined his staff for the round-the-clock work of “picking” and shipping books at warehouses during the holiday season. One day in 1997, Fried went into the company kitchen and found him absorbed in assembling an ant farm. “He had a lot of curiosity,” she said. “I keep hearing about Jeff’s temper, but I have to say I never witnessed it. He was really pleasant and fun.” His ambition sometimes had an idealistic cast: he wanted Amazon to warehouse two copies of every book ever printed, an unrealized dream grandly called the Alexandria Project. At Amazon, original writing wasn’t even called “content.” It was known as “verbiage,” simplified to “verbage.” Amazon’s writers and

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there as not as open or respectful of difference. But the issue of racism and other forms of bigotry are everywhere in our country. Last week, I spoke to an East Coast graduate school audience of students, professors, and administrators about what it takes to create a culturally competent learning environment where people of all backgrounds feel respected and included. I had been called in because of a racially-charged incident among the student body that brought into sharper focus even more troubling issues of exclusion and bias experienced by people of color and women. Significantly, the leaders of this institution decided not to hide, downplay, or deny the problem. Instead, they engaged and worked to understand the complex issues. The top leader made it his business to talk to the individuals, the offenders and the offended, and together with student, faculty and administrative voices, he began to develop a plan to address the issues that had surfaced, including learning how to have authentic conversations and learning to be more culturally competent. The work of transforming an institution whose foundation was shaped by exclusive and supremacist ways of thinking -- which is, incidentally, true of most of our established American organizations -- into a multi-cul-

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Douglas Hofstadter’s ‘Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies’ was the first book sold on Amazon.com.

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editors formed a counterculture that never fit easily in a company ruled by computer engineers and M.B.A.s, who valued data most and believed only in measurable truths. “The key to understanding Amazon is the hiring process,” one former employee said. “You’re not hired to do a particular job—you’re hired to be an Amazonian. Lots of managers had to take the Myers-Briggs personality tests. Eighty per cent of them came in two or three similar categories, and Bezos is the same: introverted, detail-oriented, engineer-type personality. Not musicians, designers, salesmen. The vast majority fall within the same

amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of

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and his neighbors watched in horror, and I thought, here it is again. This violence, this brutality against black men has been going on for centuries. I mean, it’s the same story, just different names. It could have been Amadou Diallo. It could have been Sean Bell. It could have been Oscar Grant. It could have been Trayvon Martin. This violence, this brutality, is really something that’s part of our national psyche. It’s part of our collective history. What are we going to do about it? You know that part of us that still crosses the street, locks the doors, clutches the purses, when we see young black men? That part. I know we’re not shooting people down in the street, but I’m saying that the same stereotypes and prejudices that fuel those kinds of tragic incidents are in us. We’ve been schooled in them as well. I believe that we can stop these types of incidents, these Fergusons from happening, by looking within and being willing to change ourselves. So I have a call to action for you. There are three things that I want to offer us today to think about as ways to stop Ferguson from happening again; three things that I think will help us reform our images of young black men and, I’m hoping, will not only protect them but will open the world so that they can thrive. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine our country embracing young black men, seeing them as part of our future, giving them that kind of openness, that kind of grace we give to people we love? How much better would our lives be? How much better would our country be? Let me just start with number one. We gotta get out of denial. Stop trying to be good people. We need real people.

BY VERNĀ MYERS

Other Suns.” It documents six million black folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970 looking for a respite from all the brutality and trying to get to a better opportunity up North, and it was filled with stories of the resilience and the brilliance of African-Americans, and it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the horrors and the humility, and all the humiliations. It was especially hard to hear about the beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on the ground dead, blood running for four hours while his grandmother and little children

You know, I do a lot of diversity work, and people will come up to me at the beginning of the workshop. They’re like, “Oh, Ms. Diversity Lady, we’re so glad you’re here” — (Hah!) — “but we don’t have a biased bone in our body.” And I’m like, “Really? Because I do this work every day, and I see all my biases.” I mean, not too long ago, I was on a plane and I heard the voice of a woman pilot coming over the P.A. system, and I was just so excited, so thrilled. I was like, “Yes, women, we are rocking it. We are now in the stratosphere.” It was all good, and then it started getting turbulent and bumpy, and I was like, “I hope she can drive.” I know. Right? But it’s not even like I knew that was a bias until I was coming back on the other leg and there’s always a guy driving and it’s often turbulent and bumpy, and I’ve never questioned the confidence of the male driver. The pilot is good. Now, here’s the problem. If you ask me explicitly, I would say, “Female pilot: awesome.” But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. You know, fast-moving planes in the sky, I want a guy. That’s my default. Men are my default. Who is your default? Who do you trust? Who are you afraid of? Who do you implicitly feel connected to? Who do you run away from? I’m going to tell you what we have learned. The implicit association test, which measures unconscious bias, you can go online and take it. Five million people have taken it. Turns out, our default is white. We like white people. We prefer white. What do I mean by that? When people are shown images of black men and white men, we are more quickly able to associate that picture with a

“But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. ”

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tural, anti-racist institution takes an enormous commitment, a deep understanding of culture, an intolerance for denying the impact of exclusion and bias, and bold, courageous, and inclusive leadership. I have worked with many leaders, most of them white, male, straight and protestant. I have seen brilliant, capable executives cower and become impotent when they are asked to speak to issues of difference, especially racial issues. They are often blind-sided and ineffective when faced with demands for fairness and respect from those who have put their trust in their organization. They have no framework for understanding institutional racism and the way biases against certain groups have been embedded into the organizations that they care so deeply about. Instead of moving forward with conviction to solve the issues, they remain paralyzed with the fear of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, angering the wrong people, and ultimately lose their footing. They are often tone deaf to the voices that are appealing to their leadership because they have not been taught to listen and their privilege has drawn small circles of comfort around them -- even as they have been appointed to lead a diverse group of people. They take the demand for change personally, and even though they can

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see signs that something might be wrong, they seem unwilling to change the institution in any significant way. However, many leaders in the private and public spheres are starting to realize that they can no longer remain good leaders without understanding how to recognize and adapt to difference in a way that will enhance their institutions’ survival in our constantly changing world. I remember coaching one of these CEO’s who was determined to get it right, to expand his comfort zone and ability to see what was beyond his experience and culture. When we first started, I had to convince him that it was okay for him to say, “people of color” to a person of color. We had to practice the phrase out loud before he felt comfortable. He ultimately developed a facility with the language of inclusion, and a greater ease and authenticity in his relationships with the people themselves. As he became more proactive rather than reactive, an inclusive tone was set for all, policies changed, and his leaders were evaluated based on how well they practiced inclusion in hiring, promotions, mentoring and opportunity. What I think Missouri shows us is that, often, leaders of these organizations don’t seem to understand what time it is. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has become a

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wake-up call emboldening people of all backgrounds, especially young people, to stand up and say, “No more!” At this point in history, you can’t be an effective leader unless you are culturally aware and inclusive. Students can’t be appeased with a few budget increases, conducting one session on diversity, and hiring a visiting professor of color. Real change will require deep introspection and examination of the institution and those who are leading it. These leaders have to be willing to look humbly and honestly into their own worldviews and the way those views have been impacted by racism. Ultimately, they have to believe that difference is not to be feared, covered or contained -- rather it is to be understood, respected and seen as a powerful asset. True leaders are curious and eager to hear the stories of those different from themselves, even when those narratives are painful and point to shortcomings in the institution. Most importantly, they have to be willing to examine the culture and practices of the establishment, and in doing so, be willing to let go of “the way we always do things.” There may be apparent comfort and predictability in these practices, but a fierce commitment to the status quo is a ticking time bomb contaminated with exclusion and

bigotry. Inclusive leaders have to be bold enough to tell beneficiaries of the status quo that it is time they relinquish some of their power and privilege so that the organization can accomplish its mission, be relevant, and able to thrive in the future.

VM ON ARE HORRIFIC VIRAL VIDEOS OF POLICE VIOLENCE WEARING US OUT? When the latest horrific act of excessive, out of control violence by a police officer against a young black girl at Spring Valley High School hit CNN and the social media loops, did you think about withdrawing from the fight, exhausted and overwhelmed by it all? Did you want to distance yourself from the pain and anger? Or did you ask yourself how you would have been able to deal with the situation if that teenage girl, who was violently flipped and dragged still pinned in her desk,

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was your daughter, granddaughter or niece? Did your stomach hurt, your head swell with disbelief and anger? I started worrying. What if all these video recordings exposing us to yet another police officer’s over the top force against an unarmed citizen may be taking its toil and wearing us out emotionally? What if repeated witnessing of these injustices will, eventually, lead us to withdraw, just as a matter of survival? It is painfully clear that the police are routinely brutalizing, bullying and killing us. Not all of the police, to be sure, but way too many of them have certainly developed a devastating disregard for some of us: the young, black, brown, poor, transgender, intellectually disabled, immigrants of us. In other words, the most marginalized of us. What if most Americans, especially those who don’t feel connected to the most vulnerable of our residents, can’t handle seeing another despicable act on their news feed? Are we in danger of paralysis? Suppose that instead of us getting to the tipping point for change that so many of us are hoping for, we get so emotionally exhausted by it all that we retreat, go back into our complacency, go shopping instead of showing up to protests, go back to voting

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for candidates who don’t care instead of demanding real policy changes from our officials. What if we even stop posting or talking about the last horrible video? How long can we sustain our outrage when, in so many cases, there appears to be no justice for the victims of the type of abhorrent violent behavior we are witnessing? I also wonder if many of us are more afraid of the police after witnessing their actions in all these recordings. I believe these viral commercials of police intimidation work in the police’s favor, promoting more social control. I know that the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel and FBI Commissioner James Comey have voiced concerns that police are reluctant to do their jobs now for fear that they will be caught on video and their lives and careers will be ruined. According to them, this reluctance could explain the rise in crime in urban areas. But watching those kids motionless in that Spring Valley classroom while they observed such violence against their classmate and hearing what they were told would happen to them if they intervened, it is clear to me who is more afraid, and it’s not the police. That classroom was a microcosm of so

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many communities in this country that have experienced firsthand this type of intimidation, this kind of social control. Even suggesting that the Black Lives Matter movement is causing more crime is an attempt to scapegoat, manipulate and induce fearful compliance. I was never afraid of the police before this past year. For years now, I’ve been living a life of privilege, an unpoliced life. But the other day, in this year of being up close with the truth of police brutality, I was driving down the highway a little too fast and caught sight of a police car behind me. And I became aware that so much has changed. As I acted to quickly decelerate, I felt my heart rate escalating. All this exposure to police misconduct has caused me to be more compliant, hoping to avoid all police officers. I fear that I might encounter that out of control officer who is triggered just by the fact that I am a black woman with a sense of my own dignity. I have decided however, that my response to this fear and the sense of rage and hopelessness that creeps in each time I watch another terrifying incident is to be vigilant, and not withdraw. I can’t withdraw; I won’t withdraw. Every testimony I hear from young black folks living in their over-policed commu-

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nities of Baltimore, where I live, helps me stay focused. They have bore witness and experienced this kind of violence for a long time; some of them have grown weary and petulant, but I am inspired by the ones who have decided to speak up and demand justice. Recently JC Faulk, the creator of Circle of Voices, and I facilitated a powerfully enlightening conversation in Baltimore, where the death of Freddie Gray has awakened many to police brutality and the structural racism that has created black neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. Hadji Bakara, a graduate student from the University of Chicago, had just finished presenting to us a horrible story that most of us had never heard about - the literal torture, over decades, of more than 100 black men in Chicago by police commander Jon Burge and his henchmen, and the long and hard battle of enraged citizens to bring this man to justice and seek redress for the victims. Bakara believes that we have to stand up and fight against inhumane treatment of others, even if we don’t consider them part of our tribe; if we don’t, we make space for atrocities to take place somewhere else against another group. While some of us see injustices and stand up and fight for others, many of us do not.

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We asked people that had come to the Circle of Voices session, men and women of different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to find someone in the room who they didn’t know and thought of as being different from them in some significant way. Once paired, we asked perfect strangers to confide in each other about where they find themselves ignoring the pain of other groups and why they choose to do so. The group found a strange and unexpected comfort in revealing where and why they detach and in finding out that we all close our eyes to some group’s pain. When we inquired about why we move away from the pain of others, the reasons were many: too much to bear emotionally - too sad, too angry, too confused, too embarrassed; being afraid of the “other;” ignorance and guilt; not knowing how to make a difference; worried you will make it worse or won’t be welcomed by those you are trying to help. They talked about the truth of trying to preserve one’s stuff; one’s sense of control, energy, sanity, safety and one’s life. This is the truth of where we are in America right now. There are so many feelings that urge us to turn away and some of us have the privilege to ignore and separate from the struggle. Some of us don’t. Our strategies for surviv-

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ing this fractured society prevent us from experiencing and drawing upon the power of community. If we hope to save cities like Baltimore, our children in South Carolina, our country and our world, we cannot turn away from the stories that make us sick to our stomachs. We say, “Enough! I’ve had enough. I can’t deal with another one of these.” But these utterances cannot be a declaration of retreat, but a rallying call of a personal re-commitment to being part of the change. Every week, we must meet with emotional fortitude each viral victim, each unfathomable act of disregard for human life, and each official denying culpability. We have to “stand our ground.” I probably can’t stop holding on to my convulsing belly, shaking my disbelieving head and quieting my screams when I see these videos, hear stories about the torture of black men and the testimonies of the young people illegally detained in their communities, but I am not going to turn away. When we embrace our pain, the pain of others and even the anger, we stay connected and we resist surrendering to fear and a sense of helplessness. I feel most encouraged about the possibility for change, when I come together with folks who are trying to make a difference, people of all backgrounds like

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Mos of he pages a his poin , dubbed ver sion 5. A of he ex ua con en is in p ace, 129 pages wor h, and a basic ab e of con en s has been in roduced. The defau 2 co umn forma ing is used on pages o ge hings s ar ed (no a of hese are shown here), bu i is c ear ha from a visua in eres s andpoin , his ayou s i has a ways o go.

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I was on a long road trip this summer, and I was having a wonderful time listening to the

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meeting at church, that will tarnish the positive bias toward that group and there is nothing amazing enough that black men can do that will allow them to escape being perceived as the ones to be feared. The fact that all young white men who walk into a school are not presumed to be Eric David Harris or Dylan Klebold, the architects of the massacre at Columbine High School, is not the problem. Not being treated with the benefit of the doubt is the problem. Not being given a chance to be judged on your own merits is the injustice. Again, I am not advocating that we begin seeing young white men as villains. Just the opposite, I am saying, wouldn’t it be great if young black men could enjoy the chance of being seen and judged for who they are, good or bad? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if black people were not painted with the brush of negative stereotypes or judged by the actions of some other black person? What would it mean to be relieved of the exhaustion, the anxiety and sometimes the physical harm that comes with being viewed first through the lens of negative biases and assumptions? One thing that it could mean is a much needed rest for everyone in our society. Because, while many Blacks and other marginalized groups are constantly fighting against

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How do we over­ come bias?

the design will go with any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase in sales in just the first two weeks they were used regularly with customers.” “Because” works because, as Kunkel illustrates, “Trigger words are part of what I call the instant appeal response: positive, predictable actions that people take in response to a specific trigger.” So try this persuasive word next time you’re trying to influence someone—because it works!

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not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white peers, but are instead more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime...” The way unearned advantage works is that if one is a member of a group that has been deemed by society for centuries as superior or as “better than” and does something that isn’t good and smart and right, his behavior is attributed only to him, is ignored or explained away, so that the group’s supremacy stays in place. In the cases of the mind-numbing violence I cited at the beginning, we find other things to talk about: We talk about mental illness, about catching signs of tendencies earlier; we talk of the role of the school counselors, of the psychodynamics of the family that the killer came from -- all powerful and heartfelt and useful avenues to explore. We rarely mention race or gender as issues that might be relevant. However, if an individual from the “less than” or “one down” group does something bad, his behavior is confirmation of the negative group stereotype, evidence that group presumptions about inferiority are accurate. In this situation, it appears that there is nothing young white men can do, including killing lots of innocent people at a prayer

an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion

An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. But it’s not the yawner’s fault; it’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers—they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to replace the negative automatic response with a positive one. She suggested that salespeople greeting customers say, “May I offer you this brochure because we’d like you to have more information about our new store?’’ The structure of the sentence—”take this because of that”—induces an innate and automatic response in humans. It offers people a reasonable reason to ethically respond based on an innate socializing instinct, coupled with a intellectually plausible justification for doing so. Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits an automatic and innate response to grant the favor! The response mechanism to this trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason gets a positive response.” For the furniture salespeople, using “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really like this couch because it is made of Italian leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great in your home because

response to an obvious sales pitch.”

BECAUSE BECAUSE Corner // April 2016

Concept 3.3 Book.indb 22

induces an innate and automatic response in

humans, interrupting by a trigger: specific words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or the usual fight­or­flight ugliness of a person or object.”

BY ALISON DAVIS

USe thiS Word

What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget?

Use This Word

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

Identity

Creating the name, logo and cover to set the magazine’s mood

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

Although my working title had been “Point,” it was clear to me that this title would not work in the end: the word “point” implies a succinct, concise, one-dimensional view. Which is exactly the opposite of my goal for the magazine, whose long-form articles would provide the reader room to mentally wander, and to consider topics from a variety of angles, breadth and depth. Nevertheless, with a fondness for the powerful directness of one-word titles, I quickly settled on Corner. Conceptually, phrases like “around the corner,” and “turn the corner” seemed consistent. “From the corner shop to the corner office” matches the targeted audience of small business owners. Initial sketches for the Corner logo quickly moved to a square with the word corner in… well, the corner. On the one hand, it is a fairly obvious play on the concept. But then again, it is a solid, memorable construct.

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

Based on this “corner in the corner” idea, I created several concepts in Illustrator. As seen here in initial mockups of the cover, I continued to use found textures which I photographed (one of many I’ve collected). In addition, two overlapping color accent bars were added, drawing attention to the contents listed in the corner of the upper left version. I quickly became aware of the danger of overemphasizing the “corn” in “corner.” Ultimately, I rejected 3D cube version for being overly complex and over emphasizing the “corn.” Perhaps too clever for my own good.

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designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested person, really do want to take some time to enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just having too much fun at work to do it. Between these covers we therefore present the intersection of your Venn diagram: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. And we want to come back for more. In that spirit, we’ve included a couple of great conversations, from the likes of Iggy Pop chatting with Shepard Fairey about his belief that the American public is generally pretty superficial, so an image like the Obama HOPE poster he created just allows them (us?) to project whatever limited idea we have onto it—and the resultant unanticipated success. And Chris Oatley discussing the microwaved leftovers that constitute most freelancer’s portfolios, and other pitfalls of freelancing with Sean Hodge. Creative confidence, and overcoming the fear of judgment that we have—that we don’t do things because we’re afraid we’re going to be judged—is the idea which David Kelley presents. And which of us hasn’t been there: if you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged harshly, but knowing full well that if we aren’t creative we’ll also be judged, albeit less harshly. Which gives us a segue into the topic of business innovation, in particular the question of if, when, and under what conditions a business leader can actually help, instead of hinder, innovation. Despite the fact that the “innovation” challenge is hardly a new discussion topic, David Magellan Horth and Jonathan Vehar show us that, while organizations know how to develop strong business managers, they have been largely ineffective at developing creative leaders. Ouch. But despite this, we do still see a number of success stories, and Park City, Utah is one of them. Home to the Sundance Film Festival, Anna Hensel shows us just why this small town has become a business startup nexus. Companies like Skullcandy have integrated the “work hard, play hard” mentality into their corporate identity. And having ski slopes just a quick drive away doesn’t hurt in the corporate identity space. Can you imagine it: the feel of the snow spray on your face, the smell of the fresh pines, the sound of the air rushing past, the taste of the sweat and the sense of thrill… it can really activate all five senses, which is exactly the point Jinsop Lee makes. While it may not be as good as sex (really, see the article), Jinsop does make a compelling argument for what designers should really be considering when creating the next big thing, and exactly why activating 2, 3 or more of the senses really does work. It works for Alison Davis, who compels us to connect better with our audience during a sales pitch by explaining the seemingly simple idea of “because…” So often we leave this critical element out, but honestly, people just need a reason why they should believe you. Our two features in this issue are discussions with strong, and compelling business leaders, First, a non-interview with Jeff Bezos, founder of the empire known as Amazon. From his beginnings in the book industry, Bezos has seen things differently than the rest of us, and built an impossible business out of it. Not just a business of books, toys, or other stuff, but an information business, an infrastructure business, a business that delivers the content, produces the content, and sells you the device to view the content. And whether you want to be like Amazon or not, there is definitely something

Corner Magazine • Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

This is our inaugural issue. As such, we sincerely hope that you find it both enjoyable and compelling. We’ve

corne

to be learned here about how to take an industry by the horns. But in the end, will it help or hurt the book, and the readers of those books? One book we can all stand to read is about bias, in particular our own implicit biases and how, in the standpoint of diversity and race relations, we’ve utterly failed exactly because we are trying to be so careful to succeed. Vernā Myers implores us to walk boldly by examining recent racial violence, and really

corner

breaking it down—not to divide the world into right and wrong, or winners and losers, but to help us to see exactly organizational structures. Corner is published once per quarter, because it will take you that long to absorb all this information. But rest assured, come July we’ll have another lineup of thinkers and conversations, and if possibly we will hold true to the recurring departments we’ve set out here: locations, sales, diverse voices, success stories, creativity, historical perspective, interviews, discussions and management ideas. We’re Corner Magazine, produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota for everyone from the corner shop to the corner office. www.corner-mag.com.

April 2016

corner

how our own biases can lead us to distorted world views, and inefficient and ineffective business and personal

Vo


er

Vol. 1 No 1

Corner Magazine: Processbook

Walk Boldly vernā myers Creative Confidence david kelley Persuasion with Because alison davis Cheap Words george packer Park City, UT anna hensel Engineering the Fall jane lamm carroll Five Senses jinsop lee Shepard Fairey iggy pop Why Freelancers Fail chris oatley Business Innovation david magellan horth and jonathan vehar

.

Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

April 2016

The full cover wrap design for the first fullscale mock-up. Here I’ve moved back to the simplicity of the “corner in the corner” logo, with the accent color diminished down to key elements—the lead article, and the month and year of this issue. The back cover mirrored the logo, and contact a text-only treatment, something of a long-winded summary of the entire issue. While the text treatment worked, the lack of visual anchors and unnecessary distraction of the exta logo would need to be cleaned up.

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3/4 scale mock-up, with a lay-flat “floating spine� binding. The worn looking print is due to the textured paper.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Binding options were also explored in conjunction with the cover design. The plan from the beginning was a perfect bound, or some variant. Using a 3/4 scale dummy, I tested a perfect bound variant using PVA book binding glue, which mimics the construction of a floating or unattached casebound spine, sometimes referred to as an Otabind. While this binding option promises a true lay flat construction, and provides a double-weight cover by bonding two sheets together, I found its construction to be temperamental and impractical for this kind of publication.

‌temperamental and impractical‌ Instead, a traditional EVA hot-glue perfect binding will be used. It is fast, and inexpensive to produce.

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Color is another important stylistic element, which I intended to emphasize from the beginning. As will be discussed further in the next chapter, I knew that I wanted to use color coordinated pages for two of the sections in the book. But coordinating to (uncalibrated) output of the proofing printer to the available paper colors would present a challenge. Ultimately I created a series of color printer samples, and visually tried to select a close match to the alternate page color, as shown here for the initial “blue” issue. Accent color would be a near complement (technically one of the triad members of the complement). Or an orange in this case. To be used sparingly, as shown in previous examples. After running through this exercise, later I would discover the handy “myPANTONE” app from the folks over at Pantone. At $9.99, it is probably the least expensive thing Pantone sells. While it isn’t as good as their color sampler (due to dependencies on the color of the source lighting and camera color balance uncertainty), it is surprisingly accurate for getting ballpark CMYK values. I would use this tool for the future cover developments, which also benefited from a far more accurate color printing.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

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c April 2016

Final cover design, back, spine and front cover

Corner Magazine • Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

this is our inaugural issue. As such, we sincerely hope that you find it both enjoyable and compelling. We’ve designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested person, really do want to take some time to enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just having too much fun at work to do it. Between these covers we therefore present the intersection of your Venn diagram: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. And we want to come back for more. In that spirit, we’ve included a couple of great conversations, from the likes of iggy pop chatting with Shepard Fairey about his belief that the American public is generally pretty superficial, so an image like the Obama HOPE poster he created just allows them (us?)to project whatever limited idea we have onto it—and the resultant unanticipated success. And chris oatley discussing the microwaved leftovers that constitute most freelancer’s portfolios, and other pitfalls of freelancing with sean hodge. Creative confidence, and overcoming the fear of judgment that we have—that we don’t do things because we’re afraid we’re going to be judged—is the idea which david kelley presents. And which of us hasn’t been there: if you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged harshly, but knowing full well that if we aren’t creative we’ll also be judged, albeit less harshly. Which gives us a segue into the topic of business innovation, in particular the question of if, when, and under what conditions a business leader can actually help, instead of hinder, innovation. Despite the fact that the “innovation” challenge is hardly a new discussion topic, david magellan horth and jonathan vehar show us that, while organizations know how to develop strong business managers, they have been largely ineffective at developing creative leaders. Ouch. But despite this, we do still see a number of success stories, and Park City, Utah is one of them. Home to the Sundance Film Festival, anna hensel shows us just why this small town has become a business startup nexus. Companies like Skullcandy have integrated the “work hard, play hard” mentality into their corporate identity. And having ski slopes just a quick drive away doesn’t hurt in the corporate identity space. Can you imagine it: the feel of the snow spray on your face, the smell of the fresh pines, the sound of the air rushing past, the taste of the sweat and the sense of thrill… it can really activate all five senses, which is exactly the point jinsop lee makes. While it may not be as good as sex (really, see the article), Jinsop does make a compelling argument for what designers should really be considering when creating the next big thing, and exactly why activating 2, 3 or more of the senses really does work. It works for alison davis, who compels us to connect better with our audience during a sales pitch by explaining the seemingly simple idea of “because…” So often we leave this critical element out, but honestly, people just need a reason why they should believe you. Our two features in this issue are discussions with strong, and compelling business leaders, First, a non-interview with Jeff Bezos, founder of the empire known as Amazon. From his beginnings in the book industry, Bezos has seen things differently than the rest of us, and built an impossible business out of it. Not just a business of books, toys, or other stuff, but an information business, an infrastructure business, a business that delivers the content, produces the content, and sells you the device to view the content. And whether you want to be like Amazon or not, there is definitely something to be learned here about how to take an industry by the horns. But in the end, will it help or hurt the book, and the readers of those books? One book we can all stand to read is about bias, in particular our own implicit biases and how, in the standpoint of diversity and race relations, we’ve utterly failed exactly because we are trying to be so careful to succeed. vernā myers implores us to walk boldly by examining recent racial violence, and really breaking it down—not to divide the world into right and wrong, or winners and losers, but to help us to see exactly how our own biases can lead us to distorted world views, and inefficient and ineffective business and personal organizational structures. Corner is published once per quarter, because it will take you that long to absorb all this information. But rest assured, come July we’ll have another lineup of thinkers and conversations, and if possibly we will hold true to the recurring departments we’ve set out here: locations, sales, diverse voices, success stories, creativity, historical perspective, interviews, discussions and management ideas. We’re Corner Magazine, produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota for everyone from the corner shop to the corner office. www.corner-mag.com.

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No 1

Walk Boldly v er nÄ my ers Creative Confidence dav i d k e l l e y Persuasion with Because a l ison dav is Cheap Words george packer Park City, UT anna hensel Engineering the Fall jane lamm c a r rol l Five Senses j i n s op l e e Shepard Fairey igg y p op Why Freelancers Fail c h r i s o at l e y Business Innovation david magell an horth and jonathan vehar .

Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

April 2016

The final cover, including corrected color, accented back side text and updated logo. I added additional texture elements to the front side (vertical striping) and backside (paper texture) to provide a bit more visual depth. Final printing on Epson double sided Enhanced Matte paper.

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Issue number 2 cover design

Corner Magazine • Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

thank you for your support. Making it to our second issue is as much a testament to our hard work as it is to your dedication, our dear reader. Because we still believe that that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested person, really do want to take some time to enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just having too much fun at work to do it. That is why we created Corner Magazine. And to kick things off, in this issue we hear from alice rawsthorn on the likes of Pirates, Nurses and other Rebel Designers. Perhaps like us? Because, as belle cooper says, Seeing is Doing, and this issue is all about getting things done. Speaking of being done, did you know that the typical magazine requires articles to be submitted at least two issues in advance? Not us. We wait until the very last minute. Mainly because our authors… insist. But we’re ok with it since jessie char demonstrates exactly why errors and omissions aren’t always a bad thing in Let’s Make Mistakes. Indeed, a mistake or two can lead to a break through if we are each willing to see the opportunities that these new directions can take us. Take Marie Curie for example: in the Science of Radioactivity, naomi pasachoff takes us through the directed, but sometimes random path that lead to such modern conveniences as televisions and microwaved food. And so very much more. In fact, mistakes are inevitable, especially if you believe the opinion of Milton Glaser, that “Certainty is Preposterous.” In this issue’s non-interview, tom roston take us through the philosophy of one of the graphic design grates… and believe it when we say, Glaser is just full of witty advice like this. Perhaps ironically, old Milt also tells us that “To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.“ Just don’t expect to be certain about it. Right? This all works, because skip cohen has illuminated this idea of Establishing Trust in this issue as well. “Trust yourself,” Golda Meir says, “Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” “Trust is the glue of life,” says 7 habits guru Stephen Covey, “It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Heavy stuff. Daniel Kahneman is no stranger to trust, as his discussion with michael schrage shows; an psychologist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, as well as behavioral economics, for which he shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. His empirical findings challenge the assumption of human rationality prevailing in modern economic theory. With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors that arise from heuristics and biases. Yeah, really. One area where we all seem to feel an indescribably intense bias is color. Color choices, and color harmonies, are at the same time both universal and deeply personal. Which is why ryan mcguire, his tool and his article, are so very useful – the color pallets of famous artists and paintings have been cataloged, from Picasso to Caravaggio. Presented in Adobe standard 5-color swatch samples, with CMYK specifications. Not only is that a cool way for designers to rip-off colors from the greats, but it provides a look inside the psychology of some of the admired and revered painting in history. None of which, we expect, we made in Carmel Indiana. But that’s alright: as all of us in fly-over country know, there are great things happening if you know where to look. scott jones knows, and it is why he located his company ChaCha there. Living in the world of 2¢ guides could be done anywhere; yet Scott choice Indiana because of the low cost of living and cost of home ownership, growing arts district, and general quality of life, among other things. Which really brings us to the end, and reminds us, as always, of the advice of cal newport and how challenging it can seem to be Getting Creative Things Done. This magazine is creative, we like to think, and it certainly isn’t going to get up and make itself. Not that sitting here rambling on is actually helping the cause. Or is it? After all, what with the absurdity of certainty staring us down, we’re all just trying to make your day a little better. Corner is published once per quarter, not (only) because it takes us that long to find, and prepare the material for you (see not about author deadlines, above). But also because it will take you that long to absorb all this information. But rest assured, come October we’ll have another lineup of thinkers and conversations, again continuing the regular departments you are coming to expect from us: locations, sales, diverse voices, success stories, creativity, historical perspective, interviews, discussions and management ideas. We’re Corner Magazine, produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota for everyone from the corner shop to the corner office. www.corner-mag.com.

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An Ode to Design Renegades a lice r awsthorn Color Lisa rya n mcguire Getting Creative Things Done c a l new port Certainty is Preposterous tom roston Daniel Kahneman michael schrage Let’s Make Mistakes j e s s i e c h a r a n d m i k e m o n t e i r o Science of Radioactivity naom i pa s a c hof f Establishing Trust sk ip cohe n Carmel, IN scot t jones Seeing is Doing belle cooper .

Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

July 2016

The second cover, with a lime-green theme color and dark red accents. Colors for this and the next cover were matched to their respective colors paper sheets through the myPANTONE app mentioned earlier. The textures for all three covers are photographs I took of found textures or patterns. In all three cases I’ve used a fairly organic texture in the left sidebar, with a top-to-bottom vertical striping in the right side.

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c October 2016

Issue 3 cover design

Corner Magazine • Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

here we go again. We took our own “advice” last time about “getting creative things done,” and this issue we continue the discussion with the very accomplished twyla tharp expanding on her book, titled “The Creative Habit.” Habit, as in something you have to do, in the same way, in the same place and at the same time, every day. Creativity isn’t about inspiration as much as it is about perseverance, and doggedly following your own process for creation. And Meg Wheatley certainly agrees. In her discussion with david kelley, Meg’s expertise on organizational behavior is teased out. Especially since the topics of “creativity” and “innovation” are almost synonymous with “organizational change.” But we are getting ahead of ourselves. If you are just joining us with this issue, we have to be frank when we say you’ve missed two great issues already. Go find them. It will be worth the time. As such, we sincerely hope that you find this issue both enjoyable and compelling. We’ve designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested person, really do want to take some time to enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just having too much fun at work to do it. Between these covers we therefore present the ideas and thoughts that you need to oil your gears and lube your chassis: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. Take the article by robert pasin on the American Red Flyer company for example. Think you have nothing to learn from little red wagons? Think again. They are successful, and have been for more years than most companies could dream of. And they have the data to show why. In From the Outside In, deanne aguirre, per-ola karlsson & gary l. neilson lead us on a management journey, and why outside talent is often so integral to further advancing a company (your company does have executive commitment to your existing mission, doesn’t it?). Got analytics? Perhaps it is unrealistic, and certainly unreasonable, to expect hard data to prove this and very other point we try to make in this magazine. But the data does lead us to a sense of what is going on. A sense which, when combined with a healthy dose of experience, can really tell others (and ourselves) a clear, concise and compelling story. This notion of Data Stories really isn’t anything new. But in this day and age, enrico bertini & moritz stefaner show us that telling us a compelling data driven story isn’t something that falls from the sky; it takes careful crafts(wo)manship. Is that even a word? There are so many terms in the English language that default to the male designation, like craftsman. But so many have changed, like policeman has become police officer. The New Women Warriors, while not personally responsible fro this shift, can certainly take credit for helping us to become more and more aware of this gender bias. jessica ravitz walks us through the stores of these successful women, role models for all of us, men, women, and everything in between (there goes another institutional bias…). That’s right, it is all about creating an atmosphere which can Inspire Action, and as such, simon sinek shows all of us exactly how this can be done. Take Fort Collins, CO for example. eric schurenberg has. And this nifty town has. Home to more successful startups than you might imagine, Colorado means much more to Eric than just skiing. It is a great place to relax, raise a family, and enjoy the outdoors – should you ever have a chance to do these sorts of leisure time activities. Which you can, if you are successful in your sales. Not in sales I hear you saying? Not so. When you think about it, we’re all in sales. And that is ok, especially once you read how marc wayshak thinks we can all Overcome the Stigma and learn to enjoy being sales people. Even if we still don’t want that particular four-letter word to every appear on our business cards. And last, certainly not least, is the prickly subject of the effectiveness of our schools, and in particular if our Schools Kill Creativity. To pick up on the other side of Twyla’s point, ken robinson shows us the detrimental effect of learning the wrong kind of habits. Such as procrastination, all-nighters, cramming, and the inevitable anachronism of the entirely unfortunate need for testing. Against the odds, Corner is published once per quarter, because it will take you that long to absorb all this information. But rest assured, come January we’ll have another lineup of thinkers and conversations, where we continue to bring you interesting articles loosely grouped into our recurring departments: locations, sales, diverse voices, success stories, creativity, historical perspective, interviews, discussions and management ideas. We’re Corner Magazine, produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota for everyone from the corner shop to the corner office. www.corner-mag.com.

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The New Women Warriors jessica ravitz Data Stories enrico bertini and moritz stefaner Radio Flyer, America’s Little Red Wagon robe r t pa s i n From the Outside In de a nne aguir r e , per ol a k a r l s s on , a n d g a r y l . n e i l s on

Inspire Action s i m o n s i n e k Schools Kill Creativity k e n robinson Overcome the Stigma m a rc waysh a k Fort Collins, CO eric schurenberg Meg Wheatley art kleiner The Creative Habit t w yl a tharp. Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

The third cover, with the orange/gold primary and blue secondary color. While covers 2 and 3 are just mocked-up dummies, I still wanted to create as realistic a cover as practical, including alternate contents and table of contents pages, to demonstrate just how the cover and color system works. While the textures do not relate literally to any specific contents, I believe the cover texture does relate to the meaning and spirit of the magazine: textured, nuanced content.

October 2016

The covers reflect the textured, nuanced content.

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Finalization

A million little (& not so little) tweaks

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A preliminary look at a possible end-sheet concept along with an early table of contents.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Stepping back to the contents, it is fair to say that, while the visual changes such as kerning adjustments and other typographic tweaks, were often subtle between the final versions, the depth and nuanced detail that is now present truly adds to the richness of the project. Throughout this project, my challenge has been to keep pushing things further, to widen the visual distance between the layout for a basic book spread and the dynamic energy that keeps a reader engaged in something more likely to be browsed, at first. But without going into the over-the-top theatrics that most journals seem to employ these days.

One of four title pages in the latest issue of FastCo‌ beautiful image, to be sure, but practically impossible to read, and thus a design failure in my book.

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Title Pages The nine articles in each issue will need clear, clean demarcation. Since I’ve chosen to keep a more book-like uniformity to the page designs, I am relying on the title pages to be visually clear flags, even at a glance, to tell the reader that you are now in a new article.

To accomplish this, I employed a combination of full spread images, color fields and a lot of bold text. In the final version of each piece I shifted to a heavier weight of my titling typeface “question” to futher draw this distinction.

A look at the color matching of the printed blue on white paper (left) and the blue paper (right) in the final version of the magazine.


Corner Magazine: Processbook trim to

9 x 6 1/3

INTERVIEwS

INTErVIEwS

interviews

Is a Street Artist Who Acciden­ tally Goes Mainstream Selling Out?

8

Is a Street Artist Who Accidentally Goes Mainstream Selling Out?

During the last presidential election, artist

Is a Street Artist Who Accidentally Goes Mainstream Selling Out?

corner-mag.com

6

Shepard Fairey’s poster of then candidate

Barack Obama – a graphic, looking vaguely

During the last presidential election, artist Shepard Fairey’s poster of then candidate Barack Obama – a graphic, looking vaguely

BY IGGY POP

BY IGGY POP

HOPE drawn in big, bold letters under-

neath – achieved the rare feat of becoming

neath – achieved the rare feat of becoming

a visual emblem of a moment in American

a visual emblem of a moment in American

history. Obama, of course, won the election. But the ensuing months were transformative for Fairey, too. Up until a couple of years ago, he was best known in the skateboarding and street-art worlds for his Obey Giant campaign. Conceived while Fairey was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the project involved stickering, stenciling, and painting slogans such as THIS IS YOUR GOD and images of the late professional wrestler Andre the Giant in public spaces in major cities around the globe. But while the Obama poster – as well as a diverse, comp-

corner-mag.com

Shepard Fairey

Russian-propagandist with the word

HOPE drawn in big, bold letters under-

history. Obama, of course, won the election. But the ensuing months were transformative for Fairey, too. Up until a couple of years ago, he was best known in the skateboarding and street-art worlds for his Obey Giant campaign. Conceived while Fairey was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the project involved stickering, stenciling, and painting slogans such as THIS IS YOUR GOD and images of the late professional wrestler Andre the Giant in public spaces in major cities around the globe. But while the Obama poster – as well as a diverse, comp-

7

Corner // April 2016

6 Concept 3.3 Book.indb 8

Shepard Fairey

Russian-propagandist with the word

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loCATIoN

LoCATIoN

Why is this tiny mountain town home to multi million dollar startups?

location

Why is this tiny mountain town home to multimilliondollar startups?

Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival. And great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, the reputation is entirely different: it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing

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Park City, Utah BY ANNA HENSEL

business while still living an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audioequipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years – five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City

Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival. And great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, the reputation is entirely different: it’s the place where you can build a fast-growing

Park City, Utah BY ANNA HENSEL

business while still living an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audioequipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years – five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City

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SALES

The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know not to pitch based only on features, but how

Use This Word

Use This Word

BY ALISON DAVIS

do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success. Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response—

BY ALISON DAVIS

not to pitch based only on features, but how do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success . Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response – an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or ugliness of a person or object.” An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. It’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers – they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to replace the negative automatic response with a positive one. She suggested that salespeople greeting customers

say, “May I offer you this brochure because we’d like you to have more information about our new store?’’ The structure of the sentence – ”take this because of that” – induces an innate and automatic response in humans. It offers people a reasonable reason to ethically respond based on an innate socializing instinct, coupled with a intellectually plausible justification for doing so. Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits an automatic and innate response to grant the favor! The response mechanism to this trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason gets a positive response.” For the furniture salespeople, using “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really like this couch because it is made of Italian leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great in your home because the design will go with any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase in sales in just the first two weeks they were used regularly with customers.” “Because” works because, as Kunkel illustrates, “Trigger words are part of what I call the instant appeal response: positive, predictable actions that people take in response to a specific trigger.” c c

What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget?

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The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know

USE ThIS worD

What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget?

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Finalization trim to

VoICES

How do we overcome bias?

How do we over­ come bias?

9 x 6 1/3

How do we over­ come bias?

VoICES

voices

I was on a long road trip last summer, and I was having a wonderful time listening to the amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns.” It documents six million black folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970 looking for a respite from all the brutality and trying to get to a better opportunity up North, and it was filled with stories of the resilience and the brilliance of African-Americans, and it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the

Walk Boldly

I was on a long road trip last summer, and I was having a wonderful time listening to the amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of

BY VERNĀ MYERS

Walk Boldly BY VERNĀ MYERS

Other Suns.” It documents six million black folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970 looking for a respite from all the brutality and trying to get to a better opportunity up North, and it was filled with stories of the resilience and the brilliance of African-Americans, and it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the

horrors and the humility, and all the humilia-

horrors and the humility, and all the humilia-

tions. It was especially hard to hear about the

tions. It was especially hard to hear about the

beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of

beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of

black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little

black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little

deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the

deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the

radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson,

radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson,

Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man,

Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man,

unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on

unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on

the ground dead, blood running for four hours

the ground dead, blood running for four hours

while his grandmother and little children

while his grandmother and little children

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SToRIES

STorIES

stories

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has

Amazon Amazon is is good good for for customers. customers. But But is is itit good good for for books? books?

Cheap Words BY GEORGE PACKER

successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value – it’s a widget.” Amazon

rs

.

is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also

Am Bu az t i on s i is tg g oo ood d fo for rb c oo ust ks om ? e

72

a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like UPS. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve Jobs didn’t sign up pop

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has

Cheap Words BY GEORGE PACKER

successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value – it’s a widget.” Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like UPS. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve Jobs didn’t sign up pop

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Here the gradient provided a way to handle the title treatment against a cluttered background; larger, narrower and heavier were keys to pulling this title page off. Concept 3.5 Book.indb 46

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PoTPoUrrI

In an age of global strife and climate change, I’m here to answer the all important question: Why is sex so damn good? If you’re laughing,

Good design looks great, yes—but why shouldn’t it also feel, smell, and sound great?

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Five Senses

In an age of global strife and climate change, I’m here to answer the all important question: Why

BY JINSOP LEE

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Five Senses BY JINSOP LEE

know what I mean. And if not, well… Before we get to that answer, let me tell you about Chris Hosmer. Chris is a great friend of mine from my university days. But secretly, I hate him. Here’s why. Back in university, we had a quick project to design some solar-powered clocks. Here’s my clock. It uses something called the dwarf sunflower, which grows to about 12 inches in height. Now, as you know, sunflowers track the sun during the course of the day. So in the morning, you see which direction the sunflower is facing, and you mark it on the blank area in the base. At noon, you mark the changed position of the sunflower, and in the evening again, and that’s your clock. Now, I know my clock doesn’t tell you the exact time, but it does give you a general idea using a flower.

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90 Concept 3.3 Book.indb 82

is sex so damn good? If you’re laughing, you

Good design looks great, yes—but why shouldn’t it also feel, smell, and sound great?

you know what I mean. Now, before we get to that answer, let me tell you about Chris Hosmer. Chris is a great friend of mine from my university days, but secretly, I hate him. Here’s why. Back in university, we had a quick project to design some solar-powered clocks. Here’s my clock. It uses something called the dwarf sunflower, which grows to about 12 inches in height. Now, as you know, sunflowers track the sun during the course of the day. So in the morning, you see which direction the sunflower is facing, and you mark it on the blank area in the base. At noon, you mark the changed position of the sunflower, and in the evening again, and that’s your clock. Now, I know my clock doesn’t tell you the exact time, but it does give you a general idea using a flower.

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Again, the heavier narrower weight helps readability and attention gathering. I included the sunflower clock (part of the story) as a visual counter point, the small splash of yellow balancing the mass of black opposite it. Concept 3.5 Book.indb 90

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

MANAgEMENT

Not long ago we spoke to a senior leader in a large multinational organization who voiced his frustration about the lack of innovation in his business—even after a year-long campaign to turn things around. By the time solutions fil-

Can a Business Leader Actually Foster Innovation?

88

Not long ago we spoke to a senior leader in a

Is innovation something a business can foster?

AND JONATHAN VEHAR

tered up the hierarchy to him, they were “totally derisked” and lacked creativity. The culture of the organization led managers to strip away any innovation found in new ideas—rendering solutions that were weak, limited in scope, and impotent. The executive said he wanted to create a culture of innovation that would allow ideas to grow and flourish, add value, and help

large multinational organization who voiced his frustration about the lack of innovation in his business – even after a year-long campaign to turn things around. By the time solutions fil-

3/28/16 11:09 AM

derisked” and lacked creativity. The culture of the organization led managers to strip away any innovation found in new ideas – rendering solutions that were weak, limited in scope, and impotent. The executive said he wanted to create a culture of innovation that would allow ideas to grow and flourish, add value, and help the organization achieve its growth targets. He’s not alone in his concerns, as evidenced by how hot a topic innovation is today. But that wasn’t always the case. At one time, strategy was king. Forecasting, planning, and placing smart bets created the power sources within organizations. The future of a business (or a

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Innovation Leadership BY DAVID M. HORTH AND JONATHAN VEHAR

tered up the hierarchy to him, they were “totally

the organization achieve its growth targets. He’s not alone in his concerns, as evidenced by how hot a topic innovation is today. But that wasn’t always the case. At one time, strategy was king. Forecasting, planning, and placing smart bets created the power sources within organizations. The future of a business (or a

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Innovation Leadership

BY DAVID MAGELLAN HORTH

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The first of two “academic news” sections which are set on contrasting paper. The challenge here was to match the left hand page of the final spread (which is printed on white) to the corresponding paper color.

PErSPECTIVES

People have always been drawn to the power and beauty of St. Anthony Falls, the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, located in

Do the lessons of a 19th century engineering disaster offer context today?

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Engineering the Fall

People have always been drawn to the power and beauty of St. Anthony Falls, the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, located in the

BY JANE LAMM CARROLL

the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. For Native

heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. For Native

Americans, the falls possessed religious signif-

Americans, the falls possessed religious signif-

icance and harbored powerful spirits. For the

icance and harbored powerful spirits. For the

early European and American explorers, the

early European and American explorers, the

falls provided a landmark in a vast wilderness,

falls provided a landmark in a vast wilderness,

as well as an interesting geological phenome-

as well as an interesting geological phenome-

non. During the 19 century, settlers, tourists

non. During the 19th century, settlers, tourists

th

and artists were drawn to St. Anthony Falls’

and artists were drawn to St. Anthony Falls’

picturesque beauty, while entrepreneurs seized

picturesque beauty, while entrepreneurs seized

the water power of the falls for their lumber

the water power of the falls for their lumber

and flour mills. Meanwhile, promoters of river

What context does a 19th century business disaster offer today?

transportation viewed St. Anthony Falls as an obstacle to be overcome, as they dreamed of extending navigation on the Mississippi River above Minneapolis. Since the 19th century, the The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played an important

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Engineering the Fall BY JANE LAMM CARROLL

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and flour mills. Meanwhile, promoters of river transportation viewed St. Anthony Falls as an obstacle to be overcome, as they dreamed of extending navigation on the Mississippi River above Minneapolis. Since the 19th century, the The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played an important

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I decided for the opening image of this article, which takes place in 1869, to imply an old news article using a period typewriter and (unfortunately only simulated) typed page.

DISCUSSIoNS

Even the most successful freelance artists will tell you that bad clients and boring gigs are common roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career. The popular blog knows as Clients From Hell posts a new true and hilarious freelance horror story almost every day. Even the leg-

Are bad clients and boring gigs the real roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career?

Why Freelancers Fail

BY CHRIS OATLEY AND SEAN HODGE

endary Drew Struzan struggled with the client side of his now famous career. In the recent documentary about his life, he told a story that was actually painful for me to hear. But bad clients are so common and the stories so egregious that it’s easy for artists to remain blind to a hard truth, that we are often part of the problem. I’ve worked with many freelance illustrators and designers over the course of my career and I’ve noticed three common problems that sabotage freelance success. In this second half of our two-part interview, freelancing expert Sean Hodge shares insight into how you can avoid these common problems and attract

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Even the most successful freelance artists will tell you that bad clients and boring gigs are common roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career. The popular blog known as clients from hell

posts a new true and hilarious freelance

horror story almost every day. Even the legendary Drew Struzan struggled with the client side

Why Freelancers Fail A COFFEEHOUSE DISCUSSION WITH CHRIS OATLEY AND SEAN HODGE

of his now famous career. In the recent documentary about his life, he told a story that was actually painful for me to hear. But bad clients are so common and the stories so egregious that it’s easy for artists to remain blind to a hard truth, that we are often part of the problem. I’ve worked with many freelance illustrators and designers over the course of my career and I’ve noticed three common problems that sabotage freelance success. In this second half of our two-part interview, freelancing expert Sean Hodge shares insights into how you can avoid these common problems, and how better

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I was initially trying to set the mood of two guys talking while riding the bus; but it was artificial and unconnected to the story. Chatting in a coffeeshop made more sense; luckily I found art to support the idea. Concept 3.3 Book.indb 114

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73


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Finalization

Although I wouldn’t employ all of the ideas, I did take some time to ideate on what else I could do with the article layouts. Following the splashy opening spreads, I wanted there to be visual interest throughout, the keep the reader’s brain as visually engaged as it would be with the actual content of the articles themselves.

Review of page layout ideas; sketches of possible “extras.”

Article Body


Corner Magazine: Processbook

The opening article, “Creative Confidence,” embodies almost all of the standards I’ve set for an article:

CrEATIVITy

What does a fear of snakes have to do with creativity?

I want to talk to you about creative confidence. But I’m going to start way back in the third grade at Oakdale School in Barberton, Ohio. I remember one day my best friend Brian was working on a project. He was making a horse out of the clay that our teacher kept under the sink. And at one point, one of the girls who was sitting at his table, seeing what he was doing, leaned over and said to him, “That’s terrible. That doesn’t look anything like a horse.” And Brian’s shoulders sank. And he wadded up the clay horse and he threw it back in the bin. I never saw Brian do a project like that ever again. And I wonder how often that happens. It seems like whenever I tell that story of Brian to my class, a lot of them want to come up after class and tell me about their similar experience, how a teacher shut them down or how a student was particularly cruel to them. And some opt out thinking of themselves as creative at that point. And I see that opting out that happens in childhood as it becomes more ingrained in adulthood.

SEAN THOMAS

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Creative Confidence BY DAVID KELLEY

• Large opening image which spans the gutter, providing a field for the question and the connection to the answer.

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CrEATIVITy

“I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have: that you don’t do things because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged… if you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re

know why we talked about snakes. We talked about snakes and fear of snakes as a phobia. And it was really enjoyable, really interesting. He told me that he’d invite the test subject in, and he’d say, “You know, there’s a snake in the next room and we’re going to go in there.” To which, he reported, most of them replied, “Hell no, I’m not going in there, certainly if there’s a snake in there.” But Bandura has a step-by-step process that was super successful. So he’d take people to this two-way mirror looking into the room where the snake was, and he’d get them comfortable with that. And then through a series of steps, he’d move them and they’d be standing in the doorway with the door open and they’d be looking in there. And he’d get them comfortable with that. And then many more steps later, baby steps, they’d be in the room, they’d have a leather glove like a welder’s glove on, and they’d eventually touch the snake. And when they touched the snake everything was fine. They were cured. In fact, everything was better than fine. These people who had lifelong fears of snakes were saying things like, “Look how beautiful that snake is.” And they were holding it in their laps. Bandura calls this process “guided mastery.” I love that term: guided mastery. And something else happened, these people who went

through the process and touched the snake ended up having less anxiety about other things in their lives. They tried harder, they persevered longer, and they were more resilient in the face of failure. They just gained a new confidence. And Bandura calls that confidence self-efficacy – the sense that you can change the world and that you can attain what you set out to do. Well meeting Bandura was really cathartic for me because I realized that this famous scientist had documented and scientifically validated something that we’ve seen happen for the last 30 years. That we could take people who had the fear that they weren’t creative, and we could take them through a series of steps, kind of like a series of small successes, and they turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing. We see it at the d.school all the time. People from all different kinds of disciplines, they think of themselves as only analytical. And they come in and they go through the process, our process, they build confidence and now they think of themselves differently. And they’re totally emotionally excited about the fact that they walk around thinking of themselves as a creative person. So I thought one of the things I’d do today is take you through and show you what this journey looks like. To me, that journey looks like Doug Dietz. Doug Dietz is a technical person. He designs medical imaging equipment, large medical imaging equipment. He’s worked for GE, and he’s had a fantastic career. But at one point he had a moment of crisis.

CrEATIVE CoNFIDENCE

So we see a lot of this. When we have a workshop or when we have clients in to work with us side-by-side, eventually we get to the point in the process that’s fuzzy or unconventional. And eventually these bigshot executives whip out their Blackberries and they say they have to make really important phone calls, and they head for the exits. And they’re just so uncomfortable. When we track them down and ask them what’s going on, they say something like, “I’m just not the creative type.” But we know that’s not true. If they stick with the process, if they stick with it, they end up doing amazing things and they surprise themselves just how innovative they and their teams really are. So I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have. That you don’t do things because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged. If you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged. And I had a major breakthrough when I met the psychologist Albert Bandura. I don’t know if you know Albert Bandura. But if you go to Wikipedia, it says that he’s the fourth most important psychologist in history – like Freud, Skinner, somebody and Bandura. Bandura’s 86 and he still works at Stanford. And he’s just a lovely guy. And so I went to see him because he has just worked on phobias for a long time, which I’m very interested in. He had developed this way, this kind of methodology, that ended up curing people in a very short amount of time. In four hours he had a huge cure rate of people who had phobias. And we talked about snakes. I don’t

going to be judged.” 2

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CrEATIVITy

He was in the hospital looking at one of his MRI machines in use when he saw a young family. There was a little girl, and that little girl was crying and was terrified. And Doug was really disappointed to learn that nearly 80 percent of the pediatric patients in this hospital had to be sedated in order to deal with his MRI machine. And this was really disappointing to Doug, because before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives with this machine. But it really hurt him to see the fear that this machine caused in kids.

fear that this machine caused in kids. About that time he was at the d.school at Stanford taking classes. He was learning about our process about design thinking, about empathy, about iterative prototyping. And he would take this new knowledge and do something quite extraordinary. He would redesign the entire experience of being scanned. And this is what he came up with. He turned it into an adventure for the kids. He painted the walls and he painted the machine, and he got the operators retrained by people who know kids, like children’s museum people. And now when the kid comes, it’s an experience. And they talk to them about the noise and the movement of the ship. And when they come, they say, “Okay, you’re going to go into the pirate ship, but be very still because we don’t want the pirates to find you.”

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CrEATIVE CoNFIDENCE

“…before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives…. But it really hurt him to see the

And the results were super dramatic. So And I thought a lot about, What was my daughfrom something like 80 percent of the kids ter’s life going to be like without me? But you needing to be sedated, to something like 10 per- think about other things. I thought a lot about, cent of the kids needing to be sedated. And the What was I put on Earth to do? What was my hospital and GE were happy too. Because you calling? What should I do? And I was lucky bedidn’t have to call the anesthesiologist all the cause I had lots of options. We’d been working time, they could put more kids through the ma- in health and wellness, and K through 12, and chine in a day. So the quantitative results were the Developing World. And so there were lots great. But Doug’s results that he cared about of projects that I could work on. But I decided were much more qualitative. He was with one and I committed to at this point to the thing I of the mothers waiting for her child to come out most wanted to do – was to help as many peoof the scan. And when the little girl came out ple as possible regain the creative confidence of her scan, she ran up to her mother and said, they lost along their way. And if I was going to survive, that’s what I wanted to do. I survived, “Mommy, can we come back tomorrow? Hah!” And so I’ve heard Doug tell the story many just so you know. I really believe that when people gain this times, of his personal transformation and the breakthrough design that happened from it, but confidence they actually start working on the I’ve never really seen him tell the story of the things that are really important in their lives. We see people quit what they’re doing and go little girl without a tear in his eye. Doug’s story takes place in a hospital. I know in new directions. We see them come up with a thing or two about hospitals. A few years ago more, and more interesting, ideas. They can I felt a lump on the side of my neck, and it was choose from better ideas. And they just make my turn in the MRI machine. It was cancer. It better decisions. So I hope you’ll join me on my quest – help was the bad kind. I was told I had a 40 percent people realize that they’re naturally creative. chance of survival. So while you’re sitting around with the other And those natural people should let their ideas patients in your pajamas and everybody’s pale fly. That they should achieve what Bandura and thin and you’re waiting for your turn to get calls self-efficacy, that you can do what you the gamma rays, you think of a lot of things. set out to do, and that you can reach a place Mostly you think about, Am I going to survive? of creative confidence and touch the snakec . c

• Single column oversize type opening page, with title and author, using a rag-right design to accentuate the title. • A mix of fully justified twocolumn “text only” pages and single column “text plus” pages. These text plus pages extra white space helps the reader deal with the interruptions while reading, while providing necessary white space to reduce visual clutter. • A clear pair of horizon lines, header and footer, which are interrupted by callouts, images, and the occasional column overrun. Again, this is the yin-yang of visual clarity for readability with visual interruption for stimulation. • Both types of pull quotes are seen here: original column width justified to text, and full margin width, fully justified. • And the issue-specific color coordinated end mark. c c

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While I had used subheadings in an earlier versions, I decided to create a specialized section break line for the final version—an homage to the square logo for Corner. In

New York marketing executive told me, “When Everything Store,” Sargent said when we met Amazon came into the picture, metadata” – code in his trapezoidal office, in the narrow wedge numbers, Library of Congress categories, of the Flatiron Building. “I thought he was just search keywords – “became an integral part of a bookstore, stupid me. Books were going to be books.” A few farsighted publishers wondered the way to get the names and the data. Books if Amazon would eventually control so much of were his customer-acquisition strategy.” As the market that it would stop selling books at long as Amazon kept growing like mad, incost and raise prices to become more profitable. vestors would pour in money and Wall Street By 1997, when the company went public, wouldn’t pay much attention to profits. (The Amazon’s book inventory could have filled six company didn’t have a profitable quarter until football fields. But someone who read Bezos’s 2001, and still struggles to stay in the black.) year-end letter to shareholders might well have thought that Amazon’s eight-hundred-and- VERBAGE: EDITORIAL CONTENT thirty-eight-per-cent sales growth had been in In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two shoes, since he barely mentioned books. In the dozen writers and editors to produce copy for letter, Bezos noted tersely, “We are planning the Web site. One of them – Amazon employee to add music to our product offering.” (Unlike No. 55 – was a cultural critic from New York Jobs, Bezos wasn’t a passionate listener: he named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in once agreed to be interviewed for a program his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces at about the Beatles, and when employees, prep- the Village Voice. (She had also worked at sevping the boss, asked him to name a favorite eral New York publishers and at The New York Beatles tune, Bezos chose “America,” by Simon Review of Books.) For these refugees from New & Garfunkel.) Soon after music came DVDs York, where jobs in publishing and journalism and consumer electronics. A New York literary were already beginning to thin out, Amazon

ChEAP woRDS

John Sargent, who is the chief executive of Macmillan, first met Bezos in the mid-nineties, at a hotel in Washington, D.C. “He was this incredibly energetic guy,” Sargent said. “I thought it was a really good idea.” Jane Friedman, who was then an associate publisher at Knopf, and subsequently ran HarperCollins, said of Bezos, “I was completely taken with him. He was a skinny kid, he was young, he was excitable, and he was completely serious about what he was doing. I drank the Kool-Aid.” Amazon’s revenue multiplied every year. In the late nineties, an Amazon vice-president named Mary Morouse e-mailed her colleagues after a trip to visit publishers in New York. “We are certainly popular with them,” she wrote. “They rave about Amazon.com – both as a store/service and a great way to market books. There were several examples cited where Amazon.com ‘made’ titles. And they love our sales numbers.”

Each of these gutter spanning images was splitPublishers andweren’t offset in the final prints, to better aid troubled that Amazon agent told me that books were Amazon’s versold their books at dramatic discounts. They sion of “a gateway drug.” visual connection perfect all wanted to collaborate with the Seattlein up- the Sargent said that Bezos’s bound ambition was ap- book start, and they used Amazon as an information parent to him from the beginning – “My God, he drives hard.” he couldn’t see Bezos’s master resource; it was a vast improvement over the loss (where some gutter is Butinevitable). old green-bound copies of “Books in Print.” A plan “for shit.” “He was already going to be the

STorIES

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copies of “Books in Print.” A New York marketing executive told me, “When Amazon came into the picture, metadata” – code numbers, Library of Congress categories, search keywords – “became an integral part of books.” A few farsighted publishers wondered if Amazon would eventually control so much of the market that it would stop selling books at cost and raise prices to become more profitable. By 1997, when the company went public, Amazon’s book inventory could have filled six football fields. But someone who read Bezos’s year-end letter to shareholders might well have thought that Amazon’s eight-hundred-andthirty-eight-per-cent sales growth had been in shoes, since he barely mentioned books. In the letter, Bezos noted tersely, “We are planning to add music to our product offering.” (Unlike Jobs, Bezos wasn’t a passionate listener: he once agreed to be interviewed for a program about the Beatles, and when employees, prepping the boss, asked him to name a favorite Beatles tune, Bezos chose “America,” by Simon & Garfunkel.) Soon after music came DVDs and consumer electronics. A New York literary agent told me that books were Amazon’s version of “a gateway drug.” Sargent said that Bezos’s ambition was apparent to him from the beginning – “My God, he drives hard.” But he couldn’t see Bezos’s master

Corner // April 2016

plan “for shit.” “He was already going to be the Everything Store,” Sargent said when we met in his trapezoidal office, in the narrow wedge of the Flatiron Building. “I thought he was just a bookstore, stupid me. Books were going to be the way to get the names and the data. Books were his customer-acquisition strategy.” As long as Amazon kept growing like mad, investors would pour in money and Wall Street wouldn’t pay much attention to profits. (The company didn’t have a profitable quarter until 2001, and still struggles to stay in the black.)

• In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two dozen writers and editors to produce copy for the Web site. One of them – Amazon employee No. 55 – was a cultural critic from New York named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces at the Village Voice. (She had also worked at several New York publishers and at The New York Review of Books.) For these refugees from New York, where jobs in publishing and journalism were already beginning to thin out, Amazon offered the thrill of working at a rising power, with stock options and an enormous audience. Marcus edited the home page, which was visited by at least thirty million people a day. Under the rubric “Books Favorites,” he and his

ChEAP worDS

subsequently ran HarperCollins, said of Bezos, “I was completely taken with him. He was a skinny kid, he was young, he was excitable, and he was completely serious about what he was doing. I drank the Kool-Aid.” Amazon’s revenue multiplied every year. In the late nineties, an Amazon vice-president named Mary Morouse e-mailed her colleagues after a trip to visit publishers in New York. “We are certainly popular with them,” she wrote. “They rave about Amazon.com – both as a store/service and a great way to market books. There were several examples cited where Amazon.com ‘made’ titles. And they love our sales numbers.” Publishers weren’t troubled that Amazon sold their books at dramatic discounts. They all wanted to collaborate with the Seattle upstart, and they used Amazon as an information resource; it was a vast improvement over the old green-bound

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

VoICES

“In the hopes of being respectful and sensitive, people create distance between themselves and people they don’t know well. The only remedy for that is to actually get to know people.” I know because I have some white friends in particular that will say, “You have no idea how awkward I am. Like, I don’t think this is going to work for me. I’m sure I’m going to blow

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this.” Okay, maybe, but this thing is not about perfection. It’s about connection. And you’re not going to get comfortable before you get uncomfortable. I mean, you just have to do it. And young black men, what I’m saying is if someone comes your way, genuinely and authentically, take the invitation. Not everyone is out to get you. Go looking for those people who can see your humanity. You know, it’s the empathy and the compassion that comes out of having relationships with people who are different from you. Something really powerful and beautiful happens: you start to realize that they are you, that they are part of you, that they are you in your family, and then we cease to be bystanders and we become actors, we become advocates, and we become allies. So go away from your comfort into a bigger, brighter thing, because that is how we will stop another Ferguson from happening. That’s how we create a community where everybody, especially young black men, can thrive.

So this last thing is going to be harder, and I know it, but I’m just going to put it out there anyway. When we see something, we have to have the courage to say something, even to the people we love. You know, it’s holidays and it’s going to be a time when we’re sitting around

the table and having a good time. Many of us, anyways, will be in holidays, and you’ve got to listen to the conversations around the table. You start to say things like, “Grandma’s a bigot.” “Uncle Joe is racist.” And you know, we love Grandma and we love Uncle Joe. We do. We know they’re good people, but what they’re saying is wrong. And we need to be able to say something, because you know who else is at the table? The children are at the table. And we wonder why these biases don’t die, and move from generation to generation? Because we’re not saying anything. We’ve got to be willing to say, “Grandma, we don’t call people that anymore.” “Uncle Joe, it isn’t true that he deserved that. No one deserves that.” And we’ve got to be willing to not shelter our children from the ugliness of racism when black parents don’t have the luxury to do so, especially those who have young black sons. We’ve got to take our lovely darlings, our future, and we’ve got to tell them we have an amazing country with incredible ideals, we have worked incredibly hard, and we have made some progress, but we are not done. We still have in us this old stuff about superiority and it is causing us to embed those further into our institutions and our society and generations, and it is making for despair and disparities and a devastating devaluing of young black men. We still struggle, you have to tell them, with seeing both the color and the character of young black men, but that you, and you expect them, to be part of the forces of change in this society that will stand against injustice and is willing, above all other things, to make a society where young black men can be seen for all of who they are.

wALk BoLDLy

said, “Yes, ladies, I know where you’re going. I’ll take you there.” You know, biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are. But how are we going to know who they are when we’ve been told to avoid and be afraid of them? So I’m going to tell you to walk toward your discomfort. And I’m not asking you to take any crazy risks. I’m saying, just do an inventory, expand your social and professional circles. Who’s in your circle? Who’s missing? How many authentic relationships do you have with young black people, folks, men, women? Or any other major difference from who you are and how you roll, so to speak? Because, you know what? Just look around your periphery. There may be somebody at work, in your classroom, in your house of worship, somewhere, there’s some black young guy there. And you’re nice. You say hi. I’m saying go deeper, closer, further, and build the kinds of relationships, the kinds of friendships that actually cause you to see the holistic person and to really go against the stereotypes. I know some of you are out there.

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VoICES

So many amazing black men, those who are the most amazing statesmen that have ever lived, brave soldiers, awesome, hardworking laborers. These are people who are powerful preachers. They are incredible scientists and artists and writers. They are dynamic comedians. They are doting grandpas, caring sons. They are strong fathers, and they are young men with dreams of their own. wrong, what do you want to do about it? Some of us think that we can protect ourselves by sealing away from certain groups and surrounding ourselves with people who are like us. But, I would hope that by now we are learning that this type of exclusion will not keep us safe. We have to face the ills in our society together, connected, and doing whatever we can to confront the biases that separate us. I know that I am not the only one that has noticed the pattern. On a recent Thursday, James Holmes, a 27-year-old white man, was found guilty of the murder of 12 people (70

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others were wounded) in a Colorado theater shooting in 2012. Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white man, has confessed to murdering in cold blood nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June of this year. Days after that shooting, a 21-year-old white man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was sentenced to death for killing three people (and being responsible for the death of a fourth) while injuring over 250 more at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. And at the end of 2012, 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook elementary school by a 20-year old white man, Adam Lanza after he shot his mom in their home in Newtown, Connecticut. These recent examples are just a few of many mass shootings that have been committed by young, “innocent” looking, 20-somethingyear-old white men. So, here’s my question: Why aren’t we more afraid of them? Why haven’t they been demonized or stigmatized as a group? Why are there no stereotypes catching hold or preventing young, white men from being trusted and welcomed into our places of work, schools or houses of worship? We don’t run for cover or get out of elevators when we see them. We don’t cross the street clutching our purses or ask security to keep an eye on them. Police don’t just pat them down in the street. We don’t decide not to live in the neighborhoods in which they live. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting we start marginalizing and being suspicious of all 20-something white men. We all know that would be wrong.

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After all, we know that there are a whole lot of really trustworthy, non-violent young white men who grow up to be great fathers, leaders and neighbors. Just as there are young men from every racial and ethnic group and economic background who do the same What I want to point out here is how the category of “young white men” has emerged from all of these horrible incidents unscathed as a group – and how this is one of the starkest examples of white male privilege imaginable. This “unearned advantage” is how we describe the fact, for example, that virtually all of the culprits on Wall Street who were responsible for bringing our economy to its knees in 2008, the politicians and corporate figures found guilty of premeditated, injurious and heedlessly greedy crimes are white men, but white men are not condemned as a group for their behavior. In fact, some part of us, of our society, thinks that would be silly.

“…just as there are young men from every racial and ethnic group and economic background who do the same.” The way unearned advantage works is that if one is a member of a group that has been deemed by society for centuries as superior or as “better than” and does something that isn’t good and smart and right, his behavior is attributed only to him, is ignored or explained away, so that the group’s supremacy stays in place. In the cases of the mind-numbing violence I cited at the earlier, we find other things to talk about: We talk about mental

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Here in an excerpt of the “Walk Boldly” article I have used both full-spread images and section breaks to interrupt the flow of the text. These pauses are purposeful breaks for the reader, to provide a bit of time for the brain to catch up to the intensity of the contents.

…time for the brain to catch up to the intensity of the contents.

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STorIES

it nurtured a certain impatience with New York houses that supplied the products it sold. Mary Morouse’s account of her trip east in 1999 reported, “I had one S.V.P. of sales tell me, ‘We like any account who is growing faster than we are, but we don’t really forecast that way.’ When I asked him how much they are growing, he said ‘I don’t know. I think we were flat last year.’ That gives you some idea of the level of business focus.” According to Marcus, Amazon executives considered publishing people “antediluvian losers with rotary phones and inventory systems designed in 1968 and warehouses full of crap.” Publishers kept no data on customers, making their bets on books a matter of instinct rather than metrics. They were full of inefficiences, starting with overpriced Manhattan offices.

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Joh pu ter fic Fir po Int of wh Joh

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DISCUSSIoNS

Even the most successful freelance artists will tell you that bad clients and boring gigs are common roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career. The popular blog known as clients from hell

posts a new true and hilarious freelance

horror story almost every day. Even the legendary Drew Struzan struggled with the client side

Why Freelancers Fail

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A COFFEEHOUSE DISCUSSION WITH CHRIS OATLEY AND SEAN HODGE

mentary about his life, he told a story that was actually painful for me to hear. But bad clients are so common and the stories so egregious truth, that we are often part of the problem. I’ve worked with many freelance illustrators and designers over the course of my career and I’ve noticed three common problems that sabotage freelance success. In this second half of our two-part interview, freelancing expert Sean Hodge shares insights into how you can avoid these common problems, and how better

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you. I mean you haven’t gone deep enough into that hole of developing your own style. But as a student, you should copy other people, I mean outright copy, just until you can draw in that style. And then do it a million times, just do that and then develop that nuance that feels like it’s you but in that style and then eventually try to pull it together man, like pull these threads and what does that thread create plus you, plus what interests you? And that’s where you come up with something that’s interesting you know, and that’s why people will search you out. And at the same time, as you’re developing your business savvy, it doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to trends, I mean ideally your style and what you do, it meets with what the market’s looking for, you know? So you kind of have to pay some attention. chris : Oftentimes I’ll get these portfolios that are torture, bleeding from the eyballs, and I’m going – maybe there’s an industry for that, but I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve never seen that industry. And maybe that’s just because I don’t hang out in places where people are into that kind of thing but it is possible to be so doing your own thing that it’s not relevant to anybody, or it’s not relevant to enough people to be able to make a living. sean : Yeah, don’t go off on a desert island and just make your thing and then expect it to be relevant in the marketplace a year later. Yeah, there’s that line between commercial appeal and companies, what they’re looking for, and then what you can produce and that line where you’re unique but you’re also working a certain vein and there’s a certain demographic you’re looking to hit, a certain type of work. So if you really want to

work at Disney, then you’ve really got to produce stuff that’s in line with that. chris : During the renaissance, we had the master apprentice model for art education and you as the apprentice would go work under the master craftsman, and at some point you would attempt a masterpiece. And then, that masterpiece would be evaluated by the guild of master craftsman and if you won their approval, they would allow you to join the guild of master craftsman and then you got to go set up your own shop and have your own apprentices and so on. There’s a lot to like about this model and although I’m sure it was full of frustration for the apprentices and the master craftsman, anyone who’s been to graduate school knows what it’s like to try and convince a group of traditionally minded master craftsman of the validity of your own new ideas. But what I like about this model is that there’s a clean break, a right of passage, a point at which you are birthed into the world of creative professionalism. Nowadays, I think there’s a huge problem in that getting your career started is in a tbone collision with study and creative growth. Now we should always continue to grow and we should always continue to study, but when you’re in what should be sort of this cocoon

are birthed into the world of creative professionalism.”

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DISCUSSIoNS

“But what I like about this model is that there’s a clean break, a right of passage, a point at which you

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at high water, the waterfall 1860s foun “is much more sublime, as the landscape quantity ojwater thenjorms a had been spray, which in clear weather struction o reflects from some positions of mill mac the color of the rainbow, and ing waste In 1862 when the sky is overcast covers the falls in gloom and plained t Falls are al chaotic majesty.” The establishment of Fort and refuse Snelling at the confluence of German g the Minnesota and Mississippi entist, des rivers in 1820 attracted many they appe tourists, writers and artists and dams the f to the region. In 1823, the onto anno so l first steamboat navigated beingtion, not sc the Mississippi River as far couldbut with? as Fort Snelling. By 1851, St. of sawdus “A Paul had established itself as end of boa “A the head of navigation on the logs dump prog river. Tourists disembarked at industrial “W St. Paul and hired carriages or everywhe t wagons for sightseeing ex- heaps inTh even cursions to St. Anthony Falls, little niche inte Minnehaha Falls, and nearby cleftsconte publi the joyous lakes. W The development of mill- of crystall publi ing at St. Anthony Falls led to digita its demise as a tourist attrac- MILLIN that a tion. Visitors in the 1850s and ANTHO

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phase, the student phase, the art school phase things his way for the first few years before I whether you’re actually in art school or not, started doing things my way. And then we’ve it’s hard to get good enough to be professional grown our own team that’s like that and now when you’re already worrying so much about we have kind of a team way plus everyone’s got being professional, and you’re already worry- their own experience to bring. How can you ing… you shouldn’t worry about your portfolio emulate that now I think is the big question befreshman year, do you know what I mean? cause it’s not necessarily required. Something like the program that you offer is awesome, I sean : Oh yeah, definitely. That’s another issue, not worrying about your portfolio mean you have the experience, you have done freshman year but this idea of this master it, you have walked that path, and people can apprentice… my dad’s a machinist, that’s part come on and get all that experience from you. impartial to the trade, it’s changed because And it’s not the same as being in your studio but it’s gone digital and everything. But for the it’s the closest you can get right now by doing hundred years of manufacturing and C&C it over the internet, by whatever you offer on machines out there, and lays, and drill presses, all those videos or… and mills and all that – I mean, that’s how you chris : Everything, and interactive… I mean learn. You did a couple years of trade school and as often as possible, I was working on a freethen you were taken on as an apprentice, and lance job just a few months ago and I wrote that’s how you operated for two years until you all my students, everyone who was currently were considered a… I don’t know what the term subscribed or signed up for a course whether is but maybe a master machinist or something they had finished the course or not, everybody. like those terms. But yeah, most professions I just wrote them all and was like, “Hey guys, operate that way, and they do to an extent I’m I’ve got a deadline on Monday. It’s Tuesday, I’m sure once you came on at Disney, there was like going to be working nonstop for the next six a period… I’m guessing, I’m sure there was a pe- days. Here’s the link, I’m streaming privately for riod where you were kind of an apprentice. For all your guys if you want to come on, watch me me and blogging, it was kind of like that. I was work and then I’ll be taking breaks every half running sites but running them with Calista, hour, 45 minutes and then I’ll answer questions the main guy behind Envato, being able to reach about what I did.” And we actually did it again out to him and ask questions and really doing last week in fact, and we’ll continue to do more

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Several more spreads utilizing full bleed, cross-spread images for visual pauses and reflections. Deployed carefully—there are only eleven full page or larger images (excluding title pages) in 146 pages—it becomes visual interest, without becoming clutter.

why FrEELANCErS FAIL

business practices can lead to better success in business. chris : So let’s talk about why freelance artists fail and the first question that I have for you Sean is really not a question, it’s more of an idea and I just want to get your thoughts on it. But I hear from frustrated freelance illustrators all the time and they’re frustrated often because they can’t get the gigs that they want, the clients that they want, and occasionally I have time to click their link and see their portfolio, and all too often what I find is a portfolio full of to put it bluntly the microwaved leftovers of an illustrator or a style that is currently in vogue. Do you find this to be true and if so, what are your thoughts? sean: Yeah, well first of all, I think that’s a hilarious metaphor. I think it’s particularly true for illustrators more so than other professions and I’ll give some reasons why. Graphic designers typically live in this fear of microwave leftovers. I mean we’re all sharing, and we’re all pursuing trends and we all have a feel for different trends that happened in the last two years or what fits a certain client look. We kind of have to live in the skin of other design work whereas it doesn’t mean that you don’t have some level of voice because certainly a lot of your personality that goes into it and can go into it but if you were put on Google’s team as a designer, you would adjust to their voice. I mean that’s part of being a designer, a graphic designer. Whereas an illustrator, people approach illustrators for their style and vision, so if you’re just trying to be just like some other illustrator, like you’re saying microwave leftover of what they’ve created, you’re not developing that unique thing that is

that it’s easy for artists to remain blind to a hard

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DISCUSSIoNS

of his now famous career. In the recent docu-

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The combination of ceaseless innovation and change but a division between the two coasts, low-wage drudgery makes Amazon the epit- with different cultural styles and a philosophome of a successful New Economy company. It’s ical disagreement about what techies call hiring as fast as it can – nearly thirty thousand “disruption.” “Book publishing always has a rhetoric of the employees last year. But its brand of creative destruction might fallen age,” a senior editor at a major house told be killing more jobs than it makes. According me. “It was always better before you got here. to a recent study of U.S. Census data by the The tech guys – it’s always better if you just Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in Washington, get out of my way and give me what I want. brick-and-mortar retailers employ forty-seven It’s always future-perfect.” He went on, “Their people for every ten million dollars in revenue whole thing is ‘Let’s take somebody’s face and innovate on it. There’s an old lady – we don’t earned; Amazon employs fourteen. In the book industry, many of those formerly know we’re innovating unless she’s screaming.’ employed people staffed independent stores. A lot of it is thoughtless innovation.” The senior editor, like most people in publishTwo decades ago, there were some four thousand in America, and many of them functioned ing, rarely deals directly with Amazon, but in as cultural centers where people browsed and the fall of 2010 he attended a meeting with Russ exchanged ideas. Today, there are fewer than Grandinetti, the Kindle vice-president, who was two thousand – although, with Borders dead visiting the big New York houses. Like Bezos, and Barnes & Noble ailing, the indies are Grandinetti went to Princeton and worked on making a small comeback. Vivien Jennings, Wall Street. He joined Amazon in 1998, as treaof Rainy Day Books, has been in business for surer, then moved on to apparel, before taking thirty-eight years. “We know our customers, the Kindle job. An Amazon colleague described and the other independents are the same,” she Grandinetti as the smartest guy in the room at said. “We know what they read better than any a company where everyone believes himself to be just that. Many publishing types consider recommendation engine.” Since the arrival of the Kindle, the tension him a bully. The literary agent, who knows him, between Amazon and the publishers has be- said, “When you spend time with Russ, you get come an open battle. The conflict reflects not the sense that he thinks publishers are idiots.” At the meeting, Grandinetti displayed only business antagonism amid technological

ChEAP worDS

criticism directed at its archrival Walmart, with wait in line to pass through metal detectors, and its all-too-human superstores. Online com- submit their belongings to be searched, when merce allows even conscientious consumers they leave for lunch and at the end of their shift. The process takes ten to twenty minutes each to forget that other people are involved. Amazon employs or subcontracts tens of time. Theft is a common concern in Amazon thousands of warehouse workers, with sea- warehouses – no doubt, a knock-on effect of the sonal variation, often building its fulfillment absence of bonds between the company and centers in areas with high unemployment and the ever-shifting roster of low-paid employees. None of Amazon’s U.S. workers belong low wages. Accounts from inside the centers describe the work of picking, boxing, and ship- to unions, because the customer would sufping books and dog food and beard trimmers fer. A company executive told the Times that as a high-tech version of the dehumanized Amazon considers unions to be obstacles that factory floor satirized in Chaplin’s “Modern would impede its ability to improve customer Times.” Pickers holding computerized handsets service. In 2011, the Allentown Morning Call are perpetually timed and measured as they published an investigative series with accounts fast-walk up to eleven miles per shift around of multiple ambulances being parked outside a million-square-foot warehouse, expected to a warehouse during a heat wave, in order to collect orders in as little as thirty-three seconds. ferry overcome workers to emergency rooms. After watching footage taken by an undercover Afterward, Amazon installed air-conditionBBC reporter, a stress expert said, “The evi- ers, although their arrival coincided with the dence shows increased risk of mental illness expansion of grocery services. In any case, and physical illness.” The company says that Amazon’s warehouse jobs are gradually being its warehouse jobs are “similar to jobs in many taken over by robots. Bezos recently predicted to a gobsmacked Charlie Rose that, in five years, other industries.” “It’s a soul patch, but luckily we’ve caught packages will be delivered by small drones. it early.” Last September, lawyers brought a Then Amazon will have eliminated the human class-action lawsuit against Amazon, on behalf factor from shopping, and we will finally be all of a warehouse worker in Pennsylvania named alone with our purchases. Neal Heimbach, for unpaid wages: employees at the fulfillment center outside Allentown must

ChEAP worDS

e nine-ninety-nine, regard- to paying just a few dollars for an e-book, how uality – a figure that Bezos, long before publishers would have to slash the sale of songs on iTunes for cover price of all their titles? Publishers looked around for a competiasically pulled out of thin air. ully concealed the number tor to Amazon, and they found one in Apple, We didn’t want to let that cat which was getting ready to introduce the iPad, and the iBooks Store. Apple wanted a ele said. below wholesale in some deal with each of the Big Six houses (Hachette, that it represented a seri- HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Random market in twenty-six-dollar House, and Simon & Schuster) that would allow ores that depended on hard- the publishers to set the retail price of titles Barnes & Noble and Borders on iBooks, with Apple taking a thirty-per-cent s business in 2011) to Rainy commission on each sale. This was known as sas City – glimpsed their the “agency model,” and, in some ways, it ofeading went entirely digital, fered the publishers a worse deal than selling d they serve? The next year, wholesale to Amazon. But it gave publishers ght the financial crisis, was control over pricing and a way to challenge kstores and publishers alike, Amazon’s grip on the market. Apple’s terms included the provision that it could match the yoffs. n controlled ninety per cent price of any rival, which induced the publishgital books – a dominance ers to impose the agency model on all digital pany, in any industry, could retailers, including Amazon. Five of the Big Six went along with Apple. vely low prices warded off erary agent Andrew Wylie (Random House was the holdout.) Most of the ents me) says, “What Bezos executives let Amazon know of the change by e retail price down as low as phone or e-mail, but John Sargent flew out to llar-ninety-nine, even nine- Seattle to meet with four Amazon executives, s the Apple play – ‘What we including Russ Grandinetti, the vice-presiugh our device, and we’ll do dent of Kindle content. In an e-mail to a friend, re.’” If customers grew used Sargent wrote, “Am on my way out to Seattle to get my ass kicked by Amazon.” Sargent’s gesture didn’t seem to matter much to the Amazon executives, who were used to imposing their own terms. Seated at a

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retailers. Although co-op fees weren’t “dreamed up by Amazon,” Marcus told me, “Amazon proved to be particularly good at squeezing this money out of publishers.” Publishers paid ten

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thousand dollars for a book to be prominently featured on the home page. They never knew exactly how much these payments helped sales, and negotiations over them became tense. (In a statement, Amazon said, “As a general practice, we don’t discuss our business negotiations with publishers.”) Each category within Amazon’s Books division had to collect co-op fees, and revenue targets rose steeply. In 1999, the company received $3,621,250 in co-op fees; the goal for 2000 was set at $9.25 million. When Marcus asked if publishers should be given sales targets in exchange for their payments, Lyn Blake, the executive who had created the co-op program, said no, adding, “Look, it’s the cost of doing business.” The editorial staff was reminded that the money, unlike the receipts on sold books, went straight to Amazon’s bottom line. Judgments about which books should be featured on the site were increasingly driven by promotional fees. Many publishers had come to regard Amazon as a heavy in khakis and oxford shirts. In its drive for profitability, Amazon did not raise retail prices; it simply squeezed its suppliers harder, much as Walmart had done with manufacturers. Amazon demanded ever-larger co-op fees and better shipping terms; publishers knew that they would stop being favored

editorial department. Anne Hurley, the edi- thinking and writing – would be an obscure tor-in-chief of the DVD and Video section, was footnote if not for certain turns in the comviewed dismissively by her boss, Jason Kilar, pany’s more recent history. According to one who went on to run the video-streaming com- insider, around 2008 – when the company was pany Hulu. He told her, “I’m sorry, Anne, I just selling far more than books, and was making don’t see what value you add.” (although, Kilar twenty billion dollars a year in revenue, more than the combined sales of all other American denies saying this.) In July, 2000, Bezos sent out a compa- bookstores – Amazon began thinking of conny-wide e-mail with the subject line “Smile, tent as central to its business. Authors started remember it’s Day 1, and let’s kick some butt.” to be considered among the company’s most Several months earlier, the bubble had burst, important customers. By then, Amazon had lost and Amazon’s overcapitalized share price was much of the market in selling music and videos plunging. For the first time, Wall Street lost to Apple and Netflix, and its relations with pubfaith in the company, and Bezos announced that lishers were deteriorating. These difficulties the next eighteen months would be devoted to offended Bezos’s ideal of “seamless” commerce. making “serious profits.” Marcus and Fried quit “The company despises friction in the marketbefore they could be laid off. Tim Appelo took place,” the Amazon insider said. “It’s easier for Marcus’s place. “I was the last human editor of us to sell books and make books happen if we the home page,” he told me. “By the time I got do it our way and not deal with others. It’s a there, it was only partly human.” By 2002, the tech-industry thing: ‘We think we can do it home page was fully automated. (Today, eight better.’ ” If you could control the content, you editors select titles to be featured on the Books controlled everything. page, and if you scour the site you can find a books blog, Omnivoracious, but its offerings seem marginal to the retail enterprise.) Editorial Book retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, negocontent had served its purpose, just as selling tiate “co-op,” or cooperative promotional fees, books had served its purpose, and Amazon’s from publishers in exchange for prominent conquistadores galloped onward. product placement. It’s a way for a retailer to The fact that Amazon once devoted signifi- get a larger discount without violating the 1936 cant space on its site to editorial judgments – to Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits producers from offering price advantages to favored

ChEAP worDS

Amazon execs, publishing people ‘antediluers with rotary phones, inventory systems d in 1968 and warehouses full of crap.’”

ChEAP worDS

There was “a general feeling that the New York algorithms that used customers’ history to publishing business was just this cloistered, make recommendations for future purchases. Gilded Age antique just barely getting by in At Amazon, “personalization” meant data a sort of Colonial Williamsburg of commerce, analytics and statistical probability. Author inbut when Amazon waded into this they would terviews became less frequent, and in-house essays were subsumed by customer reviews, show publishing how it was done.” During the 1999 holiday season, Amazon which cost the company nothing. Tim Appelo, tried publishing books, leasing the rights to a the entertainment editor at the time, said, “You defunct imprint called Weathervane and put- could be the Platonic ideal of the reviewer, and ting out a few titles. “These were not incipient you would not beat even those rather crude best-sellers,” Marcus writes. “They were crea- early algorithms.” Amazon’s departments comtures from the black lagoon of the remainder peted with one another almost as fiercely as table” – Christmas recipes and the like, se- they did with other companies. According to lected with no apparent thought. Employees Brad Stone, a trash-talking sign was hung on a with publishing experience, like Fried, were wall in the P13N office: “PEOPLE FORGET THAT not consulted. Weathervane fell into an obliv- JOHN HENRY DIED IN THE END.” Machines deion so complete that there’s no trace of it on feated human beings. In December, 1999, at the height of the dotthe Internet. (Representatives at the company today claim never to have heard of it.) Nobody com mania, Time named Bezos its Person of at Amazon seemed to absorb any lessons from the Year. “Amazon isn’t about technology or the failure. A decade later, the company would even commerce,” the breathless cover article announced. “Amazon is, like every other site try again. Amazon was a megastore, not an indie on the Web, a content play.” Yet this was the bookshop, let alone a literary review, and its moment, Marcus said, when “content” people writers were under pressure to prove that were “on the way out.” Although the writers their work produced sales. If a customer and the editors made the site more interesting, clicked on a review or an interview, then left and easier to navigate, they didn’t bring more the page without making a purchase, it was customers. One day, Fried discovered a memo, logged as a Repel. Marcus was informed that written by a programmer and accidentally left his repulsion rate was too high. “Nobody ever on a printer, which suggested eliminating the felt safe,” Fried said of her editorial colleagues. “I took home my Rolodex every day.” Around this time, a group called the “personalization team,” or P13N, started to replace editorial suggestions for readers with

of intellectual irony that set them apart from the company’s cult of relentlessness. Bezos closed annual reports to shareholders with an exhortation to experiment and to fight complacency: “This is still Day 1.” Marcus and Fried joked about writing a novel that would begin, “It was Day 1. Again.” (Amazon recently began publishing a literary magazine for its Kindle device: Day One.) One important way that Bezos’s writers and editors differed from the tech and business people was in their gentler attitude toward book publishers. Even when Amazon’s entire business was in books, and its relations with publishers were fairly good,

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a percentage of their previous year’s sales on the site, as ‘marketing development funds.’”

allow settlement on the west Company, representing the side since the 1840s, and many east side, agreed to work other settlers had staked together to improve the waclaims without permission. ter power for milling at St. This community, which would Anthony Falls. The companies later become Minneapolis, cooperated to construct a dam numbered only about 300 in across the river above the falls 1854, but by 1856 the popula- that divided the flow of water tion had grown to 1,555. into millponds on the east and In 1849, Robert Smith west sides of the river. When obtained a lease to run the the project was finished, the government grist mill and two companies had built a sinsawmill on the west side of gle large dam in the shape of a the falls. In 1853, Smith pur- V, which angled out from both chased the government mills shores and met upriver. and went into partnership T he Min ne ap ol is Mill with several others. By 1855, Company quickly moved a partnership of 12 men con- ahead of the St. Anthony trolled the west-side mills and Company in developing ways the adjacent land. However, to distribute water power. The this group did little to develop west-side owners built a canal water power at the falls at first. angling inland from the millIn 1856, two companies pond and running along the received charters from the shore to carry water to nuMinnesota Territorial legis- merous mill sites. Beginning lature to develop the water in 1857, the Minneapolis Mill power at St. Anthony Falls. Company began excavating The Minneapolis Mill Company, the canal, which would be 14 representing west side own- feet deep, 50 feet wide and ers, and the St. Anthony 215 feet long. The canal was

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Company and the Nicollet Island owners compromised. The company was allowed flowage, dam and boom privileges on the island’s shore, while Eastman and Merriam were allowed to draw enough water to create 200 horse power for use at their own mills. Unfortunately, the ag re ement al s o allowe d Eastman and Merriam to excavate a tunnel under Nicollet and Hennepin Islands for their tailrace. In September 1868, Eastman, Merriam and two additional partners began excavating the tailrace. The plans called for a 6-foot by 6-foot tunnel cut through 2,500 feet of sandstone. Workers began digging at the downstream end of Hennepin Island and by October 4, 1869, they had tunneled through 2,000 feet of sandstone, bringing them as far as the toe of Nicollet Island. That day, however, workers discovered water leaking, and

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then rushing, into the upper end of the tunnel. Early the next morning, the river broke through the limestone at the upper end of the project, forming a large whirlpool that sucked everything nearby into the tunnel. The water quickly scoured out the 6- by 6-foot tailrace, enlarging its width as much as 90 feet and increasing its depth to 16 ½ feet. As the roof of the tunnel fell in, Hennepin Island began to sink and the falls were in danger of collapsing. Almost immediately, word spread through Minneapolis and St. Anthony that the falls were going out. Quickly, citizens dropped what they were doing to hurry to the river’s edge and view the disaster for themselves. One witness of the scene recalled that “proprietors of stores hastened to the falls, taking their clerks with them; bakers deserted their ovens, lumbermen

were ordered from the mills, of their effort barbers left their customers gulp. Accord unshorn; mechanics dropped newspaper, t their tools; lawyers shut up the Mississip their books or stopped plead- huge logs as th ing in the courts; physicians mere whittli abandoned their offices.” them on end Responding to the emer- before swallo gency, citizens of St. Anthony The failure and Minneapolis worked to- tempt to save gether to build large rafts of clear that a m timber, which they floated solution was over the whirlpool and filled porary dam w with dirt, rocks and other de- the end of Oct bris until the rafts sank into mill owners an the hole. Once this break was two cities deb plugged, however, another solutions to th hole appeared. During th Throughout the day, vol- spring of 186 unteers built rafts to fill the Anthony Com river where the limestone repair the tun bedrock had collapsed. By the tect damaged afternoon, workers and spec- property on H tators were walking across a A flood in Apri network of rafts that had these repairs. apparently succeeded in pre- debris raced venting further erosion. Then tunnel, scouri suddenly, the rafts lurched, stone under t and as people scrambled to downstream e safety, the river swallowed all Island. The lim

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chris : You briefly mentioned art school critiques and that is a great way to practice and to learn how to take art direction notes. And that’s one of the main problems with these random forums where half the people are being buttheads and are just ripping it apart. That’s not professionalism, it’s not professional practice. What you need is a circle of trust and ideally a circle of trusted fellow students who understand, clearly understand where you want to go, what your goals are, what your aspirations are and they are going to give you specific critique that will help you get there – critique and encouragement. I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of professional practice within a trusted circle of professionally minded artists. The buttheads in the forums are not helping you and I don’t know a single successful professional artist who will say that oh yeah, that made all the difference, just having my work ripped apart by some stranger who’s probably twelve years old. sean : Yeah it’s a conversation and it has to be between two people that are aligned for the same goals. I’ve been in classes that have been excellent, like everyone put their illustration up, and like you’re saying, they understand kind of what you’re going for and your style, and they’re encouraging with their criticism. And it’s actually moving you in a better direction, but back to the little drawing board. Redraw it with a whole better focus, and I’ve been in design classes where everyone is kind of like hammering on each other without any real support, more like they’re competing where it’s not nurturing, it’s not growing, it’s not focused on improving and it’s just kind of hacking at each other. I can definitely see it happening in all art forums, you need early on

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a mentor or something that kind of relationship where someone will give you very poignant advice, helpful advice that’s not like just hacking and being like you don’t know how to use a paintbrush or whatever. chris : I think what we’re saying is, the bad situations are inevitable but the problem is with the internet and everything and kind of our new culture that we’re living in artistically, the bad situations are often the only thing that you’re finding yourself in. And that’s terrible, that’s no way to learn and it’s no way to be prepared and in fact, you have to take control of the situation and you have to get the small group again, the circle of trust or you have to find like sean’s saying, find a mentor and ideally a mentor that’s taking you through an educational… a really effective educational program. Those are the places where you’re going to learn to see and when you know how to see, then when you’re back in the client ambiguouity, then you’re going to so much more confident because you’ll be able to… like Indiana Jones at the end of Last Crusade you know where he finally takes the leap of faith and all of a sudden the bridge appears under his feet. It’s that same kind of thing, it’s like you’ll be able to kind of take that first step and all of a sudden you’ll see the bridge, you’ll see the way to cross the gap of ambiguouity and get to the other side. And that

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makes you incredibly rehireable when you can do that, when you can close those ambiguous gaps, you are magic. You’re a wizard. sean : And the more you go through the process of you and like maybe a couple other people critiquing your work, you will get to the point that you can hang up your work, maybe not immediately after you’ve drawn it but you know, go write a copy and come back. Look at it with some level of fresh eyes and you can critique it as though someone else was doing it. You can get objective with your own work and find what are the flaws, what do I need to do to improve this, what do I need to practice? chris : Very true. Sean, would you please share with the listeners where they can find you online? sean : Yeah, I’m on Twitter. @SeanHodge on Twitter, I’m developing my own space to kind of help people with the micro business stuff more and more. I’ve got this space called Creatro.com and you know, it’s really people with this kind of creative background and mentality wanting to make moves online. chris: Sean, thank you so much for chatting with me; this has been incredibly inspiring. c c

why FrEELANCErS FAIL

to ask questions that direct everyone to an actionable, deliverable result. So sure, the conversation can start in an abstract way, but you can ask questions and continue to kind of just dog the conversation until you get down to okay, so here’s what I think you’re saying and I’ll do these one, two, three specific things to the illustration and then send it back to you, right? We’re all on the same page? sean: The clearer the brief, the better the results you’re going to get because they’re going to be very targeted. So if you’re working with another client, you’re the one that’s going to have to put the brief together, you’re the one that’s going to have to walk them through that process. If you’ve got an art director, they’re more likely to give you something that’s more specific in nature and what they’re looking for which gives you a great direction to run in. And with some art directors, you’re going to get feedback that actually improves the work, not as much as you’ll get feedback that you’re like kind of unsure of or not feeling it as much. But yeah, I’ve seen art direction make the work even better because it just took it to another level. It’s basically just setting certain requirements and if the work isn’t quite meeting those and they articulate why, then the artist is just taking it that much further. So yeah, you need a really good brief and you need to put it together and work from that.

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DISCUSSIoNS

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sean : Art is very subjective so who’s really right there? I mean does it really matter? I mean are they requiring you to completely restart the design and then the (inaudible) illustration? You should be charging them for that, but just asking you to change a few colors or something like that, you really can’t be married to your work. It might not be flexible with that kind of thing. They may have real reasons for that and they may articulate them to you, when they’re not, then they are a difficult client. But if they’re explaining a reason, I mean it’s a little easier to adjust to that. But in either case, you have to decide if you want to work with them or not. And if you want to get paid… chris : Yeah, and it’s important to note that in all of these things, and the flakiness thing, in the note taking thing, unless we specifically address the bad client issue, we’re talking about good clients or acceptable clients. And here it’s the same thing, there is actually a great Tumblr called Clients From Hell that is hilarious. It’s so funny, it’s super entertaining because they just basically post sections of emails sent to illustrators or designers that are just the worst art direction ever. And we’ve all been in those situations and so grant it, that’s not a fun situation to be in and again, that’s a whole other article. But even if the client doesn’t get that at first, really it’s as simple as just continuing

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Valley that would build Amazon’s firs ware: a device for reading digital boo According to Stone’s book, Bezos t the project, “Proceed as if your goal physical books out of a job.” Meanwhil publishers to digitize and sign retail titles as possible. “Our charter was t thousand books and ninety per cent o Steele, who worked on the project, said because he objected to Amazon’s he publishers.) In late 2007, at a press Bezos unveiled the Kindle, a simple, lig a crucial improvement over previous many as two hundred books, downlo network. Bezos announced that the

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lengthened in later years to Minneapolis was producing accommodate the demand five times as much flour and for more access to the water twice the amount of lumber as east-side manufacturers. power of the falls. The population of MinneThe west-side water system included smaller canals apolis also soon outgrew that to carry water from the main of St. Anthony. Between 1857 canal to the mills (headraces) and 1870, the population of St. and from the mills back to the Anthony increased by only river (tailraces). When the 324, while Minneapolis grew system was completed, the from 3,391 residents in 1857 Minneapolis manufacturing to 13,066 in 1870. district consisted of 2.9 miles of tunnels and open canals. THE EASTMAN In contrast to the system TUNNEL COLLAPSE developed by the Minneapolis The water power compaMill Company, the St. Anthony nies that controlled the mills Company did not build canals at the edge of the falls had forto distribute water power gotten to secure title to Nicollet on the east side of the falls. Island, located a short distance Instead, the St. Anthony upstream. As a result, in 1865, Company owners relied on William Eastman and John shafts and ropes running Merriam acquired the island. from water wheels on the dam The new owners quickly sued to supply the mills. the St. Anthony Company to T he c a n al system en- force the removal of the eastabled Minneapolis to quickly side mills, claiming that the surpass St. Anthony in the installations infringed on their development of manufac- water rights. turing at the falls. By 1869, In 1867, the St. Anthony

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production. Franklin Steele, a local entrepreneur, obtained much of the land on the east side of St. Anthony Falls in 1838 and constructed a dam and sawmill there in 1848. Steele’s dam was located above the edge of the falls. It crossed the east channel and ran from the shore to a short distance above Hennepin Island and then to the foot of Nicollet Island. In 1849, Steele registered the plat for a town site, which he named St. Anthony. By 1850, more than 600 residents lived in the town; and, by 1855, the population had grown to 3,000. The land on the west side of the Mississippi River remained part of the military reservation surrounding Fort Snelling until 1852, when Congress reduced the size of the reservation and opened the land for sale. However, commandants at Fort Snelling had been granting permits to

• In 2003, Amazon introduced Search Inside the Book, which allowed customers to hunt for a phrase in a book without having to buy it. Publishers warily allowed Amazon to scan some of their titles and convert the images into searchable text. They didn’t realize that they were giving Amazon a huge head start over potential competitors when it decided to go into the digital-books business. “We found you and raised you as one of us, so we were just wondering, at what point did you learn to shave?” In the mid-aughts, Bezos, having watched Apple take over the music-selling business with iTunes and the iPod, became determined not to let the same thing happen with books. In 2004, he set up a lab in Silicon

PErSPECTIVES

PErSPECTIVES

some Amazon’s nd that the natural While the of scenic beautynumber-free barattracted graphs and of St. Anthony Falls of St. Anthony Falls encouraged a fasteritmove altered by the con- early explorers and tourists, into digital publishing of mills, by the noise was more important to settlers and onlineofselling. gave this chinery, and by mill- as a source water“He power. pitch,” the senior products. Soldierswhole at Fort Snelling built edisaid. “ ‘It’s proprietary, I 2, one visitor com- the firsttorsawmill at the falls you,added but everyhat, “St. Anthony in 1821;can’t and, show in 1823, thingBy that’s good for ll covered with mills a grist mill. the 1850s, as us is for you – just do what e.” Johannes Kohl, a many asgood 16 sawmills crowded weDuring say.’ ” the 1860s geographer and sci- the falls. Grandinetti tookatquesscribed the falls as alone, lumber production and an from editor12raised eared in 1856: Walls the fallstions, increased his91hand. noticed you’ve have been built out million to million“Iboard feet. ounced Singles” –Indigital fiction nonficfalls ....Kindle The water 1869,works there of were sixand sawsoldthe for aMississippi few dollars, that areon toothe long for side mostof magazines low, mills east the shorter thanthe books. publishers arewest youside. working carry away load “Which falls and eight on the ?” chips, odds and st, During the 1860s, flour Allard publishers,” Grandinetti said. and plank, and milling increased substantially All in theFalls. Kindle Singles pedpublishers in upstream.are Thisparticipating at St. Anthony Flour gram?” l waste was stuck production rose from 30,000 Well, no.big Amazon is the publisher.” ere in jumbled barrels in 1860 to 256,100 he senior found it barrels disturbing that Grandinetti couldn’t the falls ‘ editor attractive in 1869. In 1869, there nes beand straight a piece of public information. showed in theabout rocky were eight flour mills onItthe empt for audience. wasside veryof practiced in aand way that ended by his Nature for “It west the river ishing people don’t do,” four he said. downward passage in St. Anthony. By 1880, When I spoke with Grandinetti, expressed sympathy line waters. 27 millshe were producing more for ishers faced with upheaval. move to people reading htan 2“The million barrels of flour allyAT andST. buying books digitally is making the single biggest change annually, Minneapolis NG any us in the book business will experience our time,” the national leader ininflour NY ofFALLS

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royalties as a percentage of the publisher’s receipts, not of the book’s list price. Recently, publishers say, Amazon began demanding an additional payment, amounting to approximately one per cent of net sales. Once the fee was paid, publishing executives could discuss marketing strategies with Amazon staff; otherwise, they’d have to rely on the company’s algorithms. “There really are rules in play,” a former Amazon executive says. If a publisher resists when Amazon asks for a “bump” in payments, its books “can’t be promoted.” ChEAP worDS

– Jeff Bezos in company wide memo, July 2000.

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capitulated. “I paid that bribe” – he wouldn’t disclose the amount – “and the books reappeared.” The process of paying co-op fees to promote individual titles grew increasingly complex, especially after Amazon began selling different levels of promotion. Without dropping co-op fees entirely, Amazon simplified its system: publishers were asked to hand over a percentage of their previous year’s sales on the site, as “marketing development funds.” Publishers dread the annual negotiation of this payoff; one of them described it as “squeezing our nuts.” The figure keeps rising, though less for the giant pachyderms than for the sickly gazelles. According to the marketing executive, the larger houses, which used to pay two or three per cent of their net sales through Amazon, now relinquish five to seven per cent of gross sales, pushing Amazon’s percentage discount on books into the mid-fifties. Random House currently gives Amazon an effective discount of around fifty-three per cent. For a smaller house, Amazon’s total discount can go as high as sixty per cent, which cuts deeply into already slim profit margins. Because Amazon manages its inventory so well, it often buys books from small publishers with the understanding that it can’t return them, for an even deeper discount. Publishers sometimes pass on this cost to authors, by redefining

his negotiations with Amazon as being “like dinner with the Godfather.” Amazon wanted a payment without having to reveal how many Melville House books were sold on the site. (Amazon rarely makes its sales figures public, using bar graphs without numbers in presentations.) “ ‘Fuck you’ was my attitude,” Johnson said. “ ‘They’re bluffing – I’m going to call their bluff.’ I’m a working-class kid. I come at this from ‘This is my company, you don’t come in here.’ ” Johnson, who remains one of the few people in publishing willing to criticize Amazon on the record, contacted reporters, and Publishers Weekly ran a story. By the next day, the BUY buttons had disappeared from Melville House’s titles on Amazon.com. Not long afterward, the Book Expo was held at the Javits Center, in Manhattan. Two young men in suits approached Melville House’s booth and pointed fingers at Johnson. “When are you going to get with the program?” they asked. The men were wearing Amazon nametags. Before the impasse, Amazon had represented eight per cent of Melville House’s sales, more than Johnson could afford to lose. So he

ChEAP worDS

Smile, Smile, remember remember it’s it’sDay Day1,1,and andlet’s let’s kick kick some some butt. butt.

ChEAP worDS

y the site’s recommendation algorithms if they dn’t comply. Eventually, they all did. (Few ustomers realize that the results generated y Amazon’s search engine are partly deterined by promotional fees.) Sales meetings in Seattle were now all bout payments, not new books, and the ze of orders was predicated on algorithms, ather than on the enthusiasm of the pubshers’ sales staff and Amazon’s own buyers, ho were rebranded as “inventory managers.” rad Stone describes one campaign to presure the most vulnerable publishers for better rms: internally, it was known as the Gazelle roject, after Bezos suggested “that Amazon hould approach these small publishers the ay a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle.” ompany lawyers later changed the name to he Small Publisher Negotiation Program.) “The Gazelle Project – that was me,” Dennis hnson, a co-owner of Melville House, a small ublisher with offices on the Brooklyn warfront, said. Melville House puts out quality ction and nonfiction, including “Debt: The rst 5,000 Years,” by the anarchist anthroologist David Graeber; “The Flight of the tellectuals,” by Paul Berman; and translations the German novelist Hans Fallada. In 2004, hen Melville House was just getting started, hnson’s distributor called him and described

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Visit chrisoatley.com > Freelance-Artists and scroll down to the Learn More section where you’ll find links to other freelancing resources, including part one of this interview with Sean Hodge.

Thanks for reading. See you next time.c

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Front Matter

renroc corner

We’ve designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested

re-

person, really do want to take some time to

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having too much fun at work to do it. Between

a l-

rge

nsel

amm lee

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enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just these covers we therefore present the intersection of your Venn diagram: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. And we want to come back for more. In that spirit, we’ve included a couple of great conversations, from

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the likes of Iggy Pop chatting with Shepard

ma-

Fairey about his belief that the American public

ar

.

Welcome to Corner!

is generally pretty superficial, so an image like the Obama HOPE poster he created just allows them (us?) to project whatever limited idea we have onto it—and the resultant unanticipated success. And so very much more.c

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Opening pages of Corner: inside cover image, welcoming forward text, nameplate and contents. Concept 3.5 Book.indb 1

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PB


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Although it is the first thing seen, after the cover, I saved the front matter details for the near the end. Both in my design process, and in this book. The front matter represents a readers introduction to the contents and style of the magazine.

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Here I’ve intentionally designed the magazine to be more book-like, to let the reader know that this is a more involved experience: chapter-like contents; end papers with images relating to contents (although not in obvious ways); and even an opening “forward.”

contents c r e at i v i t y

i n t e rv i e w s

l o c at i o n s

SHEPARD FAIREY

PARK CITY, UTAH

Iggy Pop

Anna Hensel

1 7 19 24 27 47 91 97 111 125 CREATIVE

CONFIDENCE David Kelley sales

vo i c e s

USE THIS WORD

WALK BOLDLY

Alison Davis

Vernā Myers

potpourri

CHEAP WORDS

FIVE SENSES

George Packer

Jinsop Lee

m a n ag e m e n t

perspectives

discussions

INNOVATION

ENGINEERING

WHY FREE­

LEADERSHIP

THE FALL

LANCERS FAIL

David Horth and

Jane Lamm Carroll

Chris Oatley and

Jonathan Vehar

April 2016 Vol. 1 No. 1

Sean Hodge

Corner Magazine ©2016 is published quarterly in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This sample issue contains content which has been used without permission. All copyrights are held by original owners, usually the authors or in some cases TED Inc. Design: Paul Nylander, illustrada design. Utilizes Latino Type’s Decour and Connary Fagan’s Quincy CF typefaces.

Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

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stories

Printed in the U.S.A. on Neenah Classic Crest and Domtor Earthchoice Color.

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Concept 3.


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Finalization

The End?

Closing pages of Corner: the thank you to the reader, and endsheet image, relating back to the contents.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

Rather than rely on some big fanfare, I decided to keep the conclusion short and sweet: a full page with a simple sign-off to thank the reader. And a nod to the next issue, by using a different color endmark.

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Final Spreads The comp e e firs issue of Corner Magazine, 146 pages p us covers.

CrEATIVITy

I want to talk to you about creative confidence. But I’m going to start way back in the third

SEAN THOMAS

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Creative Confidence

So we see a lot of this. When we have a workshop or when we have clients in to work with us side-by-side, eventually we get to the point in the process that’s fuzzy or unconventional. And eventually these bigshot executives whip out their Blackberries and they say they have to make really important phone calls, and they head for the exits. And they’re just so uncomfortable. When we track them down and ask them what’s going on, they say something like, “I’m just not the creative type.” But we know that’s not true. If they stick with the process, if they stick with it, they end up doing amazing things and they surprise themselves just how innovative they and their teams really are. So I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have. That you don’t do things because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged. If you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged. And I had a major breakthrough when I met the psychologist Albert Bandura. I don’t know if you know Albert Bandura. But if you go to Wikipedia, it says that he’s the fourth most important psychologist in history – like Freud, Skinner, somebody and Bandura. Bandura’s 86 and he still works at Stanford. And he’s just a lovely guy. And so I went to see him because he has just worked on phobias for a long time, which I’m very interested in. He had developed this way, this kind of methodology, that ended up curing people in a very short amount of time. In four hours he had a huge cure rate of people who had phobias. And we talked about snakes. I don’t

BY DAVID KELLEY

“I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have: that you don’t do things because

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know why we talked about snakes. We talked about snakes and fear of snakes as a phobia. And it was really enjoyable, really interesting. He told me that he’d invite the test subject in, and he’d say, “You know, there’s a snake in the next room and we’re going to go in there.” To which, he reported, most of them replied, “Hell no, I’m not going in there, certainly if there’s a snake in there.” But Bandura has a step-by-step process that was super successful. So he’d take people to this two-way mirror looking into the room where the snake was, and he’d get them comfortable with that. And then through a series of steps, he’d move them and they’d be standing in the doorway with the door open and they’d be looking in there. And he’d get them comfortable with that. And then many more steps later, baby steps, they’d be in the room, they’d have a leather glove like a welder’s glove on, and they’d eventually touch the snake. And when they touched the snake everything was fine. They were cured. In fact, everything was better than fine. These people who had lifelong fears of snakes were saying things like, “Look how beautiful that snake is.” And they were holding it in their laps. Bandura calls this process “guided mastery.” I love that term: guided mastery. And something else happened, these people who went

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exactly what to do so they don’t have to think for themselves – as long as they can still exercise their free will. pop : So as long as they can put the top down whenever they want. fairey: Yes. But if that’s the one thing that you need, then I know how I can control you. I’ll just let you put the top down whenever you want but keep you under my thumb in every other area. So I actually think that the open-endedness of some of my work is important because people do want to be able to come to their own conclusions and make their own decisions. If I lose my AP case, then I basically will have lost the last

Promotional work by Fairey for the album and film Celebration Day served as a backdrop for a 2012 Led Zeppelin press conference. Photo: Paul A. Hudson

“Personally, I’m very worried about my freedom right now because a lot of my freedom depends on my ability to finance my art-making, and traveling and putting stuff up.” 20 years of my life. The freedom to express myself the way that I want to is very important to me. My biggest fear is not just that I’m going to go out of business and back to square one, but that all artists can valuably contribute to the cultural dialogue, no matter what their politics are. Whether people agree or don’t agree with me, the idea that these images need to be made without artists worrying that they’re going to be sued is important. If I had just taken the photograph itself and reproduced it verbatim with the words ELECT OBAMA or HOPE underneath it, then I don’t think it would have caught on – and it would have been copyright infringement.

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pop : I wanted to ask you: What are the activities of Obey? Who are the members of the Obey organization? Are there a thousand of you? Three of you? fairey : I started with the Andre stuff in ’89 and then moved on to Obey in ’95. My dilemma was always that I wanted to do the street-art project, and I wanted to make posters and antagonize people with cool visuals, but I didn’t know how to make a living doing it. I came up through skating and punk rock, and everybody in those cultures wears T-shirts. So I’m out there doing this street-art stuff, and I think that maybe what I can do to pay for it is to make some T-shirts and prints and stickers that I can sell. That was basically the genesis of all my entrepreneurial endeavors, which were very much an afterthought. Now I have a crew of about four art assistants who help me do the murals on the street and everything. One of them was actually the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind [1991]. He’s 19, and he’s really into drawing and street art and all that stuff. pop : So that’s the posse. fairey : We’ve got those guys. I’ve sort of built the whole Obey thing around the idea that all these people can work on the art side and the business side, and this sort of utopian ideal of art and commerce working in harmony somehow functions.

I think the biggest thing that people fear when it comes to art becoming a business is those authentic, pure aspirations of art being compromised. But I’ve never put business before what I’ve wanted to say. One of the reasons I worked for years as a graphic designer was that I knew I’d have a solid income. So if I made an anti-Bush or anti-war-in-Iraq poster when it was an unpopular position, it wouldn’t matter that 25 percent of my e-mail group unsubscribed – which is actually what happened at the time. I could say exactly what I wanted to say and not worry about the commercial implications. pop : So maybe sometimes you have to go through the shit of the system in order to come out the other side. fa ir ey : I think there are two different kinds of struggles. When I started out, I was working a $4.25-an-hour job at a skate shop making paper stickers, and I really felt like it was me against the world, which can really be very motivating. That instinct to just survive is pretty powerful. But then there’s another kind of struggle, which is the struggle I have with myself in terms of how I can evolve my ideas and push them forward based on the fact that I’m not going to be perceived as a complete outsider anymore. It’s the struggle of evolution, and not just clinging to this romantic idea of, “I’m a 20-year-old outsider, punk rock kid, putting up stickers in cities. No one knows what it is or who I am.” So I feel that as long as I maintain that struggle within myself, I haven’t become complacent. c c

more quickly able to associate that picture with a positive word, that white person with a positive word, than we are when we are trying to associate positive with a black face, and vice versa. When we see a black face, it is easier for us to connect black with negative than it is white with negative. Seventy percent of white people taking that test prefer white. Fifty percent of black people taking that test prefer white. You see, we were all outside when the contamination came down.

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What do we do about the fact that our brain automatically associates? You know, one of the things that you probably are thinking about, and you’re probably like, you know what, I’m just going to double down on my color blindness. Yes, I’m going to recommit to that. I’m going to suggest to you, no. We’ve gone about as far as we can go trying to make a difference trying to not see color. The problem was never that we saw color. It was what we did when we saw the color. It’s a false ideal. And while we’re busy pretending not to see, we are not being aware of the ways in which racial difference is changing people’s possibilities, that’s keeping them from thriving, and sometimes it’s causing them an early death. So in fact, what the scientists are telling us is, “no way.” Don’t even think about color blindness. In fact, what they’re suggesting is, stare at awesome black people. Look at them directly in their faces and memorize

“But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little

Park City is known for its annual Sundance Film Festival. And great skiing. But for its entrepreneurs, the reputation is entirely different: it’s

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Commissioner James Comey have voiced concerns that police are reluctant to do their jobs now for fear that they will be caught on video and their lives and careers will be ruined. According to them, this reluctance could explain the rise in crime in urban areas. But watching those kids motionless in that Spring Valley classroom while they observed such violence against their classmate and hearing what they were told would happen to them if they intervened, it is clear to me who is more afraid, and it’s not the police. It is painfully clear that the police are routinely brutalizing, bullying and killing us. Not all of the police, to be sure, but way too many of them have certainly developed a devastating disregard for the most marginalized of us: the young, black, brown, poor, transgender, intellectually disabled, immigrants of us. I was never afraid of the police before this past year. For years now, I’ve been living a life of privilege, an unpoliced life. But the other day, in this year of being up close with the truth of police brutality, I was driving down the highway a little too fast and caught sight of a police car behind me. And I became aware that so much has changed. As I acted to quickly decelerate, I felt my heart rate escalating. All this exposure to police misconduct has caused me to be more compliant, hoping to avoid all police officers. I

fear that I might encounter that out of control officer who is triggered just by the fact that I am a black woman with a sense of my own dignity. That classroom was a microcosm of so many communities in this country that have experienced firsthand this type of intimidation, this kind of social control. Even suggesting that the Black Lives Matter movement is causing more crime is an attempt to scapegoat, manipulate and induce fearful compliance. I have decided however, that my response to this fear and the sense of rage and hopelessness that creeps in each time I watch another terrifying incident is to be vigilant, and not withdraw. I can’t withdraw; I won’t withdraw. Every testimony I hear from young black folks living in their over-policed communities of Baltimore, where I live, helps me stay focused. They have bore witness and experienced this kind of violence for a long time; some of them have grown weary and petulant, but I am inspired by the ones who have decided to speak up and demand justice.

created black neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. We asked people that had come to the Circle of Voices session, men and women of different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to find someone in the room who they didn’t know and thought of as being different from them in

“The group found a strange and unexpected comfort in revealing where and why they detach… finding out that we all close our eyes to some group’s pain.” some significant way. Once paired, we asked perfect strangers to confide in each other about where they find themselves ignoring the pain of other groups and why they choose to do so. The group found a strange and unexpected comfort in revealing where and why they detach and in finding out that we all close our eyes to some group’s pain. When we inquired about why we move away from the pain of others, the reasons were many: too much to bear emotionally – too sad, too angry, too confused, too embarrassed; being afraid of the “other;” ignorance and guilt; not knowing how to make a difference; worried you will make it worse or won’t be welcomed by those you are trying to help. They talked about the truth of trying to preserve one’s stuff; one’s sense of control, energy, sanity, safety and one’s life. This is the truth of where we are in America right now. There are so many feelings that urge us to turn away and some of us have the privilege to ignore and separate from the struggle. Some of us

wALk BoLDLy

When the latest horrific act of excessive, out of control violence by a police officer against a young black girl at Spring Valley High School hit CNN and the social media loops, I started worrying. What if all these video recordings exposing us to yet another police officer’s over the top force against an unarmed citizen may be taking its toil and wearing us out emotionally? What if repeated witnessing of these injustices will, eventually, lead us to withdraw, just as a matter of survival? Suppose that instead of us getting to the tipping point for change that so many of us are hoping for, we get so emotionally exhausted by it all that we retreat, go back into our complacency, go shopping instead of showing up to protests, go back to voting for candidates who don’t care instead of demanding real policy changes from our officials. What if most Americans, especially those who don’t feel connected to the most vulnerable of our residents, can’t handle seeing another despicable act on their news feed? Are we in danger of paralysis? What if we even stop posting or talking about the last horrible video? How long can we sustain our outrage when, in so many cases, there appears to be no justice for the victims of the type of abhorrent violent behavior we are witnessing? I also wonder if many of us are more afraid of the police after witnessing their actions in all these recordings. I believe these viral commercials of police intimidation work in the police’s favor, promoting more social control. I know that the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel and FBI

• Recently JC Faulk, the creator of Circle of Voices, and I facilitated a powerfully enlightening conversation in Baltimore, where the death of Freddie Gray has awakened many to police brutality and the structural racism that has

a hub for this business niche. “Events like Sundance are a boon to Park City, because they attract aspiring entrepreneurs who might never have thought of the location,” says Ted McAleer, a co-founder of Park City Angels, an angel-investor network. “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, and a really interesting, vibrant, entrepreneurial community,” McAleer says. For Skullcandy, the company’s Park City location is an integral

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said, “Yes, ladies, I know where you’re going. I’ll take you there.” You know, biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are. But how are we going to know who they are when we’ve been told to avoid and be afraid of them? So I’m going to tell you to walk toward your discomfort. And I’m not asking you to take any crazy risks. I’m saying, just do an inventory, expand your social and professional circles. Who’s in your circle? Who’s missing? How many authentic relationships do you have with young black people, folks, men, women? Or any other major difference from who you are and how you roll, so to speak? Because, you know what? Just look around your periphery. There may be somebody at work, in your classroom, in your house of worship, somewhere, there’s some black young guy there. And you’re nice. You say hi. I’m saying go deeper, closer, further, and build the kinds of relationships, the kinds of friendships that actually cause you to see the holistic person and to really go against the stereotypes. I know some of you are out there.

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“In the hopes of being respectful and sensitive, people create distance between themselves and people they don’t know well. The only remedy for that is to actually get to know people.” I know because I have some white friends in particular that will say, “You have no idea how awkward I am. Like, I don’t think this is going to work for me. I’m sure I’m going to blow

this.” Okay, maybe, but this thing is not about perfection. It’s about connection. And you’re not going to get comfortable before you get uncomfortable. I mean, you just have to do it. And young black men, what I’m saying is if someone comes your way, genuinely and authentically, take the invitation. Not everyone is out to get you. Go looking for those people who can see your humanity. You know, it’s the empathy and the compassion that comes out of having relationships with people who are different from you. Something really powerful and beautiful happens: you start to realize that they are you, that they are part of you, that they are you in your family, and then we cease to be bystanders and we become actors, we become advocates, and we become allies. So go away from your comfort into a bigger, brighter thing, because that is how we will stop another Ferguson from happening. That’s how we create a community where everybody, especially young black men, can thrive.

So this last thing is going to be harder, and I know it, but I’m just going to put it out there anyway. When we see something, we have to have the courage to say something, even to the people we love. You know, it’s holidays and it’s going to be a time when we’re sitting around

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the table and having a good time. Many of us, anyways, will be in holidays, and you’ve got to listen to the conversations around the table. You start to say things like, “Grandma’s a bigot.” “Uncle Joe is racist.” And you know, we love Grandma and we love Uncle Joe. We do. We know they’re good people, but what they’re saying is wrong. And we need to be able to say something, because you know who else is at the table? The children are at the table. And we wonder why these biases don’t die, and move from generation to generation? Because we’re not saying anything. We’ve got to be willing to say, “Grandma, we don’t call people that anymore.” “Uncle Joe, it isn’t true that he deserved that. No one deserves that.” And we’ve got to be willing to not shelter our children from the ugliness of racism when black parents don’t have the luxury to do so, especially those who have young black sons. We’ve got to take our lovely darlings, our future, and we’ve got to tell them we have an amazing country with incredible ideals, we have worked incredibly hard, and we have made some progress, but we are not done. We still have in us this old stuff about superiority and it is causing us to embed those further into our institutions and our society and generations, and it is making for despair and disparities and a devastating devaluing of young black men. We still struggle, you have to tell them, with seeing both the color and the character of young black men, but that you, and you expect them, to be part of the forces of change in this society that will stand against injustice and is willing, above all other things, to make a society where young black men can be seen for all of who they are.

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VoICES

VoICES

Park City, Utah

VoICES

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BY ANNA HENSEL

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risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. ” 28

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wALk BoLDLy

“Don’t even think about color blindness… stare at awesome black people. Look at them directly in their faces and memorize them.”

them, because when we look at awesome folks things where you have to be conscious and who are black, it helps to dissociate the associ- intentional about it. You know, I was in a Wall ation that happens automatically in our brain. Street area one time several years ago when I Why do you think I’m showing you these beau- was with a colleague of mine, and she’s really tiful black men behind me? There were so many, wonderful and she does diversity work with me I had to cut them. Okay, so here’s the thing: and she’s a woman of color, she’s Korean. And I’m trying to reset your automatic associations we were outside, it was late at night, and we about who black men are. I’m trying to remind were sort of wondering where we were going, you that young black men grow up to be amaz- we were lost. And I saw this person across the ing human beings who have changed our lives street, and I was thinking, “Oh great, black guy.” I was going toward him without even thinking and made them better. So here’s the thing. The other possibility in about it. And she was like, “Oh, that’s interestscience, and it’s only temporarily changing our ing.” The guy across the street, he was a black automatic assumptions, but one thing we know guy. I think black guys generally know where is that if you take a white person who is odious they’re going. I don’t know why exactly I think that you know, and stick it up next to a person of that, but that’s what I think. So she was saying, color, a black person, who is fabulous, then that “Oh, you were going, ‘Yay, a black guy’?” She said, sometimes actually causes us to disassociate “I was going, ‘Ooh, a black guy.’” Other direction. too. So think Jeffrey Dahmer and Colin Powell. Same need, same guy, same clothes, same time, same street, different reaction. And she said, “I Just stare at them, right? But these are the things. So go looking for feel so bad. I’m a diversity consultant. I did the your bias. Please, please, just get out of denial black guy thing. I’m a woman of color. Oh my and go looking for disconfirming data that will God!” And I said, “You know what? Please. We prove that in fact your old stereotypes are wrong. really need to relax about this.” I mean, you’ve got to realize I go way back with black guys. My dad is a black guy. You see what I’m saying? I’ve Okay, so that’s number one: number two, what got a 6'5" black guy son. I was married to a black I’m going to say is move toward young black guy. My black guy thing is so wide and so deep men instead of away from them. It’s not the that I can pretty much sort and figure out who hardest thing to do, but it’s also one of these that black guy is, and he was my black guy. He

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business while still living an outdoors lifestyle. The city’s population of about 8,000 is 100 times smaller than that of San Francisco, but it’s also home to businesses whose annual revenue exceeds six figures. Two Park City startup success stories include action-sports audioequipment maker Skullcandy and recreational equipment retailer Backcountry.com. Both have made the annual Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies list in recent years – five and four times, respectively. How did Park City become a startup hotspot? Locals point to its proximity to the tech hubs of Salt Lake City and Provo, both less than an hour’s drive away, and its large number of angel investors with deep pockets. What’s more, its concentration of skiing, snowboarding, and adventure sports enthusiasts have made Park City

VoICES

Stop trying to be good people. We need real people. You know, I do a lot of diversity work, and people will come up to me at the beginning of the workshop. They’re like, “Oh, Ms. Diversity Lady, we’re so glad you’re here” – (Hah!) – “but we don’t have a biased bone in our body.” And I’m like, “Really? Because I do this work every day, and I see all my biases.” I mean, not too long ago, I was on a plane and I heard the voice of a woman pilot coming over the P.A. system, and I was just so excited, so thrilled. I was like, “Yes, women, we are rocking it. We are now in the stratosphere.” It was all good, and then it started getting turbulent and bumpy, and I was like, “I hope she can drive.” I know. Right? But it’s not even like I knew that was a bias until I was coming back on the other leg and there’s always a guy driving and it’s often turbulent and bumpy, and I’ve never questioned the confidence of the male driver. The pilot is good. Now, here’s the problem. If you ask me explicitly, I would say, “Female pilot: awesome.” But it appears that when things get funky and a little troublesome, a little risky, I lean on a bias that I didn’t even know that I had. You know, fast-moving planes in the sky, I want a guy. That’s my default. Men are my default. Who is your default? Who do you trust? Who are you afraid of? Who do you implicitly feel connected to? Who do you run away from? I’m going to tell you what we have learned. The implicit association test, which measures unconscious bias, you can go online and take it. Five million people have taken it. Turns out, our default is white. We like white people. We prefer white. What do I mean by that? When people are shown images of black men and white men, we are

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the place where you can build a fast-growing

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Is a Street Artist Who Accidentally Goes Mainstream Selling Out?

LoCATIoN

Why is this tiny mountain town home to multi million dollar startups?

wALk BoLDLy

There are three things that I want to offer as ways to stop Ferguson from happening again; three things that I think will help us reform our images of young black men and, I’m hoping, will not only protect them but will open the world so that they can thrive. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine our country embracing young black men, seeing them as part of our future, giving them that kind of openness, that kind of grace we give to people we love? How much better would our lives be? How much better would our country be? Let me just start with number one. We gotta get out of denial.

About that time he was at the d.school at Stanford taking classes. He was learning about our process about design thinking, about empathy, about iterative prototyping. And he would take this new knowledge and do something quite extraordinary. He would redesign the entire experience of being scanned. And this is what he came up with. He turned it into an adventure for the kids. He painted the walls and he painted the machine, and he got the operators retrained by people who know kids, like children’s museum people. And now when the kid comes, it’s an experience. And they talk to them about the noise and the movement of the ship. And when they come, they say, “Okay, you’re going to go into the pirate ship, but be very still because we don’t want the pirates to find you.”

And the results were super dramatic. So And I thought a lot about, What was my daughfrom something like 80 percent of the kids ter’s life going to be like without me? But you needing to be sedated, to something like 10 per- think about other things. I thought a lot about, cent of the kids needing to be sedated. And the What was I put on Earth to do? What was my hospital and GE were happy too. Because you calling? What should I do? And I was lucky bedidn’t have to call the anesthesiologist all the cause I had lots of options. We’d been working time, they could put more kids through the ma- in health and wellness, and K through 12, and chine in a day. So the quantitative results were the Developing World. And so there were lots great. But Doug’s results that he cared about of projects that I could work on. But I decided were much more qualitative. He was with one and I committed to at this point to the thing I of the mothers waiting for her child to come out most wanted to do – was to help as many peoof the scan. And when the little girl came out ple as possible regain the creative confidence of her scan, she ran up to her mother and said, they lost along their way. And if I was going to survive, that’s what I wanted to do. I survived, “Mommy, can we come back tomorrow? Hah!” And so I’ve heard Doug tell the story many just so you know. I really believe that when people gain this times, of his personal transformation and the breakthrough design that happened from it, but confidence they actually start working on the I’ve never really seen him tell the story of the things that are really important in their lives. We see people quit what they’re doing and go little girl without a tear in his eye. Doug’s story takes place in a hospital. I know in new directions. We see them come up with a thing or two about hospitals. A few years ago more, and more interesting, ideas. They can I felt a lump on the side of my neck, and it was choose from better ideas. And they just make my turn in the MRI machine. It was cancer. It better decisions. So I hope you’ll join me on my quest – help was the bad kind. I was told I had a 40 percent people realize that they’re naturally creative. chance of survival. So while you’re sitting around with the other And those natural people should let their ideas patients in your pajamas and everybody’s pale fly. That they should achieve what Bandura and thin and you’re waiting for your turn to get calls self-efficacy, that you can do what you the gamma rays, you think of a lot of things. set out to do, and that you can reach a place Mostly you think about, Am I going to survive? of creative confidence and touch the snakec . c

INTErVIEwS

VoICES

and his neighbors watched in horror, and I thought, here it is again. This violence, this brutality against black men has been going on for centuries. I mean, it’s the same story, just different names. It could have been Amadou Diallo. It could have been Sean Bell. It could have been Oscar Grant. It could have been Trayvon Martin. This violence, this brutality, is really something that’s part of our national psyche. It’s part of our collective history. What are we going to do about it? You know that part of us that still crosses the street, locks the doors, clutches the purses, when we see young black men? That part. I know we’re not shooting people down in the street, but I’m saying that the same stereotypes and prejudices that fuel those kinds of tragic incidents are in us. We’ve been schooled in them as well. I believe that we can stop these types of incidents, these Fergusons from happening, by looking within and being willing to change ourselves.

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“…before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives…. But it really hurt him to see the fear that this machine caused in kids.

ShEPArD FAIrEy

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He was in the hospital looking at one of his MRI machines in use when he saw a young family. There was a little girl, and that little girl was crying and was terrified. And Doug was really disappointed to learn that nearly 80 percent of the pediatric patients in this hospital had to be sedated in order to deal with his MRI machine. And this was really disappointing to Doug, because before this time he was proud of what he did. He was saving lives with this machine. But it really hurt him to see the fear that this machine caused in kids.

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INTErVIEwS

town, we had Milky the Clown – this clown friendly, so people don’t think about the I AM who drank lots of milk. But obviously someone NEAR or OBEY element. The funny thing is that in Germany must have thought, “Well, there’s a lot of people have told me that my work looks advertising in the West, and we haven’t got communist. But that’s just because they’re asany, so we better catch up. But how can we do sociating it with Russian constructivism, which this in a positive way? We’ll encourage people was such a powerful graphic design. A lot of people think of Russian constructivism as beto drink milch!” There was another one that I remember see- ing all about promoting Marx and Lenin, but ing the first time I ever drove into East Germany. there were actually state-owned department I still don’t know what it meant, but it was on a stores that employed that kind of design and banner that was strung from an expressway messaging to get people to buy things. They overpass, and it just said, I AM NEAR. I as- also did some great stuff with it for the airline sumed the banner was referring to the leader. Aeroflot. So I think the idea of propaganda and advertising being one and the same has been fairey : There are so many ways that could be interpreted. “If you’re thinking of defect- around for a while. ing, don’t do it because I am near – I am looking pop: Interestingly, in light of what you’ve just right over your shoulder.” said, there’s a certain amount of freedom from meaning in your imagery. Freedom was very, pop : Comforting? very important to me when I was young. When fairey : In a paternalistic, protective way. It’s just open-ended enough to be spun whatever I did “I Got a Right,” I had come to the conclusion way is useful. When I came up with the tagline that the freedoms that we were taught about OBEY for my work, it was based on the idea that in civics class didn’t actually exist, and so I was there are forces all around us that have agendas, going to have to declare my own. That song was but they are frequently unspoken. So what I my little declaration of independence. But now was doing was crystallizing that into something I’m at a point where I can just put the top down tangible. I thought it would make people think on my convertible and feel the breeze in my about all the mechanisms of control out there. face and feel pretty free. It’s one of those big A banner like the one you’re describing is going hokey questions, but what is freedom? What to set you on that course pretty quickly. But does that mean to you right now? advertising is often packaged in a way that’s fairey : I think the idea of freedom or liberty is really misused for political reasons, but it’s something that resonates with people to the core. People want to be masters of their own destinies, but at the same time, I think they do so selectively. Sometimes they want to be told

through the process and touched the snake ended up having less anxiety about other things in their lives. They tried harder, they persevered longer, and they were more resilient in the face of failure. They just gained a new confidence. And Bandura calls that confidence self-efficacy – the sense that you can change the world and that you can attain what you set out to do. Well meeting Bandura was really cathartic for me because I realized that this famous scientist had documented and scientifically validated something that we’ve seen happen for the last 30 years. That we could take people who had the fear that they weren’t creative, and we could take them through a series of steps, kind of like a series of small successes, and they turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing. We see it at the d.school all the time. People from all different kinds of disciplines, they think of themselves as only analytical. And they come in and they go through the process, our process, they build confidence and now they think of themselves differently. And they’re totally emotionally excited about the fact that they walk around thinking of themselves as a creative person. So I thought one of the things I’d do today is take you through and show you what this journey looks like. To me, that journey looks like Doug Dietz. Doug Dietz is a technical person. He designs medical imaging equipment, large medical imaging equipment. He’s worked for GE, and he’s had a fantastic career. But at one point he had a moment of crisis.

CrEATIVE CoNFIDENCE

grade at Oakdale School in Barberton, Ohio. I remember one day my best friend Brian was working on a project. He was making a horse out of the clay that our teacher kept under the sink. And at one point, one of the girls who was sitting at his table, seeing what he was doing, leaned over and said to him, “That’s terrible. That doesn’t look anything like a horse.” And Brian’s shoulders sank. And he wadded up the clay horse and he threw it back in the bin. I never saw Brian do a project like that ever again. And I wonder how often that happens. It seems like whenever I tell that story of Brian to my class, a lot of them want to come up after class and tell me about their similar experience, how a teacher shut them down or how a student was particularly cruel to them. And some opt out thinking of themselves as creative at that point. And I see that opting out that happens in childhood as it becomes more ingrained in adulthood.

CrEATIVITy

CrEATIVE CoNFIDENCE

What does a fear of snakes have to do with creativity?

CrEATIVITy

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STorIES

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?

don’t. Our strategies for surviving this fractured society prevent us from experiencing and drawing upon the power of community. When we embrace our pain, the pain of others and even the anger, we stay connected and we resist surrendering to fear and a sense of helplessness. I feel most encouraged about the possibility for change, when I come together with folks who are trying to make a difference, people of all backgrounds like those coming out to our Circle of Voices conversations on a Sunday night, breaking bread and breaking down barriers. I am seeing more people asking questions, joining protests, tweeting, posting, prodding, and that makes me hopeful. Most importantly, I see people in our circles building new communities of conviction. While cameras may be causing some police to cower, they are empowering those who have been bent down and controlled by fear for too long to stand up. This is the time we cannot afford to avert our attention. Everything counts, little and small when you are trying to move the needle toward justice. Spending time to take in the face of a stranger, building trust across difference and finding a way to be part of the beloved community – this is my antidote for the distance, fear, exhaustion and paralysis that threatens to undermine our resolve. Let the cameras record, but in addition to watching, let’s get up, go out and move closer where you can feel and see that change is possible. Let’s move toward the pain not away from it. This is what strengthens our empathy and builds our courage for change. Most of us seek security and a sense of control, but it’s by moving closer to our suffering and the suffering of others, that we realize we are not alone – and that this is the safest place for us to be. c c

In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has

Cheap Words BY GEORGE PACKER

successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value – it’s a widget.” Amazon stars for recording contracts. AT&T doesn’t build transmission towers and rent them to smaller phone companies, the way Amazon Web Services provides server infrastructure for startups (not to mention the C.I.A.). Amazon’s identity and goals are never clear and always fluid, which makes the company destabilizing and intimidating. Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless. com – that URL still takes you to Amazon’s site – before adopting the name of the world’s largest river by volume. (If Bezos were a reader of classic American fiction, he might have hit upon Octopus.com.) Amazon’s shape-shifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles extending in all directions, makes it unusual even in the tech industry, where rapid growth, not profitability, is the measure of success. Amazon is not just the “Everything Store,” to quote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and the search for new things to be ambitious about. It seems preposterous now, but Amazon began as a bookstore. In 1994, at the age of thirty, Bezos, a Princeton graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and moved to Seattle to found a company that could ride the

is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like UPS. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon

“Amazon’s shapeshifting, engulfing quality, its tentacles

something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the iPod, Steve Jobs didn’t sign up pop

extending in all directions, makes it

unusual even in the tech industry” 42

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STorIES

of intellectual irony that set them apart from the company’s cult of relentlessness. Bezos closed annual reports to shareholders with an exhortation to experiment and to fight complacency: “This is still Day 1.” Marcus and Fried joked about writing a novel that would begin, “It was Day 1. Again.” (Amazon recently began publishing a literary magazine for its Kindle device: Day One.) One important way that Bezos’s writers and editors differed from the tech and business people was in their gentler attitude toward book publishers. Even when Amazon’s entire business was in books, and its relations with publishers were fairly good,

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editorial department. Anne Hurley, the edi- thinking and writing – would be an obscure tor-in-chief of the DVD and Video section, was footnote if not for certain turns in the comviewed dismissively by her boss, Jason Kilar, pany’s more recent history. According to one who went on to run the video-streaming com- insider, around 2008 – when the company was pany Hulu. He told her, “I’m sorry, Anne, I just selling far more than books, and was making don’t see what value you add.” (although, Kilar twenty billion dollars a year in revenue, more than the combined sales of all other American denies saying this.) In July, 2000, Bezos sent out a compa- bookstores – Amazon began thinking of conny-wide e-mail with the subject line “Smile, tent as central to its business. Authors started remember it’s Day 1, and let’s kick some butt.” to be considered among the company’s most Several months earlier, the bubble had burst, important customers. By then, Amazon had lost and Amazon’s overcapitalized share price was much of the market in selling music and videos plunging. For the first time, Wall Street lost to Apple and Netflix, and its relations with pubfaith in the company, and Bezos announced that lishers were deteriorating. These difficulties the next eighteen months would be devoted to offended Bezos’s ideal of “seamless” commerce. making “serious profits.” Marcus and Fried quit “The company despises friction in the marketbefore they could be laid off. Tim Appelo took place,” the Amazon insider said. “It’s easier for Marcus’s place. “I was the last human editor of us to sell books and make books happen if we the home page,” he told me. “By the time I got do it our way and not deal with others. It’s a there, it was only partly human.” By 2002, the tech-industry thing: ‘We think we can do it home page was fully automated. (Today, eight better.’ ” If you could control the content, you editors select titles to be featured on the Books controlled everything. page, and if you scour the site you can find a books blog, Omnivoracious, but its offerings seem marginal to the retail enterprise.) Editorial Book retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, negocontent had served its purpose, just as selling tiate “co-op,” or cooperative promotional fees, books had served its purpose, and Amazon’s from publishers in exchange for prominent conquistadores galloped onward. product placement. It’s a way for a retailer to The fact that Amazon once devoted signifi- get a larger discount without violating the 1936 cant space on its site to editorial judgments – to Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits producers from offering price advantages to favored retailers. Although co-op fees weren’t “dreamed up by Amazon,” Marcus told me, “Amazon proved to be particularly good at squeezing this money out of publishers.” Publishers paid ten

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thousand dollars for a book to be prominently featured on the home page.

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STorIES

ChEAP worDS

it nurtured a certain impatience with New York houses that supplied the products it sold. Mary Morouse’s account of her trip east in 1999 reported, “I had one S.V.P. of sales tell me, ‘We like any account who is growing faster than we are, but we don’t really forecast that way.’ When I asked him how much they are growing, he said ‘I don’t know. I think we were flat last year.’ That gives you some idea of the level of business focus.” According to Marcus, Amazon executives considered publishing people “antediluvian losers with rotary phones and inventory systems designed in 1968 and warehouses full of crap.” Publishers kept no data on customers, making their bets on books a matter of instinct rather than metrics. They were full of inefficiences, starting with overpriced Manhattan offices.

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ChEAP worDS

vian losers with rotary phones, inventory systems designed in 1968 and warehouses full of crap.’”

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STorIES

ChEAP worDS

“To the Amazon execs, publishing people ‘antedilu-

There was “a general feeling that the New York algorithms that used customers’ history to publishing business was just this cloistered, make recommendations for future purchases. Gilded Age antique just barely getting by in At Amazon, “personalization” meant data a sort of Colonial Williamsburg of commerce, analytics and statistical probability. Author inbut when Amazon waded into this they would terviews became less frequent, and in-house essays were subsumed by customer reviews, show publishing how it was done.” During the 1999 holiday season, Amazon which cost the company nothing. Tim Appelo, tried publishing books, leasing the rights to a the entertainment editor at the time, said, “You defunct imprint called Weathervane and put- could be the Platonic ideal of the reviewer, and ting out a few titles. “These were not incipient you would not beat even those rather crude best-sellers,” Marcus writes. “They were crea- early algorithms.” Amazon’s departments comtures from the black lagoon of the remainder peted with one another almost as fiercely as table” – Christmas recipes and the like, se- they did with other companies. According to lected with no apparent thought. Employees Brad Stone, a trash-talking sign was hung on a with publishing experience, like Fried, were wall in the P13N office: “PEOPLE FORGET THAT not consulted. Weathervane fell into an obliv- JOHN HENRY DIED IN THE END.” Machines deion so complete that there’s no trace of it on feated human beings. In December, 1999, at the height of the dotthe Internet. (Representatives at the company today claim never to have heard of it.) Nobody com mania, Time named Bezos its Person of at Amazon seemed to absorb any lessons from the Year. “Amazon isn’t about technology or the failure. A decade later, the company would even commerce,” the breathless cover article announced. “Amazon is, like every other site try again. Amazon was a megastore, not an indie on the Web, a content play.” Yet this was the bookshop, let alone a literary review, and its moment, Marcus said, when “content” people writers were under pressure to prove that were “on the way out.” Although the writers their work produced sales. If a customer and the editors made the site more interesting, clicked on a review or an interview, then left and easier to navigate, they didn’t bring more the page without making a purchase, it was customers. One day, Fried discovered a memo, logged as a Repel. Marcus was informed that written by a programmer and accidentally left his repulsion rate was too high. “Nobody ever on a printer, which suggested eliminating the felt safe,” Fried said of her editorial colleagues. “I took home my Rolodex every day.” Around this time, a group called the “personalization team,” or P13N, started to replace editorial suggestions for readers with

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Corner Magazine: Processbook Corner Magazine • Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

corner

contents

renroc corner

We’ve designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested

Welcome to Corner!

David Kelley

having too much fun at work to do it. Between these covers we therefore present the intersection of your Venn diagram: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. And we want to come back for more. In that spirit, we’ve included a couple of great conversations, from the likes of Iggy Pop chatting with Shepard Fairey about his belief that the American public

April 2016

During the last presidential election, artist Shepard Fairey’s poster of then candidate

Shepard Fairey

lex, and at times controversial body of work clothing line, Obey, as a commercial extension that stretches back two decades – helped set of the Obey Giant project, and has done work the stage for Fairey’s first solo museum show, for Pepsi and others) to exploiting politically titled Supply and Demand, at the Institute charged imagery (pieces have depicted Black of Contemporary Art in Boston last year, it Panthers and Zapatistas) to too closely approalso attracted a different kind of attention. priating the work of other artists and hastening Early last year, Fairey became embroiled in a the over-commercialization of street culture. contentious – and potentially precedent-set- But Fairey, now 40, remains ambivalent about ting – lawsuit with the Associated Press both achieving art-world validation and retainover his unauthorized use of one of the news ing his street cred, aware that artists whose service’s photographs, which was taken by works hang in the National Portrait Gallery in photographer Mannie Garcia in 2006, as a Washington, D.C. – as his own Obama portrait reference for the Obama portrait. In a nutshell: does – aren’t necessarily insiders, but they are The AP claims that Fairey’s use of the image is no longer outsiders, either. Last year, Fairey has a new show at New copyright infringement; Fairey believes that in making the portrait, he was just exercising his York City’s Deitch Projects – the last show at First Amendment rights and that his use of the the gallery before owner Jeffrey Deitch packed image as a reference falls under the category up and headed west to assume his new post as of fair use. Fairey’s admission in late fall that director of the Museum of Contemporary Art he attempted to destroy evidence of his using in Los Angeles. Iggy Pop recently spoke with the Garcia image as a reference has thrown a the Charleston, South Carolina-born Fairey, who was putting some finishing touches on new wrinkle into the proceedings. Fairey’s work, which combines elements pieces for the Deitch exhibition in his Los of graffiti, pop art, business art, appropriation Angeles studio. art, and Marxist theory, has long been divisive. iggy pop : I wanted to start out by talking His supporters point to the viral nature of his to you about the biggest mess you’ve created, images, the DIY ethic behind his operation, which is the Barack Obama piece you made in and the brute cultural impact of his work. His the run-up to the last election. My first thought critics have accused him of everything from was that it reminded me a little of something I being the proverbial sell out (Fairey produces a would have seen in the Middle East – you know, the kind of simple picture of a leader that you see go up when there’s going to be civil unrest or when they die. What were you thinking when you made that image?

BY IGGY POP

Russian-propagandist with the word

a visual emblem of a moment in American history. Obama, of course, won the election. But the ensuing months were transformative for Fairey, too. Up until a couple of years ago, he was best known in the skateboarding and street-art worlds for his Obey Giant campaign. Conceived while Fairey was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the project involved stickering, stenciling, and painting slogans such as THIS IS YOUR GOD and images of the late professional wrestler Andre the Giant in public spaces in major cities around the globe. But while the Obama poster – as well as a diverse, comp-

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LEADERSHIP

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“Fairey remains ambivalent… aware that artists whose works hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.—as his own Obama portrait does—aren’t necessarily insiders, but they are no longer outsiders, either.”

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HOPE or CHANGE better…” I was told that progress leads to progressive, which leads to socialism. So I chose hope as the word, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that people are complacent and apathetic when they’re hopeless, and so hope leads to action. It’s also hard to be anti-hope. It’s one of those bulletproof things. pop : Did any negative energy come shooting your way? fairey : Well, I got plenty of hate on the Internet – and not only from right-wingers. There were people from my own cultural background who said that I’d sold out if I wasn’t pushing for Ralph Nader. And then I’m being sued by the Associated Press over the reference image I used to create the illustration. pop : That’s why I was asking. [laughs] fairey : The image was created from a news photograph from a 2006 panel on Darfur that Obama attended, so it didn’t have anything to do with the campaign. I feel like what I did was both aesthetically and conceptually transformative. I think it’s fair use, but the Associated Press thinks it’s copyright infringement, and they’re really going after me. It would bankrupt me entirely if they won, so I’m hoping, for the sake of creative expression and political speech, that that doesn’t happen. p o p : The whole idea of copyright and

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BY ALISON DAVIS

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The feature-benefit conundrum: we all know not to pitch based only on features, but how do we reliably speak to the listener’s heart? Imagine you’re trying to sell something... say, a comfy chair. You’d probably encourage your prospective customer to sit in the chair. You’d point out the chair’s features: great frame, reputable manufacturer, durable fabric, etc. But by forgetting to use one of the most persuasive words in the English language, you’d run the risk of blowing the sale. What’s the magic word? “Because.” To understand how “because” can influence others, I invite you to spend a few minutes with Vicki Kunkel, author of instant appeal: the 8 primal factors that create blockbuster success . Kunkel tells the story of a furniture store. While the salespeople were very friendly and attentive, customers were not buying. The problem was what “ethologists call a fixed action pattern (FAP) response – an intricate sequence of behaviors set in motion by a trigger: specific words, sounds, colors, actions, visual patterns, gestures, or even the beauty or ugliness of a person or object.” An example of a fixed action pattern response is yawning. “When we see someone yawn, we almost always yawn too. It’s a yawning trigger within each of us that makes us yawn.” In the case of the furniture store, the salespeople weren’t attracting customers – they were triggering people in the store to retreat. As Kunkel explains, “a salesperson who is trying too hard is viewed as a threat by the customer.” Kunkel’s advice was to replace the negative automatic response with a positive one. She suggested that salespeople greeting customers

Some of us think that we can protect ourselves by sealing away from certain groups and surrounding ourselves with people who are like us. But, I would hope that by now we are learning that this type of exclusion will not keep us safe. We have to face the ills in our society together, connected, and doing whatever we can to confront the biases that separate us. I know that I am not the only one that has noticed the pattern. On a recent Thursday, James Holmes, a 27-year-old white man, was found guilty of the murder of 12 people (70

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After all, we know that there are a whole lot of really trustworthy, non-violent young white men who grow up to be great fathers, leaders and neighbors. Just as there are young men from every racial and ethnic group and economic background who do the same What I want to point out here is how the category of “young white men” has emerged from all of these horrible incidents unscathed as a group – and how this is one of the starkest examples of white male privilege imaginable. This “unearned advantage” is how we describe the fact, for example, that virtually all of the culprits on Wall Street who were responsible for bringing our economy to its knees in 2008, the politicians and corporate figures found guilty of premeditated, injurious and heedlessly greedy crimes are white men, but white men are not condemned as a group for their behavior. In fact, some part of us, of our society, thinks that would be silly.

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illness, about catching signs of tendencies earlier; we talk of the role of the school counselors, of the psychodynamics of the family that the killer came from – all powerful and heartfelt and useful avenues to explore. We rarely mention race or gender as issues that might be relevant. However, if an individual from the “less than” or “one down” group does something bad, his behavior is confirmation of the negative group stereotype, evidence that group presumptions about inferiority are accurate: whenever a black man appears on the nightly news or in the newspaper having committed a crime, the automatic association, the schema or framework that most people default to renders black men (as a group) as mostly dangerous, menacing and scary. The fact that all young white men who walk into a school are not presumed to be Eric David Harris or Dylan Klebold, the architects of the massacre at Columbine High School, is not the problem. Not being treated with the benefit of the doubt is the problem. Not being given a chance to be judged on your own merits is the real injustice.

“…just as there are young men from every racial and ethnic group and economic background who do the same.” The way unearned advantage works is that if one is a member of a group that has been deemed by society for centuries as superior or as “better than” and does something that isn’t good and smart and right, his behavior is attributed only to him, is ignored or explained away, so that the group’s supremacy stays in place. In the cases of the mind-numbing violence I cited at the earlier, we find other things to talk about: We talk about mental

Many leaders in the private and public spheres are starting to realize that they can no longer remain good leaders without understanding

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What is the one magic word of persuasion we so often forget?

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how to recognize and adapt to difference in a way that will enhance their institutions’ survival in our constantly changing world. I had mixed feelings as I watched University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe, stand before the cameras and deliver his mild mannered mea culpa and ultimate resignation. I was glad that finally someone this high up was being made to account for an institution’s failure to listen to and take seriously the concerns of their black students. But President Wolfe’s lowered head, his measured and halted speech, and his in-

ability to utter one word of apology made the entire press conference seem lackluster and pro forma. On the other hand, the decision made by Jonathan Butler, a 25-year old student, to go on a hunger strike to protest what he and others believe was the University of Missouri’s failure to adequately address bigotry on campus was very impressive and impactful. Likewise, I was impressed, frankly surprised, and moved by the

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emember emember member 1,, and and andlet let letsss me me e butt. butt. butt.

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How do we over­ come bias?

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In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two dozen writers and editors to produce copy for the Web site. One of them – Amazon employee No. 55 – was a cultural critic from New York named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces

Corner // April 2016

Sean Hodge

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fairey : For me, there has always been a disconnect with the sort of elitist structure of the high-art world – and my distaste for that is at odds with my feeling that art should aspire to do great things. But there’s something powerful about seeing art in public spaces that has a function other than just advertising that’s selling a product. I’m not saying I’m above any of this – I’m a part of it. But one of the things I love about doing what I do is that I am in the mix with people. It’s not like when people walk into a gallery and say, “I know this piece is supposed to be good because it’s in a gallery, so I’ll just go along with the idea that it’s brilliant and wonderful.” On the street, people aren’t bashful. They will say if they like something or if they think it sucks.

“…there has always been a disconnect with the sort of elitist structure of the high-art world—and my distaste for that is at odds with my feeling that art should aspire to do great things.” pop : I lived in Berlin when the wall was still up, and East Berlin was the communist zone. They had imagery there on the walls of the buildings – sanctioned imagery – that was the nearest thing to some of your Andre the Giants and some of your other larger, simpler imagery. The one in Berlin that I liked best was about seven stories high. It was a milk bottle and it had a slogan, in German, which essentially said, DRINK MILK! DRINK MILCH! It used to fascinate me, because growing up in Michigan in my particular

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VoICES

I was on a long road trip last summer, and I was having a wonderful time listening to the amazing Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of

Walk Boldly BY VERNĀ MYERS

Other Suns.” It documents six million black folks fleeing the South from 1915 to 1970 looking for a respite from all the brutality and trying to get to a better opportunity up North, and it was filled with stories of the resilience and the brilliance of African-Americans, and it was also really hard to hear all the stories of the

deep. I need a break. I’m going to turn on the radio.” I turned it on, and there it was: Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, 18-year-old black man, unarmed, shot by a white police officer, laid on the ground dead, blood running for four hours while his grandmother and little children

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While I am grateful that Butler, the football team, and the diverse body of students who supported them led a swift and powerful movement to hold the school responsible, I found myself thinking that although this battle may be won, how are these students going to achieve the environment they are demanding and so rightly deserve? The University of Missouri, like so many other institutions can be well intended, but that intent is often coupled with the repeated reality that most officially appointed leaders in our nation’s schools, companies and communities lack the awareness, skills and courage it takes to create the inclusive, respectful and nurturing environments needed for people of all backgrounds to thrive. Of course, the issues of racism, sexism, religious intolerance and other forms of personal and institutional bias against marginalized groups are not unique or new at our academic establishments. For decades, students from non-majority groups

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LANCERS FAIL

Chris Oatley and

horrors and the humility, and all the humilia-

have arrived on campuses with great excitement – only to find themselves trying to learn in environments that did not expect them, reflect them or respect them. Some will point to the middle of the country and stereotype those there as not as open or respectful of difference. But the issue of racism and other forms of bigotry are everywhere in our country. The work of transforming an institution whose foundation was shaped by exclusive and supremacist ways of thinking – which is, incidentally, true of most of our established American organizations – into a multi-cultural, anti-racist institution takes an enormous commitment, a deep understanding of culture, an intolerance for denying the impact of exclusion and bias, and bold, courageous, and inclusive leadership. I have worked with many leaders, most of them white, male, straight and protestant. I have seen brilliant, capable executives cower and become impotent when they are asked to speak to issues of difference, especially racial issues. They are often blind-sided and ineffective when faced with demands for fairness and respect from those who have put their trust in their organization. They have no framework for understanding institutional racism and the way biases against certain groups have been embedded into the organizations that they care so deeply about. Instead of moving forward with conviction

plan “for shit.” “He was already going to be the Everything Store,” Sargent said when we met in his trapezoidal office, in the narrow wedge of the Flatiron Building. “I thought he was just a bookstore, stupid me. Books were going to be the way to get the names and the data. Books were his customer-acquisition strategy.” As long as Amazon kept growing like mad, investors would pour in money and Wall Street wouldn’t pay much attention to profits. (The company didn’t have a profitable quarter until 2001, and still struggles to stay in the black.)

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WHY FREE­

THE FALL

black men. And I said, “You know, this is a little

refusal of the entire University of Missouri football team and their coaches to play in their nationally televised game against BYU – or even practice ahead of time – an act of solidarity that brought national attention to Butler’s call for the resignation of President Wolfe.

STorIES

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ENGINEERING

Jane Lamm Carroll

Corner Magazine ©2016 is published quarterly in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This sample issue contains content which has been used without permission. All copyrights are held by original owners, usually the authors or in some cases TED Inc.

tions. It was especially hard to hear about the

“The undeniable effectiveness and boldness of these protests lay in stark juxtaposition to the lack of stewardship and proper attention paid to important issues by school leaders.”

subsequently ran HarperCollins, said of Bezos, “I was completely taken with him. He was a skinny kid, he was young, he was excitable, and he was completely serious about what he was doing. I drank the Kool-Aid.” Amazon’s revenue multiplied every year. In the late nineties, an Amazon vice-president named Mary Morouse e-mailed her colleagues after a trip to visit publishers in New York. “We are certainly popular with them,” she wrote. “They rave about Amazon.com – both as a store/service and a great way to market books. There were several examples cited where Amazon.com ‘made’ titles. And they love our sales numbers.” Publishers weren’t troubled that Amazon sold their books at dramatic discounts. They all wanted to collaborate with the Seattle upstart, and they used Amazon as an information resource; it was a vast improvement over the old green-bound

discussions

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VoICES

• Corner // April 2016

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copyrighted, then my only options are to pay a licensing fee – and possibly be turned down because the person licensing the image doesn’t agree with my political viewpoint – or to try to get a personal sitting with Barack Obama to make a portrait of him, which presents its own obstacles. So I don’t think all this is good for free speech. pop: The record company is going to hate me for this, but as an artist, when people do things that are inspired by me or my work, I’m happy when I get paid and I’m just as happy when I don’t. In the end, I think it’s the communication of the ideas that really matters. fairey : In a broad way, that’s the most valuable thing to me, as well. If you’re creating something that has some sort of cultural currency – if the idea is getting out there – then that will probably yield money in some form, whether it’s through selling art or selling books or being asked to give a lecture. The Associated Press thinks it’s copyright infringement, and they’re really going after me. It would bankrupt me entirely if they won, so I’m hoping, for the sake of creative expression and political speech, that that doesn’t happen. pop: I read something that you wrote, which I think I entirely understood: that even thinking about entering an art gallery makes you want to doze off.

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Douglas Hofstadter’s ‘Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies’ was the first book sold on Amazon.com.

Jinsop Lee

perspectives

beatings and the burnings and the lynchings of

ChEAP worDS

mixed. A monopoly is dangerous because it concentrates so much economic power, but in the book business the prospect of a single owner of both the means of production and the modes of distribution is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history. Even in the iPhone age, books remain central to American intellectual life, and perhaps to democracy. And so the big question is not just whether Amazon is bad for the book industry; it’s whether Amazon is bad for books. In the nineteen-nineties, a different leviathan held publishers and independent bookstores in its grasp: chain stores, led by Barnes & Noble. When Amazon emerged, publishers in New York suddenly had a new buyer that paid quickly, sold their backlist as well as new titles, and, unlike traditional bookstores, made very few returns. Publishers must buy back unsold inventory from retailers, an archaic and costly practice that one ex-Amazon employee called “an absurdly inefficient model, worse than my uncle sending his laundry home from college.” John Sargent, who is the chief executive of Macmillan, first met Bezos in the mid-nineties, at a hotel in Washington, D.C. “He was this incredibly energetic guy,” Sargent said. “I thought it was a really good idea.” Jane Friedman, who was then an associate publisher at Knopf, and

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STorIES

Before Google, and long before Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected. Two decades later, Amazon sells a bewildering array of products: lawnmowers, iPods, art work, toys, diapers, dildos, shoes, bike racks, gun safes, 3-D printers. Amazon’s code of corporate secrecy is extreme – it won’t confirm how many Seattle employees it has, or how many Kindle e-readers have been sold – so it’s impossible to know for sure, but, according to one publisher’s estimate, book sales in the U.S. now make up no more than seven per cent of the company’s roughly seventy-five billion dollars in annual revenue. Origins, though, leave lasting marks, and Amazon remains intimately tangled up in books. Few notice if Amazon prices an electronics store out of business (except its staff); but, in the influential, self-conscious world of people who care about reading, Amazon’s unparalleled power generates endless discussion, along with paranoia, resentment, confusion, and yearning. For its part, Amazon continues to expend considerable effort both to dominate this small, fragile market and to win the hearts and minds of readers. To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator. The company claims to want a more literate world – and it came along when the book world was in distress, offering a vital new source of sales. But then it started asking a lot of personal questions, and it created dependency and harshly exploited its leverage; eventually, the book world realized that Amazon had its house keys and its bank-account number, and wondered if that had been the intention all along. Recently, Amazon even started creating its own “content” – publishing books. The results have been decidedly

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VoICES

ChEAP worDS

the beginning of the Internet age, when there was already a crisis of confidence in the publishing world, in a country not known for its book-crazy public, was a stroke of business genius. In 1995, in Chicago, Bezos manned an Amazon booth at the annual conclave of the publishing industry, which is now called BookExpo America. Roger Doeren, from a Kansas City store called Rainy Day Books, was stopped short by Amazon’s sign: “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” Approaching Bezos, he asked, “Where is Earth’s biggest bookstore?” “Cyberspace,” Bezos replied. “We started a Web site last year. Who are your suppliers?” “Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.” “Ours, too. What’s your database?” “‘Books in Print.’” “Ours, too. So what makes you Earth’s biggest?” “We have the most affiliate links” – a form of online advertising. Doeren considered this, then asked, “What’s your business model?” Bezos said that Amazon intended to sell books as a way of gathering data on affluent, educated shoppers. The books would be priced close to cost, in order to increase sales volume. After collecting data on millions of customers, Amazon could figure out how to sell everything else dirt cheap on the Internet. (Amazon says that its original business plan “contemplated only books.”) Afterward, Doeren told his partner at Rainy Day Books, Vivien Jennings, “I just met the world’s biggest snake-oil salesman. It’s going to be really bad for books.”

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“The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else.”

ChEAP worDS

exponential growth of the early commercial Internet. (Bezos calculated that, in 1993, usage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.) His wife, MacKenzie, is a novelist who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton; according to Stone, Bezos’s favorite novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day,” which is on the suggested reading list for Amazon executives. All the other titles, including “Sam Walton, Made in America: My Story,” are business books, and even Ishiguro’s novel – about a self-erasing English butler who realizes that he has missed his chance at happiness in love – offers what Bezos calls a “regret-minimization framework”: how not to end up like the butler. Bezos is, above all things, pragmatic. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) It wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an online bookstore. “It was totally based on the property of books as a product,” Shel Kaphan, Bezos’s former deputy, says. Books are easy to ship and hard to break, and there was a major distribution warehouse in Oregon. Crucially, there are far too many books, in and out of print, to sell even a fraction of them at a physical store. The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else. For Bezos to have seen a bookstore as a means to world domination at

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STorIES

others were wounded) in a Colorado theater shooting in 2012. Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white man, has confessed to murdering in cold blood nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June of this year. Days after that shooting, a 21-year-old white man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was sentenced to death for killing three people (and being responsible for the death of a fourth) while injuring over 250 more at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. And at the end of 2012, 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook elementary school by a 20-year old white man, Adam Lanza after he shot his mom in their home in Newtown, Connecticut. These recent examples are just a few of many mass shootings that have been committed by young, “innocent” looking, 20-somethingyear-old white men. So, here’s my question: Why aren’t we more afraid of them? Why haven’t they been demonized or stigmatized as a group? Why are there no stereotypes catching hold or preventing young, white men from being trusted and welcomed into our places of work, schools or houses of worship? We don’t run for cover or get out of elevators when we see them. We don’t cross the street clutching our purses or ask security to keep an eye on them. Police don’t just pat them down in the street. We don’t decide not to live in the neighborhoods in which they live. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting we start marginalizing and being suspicious of all 20-something white men. We all know that would be wrong.

a new value and meaning that doesn’t in any way take away from the original – and, in fact, might provide the original with a second life or a new audience. pop : It’s viral. fairey : Exactly. The problem with copyright enforcement is that when the parameters aren’t incredibly well defined, it means big corporations, who have deeper pockets and better lawyers, can bully people. I don’t want to start making enemies in the corporate world, but there are plenty of cases. For example, there is a tradition of certain fairy tales being reinterpreted, and now, all of a sudden, a big corporation that has a mouse on its logo decides it’s going to copyright these fairy tales, which ends the cycle of these things being reinterpreted. What happens with these big entertainment companies is that they start to get a monopoly on the creation of culture. But I think that the more people participate in the creation of culture, the richer the culture becomes. In the case of the Obama poster, I was just exercising my First Amendment rights – and my free speech is exercised visually. People who want to talk or write in order to share an opinion about Obama can do that, but when I want to say what I think about him, I need to make a portrait. And if I can’t make a picture based on a reference because all references are

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FIVE SENSES

George Packer

INTErVIEwS

Fairey working with Hawaii-themed art at an official installation at the Makiki, Honolulu Skate Park . Photo: Tatjana Ilic

say, “May I offer you this brochure because we’d like you to have more information about our new store?’’ The structure of the sentence – ”take this because of that” – induces an innate and automatic response in humans. It offers people a reasonable reason to ethically respond based on an innate socializing instinct, coupled with a intellectually plausible justification for doing so. Kunkel explains, “Even when the reason is bogus, the trigger word ‘because’ elicits an automatic and innate response to grant the favor! The response mechanism to this trigger is so ingrained that even a silly reason gets a positive response.” For the furniture salespeople, using “because” made their pitches much more successful. “Simple phrases such as, ‘You’d really like this couch because it is made of Italian leather,’ or ‘This glass table would look great in your home because the design will go with any decor,’ resulted in a 39 percent increase in sales in just the first two weeks they were used regularly with customers.” “Because” works because, as Kunkel illustrates, “Trigger words are part of what I call the instant appeal response: positive, predictable actions that people take in response to a specific trigger.” c c

potpourri

CHEAP WORDS

Printed in the U.S.A. on Neenah Classic Crest and Domtor Earthchoice Color.

Concept 3.5 Book.indb 2

ownership seems to be shifting. fairey : Well, I do think that copyrights and intellectual property are important – it’s important to be able to keep people from making verbatim copies of a particular creation that could somehow hurt the creator. If I spend time conceiving and making a piece of art and somebody else sees that it has market value and replicates it in order to steal part of my market, then that’s not cool. But the way I make art – the way a lot of people make art – is as an extension of language and communication, where references are incredibly important. It’s about making a work that is inspired by something preexisting but changes it to have

VoICES

So many amazing black men, those who are the most amazing statesmen that have ever lived, brave soldiers, awesome, hardworking laborers. These are people who are powerful preachers. They are incredible scientists and artists and writers. They are dynamic comedians. They are doting grandpas, caring sons. They are strong fathers, and they are young men with dreams of their own. wrong, what do you want to do about it?

PB

USE ThIS worD

For companies like ZipRider and Skullcandy, Park City is home to their ideal product testers.

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Use This Word

PArk CITy, UTAh

Park City does have one advantage over Salt Lake City and Provo: It’s home to Park City Angels, the largest angel-investment network in Utah with 45 dues-paying members who invested $6.55 million in Utah startups in 2015. Further evidence of the mountain town’s robust startup scene is its new business incubator and accelerator, PandoLabs, which launched with the help of Park City Angels. PandoLabs now works with 50 startups in the area. “We’re seeing a number of entrepreneurs who were already in Park City, but who now want to be part of a larger community,” says McAleer.

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SALES

Eric and his wife and co-founder, Sarah Cylvick, got the idea for ZipRider after returning from a trip from Costa Rica where they went zip lining. Their home – located in the mountains – was high up enough that they built a 550-foot zip-line prototype, which allowed them to perfect their product before pitching it to ski resorts. The idea for Skullcandy’s first set of headphones was also born on Park City slopes. Darling says that it’s important that Skullcandy’s products are able to withstand use while snowboarding and skiing. With the headquarters of the U.S. Ski Team in Park City, Skullcandy can get input from athletes like two-time Olympic skier Emily Cook. Cook joined the company after ending her athletic career, becoming a manager of Skullcandy’s Sport and Human Potential Program. Park City’s seasonal events also provide an ideal way for aspiring entrepreneurs to recruit out-of-town customers without leaving the state. Friends Josh Mahoney and Jake Jones founded the transportation company Chariot Enterprises in 2010, after chauffeuring at the Sundance Film Festival for four years. As Mahoney explains, working at Sundance for so long allowed them to start a business with customers who were already loyal. “I had a really good relationship with one of the clients I was assigned to – their coordinator really liked me,” Mahoney said. “I mentioned that they could just hire me directly. From there, we just kept getting new clients.” Mahoney says that when he was working as a chauffeur for Sundance, he would earn about $2,000 a week. Last year, Chariot did about $100,000 in sales – all while Mahoney and Jones kept their day jobs. Not bad for a side hustle. c c

PArk CITy, UTAh

Salt Lake City and Provo both boast growing startup scenes and a ready population of programmers. “Park City is unique because it has a really large talent base of engineers located nearby,” says Eric Cylvick, co-founder of ZipRider, a company that installs zip lines, mostly at ski resorts. For ZipRider, the city offers the best of both worlds. The business, founded in 2002, has more than $1 million in annual revenue. Park City is home to both a ski resort that was large enough to support a Zip Rider zip line (Park City Mountain Resort, which was Zip

unpopular position, his stands on health-care reform and the environment and decreasing the power of lobbyists – those were all things that resonated with me. pop : And yet you had the good sense not to reference any of those issues in the piece itself, because it wouldn’t have had the impact. fairey: Yeah, well, I hate to say this, and some people might get very angry, but the American public is generally pretty superficial, so an image like that just allows them to project whatever limited idea they have onto it. Obviously, not everyone is like that – I actually think there were a lot of people who were bummed by the image because they felt it was shallow propaganda. pop : I think I’ve seen the image both with and without the word HOPE. Is that correct? fairey : Yeah, that is correct. I actually initially used the word PROGRESS. I felt like if Obama were elected, then he would shift what was the status quo, and then that would be progress. I did the poster without any input from the campaign – I just did it as a grassroots thing. I figured the campaign wouldn’t want my help because I’m too controversial, kind of like the [Louis] Farrakhan endorsement, where they said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” But when I heard that they did like the image, my friend who was sort of the liaison said, “They love the image, but they really like the word

stories

Design: Paul Nylander, illustrada design. Utilizes Latino Type’s Decour and Connary Fagan’s Quincy CF typefaces.

Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

INTErVIEwS

LoCATIoN

Rider’s first customer), but is also close enough to a talent pool of developers and engineers that Zip Rider needs. One downside, says Park City Angels Chairman Paul Wozniak, is that when companies reach a certain size, they tend to outgrow the tiny local labor market and have to move. Take WAVE, a startup that’s helping cities develop wireless electric buses. WAVE moved to Salt Lake City in 2013 after it outgrew its Park City facilities.

Vernā Myers

Jonathan Vehar

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shepard fairey : I created the Obama image with a little bit of a different intention than a lot of other stuff that I make. It’s not that I haven’t put people who I admire on pedestals before, but they were usually people like the members of Black Sabbath or the Black Panthers. I’ve also made a lot of political art in the past where I was criticizing people like George W. Bush – I worked very hard in 2004 to make anti-Bush imagery. But then Bush got reelected, and so I thought I needed to reevaluate my approach to mainstream politics. At that point, I’d had a kid, a daughter, and as the 2008 election campaign was beginning, I had a second daughter on the way. So I started to think, “This isn’t about me augmenting my existing brand of pissed-off rebellion. This is about my daughters’ future.” I wanted it to have a stylistic connection to my other work, so I didn’t use the typical red, white, and blue – I used the red that I use, and that cream background, and then I worked with different shades of blue so the image had that patriotic feel. I wanted to make an image that deracialized Obama, where he’s not a black man, but a nationalized man. And then, secondly, when a person is turned into a stylized or idealized icon, it means that someone has decided that the person is worthy of this treatment, and the viewer then maybe takes a step back and says, “Well, they’ve been validated by someone, so maybe I should look at them a little more closely and decide whether they’re worthy of that validation.” So my thinking was that if people took that step, then I was pretty sure that they would want Obama to be president. His opposition to the war in Iraq when it was an

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part of its identity, says CEO Hoby Darling. One of Darling’s first moves as CEO in 2013 was to close the company’s Los Angeles office to focus operations back to Park City. Skullcandy, which went public in 2011, now has about 175 full-time employees at its headquarters. “We had to be really aligned to our consumer, and to do that we really had to have product, marketing, and sales altogether in one building,” Darling says. “When you go, ‘Who is the customer that I just love wearing Skullcandy?’...I think a lot of that goes right back to our heritage. It’s people who are on the mountain. They’re in the park. They’re in the gym, pushing what they love to do.”

vo i c e s

WALK BOLDLY

David Horth and

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Dedicated to contemplating life for those who think only of work.

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neath – achieved the rare feat of becoming

sales

April 2016 Vol. 1 No. 1

April 2016

Anna Hensel

Alison Davis

INNOVATION

the Obama HOPE poster he created just allows them (us?) to project whatever limited idea we

Vol. 1 No 1

l o c at i o n s

PARK CITY, UTAH

Iggy Pop

USE THIS WORD

m a nagem e n t

is generally pretty superficial, so an image like

have onto it—and the resultant unanticipated

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Barack Obama – a graphic, looking vaguely

CONFIDENCE

enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just

success. And so very much more.c

i n t e rv i e w s

SHEPARD FAIREY

1 7 19 24 27 47 91 97 111 125 CREATIVE

person, really do want to take some time to

Walk Boldly v er nā my ers Creative Confidence dav i d k e l l e y Persuasion with Because a l ison dav is Cheap Words george packer Park City, UT anna hensel Engineering the Fall jane lamm c a r rol l Five Senses j i n s op l e e Shepard Fairey igg y p op Why Freelancers Fail c h r i s o at l e y Business Innovation david magell an horth and jonathan vehar .

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HOPE drawn in big, bold letters under-

c r e at i v i t y

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this is our inaugural issue. As such, we sincerely hope that you find it both enjoyable and compelling. We’ve designed Corner Magazine around the basic premise that you, as a business owner, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or other interested person, really do want to take some time to enjoy that thing called “life,” but you are just having too much fun at work to do it. Between these covers we therefore present the intersection of your Venn diagram: interesting articles about eclectic subjects that are seemingly random, yet somehow compellingly related to one another, and to you, our reader. And we want to come back for more. In that spirit, we’ve included a couple of great conversations, from the likes of iggy pop chatting with Shepard Fairey about his belief that the American public is generally pretty superficial, so an image like the Obama HOPE poster he created just allows them (us?)to project whatever limited idea we have onto it—and the resultant unanticipated success. And chris oatley discussing the microwaved leftovers that constitute most freelancer’s portfolios, and other pitfalls of freelancing with sean hodge. Creative confidence, and overcoming the fear of judgment that we have—that we don’t do things because we’re afraid we’re going to be judged—is the idea which david kelley presents. And which of us hasn’t been there: if you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged harshly, but knowing full well that if we aren’t creative we’ll also be judged, albeit less harshly. Which gives us a segue into the topic of business innovation, in particular the question of if, when, and under what conditions a business leader can actually help, instead of hinder, innovation. Despite the fact that the “innovation” challenge is hardly a new discussion topic, david magellan horth and jonathan vehar show us that, while organizations know how to develop strong business managers, they have been largely ineffective at developing creative leaders. Ouch. But despite this, we do still see a number of success stories, and Park City, Utah is one of them. Home to the Sundance Film Festival, anna hensel shows us just why this small town has become a business startup nexus. Companies like Skullcandy have integrated the “work hard, play hard” mentality into their corporate identity. And having ski slopes just a quick drive away doesn’t hurt in the corporate identity space. Can you imagine it: the feel of the snow spray on your face, the smell of the fresh pines, the sound of the air rushing past, the taste of the sweat and the sense of thrill… it can really activate all five senses, which is exactly the point jinsop lee makes. While it may not be as good as sex (really, see the article), Jinsop does make a compelling argument for what designers should really be considering when creating the next big thing, and exactly why activating 2, 3 or more of the senses really does work. It works for alison davis, who compels us to connect better with our audience during a sales pitch by explaining the seemingly simple idea of “because…” So often we leave this critical element out, but honestly, people just need a reason why they should believe you. Our two features in this issue are discussions with strong, and compelling business leaders, First, a non-interview with Jeff Bezos, founder of the empire known as Amazon. From his beginnings in the book industry, Bezos has seen things differently than the rest of us, and built an impossible business out of it. Not just a business of books, toys, or other stuff, but an information business, an infrastructure business, a business that delivers the content, produces the content, and sells you the device to view the content. And whether you want to be like Amazon or not, there is definitely something to be learned here about how to take an industry by the horns. But in the end, will it help or hurt the book, and the readers of those books? One book we can all stand to read is about bias, in particular our own implicit biases and how, in the standpoint of diversity and race relations, we’ve utterly failed exactly because we are trying to be so careful to succeed. vernā myers implores us to walk boldly by examining recent racial violence, and really breaking it down—not to divide the world into right and wrong, or winners and losers, but to help us to see exactly how our own biases can lead us to distorted world views, and inefficient and ineffective business and personal organizational structures. Corner is published once per quarter, because it will take you that long to absorb all this information. But rest assured, come July we’ll have another lineup of thinkers and conversations, and if possibly we will hold true to the recurring departments we’ve set out here: locations, sales, diverse voices, success stories, creativity, historical perspective, interviews, discussions and management ideas. We’re Corner Magazine, produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota for everyone from the corner shop to the corner office. www.corner-mag.com.

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to solve the issues, they remain paralyzed with the fear of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, angering the wrong people, and ultimately lose their footing. They are often tone deaf to the voices that are appealing to their leadership because they have not been taught to listen and their privilege has drawn small circles of comfort around them – even as they have been appointed to lead a diverse group of people. They take the demand for change personally, and even though they can see signs that something might be wrong, they seem unwilling to change the institution in any significant way. What I think Missouri shows us is that, often, leaders of these organizations don’t seem to understand what time it is. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has become a wake-up call emboldening people of all backgrounds, especially young people, to stand up and say, “No more!” At this point in history, you can’t be an effective leader unless you are culturally aware and inclusive. Students can’t be appeased with a few budget increases, conducting one session on diversity, and hiring a visiting professor of color. Change will require deep introspection and examination of the institution, including its leaders. These leaders have to be willing to look humbly and honestly into their own worldviews and the way those views have been impacted by racism.

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I remember coaching a CEO who was determined to get it right, to expand his comfort zone and ability to see what was beyond his experience and culture. When we first started, I had to convince him that it was okay for him to say, “people of color” to a person of color. We had to practice the phrase out loud before he felt comfortable. He ultimately developed a facility with the language of inclusion, and a greater ease and authenticity in his relationships with the people themselves. As he became more proactive rather than reactive, an inclusive tone was set for all, policies changed, and his leaders were evaluated based on how well they practiced inclusion in hiring, promotions, mentoring and opportunity. Our leaders have to be willing to examine the culture and

“I had to convince him that it was okay for him to say, “people of color” to a person of color. We had to practice the phrase out loud before he felt comfortable.” practices of the establishment, and in doing so, be willing to let go of “the way we always do things.” There may be apparent comfort and predictability in these practices, but a fierce commitment to the status quo is a ticking time bomb contaminated with exclusion and bigotry. Inclusive leaders have to be bold enough to tell beneficiaries of the status quo that it is time they relinquish some of their power and privilege so that the organization can accomplish its mission, be relevant, and able to thrive in the future.

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“Like the publishing venture, Amazon Studios set out to make the old “gatekeepers” obsolete.” difficulty, according to Carr, is to “get the right feedback and the right data, and, of the many, many data points that I can collect from customers, which ones can tell you, ‘This is the one’?” Like the publishing venture, Amazon Studios set out to make the old “gatekeepers” – in this case, Hollywood agents and executives – obsolete. “We let the data drive what to put in front of customers,” Carr told the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t have tastemakers deciding what our customers should read, listen to, and watch.”

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also worry: What if they are a bubble? What “Publishers are in a bad position to be repreif the stock market suddenly says, ‘We want a senting themselves as speaking for the artists.” Lately, digital titles have leveled off at about profit’? You don’t want your father who abuses thirty per cent of book sales. Whatever the you physically to lose his job.” Publishers are less like abused minors and temporary fluctuations in publishers’ profits, more like financially insecure adults who rely the long-term outlook is discouraging. This is on the support of a bullying uncle. Their depen- partly because Americans don’t read as many dence breeds bad faith. “Privately, we berate books as they used to – they are too busy doAmazon,” the marketing executive said. “Yet ing other things with their devices – but also we’re always trying to figure out how to work because of the relentless downward pressure on prices that Amazon enforces. The digital with them.” January 28, 2008 The Big Six recently be- market is awash with millions of barely edited came the Big Five, with the merger of Random titles, most of it dreck, while readers are being House and Penguin, which created the largest conditioned to think that books are worth as publishing house in the world. Several industry little as a sandwich. “Amazon has successfully people told me that it was intended to provide fostered the idea that a book is a thing of miniPenguin Random House, as the new company mal value,” Johnson said. “It’s a widget.” There are two ways to think about this. is called, with more bargaining power against Amazon. But book publishers have been Amazon believes that its approach encourages consolidating for several decades, under the ever more people to tell their stories to ever ownership of media conglomerates like News more people, and turns writers into entrepreCorporation, which squeeze them for profits, or neurs; the price per unit might be cheap, but the holding companies such as Rivergroup, which higher number of units sold, and the accomstrip them to service debt. The effect of all this panying royalties, will make authors wealthier. corporatization, as with the replacement of in- Jane Friedman, of Open Road, is unfazed by the dependent booksellers by superstores, has been prospect that Amazon might destroy the old to privilege the blockbuster. Penguin Random model of publishing. “They are practicing the House and Barnes & Noble are hardly Davids American Dream – competition is good!” she to Amazon’s Goliath. “It’s like you turn into your told me. Publishers, meanwhile, “have been enemy,” the head of one New York house said. banks for authors. Advances have been very

• Book publishers’ dependence on Amazon, however unwilling, keeps growing. Amazon constitutes a third of one major house’s retail sales on a given week, with the growth chart pointing toward fifty per cent. By contrast, independents represent under ten per cent, and one New York editor said that only a third of the three thousand brick-and-mortar bookstores still in existence would remain financially healthy if publishers didn’t waive certain terms of payment. Jane Friedman, the former Random House and HarperCollins executive, who now runs a digital publisher called Open Road Integrated Media, told me, “If there wasn’t an Amazon today, there probably wouldn’t be a book business.” The senior editor who met Grandinetti said, “They’re our biggest customer, we want them to succeed. As I recover from being punched in the face by Amazon, I

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high.” In Friedman’s view, selling digital books at low prices will democratize reading: “What do you want as an author – to sell books to as few people as possible for as much as possible, or for as little as possible to as many readers as possible?” The answer seems self-evident, but there is a more skeptical view. Several editors, agents, and authors told me that the money for serious fiction and nonfiction has eroded dramatically in re-

“Amazon constitutes a third of one major house’s retail sales on a given week, with the growth chart pointing toward fifty per cent.”

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Instead they deliberately tried BUSINESS THINKING to separate their creative self VS. INNOVATION from their business self (Palus THINKING and Horth, 2002). The development of efThe same dynamic can fective creative leadership play out even when an or- is a two-step process. First, ganization thinks it wants leaders individually and colinnovation. Most organi- lectively must get in touch zations that embark on an w it h t heir ow n creative innovation campaign are thinking skills in order to out to find breakthroughs or make sense of and deal with “disruptive” innovations that complexity. Second, rather represent a new way of doing than develop skills for the things. Rarely do these inno- “management of creativity” (a vations emerge, though. And control mindset), organizaif they do, they almost never tions must develop a creative make it to the marketplace. leadership culture – a climate That’s because the organiza- that promotes and acknowltion inevitably chokes on the edges the creative process. radical nature of the offering, Authors and researchers which doesn’t fit into its cur- Teresa Amabile (2010) and rent reality. Goran Ekvall (1999) speak auActively pursuing inno- thoritatively and elegantly on vation requires considerable this topic. Amabile talks about resources and deliberate fo- “Management for Creativity.” cus. It requires innovation Ekvall in several publications leadership, support from the describes the statistical sigorganizational hierarchy, and nificance of leadership in a culture that values and nur- creating (or not!) an environtures creativity. ment that nurtures creativity.

by Soo et al. (2002) concluded, “The greater the amount of innovation, the greater the market and financial performance.” A recent study by Capgemini (2012) comes to the same conclusion and identifies the critical organizational innovation elements that differentiate leaders from laggards, including an explicit innovation strategy, innovation governance, and more. So it makes sense that a 2007 BCG survey revealed that 66% of the 2,468 execs surveyed ranked innovation among the top three strategic priorities for their companies (Sirkin et al., 2007). Even after the recession, an IBM Global CEO Study (2010) shows CEOs of organizations thriving during the prevailing economic turbulence believe that creativity has been fundamental to their success – and will continue to be into an even more uncertain and complex future. A related IBM global report involving Chief HR Officers (2010) further suggests that…

“While organizations know how to develop strong business managers, they have been largely ineffective at developing creative leaders.” It’s as if there has been a conspiracy at many levels of our culture to stifle the creative disciplines in business. When the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) researched the leadership competencies needed to navigate complexity, they encountered several C-suite executives who had well-developed artistic talents. Even at their level in the organization, though, they seemed powerless to buck the prevailing culture and use their creative competencies to address challenges and opportunities.

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A creative leadership culture recognizes and skillfully manages the tensions between several interrelated and seemingly polar opposites. Major among these is the tension between traditional business thinking and innovative thinking. Today’s managers are typically skilled practitioners of traditional business thinking with its deep research, formulas, and logical facts. Business thinkers are often quick to make decisions, sorting out the right answer from among wrong answers. Deductive and inductive reasoning are favored tools as they look for proof or precedent to inform decisions. Business thinking is about removing ambiguity and driving results. But ambiguity cannot be managed away. Driving results is impossible when the situation is unstable, the challenge is complex, the direction is unclear, or when you’re

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mapping new territory, as is the case – by definition – with innovation. Many of today’s leadership problems are critical and pressing, and they demand quick and decisive action. But at the same time, they are so complex we can’t just dive in. We need to slow down, reflect, and approach the situation in an unconventional way using innovative thinking. Unlike business thinking, innovative thinking doesn’t rely on past experience or known facts. It imagines a desired future state and how to get there. It is intuitive and open to possibility. Rather than identifying right answers or wrong answers, the goal is to find a better way and to explore multiple possibilities. Ambiguity is an advantage, not a problem. It allows us to ask “what if?” Innovative thinking is a crucial addition to traditional business thinking. It allows

you to bring new ideas and energy to your role as leader and paves the way to bring more innovation into your organization. We want to emphasize that there is a critical leadership skill involved in managing the tension between these two seeming opposites. It is not about discarding the business thinking. It’s about acknowledging that both exist and that productive new products and services will result from finding the delicate balance between the two approaches. It’s also about the ability to switch between these two modes of thinking in order to implement creative ideas and turn them into innovations. Leaders and organizations that do so will find a powerful antidote to complexity and an engine that can help them thrive – even during uncertain times. Becoming More Innovative: It’s Not as Simple as It Seems

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a Connecticut colonist, came in 1766 representing Great Britain. Twelve years after his visit, Carver published a book that became a best-seller and included the earliest known sketch of St. Anthony Falls. Carver described the waterfall as “pleasing and picturesque,” estimated its height at 30 feet and noted that six islands surrounded the waterfall. Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike was the first American to explore the Upper Mississippi River after the United States acquired the region in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In 1805, the federal government hired Pike to lead an information-gathering expedition and to secure permission from Native Americans to build military posts along the river. Pike described St. Anthony Falls as 16.5 feet high and lacking the majesty he had expected from the descriptions of Hennepin and Carver. Pike did note, however, that

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at high water, the waterfall 1860s found that the natural “is much more sublime, as the landscape of St. Anthony Falls quantity ojwater thenjorms a had been altered by the conspray, which in clear weather struction of mills, by the noise reflects from some positions of mill machinery, and by millthe color of the rainbow, and ing waste products. In 1862, one visitor comwhen the sky is overcast covers the falls in gloom and plained that, “St. Anthony Falls are all covered with mills chaotic majesty.” The establishment of Fort and refuse.” Johannes Kohl, a Snelling at the confluence of German geographer and scithe Minnesota and Mississippi entist, described the falls as rivers in 1820 attracted many they appeared in 1856: Walls tourists, writers and artists and dams have been built out to the region. In 1823, the onto the falls .... The water first steamboat navigated being so low, the Mississippi the Mississippi River as far could not carry away the load as Fort Snelling. By 1851, St. of sawdust, chips, odds and Paul had established itself as end of board and plank, and the head of navigation on the logs dumped in upstream. This river. Tourists disembarked at industrial waste was stuck St. Paul and hired carriages or everywhere in big jumbled wagons for sightseeing ex- heaps in the falls ‘ attractive cursions to St. Anthony Falls, little niches and in the rocky Minnehaha Falls, and nearby clefts intended by Nature for the joyous downward passage lakes. The development of mill- of crystalline waters. ing at St. Anthony Falls led to its demise as a tourist attrac- MILLING AT ST. tion. Visitors in the 1850s and ANTHONY FALLS

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While the scenic beauty of St. Anthony Falls attracted early explorers and tourists, it was more important to settlers as a source of water power. Soldiers at Fort Snelling built the first sawmill at the falls in 1821; and, in 1823, added a grist mill. By the 1850s, as many as 16 sawmills crowded the falls. During the 1860s alone, lumber production at the falls increased from 12 million to 91 million board feet. In 1869, there were six sawmills on the east side of the falls and eight on the west side. During the 1860s, flour milling increased substantially at St. Anthony Falls. Flour production rose from 30,000 barrels in 1860 to 256,100 barrels in 1869. In 1869, there were eight flour mills on the west side of the river and four in St. Anthony. By 1880, 27 mills were producing more htan 2 million barrels of flour annually, making Minneapolis the national leader in flour

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you. I mean you haven’t gone deep enough into that hole of developing your own style. But as a student, you should copy other people, I mean outright copy, just until you can draw in that style. And then do it a million times, just do that and then develop that nuance that feels like it’s you but in that style and then eventually try to pull it together man, like pull these threads and what does that thread create plus you, plus what interests you? And that’s where you come up with something that’s interesting you know, and that’s why people will search you out. And at the same time, as you’re developing your business savvy, it doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to trends, I mean ideally your style and what you do, it meets with what the market’s looking for, you know? So you kind of have to pay some attention. chris : Oftentimes I’ll get these portfolios that are torture, bleeding from the eyballs, and I’m going – maybe there’s an industry for that, but I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve never seen that industry. And maybe that’s just because I don’t hang out in places where people are into that kind of thing but it is possible to be so doing your own thing that it’s not relevant to anybody, or it’s not relevant to enough people to be able to make a living. sean : Yeah, don’t go off on a desert island and just make your thing and then expect it to be relevant in the marketplace a year later. Yeah, there’s that line between commercial appeal and companies, what they’re looking for, and then what you can produce and that line where you’re unique but you’re also working a certain vein and there’s a certain demographic you’re looking to hit, a certain type of work. So if you really want to

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A dear colleague at CCL, Dave Hills, drew a lovely cartoon to illustrate the myth of the mandate. It shows a senior executive – presumably returning from the latest seminar on organizational innovation – demanding creativity from a group of bound and gagged people. Managers can’t mandate innovation. They do, though, need to lead it and “walk the talk.” Too many times we see leaders make pronouncements of, “we need innovation!” and then proceed to quash new

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shared), the leader is all talk, there is no incentive for others in the organization to share in the direction or do what they are asked to do – nor are there systems to facilitate the trajectory of innovations. While modeling innovation at the top is useful and necessary, it’s only the starting point. Time and again we’ve sat in presentations where the “innovation expert” fires up the crowd by telling them innovation can’t happen without senior management support. The message: All it takes for innovation to take root in the organization is for senior management to hoist the innovation flag. In practice, this typically looks like simply hosting a big kick-off event. Sometimes it is even followed by rolling training through the organization as quickly as possible, starting at the top and working down. Reflecting on what we’ve seen work, we’ve come to the

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conclusion that the opposite is a better strategy. Rather than a “push” mentality, we suggest leveraging senior management sponsorship and working in small groups to develop the tools, skills, and mindset necessary to drive innovation. Then let the results speak for themselves – creating a hunger and a “pull” in the organization for more innovation development.

MYTH: UNLEASHING CREATIVE TALENT CAN HELP YOU NAV­ IGATE COMPLEXITY. When considering how to make your organization more innovative, you might be tempted to discover and unleash creative heroes and to train others to be just like them. Our colleagues John McGuire and Gary Rhodes (2009) in their book Transforming Your Leadership Culture describe this as an “independent” culture where heroes are valued

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and bold, independent action is highly prized, and the prevailing philosophy is that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. I m a g i n e a c o m p a n y, though, where every big idea is pursued, regardless of how crazy or impractical. We know of at least one highly creative organization with a culture like this that continually burns out talented managers who try to get a handle on the madness. Without appropriate structure, this kind of hero-driven, independent culture is a recipe for more complexity, not less, and in the worst case, anarchy. At the end of the day, it’s execution of the creative ideas that pays the bills. We also know from the research of people like Dr. Michael J. Kirton (2003) that those who prefer to challenge the status quo and generate radical ideas are typically not skilled at execution and implementation. They tend to be averse to

allow settlement on the west Company, representing the side since the 1840s, and many east side, agreed to work other settlers had staked together to improve the waclaims without permission. ter power for milling at St. This community, which would Anthony Falls. The companies later become Minneapolis, cooperated to construct a dam numbered only about 300 in across the river above the falls 1854, but by 1856 the popula- that divided the flow of water tion had grown to 1,555. into millponds on the east and In 1849, Robert Smith west sides of the river. When obtained a lease to run the the project was finished, the government grist mill and two companies had built a sinsawmill on the west side of gle large dam in the shape of a the falls. In 1853, Smith pur- V, which angled out from both chased the government mills shores and met upriver. and went into partnership T he Min ne ap ol is Mill with several others. By 1855, Company quickly moved a partnership of 12 men con- ahead of the St. Anthony trolled the west-side mills and Company in developing ways the adjacent land. However, to distribute water power. The this group did little to develop west-side owners built a canal water power at the falls at first. angling inland from the millIn 1856, two companies pond and running along the received charters from the shore to carry water to nuMinnesota Territorial legis- merous mill sites. Beginning lature to develop the water in 1857, the Minneapolis Mill power at St. Anthony Falls. Company began excavating The Minneapolis Mill Company, the canal, which would be 14 representing west side own- feet deep, 50 feet wide and ers, and the St. Anthony 215 feet long. The canal was

work at Disney, then you’ve really got to produce stuff that’s in line with that. chris : During the renaissance, we had the master apprentice model for art education and you as the apprentice would go work under the master craftsman, and at some point you would attempt a masterpiece. And then, that masterpiece would be evaluated by the guild of master craftsman and if you won their approval, they would allow you to join the guild of master craftsman and then you got to go set up your own shop and have your own apprentices and so on. There’s a lot to like about this model and although I’m sure it was full of frustration for the apprentices and the master craftsman, anyone who’s been to graduate school knows what it’s like to try and convince a group of traditionally minded master craftsman of the validity of your own new ideas. But what I like about this model is that there’s a clean break, a right of passage, a point at which you are birthed into the world of creative professionalism. Nowadays, I think there’s a huge problem in that getting your career started is in a tbone collision with study and creative growth. Now we should always continue to grow and we should always continue to study, but when you’re in what should be sort of this cocoon

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phase, the student phase, the art school phase things his way for the first few years before I whether you’re actually in art school or not, started doing things my way. And then we’ve it’s hard to get good enough to be professional grown our own team that’s like that and now when you’re already worrying so much about we have kind of a team way plus everyone’s got being professional, and you’re already worry- their own experience to bring. How can you ing… you shouldn’t worry about your portfolio emulate that now I think is the big question befreshman year, do you know what I mean? cause it’s not necessarily required. Something like the program that you offer is awesome, I sean : Oh yeah, definitely. That’s another issue, not worrying about your portfolio mean you have the experience, you have done freshman year but this idea of this master it, you have walked that path, and people can apprentice… my dad’s a machinist, that’s part come on and get all that experience from you. impartial to the trade, it’s changed because And it’s not the same as being in your studio but it’s gone digital and everything. But for the it’s the closest you can get right now by doing hundred years of manufacturing and C&C it over the internet, by whatever you offer on machines out there, and lays, and drill presses, all those videos or… and mills and all that – I mean, that’s how you chris : Everything, and interactive… I mean learn. You did a couple years of trade school and as often as possible, I was working on a freethen you were taken on as an apprentice, and lance job just a few months ago and I wrote that’s how you operated for two years until you all my students, everyone who was currently were considered a… I don’t know what the term subscribed or signed up for a course whether is but maybe a master machinist or something they had finished the course or not, everybody. like those terms. But yeah, most professions I just wrote them all and was like, “Hey guys, operate that way, and they do to an extent I’m I’ve got a deadline on Monday. It’s Tuesday, I’m sure once you came on at Disney, there was like going to be working nonstop for the next six a period… I’m guessing, I’m sure there was a pe- days. Here’s the link, I’m streaming privately for riod where you were kind of an apprentice. For all your guys if you want to come on, watch me me and blogging, it was kind of like that. I was work and then I’ll be taking breaks every half running sites but running them with Calista, hour, 45 minutes and then I’ll answer questions the main guy behind Envato, being able to reach about what I did.” And we actually did it again out to him and ask questions and really doing last week in fact, and we’ll continue to do more

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to confine innovation to an R&D department or some other organizational silo. We fondly call this the “innovation ghetto.” But it’s not the best way to derive true value from innovation. A recent tour of a plate glass factory provided some important lessons about imbuing innovation throughout an organization. Manufacturing glass is a dangerous process involving huge hoppers of raw materials heated to 3200 degrees Fahrenheit. The material eventually cools into fragile, razor-sharp, and potentially deadly final products. It was startling to hear there was no safety department – yet the plant had a stellar safety record. Rather than having one person or team accountable for safety, everyone in the organization was responsible. Even the most junior person in the operation could point out risks and

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ensure there were no injuries. Similarly, innovation initiatives will be diluted when they are relegated to one department or arena. The subtext is that innovation ONLY happens in one department, removing the responsibility for innovation from others. When everybody is on the lookout for opportunities that can build or replace current paradigms, an organization can thrive. Innovation can drive improvements in the 10 types of innovation that the Doblin Group identified: profit model, network, structure, process, product performance, product system, service, channel, brand, and customer engagement (Doblin Group, ND).

B U I L DI N G B LO C KS F O R I N N O VAT I O N LEADERSHIP Even in organizations lacking the leadership and culture needed for creativity

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to flourish, individual heroes can still emerge. They pursue creative ideas and transform them into new processes, products, or services – despite the lack of support systems and in the face of a hostile culture. But they are the exception and not the rule. Innovation Systems expert Bob Rosenfeld (2006) describes these individuals as having the “secret grid” that enables them to navigate the organization that would otherwise reject their ideas. A more systematic approach is needed if your organization is to derive sustained, added value from in novation. A nd in novation leadership is crucial. Organizational innovation consultant Jeffrey Phillips (2008) encourages organizations not to leave innovation to chance by relying on the few savvy innovators.

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structure or completely ignore Creative leadership requires it. Implementation is the skill harnessing the dynamic tenof those attuned to shaping sions between the dualities ideas, navigating organiza- that define today’s complex tional systems and structures, business environment – to and transforming ideas into drive toward both creative useful processes, products, disruption and operational efficiency at the same time.” and services. However, the IBM report When we interviewed Dr. Michael Lombardo, author, fails to acknowledge the entrepreneur, and founder of value and creative contribuLominger Inc., he talked about tion of those more adept at the need to give creative work execution – choosing instead to those with the skills and to focus the definition of “creabilities to handle it – and then ative leadership” on those who to buffer and manage them are gifted with coming up carefully, since by their very with radical ideas in the first nature highly creative people place. Historical examples can be prickly and tough to abound of successful partnerships between someone who work with. A 2011 IBM report on challenged the status quo and cultivating organizational someone who knew how to increativity affirms the need to terface with the establishment manage the tension between and get things done. Where creativity and execution. would Walt Disney have been The report states, “For many without Roy Disney? companies, creativity and adaptability are latent capa- BEYOND THE bilities just waiting on the “INNOVATION GHETTO” catalysts to energize them. Often organizations try

lengthened in later years to Minneapolis was producing accommodate the demand five times as much flour and for more access to the water twice the amount of lumber as east-side manufacturers. power of the falls. The population of MinneThe west-side water system included smaller canals apolis also soon outgrew that to carry water from the main of St. Anthony. Between 1857 canal to the mills (headraces) and 1870, the population of St. and from the mills back to the Anthony increased by only river (tailraces). When the 324, while Minneapolis grew system was completed, the from 3,391 residents in 1857 Minneapolis manufacturing to 13,066 in 1870. district consisted of 2.9 miles of tunnels and open canals. THE EASTMAN In contrast to the system TUNNEL COLLAPSE developed by the Minneapolis The water power compaMill Company, the St. Anthony nies that controlled the mills Company did not build canals at the edge of the falls had forto distribute water power gotten to secure title to Nicollet on the east side of the falls. Island, located a short distance Instead, the St. Anthony upstream. As a result, in 1865, Company owners relied on William Eastman and John shafts and ropes running Merriam acquired the island. from water wheels on the dam The new owners quickly sued to supply the mills. the St. Anthony Company to T he c a n al system en- force the removal of the eastabled Minneapolis to quickly side mills, claiming that the surpass St. Anthony in the installations infringed on their development of manufac- water rights. turing at the falls. By 1869, In 1867, the St. Anthony

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DISCUSSIoNS

“But what I like about this model is that there’s a clean break, a right of passage, a point at which you are birthed into the world of creative professionalism.”

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MYTH: INDIVIDUAL CREATIVITY CAN BE MANDATED AND MANAGED.

ideas. They often do so unconsciously through lack of knowledge about how even the smallest behaviors impede or encourage the creativity of others. We hope to address some of the more critically important behaviors in this paper. Integrity in supporting what you say the organization needs to do requires the extra work (and it is work) to fully understand, consider, and evaluate innovative concepts that emerge and provide learning-oriented feedback. Without follow-through and role-modeling, the leader may provide direction, but create impediments to commitment by failing to engage the intrinsic motivation, energy, and passion of those led. Leaders can contribute to alignment by taking an active role in creating systems that enable the work of innovation to be coordinated effectively. With only proclaimed direction (which is not necessarily

of these. But the point is, I was just ripping off this idea of master apprentice. sean : It’s invaluable, this idea of master apprentice. It’s invaluable and you know, own the apprentice space, absorb everything that you can. It’s very difficult to reach the next phase without that, because there’s so many gaps in learning between school and like the reality of whatever business… they’re all slightly different. Learning everything that you can, not just the art production which is completely important but also just how to interact with the client, all that kind of stuff. There’s so much stuff I’ve learned that’s helped me write better, helped me edit better, it’s helped me plan better blogging by writing sites like FreelanceSwitch but I’ve also just learned how might I plan my own blog and launch my own thing. And I’m at such a higher point if I was to do that, then the darkness of just work, you can sort of just throw something out there and it might catch the tail of a comet or something but you know… I mean, I’ve seen it happen. You just sort of bumbled your way through and that’s how most business is to be honest, it’s bumbling your way through. It’s like failin

why FrEELANCErS FAIL

business practices can lead to better success in business. chris : So let’s talk about why freelance artists fail and the first question that I have for you Sean is really not a question, it’s more of an idea and I just want to get your thoughts on it. But I hear from frustrated freelance illustrators all the time and they’re frustrated often because they can’t get the gigs that they want, the clients that they want, and occasionally I have time to click their link and see their portfolio, and all too often what I find is a portfolio full of to put it bluntly the microwaved leftovers of an illustrator or a style that is currently in vogue. Do you find this to be true and if so, what are your thoughts? sean: Yeah, well first of all, I think that’s a hilarious metaphor. I think it’s particularly true for illustrators more so than other professions and I’ll give some reasons why. Graphic designers typically live in this fear of microwave leftovers. I mean we’re all sharing, and we’re all pursuing trends and we all have a feel for different trends that happened in the last two years or what fits a certain client look. We kind of have to live in the skin of other design work whereas it doesn’t mean that you don’t have some level of voice because certainly a lot of your personality that goes into it and can go into it but if you were put on Google’s team as a designer, you would adjust to their voice. I mean that’s part of being a designer, a graphic designer. Whereas an illustrator, people approach illustrators for their style and vision, so if you’re just trying to be just like some other illustrator, like you’re saying microwave leftover of what they’ve created, you’re not developing that unique thing that is

Many articles gloss over what it takes to become more innovative. It’s as if the writers believe creativity will be unleashed with a snap of the finger to facilitate a competitive advantage. But it’s not that simple.

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DISCUSSIoNS

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MANAgEMENT

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production. Franklin Steele, a local entrepreneur, obtained much of the land on the east side of St. Anthony Falls in 1838 and constructed a dam and sawmill there in 1848. Steele’s dam was located above the edge of the falls. It crossed the east channel and ran from the shore to a short distance above Hennepin Island and then to the foot of Nicollet Island. In 1849, Steele registered the plat for a town site, which he named St. Anthony. By 1850, more than 600 residents lived in the town; and, by 1855, the population had grown to 3,000. The land on the west side of the Mississippi River remained part of the military reservation surrounding Fort Snelling until 1852, when Congress reduced the size of the reservation and opened the land for sale. However, commandants at Fort Snelling had been granting permits to

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Good design looks great, yes—but why shouldn’t it also feel, smell, and sound great?

ENgINEErINg ThE FALL

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in the sandstone underneath. Americans living in the region During floods, hundreds of had given the waterfall varilogs escaped from holding ous names. The Ojibway called ponds and pounded the falls the falls Kakabikah (the sevedge. Dams built to divert ered rock). The Dakota used water to the mills left large the terms Minirara (curling sections of the limestone water) and Owahmenah (falldry, exposing the rock to ing water). For the Dakota, more freezing and thawing, the falls had religious meanand causing cracking. Water ing and were associated with flowed down through the legends and spirits, including cracks, eroding the underly- Oanktehi, god of waters and evil, who lived beneath the ing sandstone. With the development of falling water. To European and American milling, the migration of St. Anthony Falls accelerated to as explorers, St. Anthony Falls much as 35.5 feet per year in was a landmark in a vast wil1852. Between 1857 and 1868, derness. In 1683, Hennepin the waterfall was receding at published a book about his an average of about 26 feet travels in America that was per year and corning peril- widely read in Europe. His ously close to the limits of the description of the beauty and wonder of the waterfall on limestone cap. the Mississippi River made the site famous. GENERAL HISTORY In the 1700s and early OF ST. ANTHONY 1800s, others came to exFALLS Before Father Hennepin plore the region and view named St. Anthony Falls the Falls of St. Anthony for for his patron saint, Native themselves. Jonathan Carver,

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MANAgEMENT

PErSPECTIVES

role in the history of St. collapsed into the river, caus- origins near Fort Snelling, St. Anthony Falls, ever since the ing the falls to migrate upriver. Anthony Falls retreated slowly Corps saved the waterfall About 10,000 years ago, this upstream at a rate of about 4 from destruction. In the 20th huge waterfall reached the feet per year until it reached century, the Corps designed junction of the Mississippi its present location in the and constructed the Upper and Minnesota Rivers, and early 1800s. Geologists estiHarbor Project, which ex- split into two falls. The water- mate that originally the falls tended the Mississippi River’s fall that followed the course of were about 180 feet high. As navigation channel over the the Mississippi River upstream the waterfall receded, it also decreased in height. In 1680, falls by way of the Lower and was St. Anthony Falls. Geology dictated a natu- Father Louis Hennepin beUpper St. Anthony Falls locks. Today, the St. Paul District, U.S. ral extinction for St. Anthony came the first white person Army Corps of Engineers Fall s , for t he l ime stone to encounter the waterfall on maintains the Upper and bedrock covering the soft the Mississippi River, naming Lower St. Anthony Falls locks sandstone ends only about it for his patron saint, Anthony 1,200 feet above its present lo- of Padua. Hennepin estimated and darns. cation. Once the falls reached the falls’ height to be 50 or 60 the end of this protective cap, feet. Early 19th century exGEOLOGY Imagine a waterfall 2,700 it would erode into rapids. plorers described St. Anthony feet across and 175 feet high The limestone bedrock in this Falls as being in the range of with the meltwaters of the area is also relatively thin. At 16 to 20 feet high. St. Anthony Falls’ retreat colossal Glacial Lake Agassiz its maximum, the limestone pounding over it. Such a wa- at St. Anthony Falls is only upriver was greatly accelerterfall existed about 12,000 14 feet thick, compared to ated in the mid-1800s, when years ago near what is now the usual 25-foot thickness settlers began building lumber downtown St. Paul. As the of the bedrock downstream. and flour mills along the wawater rushing over the valley’s Thinner limestone cracked terfall’s edge. To supply their bedrock of limestone scoured more readily, hastening the mills with water, millers drove away the underlying sand- demise of the waterfall as it shafts through the limestone stone, large slabs of limestone moved upstream. From its bedrock and excavated canals

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Robinson told me. “It works.” To the Big Five, locked in a death struggle with Amazon and the distracted American reader, this kind of experimentation might seem unrealistic. To survive, they are trying to broaden their distribution channels, not narrow them. But Andrew Wylie thinks that it’s exactly what a giant like Penguin Random House should do. “If they did, in my opinion they would save the industry. They’d lose thirty per cent of their sales, but they would have an additional thirty per cent for every copy they sold, because they’d be selling directly to consumers. This conversation, though important, takes place in the shallows and misses the deeper currents that, in the digital age, are pushing American culture under the control of ever fewer and more powerful corporations. Bezos is right: gatekeepers are inherently elitist, and some of them have been weakened, in no small part, because of their complacency and short-term thinking. But gatekeepers are also barriers against the complete commercialization of ideas, allowing new talent the time to develop and learn to tell difficult truths. When the last gatekeeper but one is gone, will Amazon care whether a book is any good? c c

INNoVATIoN LEADErShIP

It should be no surprise that in these uncertain times, innovation is the buzzword du jour (again) and remains critical to an organization’s top and bottom line. Without new sources of value – whether that’s defined in terms of quantity of revenue or quality of life – most organizations eventually wither and die. The world around them changes and competitors emerge to provide the same offerings more effectively or efficiently. Research

per cent of the book’s price for editorial counsel, production costs, publicity, paying the author, and whatever profit might be left over. A shared sensibility for a certain kind of fiction or nonfiction writing unites everyone along the way: authors, agents, editors, designers, marketers, reviewers, readers. “The only point at which Bezos enters that chain is to take all the money and the e-mail address of the buyer,” Robinson said. “There’s an entire community of people, and Bezos stands in the middle of it and collects the money.” Instead of going through Amazon, OR Books sells directly to customers, using printers in Minnesota and the U.K. It pays about fifteen per cent to the printer and keeps the rest. “After four years, we’re just profitable,”

professional extinction, and perhaps the industry’s, he cofounded a new company, OR Books, with a different business model. Robinson did research and found that fifty to sixty per cent of the list price of a book goes to Amazon or to another retailer. When he was starting out, in the eighties, that figure was more like thirty or forty per cent. A small-to-midsize publisher has to spend between ten and fifteen per cent on sales, warehousing, and shipping. This leaves little more than twenty-five

INNoVATIoN LEADErShIP

“Innovation involves implementing something new that adds value or quantifiable gain. It requires many skillsets, usually those of a team.”

“The real talent—the people who are writers because they happen to be really good at writing— they aren’t going to be able to afford to do it.”

cent years; advances on mid-list titles – books that are expected to sell modestly but whose quality gives them a strong chance of enduring – have declined by a quarter. These are the kinds of book that particularly benefit from the attention of editors and marketers, and that attract gifted people to publishing, despite the pitiful salaries. Without sufficient advances, many writers will not be able to undertake long, difficult, risky projects. Those who do so anyway will have to expend a lot of effort mastering the art of blowing their own horn. “Writing is being outsourced, because the only people who can afford to write books make money elsewhere – academics, rich people, celebrities,” Colin Robinson, a veteran publisher, said. “The real talent, the people who are writers because they happen to be really good at writing – they aren’t going to be able to afford to do it.” Seven-figure bidding wars still break out over potential

MANAgEMENT

career) followed an established framework: if leaders managed well, success would follow. But today, complexity and uncertainty are palpable. Planning for even the next quarter is a challenge. Even more difficult is committing to decisions that will play out over the next five years. In the words of one senior executive: “We’ve lost our crystal ball.” What is the next breakthrough product, game-changing service, or compelling vision? What’s the process for getting there? Even in more stable times, strategy execution often fails because companies neglect to take into account the inevitable inertia within the organization best represented by the slogan, “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.” An analysis of several studies correlating organizational performance with culture using the Denison Organizational Survey found that “culture… is an important predictor of organizational performance.”

blockbusters, even though these battles often turn out to be follies. The quest for publishing profits in an economy of scarcity drives the money toward a few big books. So does the gradual disappearance of book reviewers and knowledgeable booksellers, whose enthusiasm might have rescued a book from drowning in obscurity. When consumers are overwhelmed with choices, some experts argue, they all tend to buy the same well-known thing: “the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer.” A few brand names at the top, a mass of unwashed titles down below, the middle hollowed out: the book business in the age of Amazon mirrors the widening inequality of the broader economy. In 2009, after a career at publishers large and small, Robinson was laid off by Scribner, amid downsizing. Faced with his own

ChEAP worDS

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Trudeau said, almost all the shows that Amazon approved were created by professionals. “They may be spinning their wheels with all their data crunching,” he said. “You can easily argue that it stymies experimentation, that it prevents innovation, because the audience is telling you what they want.” But Trudeau was free to ignore the data from “Alpha House” – Amazon kept it confidential even from him.

ChEAP worDS

“Mom! Dad! Do something!” Steve Jobs once remarked that customers don’t know what they want until Apple shows them. Amazon’s view is nearly the opposite, which has made it the world’s largest online store. But determining customers’ desires by analyzing surveys and viewing patterns does not describe a path to artistic excellence. When Garry Trudeau, the creator of the “Doonesbury” comic strip, heard from his friend Jonathan Alter, the author and political journalist, that Amazon was interested in a script that Trudeau had written – a comedy, “Alpha House,” about four Republican senators living together on Capitol Hill – he was dubious: “Amazon is a studio?” Trudeau’s skepticism turned to horror when Alter described Amazon’s approach. “Being one of thousands of projects didn’t seem very promising,” Trudeau said. “Hanging it up on the Amazon Prime Web site and letting it be troll bait didn’t appeal at all. I thought it would be a very public humiliation, as opposed to the usual way pilots get shot down – in private with executives.” Trudeau went ahead with Amazon, anyway, with Alter as

an executive producer. “For me, this was a chance to feel like I had a piece of the dawning digital age,” Alter, whose longtime employer, Newsweek, had been sold for a dollar, said. After the pilot, starring John Goodman, appeared on Amazon, last April, almost four thousand customer reviews came in. Trudeau didn’t read them – “It was not good for my mental health, so instead I looked at the percentages, since I figured that’s what Amazon was looking at.” The ratings were largely positive, and in May Amazon Studios commissioned Trudeau to write ten episodes of “Alpha House.” “Now, of course, I’m all for the process,” Trudeau said, smiling. “Yay, democracy!” “Alpha House” had a glitzy première, on November 11th, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with young women in black checking guests’ names on Kindles. Bezos attended, with his parents seated next to Trudeau. “Alpha House” became popular on Amazon Prime streaming video, but it garnered less critical praise and public interest than “House of Cards,” from Amazon’s rival Netflix. “Betas,” Amazon’s second original series, about four friends with a social-app startup, was a bomb. Many more shows are in the pipeline (including a New Yorker project developed by Condé Nast Entertainment). For all the emphasis on crowdsourcing,

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Company and the Nicollet Island owners compromised. The company was allowed flowage, dam and boom privileges on the island’s shore, while Eastman and Merriam were allowed to draw enough water to create 200 horse power for use at their own mills. Unfortunately, the ag re ement al s o allowe d Eastman and Merriam to excavate a tunnel under Nicollet and Hennepin Islands for their tailrace. In September 1868, Eastman, Merriam and two additional partners began excavating the tailrace. The plans called for a 6-foot by 6-foot tunnel cut through 2,500 feet of sandstone. Workers began digging at the downstream end of Hennepin Island and by October 4, 1869, they had tunneled through 2,000 feet of sandstone, bringing them as far as the toe of Nicollet Island. That day, however, workers discovered water leaking, and

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Corner Magazine: Processbook

STorIES

STorIES

Every year, Fine distributes grants of twenHarcourt – the house that distributed Amazon’s hardcover editions – looked stricken. “You do ty-five thousand dollars, on average, to dozens that,” she said, and walked away. Anastas found of hard-up literary organizations. Beneficiaries the reaction hypocritical. “If you’re publishing include the PEN American Center, the Loft with Penguin Random House, what’s the dif- Literary Center, in Minneapolis, and the magaference?” he said. “They’re both these massive zine Poets & Writers. “For Amazon, it’s the cost entities that have totally changed book pub- of doing business, like criminal penalties for lishing. There is nothing more demoralizing banks,” the arts manager said, suggesting that for a writer than to go into one of these huge the money keeps potential critics quiet. Like towers to talk about your book amid all this liberal Democrats taking Wall Street campaign product. You feel like a sperm-oil salesman at contributions, the nonprofits don’t advertise the the Petroleum Club.” Still, finding no copies of grants. When the Best Translated Book Award his new book in most stores was akin to watch- received money from Amazon, Dennis Johnson, ing himself disappear, and Anastas said that of Melville House, which had received the prize he would think twice before publishing with that year, announced that his firm would no longer compete for it. “Every translator in America Amazon again. Jon Fine, an intellectual-property lawyer, wrote me saying I was a son of a bitch,” Johnson worked as Knopf’s in-house counsel until said. A few nonprofit heads privately told him, Amazon hired him, in 2005. Since 2008, he’s “I wanted to speak out, but I might have taken been the company’s director of author-and-pub- four thousand dollars from them, too.” A year lisher relations – “trying to get publishers to later, at the Associated Writing Programs conhate Amazon less,” as an arts manager said. ference, Fine shook Johnson’s hand, saying, “I In March, 2009, Slate criticized Amazon for its just wanted to thank you – that was the best miserly philanthropy, especially in the Seattle publicity we could have had.” (Fine denies this.) Serious publishing is in such a dire state arts world, saying that certain lemonade stands were more generous. Fine showed the article that thoughtful people are defecting to Amazon. around, and the next day a printed copy came There’s a line in Robert Stone’s novel “A Flag back to him, with “Fix This” scrawled across the for Sunrise” about “a mouse so frightened it page in Bezos’s hand, and a budget of roughly a went to the cat for love.” The cat can inspire million dollars attached. (Amazon denies this.) inordinate gratitude when it lets the mouse live. “I feel like, I get to do this!” an editor who has joined Amazon said. “I can’t believe it – I’m still standing! I can’t monitor other people’s feelings, but I can’t see what harm I’m doing.”

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PoTPoUrrI

PoTPoUrrI

In an age of global strife and climate change, I’m here to answer the all important question: Why

Five Senses

is sex so damn good? If you’re laughing, you

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graph like a five senses diary. And that’s how the five senses graph works. Now, for a period of three years, I gathered data, not just me but also some of my friends,. And since I used to teach in university, I forced – I mean, I asked – my students to do this as well. So here are some other results. The first is for instant noodles. Now obviously, taste

and smell are quite high, but notice sound is at three. Many people told me a big part of the noodle-eating experience is the slurping noise. You know. Slurp. Needless to say, I no longer dine with these people. Okay, next, clubbing. Okay, here what I found interesting was that taste is at four, and many respondents told me it’s because of the

T SE ILL SK

INNoVATIoN LEADErShIP

ET

How do you know where to focus your innovation leadership development efforts so that you and your organization have the skills you need? It becomes easier to diagnose areas needing attention when you tease apart several elements of innovation, specifically process, context, output, and people (Rhodes, 1961; Vehar, 2008).

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the natural barriers that occur first, for leaders to support inside and outside organiza- and demonstrate the toolset, tions (e.g. hierarchy, functional mindset, and skillset for insilos, geography, demographic novation; second, to create differences, and stakeholder a climate that nurtures and differences) (Ernst & Chrobot- promotes the innovative competencies of others. Teresa Mason, 2011). Pol arity Man agement. Amabile, chair of Creativity Processes help people deter- at Harvard Business School, mine how to manage issues collaborated with the Center that don’t have fixed solu- for Creative Leadership tions – like whether it’s better to develop the KEYS® to to be centralized or decen- Creativity and Innovation, an tralized, whether to focus on instrument for measuring the continuous improvement or climate of creativity in a team innovation. The question is or organization. Her research not “which is the best,” but demonstrated that people are rather what’s the process the at their most creative when organization can use to make they are motivated primarthe work more effective and ily by the work itself. The efficient for the given situa- research demonstrated that tion, and how to know when there are three categories and the pendulum has swung too eight factors that facilitate a far in one direction ( Johnson, climate for creativity (Amabile, 2010). 1996). Output: Innovation is more Context: Culture, Climate, and Environment Innovation than new products and new Leadership might be thought services. A well-rounded inof as having two separate but novation effort is also focused inextricably linked objectives: on things like business models,

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It’s the first clock ever that uses smell to tell the time. In fact, in terms of the five senses, Chris’ clock is a revolution. And that’s what this theory taught me about my field. You see, us designers, we’ve mainly focused on making things look very pretty, and a little bit of touch. Which means we’ve ignored the other three senses. Chris’ clock shows us that raising just one of those other senses can make for a brilliant product. So what if we started using the five senses theory in all of our designs? Here’s three quick

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rather than reinventing the wheel on a yearly basis. The issues become focal points for employee creativity – rather than random contributions to a suggestion box. Create highly diverse teams to address strategic issues. Help them overcome limiting differences so diversity becomes a source of novel ideas.

“A deliberate focus on innovation by leaders is critical for organizational growth and development.” Give people access to creative methods and experiences. Even those with creative potential get stuck. Readily available tools, methods, and experiences help them reframe and think differently about challenges and opportunities. Design and build systems to nurture innovation. Look for low-cost ways to test and prototype new solutions. Champion ideas that don’t quite fit and network with your peers to find a home for them. Actively break down barriers to innovation, including internal politics and destructive criticism, as well as hurdles, gates, and other unnecessary systems.

A CALL­TO­ACTION FOR THE LEADER TO FOSTER MEANINGFUL INNOVATION A deliberate focus on innovation on the part of leaders is critical for organizational growth and development. It helps to drive the quantifiable gain and qualitative value that are vital to keeping an organization’s stakeholders happy. To truly lead innovation, pay special attention to the items in this one last checklist:

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destroyed the dam on the west side of Nicollet Island, opening a gap 150 feet wide and flooding the tunnel. A month later, a great hole opened in the dam at the head of the limestone bedrock. The engineers discovered that the flood water had scoured a new channel under the limestone from its head to the Eastman tunnel. In response to these continued but unsuccessful efforts to save St. Anthony Falls, a special federal board of engineers met in Minneapolis in April 1874 to study the situation. The board recommended the construction of a cutoff wall or dike, a new apron to protect the edge of the falls, and two dams above the falls. This time, Congress recognized the immediate need for the dike and authorized the funds needed for the project. In July 1874, the Corps began construction of the dike. First they excavated a 75-foot-deep vertical shaft

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on Hennepin Island. Next they began digging a horizontal tunnel 4 feet wide and 8 feet high just below the limestone for the removal of water and excavated material. Then, the Corps began excavating for construction of the concrete wall. Building the dike proved to be a formidable challenge, as flooding, leaking and collapses occurred frequently. By November 1876, the Corps of Engineers had completed the dike, which was 40 feet deep and 1,850 feet long. Between 1876 and 1880, the engineers also completed the apron below the falls, built two low dams above the falls to maintain a safe water level over the limestone, and constructed a sluiceway to carry logs over the falls. Between 1870 and 1885, the federal government spent $615,000 to save St. Anthony Falls. In 1885, the Corps’ work at St. Anthony Falls ended and the maintenance of the

waterfall once again became the responsibility of the water power companies and the City of Minneapolis. The dike is still in place under the limestone, helping to prevent the erosion of the falls.

THE UPPER HARBOR PROJECT

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The idea of extending navigation above St. Anthony Falls by constructing locks was first introduced by settlers in the 1850s. The city of Minneapolis and its boosters kept this idea alive over the years and continuously lobbied Congress to authorize such a project. In the Rivers and Harbors Act of August 1937, Congress approved the Upper Minneapolis Harbor Development Project, which extended the 9-Foot Channel in the Mississippi River by 4.6 miles. The 9-Foot Channel Project was authorized in 1930 and

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completed in 1940. It included The Minneapolis Upper the construction of a series Harbor Project included the of 23 locks and dams on the construction of the Lower Mississippi River between Lock and Dam (completed in St. Louis and Red Wing, 1956), the Upper Lock (comMinnesota, as well as dredging pleted in 1963), dredging a a deeper channel, to improve channel 9 feet deep and a navigation. [Lock and Dam minimum of 150 feet wide, #1 in Minneapolis and Lock and alterations to bridges and and Dam #2, at Hastings, utilities within the project area. were built in 1917 and 1930, The fragile geology of respectively, under previous the St. Anthony Fall’s area Congressional authorizations.] and congestion due to urban Prior to the construction of development called for a dethe Minneapolis Upper Harbor parture from conventional Project, the 9 Foot Channel design and construction pracreached only as far as the tices for the Upper Harbor Northern Pacific Railway Project. In 1939, the Corps bridge, just upstream of built a 1 to 50 scale model of Washington Avenue. the project site from Hennepin World War II, numerous Avenue to the Washington economic and engineering Avenue Bridge at the St. studies, and project planning Ant hony Falls Hydraulic combined to delay construc- Laboratory at the University tion of the Minneapolis Upper of Minnesota. Other models Harbor Project until 1948, were also made to aid in the when dredging for the proj- design of the spillway for the ect began. lower dam and the filling/

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business – even after a year-long campaign to turn things around. By the time solutions filderisked” and lacked creativity. The culture of the organization led managers to strip away any innovation found in new ideas – rendering solutions that were weak, limited in scope, and impotent. The executive said he wanted to create a culture of innovation that would allow ideas to grow and flourish, add value, and help

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People have always been drawn to the power and beauty of St. Anthony Falls, the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. For Native

“…some marketing guy could throw a red flag and you’ve got to adjust. So can you do that? Can you separate your art and bring in that business savvy?”

but if you’re at least going to get these three things done, so put that thing that you’ve been putting off at the top of your list just to bang it out and try to get in a mindset that you’re able to just do it even if you feel apprehensive about it, just get through it. For me, sometimes I get a more problematic email than usual in my inbox and for some reason it just strikes some kind of chord and I feel like it’s the last thing I want to deal with

“…really it’s as simple as just continuing to ask questions that direct everyone to an actionable, deliverable result.”

early European and American explorers, the falls provided a landmark in a vast wilderness, as well as an interesting geological phenomenon. During the 19th century, settlers, tourists and artists were drawn to St. Anthony Falls’ picturesque beauty, while entrepreneurs seized the water power of the falls for their lumber

What context does a 19th century business disaster offer today?

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and flour mills. Meanwhile, promoters of river transportation viewed St. Anthony Falls as an obstacle to be overcome, as they dreamed of extending navigation on the Mississippi River above Minneapolis. Since the 19th century, the The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played an important

and it’s not even necessarily aligning with what I think is my most important thing to do but it’s urgent or it has to get dealt with. So I just turn my email program off and I’m like I’ll deal with this at lunch time and after lunch I still don’t want to deal with it. But you just have to make it important, put it at the top of your to do list and just bang it out. chris : Yeah, my most productive time is my first four hours of the day and so therefore I try and always use that time on the most important stuff. But then there’s this constant, multiple times a week, this constant conflict of the time that I’m most able to deal with the stuff that I don’t like about the job is in that time as well because I have the most energy and I’m the most brave and on and on. So it’s just a constant kind of push and pull and tug of war of that. sean : That’s so insightful to say that’s when you’re the most brave. I can so relate to that. I want to be the most creative, I want to do my own personal writing depending on when I do my most

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DISCUSSIoNS

Are bad clients and boring gigs the real roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career?

emptying system for both locks. Three railroad bridges ran through the Upper Harbor Project area. The Corps had to alter all three without discontinuing rail service. In each case, the Corps replaced part of the original bridge with a steel truss to allow the passage of river vessels. Remodeling the Great Northern Railway’s historic Stone Arch Bridge presented the most complex engineering problem. Because it was not feasible to reroute the large number of trains that used the bridge, the Corps had to remove one pier and two spans of the structure without disrupting train traffic. To erect the truss and remove two arch spans under these conditions, the railroad grade was raised 5 feet and the trains were limited to the use of one track. The total cost of the Upper Harbor Project was approximately $3 million. The Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks make possible the navigation of numerous commercial and pleasure vessels over the Mississippi River’s only waterfall. Although the project dramatically changed the appearance of the St. Anthony Falls area, it fulfilled a century-old dream to extend river navigation above Minneapolis. Regrettably, that dream never turned into economic profits for the city of Minneapolis. Still, the area remains an important part of the Minneapolis livelihood. Today, the area is being redeveloped as a recreation spot for Minneapolis’ burgeoning riverfront population. Underutilized and plagued with cost overruns, in 2015 the upper lock was permanently closed. c

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critical editing where I’m literally like rewriting so you may be able to come back to them a some passages and really being insightful with little bit but ultimately you have to be able to the stuff that I’m editing. I want to do all that have that kind of conversation and put it at the kind of more creative work early on but at the forefront of importance, because it is at the same time there’s some business issues that forefront of importance. If you’re not able to come up that really require this same level of adjust to that, you’re not a professional. You’re mental effort and plus bravery like what you’re just not a professional illustrator, I mean you’re saying, if you’re feeling apprehensive, you have maybe very good at your craft but you’re not to be like… you’ve got to put your Rocky suit on good at the business. or whatever. chris : Yeah, and I think that for one, the more professional you get, the less you care chris : Exactly. So let’s move on to the last big reason freelance artists fail and that’s the about fighting changes in a way because the general inability to affect a very specific clear more professional you get, the more you sepaart direction into one’s professional work. So rate your professional from your personal work. to take notes, make changes and make the And it’s not that you become apathetic about changes that the client is asking for, or more your professional work, it’s just that you realize that your work belongs to the client. And I think specifically the art director is asking for. this gets you called back a lot in your sort of… in sean : This is what you should have been walked through during school and kind of done a way you’re kind of the advocate for the client. it, like in design school we would put our stuff Now again, this doesn’t work when there’s no up and we would critique it and the teacher trust, this doesn’t work when it’s a bad client. would… we’d get a direction and we’d go and fix Go to chrisOatley.com/Bad-Clients for more on it. With clients it’s more specific because it could that but trusting that it’s a good client or that it’s be like you used a World War II helmet that’s a pretty good client, you’re providing for them got the spike on it and yeah okay, that’s actually a service. And I think there’s a difference too the allies but it just reminds people of the Nazis in changes like you gave there sean which is a or something. Technically it’s not, whatever it very specific, we just need to change the helmet, is. I mean some marketing guy could throw a that’s more of a pragmatic note but there’s also red flag and you’ve got to adjust. So can you do the very difficult and more kind of foggy area that? Can you separate your art and bring in of art direction. that business savvy where… that’s what you’re being hired to do. You’re being hired for your ability to adjust to this criticism. And it doesn’t mean you have to be walked over all the time either, you may have some insight back, probably less so early on because you don’t have that confidence, but someone may give you advice

Engineering the Fall BY JANE LAMM CARROLL

icance and harbored powerful spirits. For the

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Americans, the falls possessed religious signif-

a culture of telling “ what,” rather than “how ”: Finally, remember that the leader’s job is not to tell people how to do things, nor is it to have all the great ideas. Ensure that you model appropriate humility, offer up your best challenge, and then get out of the way to let people amaze you with novel, useful, and innovative and likely completely usable and valuable solutions. c

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PErSPECTIVES

“Nothing kills innovation quite as fast as a ‘knowit-all’ leader.”

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Innovation Leadership BY DAVID M. HORTH AND JONATHAN VEHAR

tered up the hierarchy to him, they were “totally

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Even the most successful freelance artists will tell you that bad clients and boring gigs are common roadblocks to a fulfilling creative career. The popular blog known as clients from hell

horror story almost every day. Even the legendary Drew Struzan struggled with the client side

Why Freelancers Fail A COFFEEHOUSE DISCUSSION WITH CHRIS OATLEY AND SEAN HODGE

of his now famous career. In the recent documentary about his life, he told a story that was actually painful for me to hear. But bad clients are so common and the stories so egregious that it’s easy for artists to remain blind to a hard truth, that we are often part of the problem. I’ve worked with many freelance illustrators and designers over the course of my career and I’ve noticed three common problems that sabotage freelance success. In this second half of our two-part interview, freelancing expert Sean Hodge shares insights into how you can avoid these common problems, and how better

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posts a new true and hilarious freelance

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DISCUSSIoNS

outlining exactly how you get things done? How long it takes? You can literally map out when they’re going to expect to get sketches from the point of signing a contract, when they’re going to expect to get updates. If you’ve mapped that out, you can either refer to that when you communicate with them, I mean you can get specific with these things. If you’re working for an art director, you have to adjust to their process. So it’s a little bit different, you have to fit into their work flow and how they do things. You may have to log into their project management app rather than everything running through yours. I mean there’s really different spheres but in either case you can get very specific with how you control that process. chris : Yeah, and just one last thing on this note because it just came to mind as you were talking here, sean. Don’t be afraid, especially young artists, I encounter a lot of young artists who don’t follow up and don’t communicate for irrational fear. There’s just an irrational paralyzing fear that has nothing to do with anything and they just clam up, they just don’t talk at all, they don’t communicate, they don’t check in just because they’re generically afraid. sean : I’m going to be honest, that still happens to me sometimes. I’ll have one issue and it’ll be like the one thing in my inbox I don’t want to deal with and there’s literally no good reason why. Okay yeah, it’s a bit of a difficult issue but it’s nothing like I haven’t done that before (inaudible), but it’s kind of human nature to have certain issues that just strike a chord with you and you can’t easily control fear, but you can manage fear. So it might mean you align three major tasks to do for the day, I mean you’re doing a bunch of other crap too

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large multinational organization who voiced his frustration about the lack of innovation in his

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DISCUSSIoNS

sean : Art is very subjective so who’s really right there? I mean does it really matter? I mean are they requiring you to completely restart the design and then the (inaudible) illustration? You should be charging them for that, but just asking you to change a few colors or something like that, you really can’t be married to your work. It might not be flexible with that kind of thing. They may have real reasons for that and they may articulate them to you, when they’re not, then they are a difficult client. But if they’re explaining a reason, I mean it’s a little easier to adjust to that. But in either case, you have to decide if you want to work with them or not. And if you want to get paid… chris : Yeah, and it’s important to note that in all of these things, and the flakiness thing, in the note taking thing, unless we specifically address the bad client issue, we’re talking about good clients or acceptable clients. And here it’s the same thing, there is actually a great Tumblr called Clients From Hell that is hilarious. It’s so funny, it’s super entertaining because they just basically post sections of emails sent to illustrators or designers that are just the worst art direction ever. And we’ve all been in those situations and so grant it, that’s not a fun situation to be in and again, that’s a whole other article. But even if the client doesn’t get that at first, really it’s as simple as just continuing

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to ask questions that direct everyone to an actionable, deliverable result. So sure, the conversation can start in an abstract way, but you can ask questions and continue to kind of just dog the conversation until you get down to okay, so here’s what I think you’re saying and I’ll do these one, two, three specific things to the illustration and then send it back to you, right? We’re all on the same page? sean: The clearer the brief, the better the results you’re going to get because they’re going to be very targeted. So if you’re working with another client, you’re the one that’s going to have to put the brief together, you’re the one that’s going to have to walk them through that process. If you’ve got an art director, they’re more likely to give you something that’s more specific in nature and what they’re looking for which gives you a great direction to run in. And with some art directors, you’re going to get feedback that actually improves the work, not as much as you’ll get feedback that you’re like kind of unsure of or not feeling it as much. But yeah, I’ve seen art direction make the work even better because it just took it to another level. It’s basically just setting certain requirements and if the work isn’t quite meeting those and they articulate why, then the artist is just taking it that much further. So yeah, you need a really good brief and you need to put it together and work from that.

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why FrEELANCErS FAIL

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chris : One of the big gripes with freelance illustration is you know, the client expects me to read their mind and I’ve found it to be more the client wants to read my mind. Early on, that was one of the things that kind of cultivated this over communicating habit in me, was I realized, the more just explain to them what I’m doing and explain to them my choices, the more they felt like oh, he’s in control. sean : Yeah, educating the client, I mean you’ve got to let them know what the process is if they’re not an art director, if they’re more like a micro business owner and you’re doing some illustrations and logo and branding for them. I mean they have no clue about your process, you may have to really map it out for them before you get started. Otherwise, they’re going to have a lot of anxiety. chris : But by and large, some of this mind reading conundrum might be that you’re just not talking to the client, you’re just sitting in your room painting and they have no idea what’s going on and all of a sudden you send them something that you spent forty hours on and they haven’t seen anything, no progress updates or… it might be you. sean : It’s another business strategy issue, I mean basically, let’s go back if it’s a little easier to discuss, the client that isn’t savvy, what is your client intake process? How are you

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why FrEELANCErS FAIL

happen, just let them know. chris : There’s a general guideline by which I’ve tried to conduct business and that is to always leave the ball in the client’s court. In other words, there’s never a time at which the client is waiting on me for something. So if they give me some necessary information, I write back and say, “Sounds great, I will continue to work on ____ until I hear back from you, or until I hear otherwise.” They always know what I’m doing, they always know what the next milestone is that I’m working toward. If anyone is going to decide that we need to communicate less, I want it to be the client. So I tend to over communicate, especially when I’m just starting out, when it’s the first time working with a particular client. sean : Yeah, especially when as you mentioned you’re establishing, this is a new client, you’re establishing a new connection with them, their process may be slightly different than other clients, it’s much better to air on the side of too information. I mean you’ll find a balance but it is better to air on that side than to air on the side of not enough. chris : Heck, yeah. sean: But once you establish the relationship, communication can actually get really minimal, but you’re meeting their needs and the writers I work with now, there’s some that we discuss a lot at the beginning to assign it, they’ve got a due date. I’ll make sure that due date is two weeks to a month before it actually publishes, I don’t need to really hear anything from them until they hand it in, you know?

Not long ago we spoke to a senior leader in a

Is innovation something a business can foster?

catalytic mechanisms: Look for ways to create simple and effective ways to reinforce the message that innovation is important; speak in compelling and simple ways to motivate people. culture that supports innovation: Culture can kill strategy, so pay constant attention to ways you can build and maintain a culture of innovation. people with the right mindset: Having the right tools and developing the right skills without the right mindset is like having a high-performance automobile without gasoline. Leaders must be role models and encourage people to develop their ability to defer judgment, tolerate ambiguity, and be genuinely curious. enabling processes and systems : To break down the organizational barriers to innovation, ensure that people have appropriate governance, funding, resources, support, and access to decision-makers. room to run with ideas: Innovation rarely works according to plan. It flourishes only in a culture where it’s possible for people to try, make mistakes, and learn from what happens.

DISCUSSIoNS

updated, I just got these sketches done, you’re sending them away for review or whatever your process is, you’re on top of each of those checkpoints and you know how long it typically takes you to go from a to z to get the project done. And the worst thing is when someone doesn’t update you, I mean this happens quite often when I’m hiring new writers to write for us and my inclination no matter how good it was is I don’t want to work with them again. I may make exceptions here and there if they write exceptionally well and people do, most people require some coaching before their writing is on task to what we expect. So for me to invest that time, why would I invest that in someone that’s not delivering on time. And they don’t even keep me updated, I mean I won’t. chris : Me too. sean : I’ll move on to someone that I have will have an opportunity to do that well. I’ll put more time into a writer that is communicating with me and yeah, it’s just absolutely critical that you communicate with your clients and that said, if something isn’t going to be ready on time, just let them know as soon as possible because I won’t hate you or think you’re irresponsible or something if you’re not going to deliver on time because you let me know a week early. I can adjust my schedule, I mean for me with blogging, I could adjust the schedule. I could move a post up that is done, it sucks if too many people are doing that at once or if you do that every single time I may not want to work with you. But if you do it once in a blue moon, it happens to everybody. So you’ve just got to keep the client informed, you’ve got to do the best you can to not do that but if it does

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the organization achieve its growth targets. He’s not alone in his concerns, as evidenced by how hot a topic innovation is today. But that wasn’t always the case. At one time, strategy was king. Forecasting, planning, and placing smart bets created the power sources within organizations. The future of a business (or a

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PErSPECTIVES

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DISCUSSIoNS

“…they have no clue about your process, you may have to really map it out for them before you get started. Otherwise, they’re going to have a lot of anxiety.”

level where you have authority to make it happen. Use the IBM 2010 CEO Study, IBM 2011 Creative Leadership Studies, 2012 Capgemini Innovation Leadership Study, and other evidence to get their attention. Model what it will take individually and collectively for the organization to become more innovative. It is particularly important for senior leaders to walk the talk. Our colleagues McGuire and Rhodes (2009) describe this as “head room,” demonstrating courage, thoughtfulness, and vulnerability and modeling new behaviors that facilitate a shift in culture. Make managing the tension between business thinking and innovative thinking a priority. Communicate challenging strategic issues throughout the organization. Use them as vehicles for promoting collaboration and seeking creative ideas. The IRS, for example, creates a rolling strategy,

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existence of the Minneapolis millpond and led the citizens of Minneapolis to raise money to repair the tunnel and build an apron to protect the foot of the falls. When this new failure occurred, the Corps of Engineers surveyed the sandstone above the limit of the limestone ledge and found it was filled with holes. The condition of the underlying sandstone led Cook to conclude that only a wall under the limestone, extending across the entire width of the river, would save St. Anthony Falls. However, Congress had not authorized funds for such a project. In the years between 1871 and 1874, the Corps, mill owners and private citizens labored continuously at the falls to avert one crisis after another. The Corps worked to clear debris, plug holes and line the walls of the tunnels to prevent further collapses. In April 1873, a f lood

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MANAgEMENT

ENgINEErINg ThE FALL

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authority unless the project Anthony and Minneapolis millwas related to the Corps of ponds that extended from the Engineers’ navigation mission. upper limit of the limestone Cook recommended the ledge to the falls. The dam was construction of a timber apron constructed of timber cribs to prevent further degenera- loaded with stone and was tion of the falls, as well as the intended to be a permanent construction of a dam near the wall around the upper breach edge of the waterfall to main- in the Eastman tunnel. tain a constant level of water While the Corps made over the limestone cap to pre- significant progress, in July vent freezing and cracking. 1871, the engineers discovTHE CORPS OF Cook argued that the ered that the tunnel was ENGINEERS AND THE Corps should seek autho- once again filling with water. PRESERVATION OF rization from Congress to After a considerable search, ST. ANTHONY FALLS The St. Paul District Office save the waterfall on the they found that the leak origof the U.S. Army Corps of basis that navigation above inated between Nicollet Island Engineers had just been es- Minneapolis would be lost if St. and the east shore of the river. tablished three years when Anthony Falls were destroyed. Water had traveled under the the Eastman Tunnel col- Congress reluctantly accepted new dam and had scoured a lapsed in 1869. In response this argument and provided cavity 16 feet wide by 8 feet to the disaster, the Corps $50,000 for the Corps of deep under the limestone. To fix this new problem, the hired an engineer, Franklin Engineers to save the falls. In August 1870, the Corps Corps built another dam from Cook, to survey the damage and recommend actions that hired Cook as supervising en- Boom Island to Nicollet Island, should be taken to preserve St. gineer and started to work by cutting off water to the St. Anthony Falls. At the time, the taking over the tunnel repair Anthony millpond. In August 1871, another Corps had no authority from project from the St. Anthony Congress to work on the falls Company. The engineers also new tunnel scoured out by and could not obtain such built a dam between the St. the river threatened the collapsed, and several mills and other buildings fell into the river. The progressive deterioration of the falls continued and the end of the limestone bedrock was drawing near. Without a dramatic preservation effort, St. Anthony Falls would quickly disappear.

ideas I came up with. Picture an iron, you know, for your clothes, to which I added a spraying mechanism, so you fill up the vial with your favorite scent. Your clothes will smell nicer, but hopefully it should also make the ironing experience more enjoyable. We could call this “the perfumator.” Or, what if we had a toothbrush that tastes like candy, and when the taste of candy ran out, you’d know it’s time to change your toothbrush? Finally, I have a thing for the keys on a flute or a clarinet. It’s not just the way they look, but I love the way they feel when you press down on them. Now, I don’t play the flute or the clarinet, so I decided to combine these keys with an instrument I do play: the television remote control. When we look at these three ideas together, you’ll notice that the five senses theory doesn’t only change the way we use these products but also the way they look. So in conclusion, I’ve found the five senses theory to be a very useful tool in evaluating different experiences in my life, and then taking those best experiences and hopefully incorporating them into my designs. Oh, one last thing. How could the experience of reading my article be improved? Perhaps if we could up a couple of the other senses like smell and taste. And the best way to do that is with free candy. Everyone ready?c c

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PErSPECTIVES

ENgINEErINg ThE FALL

were ordered from the mills, of their efforts in one massive barbers left their customers gulp. According to one local unshorn; mechanics dropped newspaper, the whirlpool in their tools; lawyers shut up the Mississippi River “tossed their books or stopped plead- huge logs as though they were ing in the courts; physicians mere whittlings,” standing abandoned their offices.” them on end “as if in sport” Responding to the emer- before swallowing them. gency, citizens of St. Anthony The failure of this initial atand Minneapolis worked to- tempt to save the falls made it gether to build large rafts of clear that a more permanent timber, which they floated solution was needed. A temover the whirlpool and filled porary dam was completed by with dirt, rocks and other de- the end of October 1869, while bris until the rafts sank into mill owners and citizens of the the hole. Once this break was two cities debated long-term plugged, however, another solutions to the problem. hole appeared. During the winter and Throughout the day, vol- spring of 1869-1870, the St. unteers built rafts to fill the Anthony Company worked to river where the limestone repair the tunnel and to probedrock had collapsed. By the tect damaged areas near its afternoon, workers and spec- property on Hennepin Island. tators were walking across a A flood in April 1870 destroyed network of rafts that had these repairs. Flood water and apparently succeeded in pre- debris raced through the old venting further erosion. Then tunnel, scouring out the sandsuddenly, the rafts lurched, stone under the mills on the and as people scrambled to downstream end of Hennepin safety, the river swallowed all Island. The limestone cap soon

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networks and alliances, pro- As important as things like cesses, product systems, sales compensation structures, channels, brand development, idea-management systems, and the customer experience and online collaboration tools (Doblin Group, ND). Shifting are, people are the key driver. focus to this broader per- Only by developing the innospective on innovation helps vation capacity of the people everyone in the organization in the organization can the see how they can contribute. real promise of innovation be It demonstrates a leading role realized. for finance, sales, operations, logistics, and more. Each be- TIPS FOR DEVEL­ comes the driver of innovation OPING A MORE in the enterprise rather than INNOVATIVE waiting for the “Next Big ORGANIZATION Thing” to be handed down Here are some specific from on high. actions you can take to help People: At the end of the your organization develop the day, innovation boils down mindset, skillset, and toolset to people. Someday artificial for innovation leadership. intelligence may do our innoCreate a mand ate for vation work for us, but until change, backed by a strategy then, we need people with an that embraces innovation. If innovative mindset working you are not senior enough to together to understand and create the mandate, gather clarify the challenge, gener- peers around you who share ate and refine ideas, develop your passion for innovation solutions and plans, and im- and collectively approach plement the innovation to those who can create the realize a quantifiable gain. mandate, or scale it back to a

PErSPECTIVES

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INNoVATIoN LEADErShIP

Process: There are many processes that can be used to drive innovation at the individual, group, organizational, and even societal levels. Having a deliberate process (such as design thinking, creative problem-solving, etc.) ensures people have a useful framework and common language they can align around. They avoid unproductive arguments about how to get the work done so they can focus on getting the work done. W hile there are many processes directly targeted at innovation, there are also others that enable innovation by allowing people to work together more effectively. Examples include: A new bo dy of work, “Boundary Spanning Leadership“ from the Center for Creative Leadership has as its ultimate goal “Discovering New Frontiers.” It provides targeted processes to help people work together across

BRINGING FOCUS TO INNOVATION LEADERSHIP

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then rushing, into the upper end of the tunnel. Early the next morning, the river broke through the limestone at the upper end of the project, forming a large whirlpool that sucked everything nearby into the tunnel. The water quickly scoured out the 6- by 6-foot tailrace, enlarging its width as much as 90 feet and increasing its depth to 16 ½ feet. As the roof of the tunnel fell in, Hennepin Island began to sink and the falls were in danger of collapsing. Almost immediately, word spread through Minneapolis and St. Anthony that the falls were going out. Quickly, citizens dropped what they were doing to hurry to the river’s edge and view the disaster for themselves. One witness of the scene recalled that “proprietors of stores hastened to the falls, taking their clerks with them; bakers deserted their ovens, lumbermen

five senses at an extreme level. Here I’ll quote one of my students who said, “Sex is so good, it’s good even when it’s bad.” So the five senses theory does help explain why sex is so good. Now in the middle of all this five senses work, I suddenly

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remembered the solar-powered clocks project from my youth. And I realized this theory also explains why Chris’ clock is so much better than mine. You see, my clock only focuses on sight, and a little bit of touch. Here’s Chris’ clock.

MANAgEMENT

MINDSET

S OL TO

Effective innovation leadership has three essential building blocks: 1. toolset The collection of tools and techniques used to generate new options, implement them in the organization, communicate direction, create alignment, and cause commitment. 2. skillset A framework that allows innovation leaders to use their knowledge and abilities to accomplish their goals. More than tools and techniques, it requires facility, practice, and mastery of processes. 3. mindset The attitudes and resulting behaviors that allow the tools and skills to be effective. The mindset is the fundamental operating system of the creative thinker and distinguishes those leaders who enable creative thinking and innovation from those who shut it down.

bringing it up to your lips is a big part of the smoking experience, which shows, it’s kind of scary to think how well cigarettes are designed by the manufacturers. Now, what would the perfect experience look like on the five senses graph? It would, of course, be a horizontal line along the top. Now you can see, none of the experiences mentioned so far come close. In fact, in the years that I gathered data, only one experience came close to being the perfect one. That is, of course, sex. Great sex. Respondents said that great sex hits all of the

taste of drinks, but also, in some cases, kissing is a big part of the clubbing experience. These people I still do hang out with. What about smoking? Here I found touch is at six, and one of the reasons is that smokers told me the sensation of holding a cigarette and

MANAgEMENT

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MANAgEMENT

FIVE SENSES

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FIVE SENSES

So, in my completely unbiased, subjective opinion, it’s brilliant. However, here’s Chris’ clock. It’s five magnifying glasses with a shot glass under each one. In each shot glass is a different scented oil. In the morning, the sunlight will shine down on the first magnifying glass, focusing a beam of light on the shot glass underneath. This will warm up the scented oil inside, and a particular smell will be emitted. A couple of hours later, the sun will shine on the next magnifying glass, and a different smell will be emitted. So during the course of the day, five different smells are dispersed throughout that environment. Anyone living in that house can tell the time just by the smell. You can see why I hate Chris. I thought my idea was pretty good, but his idea is genius, and at the time, I knew his idea was better than mine, but I just couldn’t explain why. This problem’s been bugging me for well over a decade. All right, let’s get back to the question of why sex is so good. Many years after the solar powered clocks project, a young lady I knew suggested maybe sex is so good because of the five senses. And when she said this, I had an epiphany. So I decided to evaluate different experiences I had in my life from the point of view of the five senses. To do this, I devised something called the five senses graph. Along the y-axis, you have a scale from zero to 10, and along the x-axis, you have, of course, the five senses. Anytime I had a memorable experience in my life, I would record it on this

BY JINSOP LEE

know what I mean. And if not, well… Before we get to that answer, let me tell you about Chris Hosmer. Chris is a great friend of mine from my university days. But secretly, I hate him. Here’s why. Back in university, we had a quick project to design some solar-powered clocks. Here’s my clock. It uses something called the dwarf sunflower, which grows to about 12 inches in height. Now, as you know, sunflowers track the sun during the course of the day. So in the morning, you see which direction the sunflower is facing, and you mark it on the blank area in the base. At noon, you mark the changed position of the sunflower, and in the evening again, and that’s your clock. Now, I know my clock doesn’t tell you the exact time, but it does give you a general idea using a flower.

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By producing its own original work, Amazon can sell more devices and sign up more Prime members – a major source of revenue. While the company was building the Kindle, it started a digital store for streaming music and videos, and, around the same time it launched Amazon Publishing, it created Amazon Studios. The division pursued an unusual way of producing television series, using its strength in data collection. Amazon invited writers to submit scripts on its Web site – “an open platform for content creators,” as Bill Carr, the vice-president for digital music and video, put it. Five thousand scripts poured in, and Amazon chose to develop fourteen into pilots. Last spring, Amazon put the pilots on its site, where customers could review them and answer a detailed questionnaire. (“Please rate the following aspects of this show: The humor, the characters . . . ”) More than a million customers watched. Engineers also developed software, called Amazon Storyteller, which scriptwriters can use to create a “storyboard animatic” – a cartoon rendition of a script’s plot – allowing pilots to be visualized without the expense of filming. The

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Finalization

The Next Issue

Closing pages of Corner: the thank you to the reader, and endsheet image, relating back to the contents.


Corner Magazine: Processbook

To complete the system, I wanted to make sure that the design of the first issue could sensibly translate to subsequent issues of this quarterly publication. As mentioned earlier, each issue has both

primary and secondary colors, harkening back to the mood board and early design studies. In the mostly blank dummy blocks shows here, the contrasting color pages (for the management and perspectives departments) which matches the cover.

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Finalization

The next two issues: inside front cover, table of contents, and end sheet.


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Corner Magazine: Processbook

Conclusion It is impossible for me to say the project ended up perfect; being the perfectionist that I am never allows for that practical impossibility. However, that said, I am very pleased with the process and result of this project. In this case, I believe “good enough� was more than just good enough. It is staggering to look back over the entirety of the process, as documented here. Revisiting the mood boards during the creation of this book, I realize that I department from some of my original ideas: charts and infographics made little appearance. And while I did make use of some large imagery, the nature of this project limited my access to actual photographs related to the subject matter. I would like to have seen this pushed further, as would be done in an actual editorial situation. Nevertheless, the detailed typography of such a large publication, the subtle nuances such as the divider lines and end marks, the careful balancing of content and composition, the design system rules, and systematic violation of those rules has created a publication that is certainly worthy of sharing and talking about. The process, as well, reinforced many positive ideas, and lead me to discover additional tools for my professional practice. The organizing power of the mood boards, the design stability of a solid system, and the relentless pressure to push the design beyond the limits of the system were all welcome elements that I could hone during the creation process. To each my colleagues: thanks for your help, suggestions and critical comments. Onward and upward! Paul Nylander | illustrada design www.illustrada.com May 7, 2016

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CAN A BUSINESS JOURNAL BE SM ART WITHOUT B EI N G S T U FF Y? I S T H ERE M O RE T H A N A TO P T EN LIST WHEN CONSIDERIN G BUSINESS ADVI CE? AS A CROSS BE T WEEN A LITER ARY J O U RNAL AN D A BUSINESS ADVI CE CO LUMN, CO RNER M AGA ZINE O FFERS LO N G - FO R M A RT I CL ES A N D C ASUA L D I S C U S S I O N S A B O U T C R E A T I V I T Y, M A N A G E M E N T, A N D OT H E R A P RO P O S TO P I C S, “ D E D I C AT E D TO CO N T E M P L AT I N G L I FE F O R T H O S E W H O T H I N K O N LY O F W O R K .”

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The Making of Corner Magazine  

Far more than a process book, this is a complete documentation of the design process of Paul Nylander | illustrada. Looking at the conceptua...

The Making of Corner Magazine  

Far more than a process book, this is a complete documentation of the design process of Paul Nylander | illustrada. Looking at the conceptua...

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