// BarryBlog //
A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
wakerupper: Cool Custom Alarm App
wakerupper looks like fun. It's still in Beta, but I used it the other night when the battery in my cell phone was getting low. I use my cell as an alarm clock, so I went to wakerupper and had a custom alarm sent to my home phone the next morning. Pretty cool. In the wrong hands, this could be dangerous!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Does E-Ink Reduce Books To Kindle?
On Wednesday, November 21st, I posted on the Amazon Kindle – a new electronic book reader whose display incorporates digital ink technology and looks remarkably like paper. Michael McCreary of E-Ink Corporation hopes that consumers will finally give up the dead-tree version of books. To hear the WNYC - New York Public Radio interview, click the small arrow in the graphic above, or click here to make my bounce rate soar.
n8w: Illustrator and Designer Nate Williams
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Amazon Kindle. On My Christmas List.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Just a Thought: Life Changing Moments
Something caught my attention tonight. It was in an email sent to me likely as a result of my involvement in Christian Publishing. Interestingly it was from a company called Positive Media Resources and came from a URL called "Massmediamail." Don't ask me why exactly I read something from a place called massmediamail—not a personal appeal to say the least–also the word "Positive" is very often a code word for something Christian in content dressed to not look like it. Regardless, I read it.
The email was a sales pitch for a movie called Bella. What caught my attention was the idea that a single moment can transform. And on the heels of my first mission trip, it especially resonated.
A portion of the email read...
There comes a time in everyone’s life when something happens that changes them forever. Bella is a true love story that shows how one day in New York City changed three lives. It reminds us of surprises that await us in each new day that sometimes a single moment can transform our life forever.
But here's what really got me thinking. Isn't it more accurate to consider that a series of single moments, in the bigger picture, weaves our story? A scary thought when I remember back to my actions even earlier today. Am I making sound decisions and guarding my heart to insure each single moment counts? What would it be like to be intentional about your day to the degree you can consider your thoughts and actions in terms that are separate, individual, but intertwined single moments? And one's that all mattered.
No doubt it is a neat thought that one single big thing can change your life. Or someone's you know. Costa Rica did change me. Lots of what I experienced, what was revealed to me and what I experienced as a collective whole was very life altering. We all want that "in-the-park-homerun" feeling of being a light to someone, especially if it's exactly at the right time. And we all search to be changed. For me I know I'm not that fortunate, or disciplined in my walk to be in the right place at the right time. So I challenge myself (and you) to be intentional about and make your single moments count. See what that adds up to, even at the end of a single day.
Just a thought.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Keeping It In Perspective: Coffee Cups
ABOUT THIS POST...
I came across a great post from a commenter who calls herself The Hobbits. One bizarre thing about blogging is how often the connections I make are random. In many ways that’s been a highlight of blogging for me over the last couple years because I'm so very often surprised by who actually stops by, and even more so by those who are courteous enough to say hello. A couple have become friends, which is even more special. Like so many, I was not able to determine much about this commenter, but I did leave a return thanks on The Hobbits’ blog. One thing I can tell from the user profile and from stats on Google Analytics is this individual is from Thailand and appears to have a faith in God, or atleast an interest in posting about God. So here's the question... in the big picture does it matter if a tangible connection is made? I of course would enjoy knowing this person's story, situation and perspective, but The Hobbit’s blog is rather sparse at the moment. But as a fellow believer, I'm just appreciative for the connection, so I could share the follow post with you all. Thank you Hobbit, whoever you are. I (we?) would all love to hear from you. Thanks for sharing such an insightful post.
OKAY, NOW HERE’S THE POST...
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”
God brews the coffee, not the cups...Enjoy your coffee! “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
( via the The Hobbits )
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Quiet As We Wait And Wonder
Over a week has passed since my return from Costa Rica. Since then I’ve had a significant amount of inquiries regarding the details of this mission trip, and as I stated in my post upon my return, I’m uncharacteristically at a bit of a loss as to what to say about my experiences. Also about responsibilities, which include this blog. On one hand I want to share what I saw and what God laid on my heart. On another hand, I feel God helping me to focus on him, the work required of me at work for my job and my contribution to our companies’ chapel presentation, etc. The sense I have heard whispered through it all is a call to quiet. Something foreign to me.
In the past, people close to me have shared instances where they feel the Lord’s leading in their live’s, and frankly, I get a bit jealous. Jealousy is no doubt the wrong response in these instances–it’s just that I’ve always wished God would speak to me in similar fashion. What I’ve experienced since my return from Costa Rica makes me think that perhaps this time he is.
It’s no doubt made me pause and think. About my life, and recently about my work and priorities. So it is with a sense of change, peace, focus and realignment that I enter a new phase in my life. Fatherhood. My wife and I just received confirmation of something that was driven home for me in Costa Rica– that little ones all over the world are crying out for help, and that God is calling us to serve. Yesterday we received the written confirmation that we are deemed suitable to adopt. We are embarking on the journey of adoption of a baby from El Salvador. When I consider my condition, physical, emotional, and the responsibilites financial, I cannot say with certainty I’m up for the task. But I’ve realized that God thinks so, and he’ll bring a baby into this world in 4-7 months from today. Some woman who is alive today and doesn’t know myself or my wife, or perhaps not even the love of Christ, will give birth to one of God’s precious creatures.
God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you, I knew you! Before I formed you, I called you to be something brand new.” With divine fingers God shapes every person in the womb into an image and form like his own. Each precisely etched embryo is a person whom God has laid out for his own use from eternity past. Each one of us has been known and loved since the beginning of time–even before the world was made! The idea that we are all made for His glory sits well on my heart even though it's not something I always feel. But with God's grace and perfect timing (in our case that's been 6 years and counting), we’ll become first time parents, and I will draw on Him for wisdom.
As I write this I find even more reasons for quiet. For reflection. And until I find adequate words and time to share, that's all I have for now. I ask you to please pray for the woman who will have this baby. I can't imagine the circumstances leading to giving a baby up for adoption, but it is a courageous decision when you consider the alternative. A little over a year or so ago I posted about Mark Schultz. He is adopted, and he and Cindy Morgan wrote a song together called Broken and Beautiful which really illustrates this well. Check it out if you have a moment.
ChurchBeauty: True Meaning of "Search"
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
[Crispin] Alex Bogusky: Brands Are People
Thanks to the CoBrandit blog, I stumbled across a bunch of great interviews from people who interest me. One is Alex Bogusky, principal and Executive Creative Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky that they filmed at the Future Marketing Summit. I love these guys, especially their employee handbook. Alex speaks about brands as being people. Not a terribly new perspective, but Alex does a great job of being interesting as I would expect of a principal in one of the world's hottest agencies. I saw an interview of Paul Rand on this site too. It's not the famed designer Paul Rand, but the Paul Rand of Ketchum Communications. Ironically I am long time family friends with the Rodriquez family in Lansing MI, and one of their three daughters married a Paul Rand from Chicago. That would be cool if this is the one (I digress). Anyway, check out the CoBrandit site.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Costa Rica Experience
My experiences in Costa Rica were life altering and at this point beyond my ability to describe. I look forward to posting about it soon, and have tried a couple of times already. Once I get my head around it all I will share this here.
Right now I'm struck by a single observation. I can't get it out of my mind. To me it is an irony, but it may in fact be something God is revealing to me. The thought is how amazing it is how God's placed the least in a place of most. Costa Rica–it's rainforests, cloud forests, volcanos, species, people–the overall natural beauty in general has got to be a glimpse of Heaven. And God has given it to people with so little. Yet so much.
It strikes me how this may be a tangible glimpse into His word Spoken in Matthew 19:30...
“In this way the last will be first, and the first will be last.”God is doing mighty works in the people of Costa Rica. I went there to be a blessing, and was blessed in return.
Innovate Faster by Melding Design and Strategy
If they’re to do their job most effectively, designers should be brought into the innovation process at the very earliest stages. Too many companies still make the mistake of keeping business strategy and design activities separate. Typically, marketers conceptualize a new product based on company strategy; the project team gets input from various areas of the company and creates a business case; and senior executives make a final choice from among the possibilities they’re given. Only then does the idea go to the designers.
Read the rest of the story, Forethought Innovation by Ravi Chhatpar, at The Harvard Business Review. You must accept their terms (click "I accept").