Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

Definitely a new favorite on my long list of TED talks.

Season Six of Design Matters

Lovely Debbie Millman just announced Season Six of Design Matters. It will premiere on Design Observer this Friday at 3pm with my legendary guest Massimo Vignelli.

After an entire year off air to launch the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, Debbie is returning to regular broadcasts and a full season of interviews with designers, artists, writers, thought leaders and general all-around provocateurs.

Design Matters began in February of 2005 with an idea and a telephone line. Mostly, she started out doing it for herself–she thought it would be a great way to ask her guests everything she wanted to know about their lives and their thoughts and their careers without seeming stalker-y. In the process, she realized the opportunity to share the insights of her guests with a listenership.

Friday marks the beginning of a new season on a new station as well. She will be recording her shows live in the brand spanking new recording studio at 132 West 21st Street in NYC—home of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts —and the shows will be aired at the regular time online: 3PM on Fridays. Design Observer will be broadcasting Design Matters, and you can listen to both the new episodes, as well as the entire archive of past shows here:

Guests for for Season Six include Massimo Vignelli, Stephen Doyle, Eric Baker, Ralph Caplan, Marjan Bantjes, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Dominique Browning, Steven Heller, Alexandra Lange & Jane Thompson, James Victore, Tina Roth Eisenberg (gulp) and more…

swissmiss on The Pipeline

Dan Benjamin, mastermind behind the fantastic interview show called The Pipeline, was so kind to ask me to be on his show. You can listen to our conversation on his site, here’s the direct link to the MP3, or if you prefer, in iTunes.

Dan, thank you so much for having me!

(Dan Benjamin was impressively persistent in trying to get me on his show. For some unknown reason, the concept of ‘recorded conversations’ makes me shiver, so I kept saying no at first. Dan kept at it and I am glad I agreed eventually. Dan has an amazing talent in making the person he is talking to feel comfortable. Hat tip to Dan’s interview skills.)

Losing the Race to the Bottom

Here’s an interesting SXSW 2010 podcast with Jim Coudal and John Gruber in which they trace their history and share their experiences in how to make a living with running a blog.

How individuals and groups can maintain some shred of dignity and support themselves by creating ad and sponsorship programs that benefit and respect publishers, readers and advertisers. Presented by John Gruber of John Gruber of Daring Fireball and Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners.

Listen to the podcast here: Online Advertising: Losing the Race to the Bottom

(thank you Liz)

ABC Button

It’s not just a simple button, it’s a button with a message: Button type.

Oh, and you can download the Button Type.

(thank you cynthia)

Music from a Bonsai

G, don’t be suprrised if I am banging on our Bonsai tonight when you get home: Music from a Bonsai by Diego Stocco.

Lady Gaga parody on Neutra Typeface

(via core77 and burks)

Yellow Submarine

yellow submarine

Now that we’ve watched When I am 64 about a hundred times on YouTube, I think it’s time I purchase the Yellow Submarine DVD. Ella and I are equally amazed by the psychedelic graphics in this DVD. For those of you not familiar with this awesome animation, Yellow Submarine is a 1968 animated feature film based on the music of The Beatles.

And I thought this was an interesting fact from Wikipedia:

The animation of Yellow Submarine has sometimes falsely been attributed to the famous psychedelic pop art artist of the era, Peter Max; but the film’s art director was Heinz Edelmann. Edelmann, along with his contemporary Milton Glaser, pioneered the psychedelic style for which Max would later become famous, but according to Edelmann and producer Al Brodax, as quoted in the book Inside the Yellow Submarine by Hieronimus and Cortner, Max had nothing to do with the production of Yellow Submarine.

The Art of the Unfriend


Poking. Friending. De-friending. Messaging. Posting. Tagging. Liking. Ignoring.

frog Senior Interaction Designer Kevin Hutchinson confesses that our social power is evolving due to our presence on online social networks because we are able to find, reach, and communicate with people at a greater speed. But with this new amplified social connectivity comes a new set of expectations for increased engagement. Social networking etiquette is still evolving and it can be difficult to decipher what is appropriate in this hyper-social online space.

Hutchinson believes that, we as social creatures, should take some cues from other forms of communication. You wouldn’t text, call, or knock on someone’s door several times a day to tell them how much you enjoyed what they were reading, doing, or saying, so why comment or “like”, everything they post on their Facebook wall. Right? How does one create social boundaries on their networks and how do we not take it so, er, personally when someone does not befriend us?

Listen to the show, over at

The Jimmies

Last week I had the pleasure to meet Ashley, the charming lead singer of The Jimmies, a NYC based rock-band for little ones. She handed me one of their latest DVD’s and now our little Ella is completely addicted. Check out the amazing videos below. (Bedhead is hilarious.) Support The Jimmies by buying their CD or DVD.

(Every time Ella watches Spanimals Ella cracks up and says: “Mommy, she has grapes on her head”)

The Weepies

The Weepies currently playing on our beloved GenevaSound XL at swissmiss studio:

(thank you for introducing me to The Weepies, Billy!)

VW Bus Speaker

vw bus speaker

Made me smile: Classic Volkswagen bus-style speaker with a port and cable for playing your iPod. Functional wheels; flashing head and taillights and horn sound option; volume control; radio pre-sets; digital clock at the rear window

Zimoun : Sound Sculptures & Installations | Compilation Video V1.0

“Sound Sculptures & Installations” is a series of beautifully minimal sound installations by swiss Zimoun and Pe Lang. Fascinating, no?

(via todayandtomorrow, thank you Burks)

Sony Soundville Campaign

New Sony Soundville campaign by “Cadbury Gorilla” creator Juan Cabral. In March 2009 a small town in Iceland was filled with speakers and music from the likes of Death In Vegas, Bob Dylan and the Guillemots. The Seydisfjordur village was turned into an extraordinary sound-system for a week. The objective of the brand is inviting people to believe in experience superior sound and promote the latest audio technologies from Sony, offering an experience never before experienced.

(via bblinks)


Diego Stocco built an instrument by combining a violin, viola, cello and double bass…played with drum stick, spoons, fork and other stuff.

Owen | Good Friends, Bad Habits

(via lizfranco)

Michael Jackson Medley

(via tim)

Merlin Mann on Doing Creative Work

Merlin Mann talks about the process of doing creative work, and particularly how to abandon the quest for perfection, get off your butt and get started.

The Sound of Young America

(via @michaelsurtees)

Forest City Lovers

(thank you zack)

ICFF 09 | Geneva

Geneva Stereo

The Geneva Booth was packed when I got there. It looked (and sounded) fantastic. I admit, I was surprised how much I liked the Geneva Sound Home Theatre, I had never seen it in person. They also introduced the brandnew Walnut Series. A beauty!

The Simpsons theme song – a cappella

(thank you max)



47 Year old Susan Boyle wows the judges with her performance in the auditions for Britains Got Talent, singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables. Who could not be genuinely happy for Susan Boyle?

Here are the Lyrics:

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high,
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
When dreams were made and used,
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung,
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he’ll come to me
And we will live our lives together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather…

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seems
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

Fan site for Susan Boyle:

(thank you max)

James Earl Jones recites the alphabet

Here, James Earl Jones recites the alphabet. This one is like the one on “Sesame Street: old school” DVD where he counts from one to ten. The pronounciation of every letter is crystal clear.

(via H&FJ) | add audio, listen from the ‘cloud’

picture-16 just launched a new applet called ‘‘ – it is a dead simple way to post your music to the cloud in 3 clicks, and then stream it basically anywhere you want to play it (home, work, etc) — there is a demo video explaining how to use it.

Using the newly release API base iPhone application ‘droppler‘ you can even stream your playlist right to your iphone… there is a bit more at the blog if you are interested.

(thank you sam)