Worthwhile links – Hype Cycles, Nokia’s demise, useful tools

Hey folks,

Here’s my fortnightly dose of stuff that I think you may find interesting / useful / enlightening.


Gartner’s annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies has been released. While not the gospel (show me someone who can accurately predict the next 5 years worth of technological evolution and I’ll show you a talking horse), the Hype Cycle is a very useful indicator of where things  stand at this point in time.

Working on the frontiers of digital, we sometimes tend to feel that from a technological point of view, businesses are being left behind where the truth of the matter is that much of this new tech is at a point where adoption could be risky. That said, without an eye on the future, without a healthy appetite for new methods, approaches, and experimenting, businesses expose themselves to massive risks – most notably – the risk of becoming irrelevant.




“Nokia’s biggest failure was an unwillingness to embrace drastic change.”

I wonder how many times we’ll be hearing these words about other brands in the near future. The tendency within the corporate environment is to reduce risk, to play it safe, to protect the status quo. Unfortunately progress is like the time and tide, they wait for nobody.

Anyway, read this great piece from The Verge: Nokia saw the future, but couldn’t build it | Everything that Apple and Google are today, Nokia wanted to become


File this next one under #VeryUseful

Google Ventures Guide to Research

Research provides the inspiration, guidance, and validation we need to design great products. From the personal (like interviewing users) to the analytical (like metrics) there’s a continuum of research skills that are essential for design teams. The most effective companies integrate this discipline into their culture and make research a habit.

This is our guide to design research, featuring GV Library articles and other posts we think are important and influential.


5 Crazy Ways Social Media is Changing Your Brain Right Now


We’re missing a trick here in South Africa. Constantly in search of inspiration through snazzy, bandwidth hungry web experiences and cutting edge digital / mobile ecosystems created for developed markets like US and UK/Europe, we fail to look eastward. India and China represent digital environments that more closely match the SA context.

Internet Advertising Will Overtake TV In India By 2018

  • Advertising revenue is outpacing consumer revenue in the migration to digital.
  • By 2018, internet advertising will be poised to overtake TV as the largest advertising segment.
  • The biggest challenge is monetising the digital consumer.
  • Rising consumer revenue may be driven by 24/7 access.
  • Revenue growth is being driven by Internet access rather than content spending.
  • Two-thirds of revenue growth from consumers and advertising will be digital.



Video Game History Through Controllers


The history of our video games controllers, such is the angle chosen by photographer Javier Laspiur for this series called Controllers. Snapshots full of nostalgia, taken from the point of view of the passionate player, and where a sofa and two nimble hands are the stars, ultimate tools to be successful in virtual life.

[gallery here]


That’s it folks.

be bold, be brave

scott | @thescott


How do you get people to rethink mining?

Mining is an integral part of lives. Our economy and industry is built on it. The gadgets on our bedside tables are made from the materials that are produced by it. But despite all of this, a lot of South Africans view mining as either a purely political industry or something they just can’t relate to at all.

Our challenge was to create communication that would engage everyday South Africans about mining, revealing the contribution it makes to their everyday lives.

Our design solution was to bring mining to life in a way that was contemporary and challenged people’s expectations of the industry. We wanted to create a connection between what is above and below the ground. Through the use of bold type, rich colour and modern patterns, by juxtaposing photographic and infographic, we brought a ‘pop’ aesthetic to an industrial world, making mining a more appealing subject for everyday people to explore.

Below is a poster that explores what a mobile phone is actually made up of:

MINE What's in your phone

We created a simple experience where users can scroll for 3,9km, the depth of the deepest mine in the world. Along the way they would learn interesting facts about what goes on underground and how their lives are connected to this strange world. Take a trip down one of the deepest mines in the world at www.chamberofmines.org.za/mine/down-the-mine-shaft

Comsa Scroll down the mine

The COMSA mining stand brought a conversation to the Mining Lekgotla by juxtaposing interesting facts and serious questions about mining through posters and animation. The stand prompted conversation on Twitter during the event, so much so that #MiningLekgotla trended nationally.


This animated video brought positive facts about the mining industry to people who visited the stand. The same facts were posted on our Facebook page.


Below is an exhibition stand designed for a Mexican mining event, emphasising the economic contribution of mining in South Africa.


We continue to create individual content series that bring different themes to life on our Facebook page, above are a few examples of  the designed lock-ups for these series that make mining more interesting and easier to relate to. Thanks to the whole team who worked hard on producing this work and continue to create fascinating content about mining.


Of Likes and lawsuits: why your next Facebook post could cost you millions

Those who’ve worked in social media for five years or more will remember the early days. Brand channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were only just gaining momentum; “RT to win” mechanics were the height of sophistication and we were still running clumsy Facebook competitions through expensive custom built tabs.

Social media was hailed as a new frontier where brands could talk to consumers and have them talk back at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising channels. Along with the novelty came a lot of grey area uncertainty. Anyone doing something creative was playing in largely uncharted territory.

“Are we allowed to do that?”

“It’s social media – there are no rules!”

The industry has matured somewhat since then. Most of us have come to understand that like any other advertising medium, good social media requires a proper investment. Some of us still need to learn that like any other channel, social media is subject to the rule of law.

The issue of intellectual property is of great concern in particular. The nature of social media user behaviour is such that consumers, brands and various kinds of groups and organisations are all posting, sharing and commenting on content in a seemingly lawless frenzy of digital conversation.

However, the law is alive and well in the social media space, and there is good money to be made in the policing it.

All online content has an original creator who is fully entitled to be paid for any use of their work. If you’re a big business with a big budget and you appropriate content without permission, you become an extremely attractive prospect for a lucrative lawsuit.

Think about it: Christian Dior pays very good money to contract Charlize Theron as a brand ambassador. They’ve negotiated the right to use her image in their marketing material, from TV and magazine ads to social media images. If another brand uses the image of Chalize in its communication without permission, even if only in a lowly Facebook post, it undermines the value of her exclusive agreement with Dior. This is why it’s so important for the law to support artists in protecting their work and their image.

This concept doesn’t only apply to big Hollywood personalities. Celebrities (local and international), musicians, photographers, designers, sportspeople and even other businesses all have the right to protect the use of their creative work and their brand. That beautiful photograph from Google images? That colourful meme or Pinterest graphic with the quote that perfectly sums up your business? Those music videos that work so well for “Music Monday” tweets? All of that content was created by someone who deserves to get paid.

Sure, the chances of getting caught are not always very high. But the consequences can be potentially devastating. Over a million rand kind of devastating. Artists, celebrities, sportspeople and their agencies are increasingly taking legal action against brands that use their work or personae without permission in the social media space. If you regularly shares pictures of Kim Kardashian’s latest outfit or Christiano Ronaldo’s amazing goal from your branded social media channel, you’re potentially a sitting duck.

Whilst many brands in South Africa’s digital sphere seem to be wising up to the risks of illegally “curated” content, an astounding number continue to fill their channels with images that haven’t been paid for. It’s not hard to understand why: sourcing content from all over the internet is quick and cheap. It also drives high levels of consumer engagement – of course people are going to Like the hottest looks from the red carpet or RT an action shot of a match-winning goal.

This poses a threat to businesses, but it’s also just plain bad practice. Posting content from elsewhere on the internet does nothing to drive brand awareness through a rich, relevant story (the reason most companies venture into social media in the first place).

Rather invest a little more in original, beautiful content that sets you apart from the noise with a unique perspective and aesthetic. You’ll avoid a serious legal risk and you can rest assured that all of those wonderful Likes, Shares, Favourites and Comments are a true reflection of your brand’s performance.


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