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7 Notes

Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business

By Cassie Eberle

Catalyst Public Relations

A synthetic-biologist, a brew master and a White House chef walk into a wine bar… no this isn’t the start of another Beer Summit joke – it’s the beginning of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business 2011 event and proof that, in any industry, creativity is not just an element of success, but at the root of it.

While every speaker had a uniquely inspiring story, I tried to pull out a few common threads that seemed woven into each – the Cliff Notes version, if you will, to a captivating 4 hour discussion.

Find Your Voice, But Don’t Be Confined By It

As marketers, we talk a lot about finding our “Brand voice.” For The Onion, that means always staying in the character of “REAL fake news.” For ESPN, that means never forgetting their mission as sports fans serving sports fans.

What that doesn’t mean is squashing an idea just because it doesn’t seem like an obvious fit. What makes perfect sense in hindsight might have actually started out as a risky move.

If you’re Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and you want to brew a delicious craft beer, the seemingly logical decision would have been to find a new way to mix the old favorites - water, barley and hops. What Dogfish Head did instead was go against tradition and mix in unique, local ingredients such as honey, saffron and melon to create an off-center niche of endless possibilities.

Solve a Problem, Serve a Need

Even if we’re not curing cancer, ideas should serve some sort of purpose – and no, “media coverage” is not a purpose. Reshman Shetty of Ginkgo BioWorks wanted her lab to smell less like a latrine, so she engineered a strain of E.coli that smelled minty fresh (instead of like poo). Alex Kipman of Xbox wanted to create a gaming system that removed the technology and felt more like life. Thus, Kinect was born.

People (and yes, media people too) gravitate towards and respond to products and ideas that help make life easier and more enjoyable. This is not a new concept, just one that can all too often get pushed to the side by sexier buzz words like “social media” and “gamification.”   

Love Your Idea

Loving every idea that pops into your head is ridiculous, however if you don’t love the idea you decide to evolve, how do you expect anyone else to? Leila Janah was told by colleagues and potential investors alike that her idea for a non-profit social business where people in developing countries do data work for blue-chip companies would never get off the ground. But she kept pushing and made it a reality in Samasource, which is now successfully competing against major for-profit players. 

Every idea, good or bad, pretty much has the same genesis story – it’s up to us to grow it in the right direction.

7 Notes

The Rules of Engagement: The NBA and Social Media

Great article recently published in Fast Company about the NBA’s strategy to engage social media followers. This is a terrific read and a good reminder to brands as they engage consumers in this medium. 

Rules of Engagement, from the NBA Social Media War Room

While bored traditional sports reporters wait for quotes from the megastars, the NBA’s elite social media team finds images, videos, and moments that take followers up close and behind the scenes of the Finals. We follow—literally—the social media masters during before, during, and after the action to watch how it all works. Read more at Fast Company

7 Notes

Gap sees success with Facebook check-in promo

This article in Fast Company talks about how Gap took advantage of the latest Facebook offering, Facebook Deals.

To give you some background, Facebook Deals is a new platform that leverages Facebook Places technology (Facebook users can check-in from locations via their mobile phones) and attaches it to a coupon philosophy.

Continue reading…

8 Notes

First-Time Candidates Use AdWords and Facebook to Win Out-of-State Cash

A look at how a non-traditional Congressional candidate, former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jon Runyan, is using technology in a way that breaks outside of the norm when it comes to political campaigns.

Not unlike selling a tangible good or service, the Runyan campaign is finding new consumers (voters/donors) of their “product” by expanding their reach beyond their existing base and finding pockets of people in related social circles.

(Via: bunch)

1 Notes

What is Influence and What are Influencers?

Earlier this summer, Fast Company magazine rolled out its Influence Project based on an article about the agency Mekanism.

Wrote Robert Safian in this month’s Letter from the Editor:

When we profiled digital marketing firm Mekanism last May, its partners boasted that they could make an online project go viral, guaranteed. We challenged them, in print, to prove it: Create a viral campaign for Fast Company, and let’s see what happens. It seemed like a no-brainer to try it.

What resulted was an unscientific and inconclusive popularity contest that admittedly was flawed.

Continue reading…


@GaryVee:  “If content is King, I think Context is about to become God.”

Part II via @FastCompany (NSFW - Language):

In this clip he explains how he moved more bottles than uber-wine critic Robert Parker, how he took the NHL from 500 Twitter followers to 500,000, and how caring more than your competitors is the most effective weapon in building influence on the Internet.

See Part I here.