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The Right Way to Steal Ideas

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The judgment was a long time coming, and it still might not be final. In March 2020, a US appeals court ruled that British rock band Led Zeppelin hadn’t stolen part of their song Stairway to Heaven. Randy Wolfe, a member of Spirit, a Los Angeles band, had claimed that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones had lifted a chord progression in Taurus, a song written by Wolfe...

Why You Invest in the Wrong Projects

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Tech entrepreneurs often dream of producing a new technology that will change the world. They might hope to reinvent the mobile phone as Steve Jobs did when he launched the iPhone. Or they can imagine themselves recreating the motor car as Elon Musk did when he set up Tesla. Or they might fantasize about a whole new space industry (again, Elon Musk.) Most, though, have to settle for an impressive...

Why Audiences Should Fear Your Ads

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A baby doll sits with its eyes closed in almost empty room. The walls are white and bare. Opposite the toy is the black box of a PlayStation 3. The doll’s eyes snap open. It gurgles like a baby and reaches towards the console. The doll’s laugh shifts from a baby’s giggle to an adult’s maniacal laugh. Then it releases a scream. Tears flow as fire flashes in the doll’s eyes before the tears roll...

Find the Right Thinking Hat for Your Brainstorming Session

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Edward de Bono, a Maltese physician whose promotion of lateral thinking had made him a highly sought consultant, was writing an article. He tried to imagine a situation in which participants took part in creative thinking, a time when they would toss out new concepts, discuss and develop them. But whenever he thought of someone suggesting a new idea, he visualized another participant shooting it...

Marketing After Facebook

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Whistleblowers are supposed to come out of defense institutions. They’re supposed to alert the world to abuses of power, expose egregious cover-ups, or reveal atrocities that have been swept under the carpet. They’re not supposed to come from Silicon Valley hi-tech companies built to help people show pictures of their cats. But when Frances Haugen sat down with 60 Minutes in October 2021, what...

Mind Mapping for Experts

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As Covid continued through the start of 2021, Adi Adegbite, a UX researcher and designer, noticed an increase in the number of people complaining on Twitter about PLT, a shopping app made by a UK-based fast fashion brand. Adegbite took the complaints as an opportunity to practice her UX design skills. Her aim, she says, was to improve the overall user experience by providing a better shopping...

Make Your Company as Creative and as Passionate as You

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Brett Bilbrey thought he’d made a mistake. As an engineer at Apple, his team had been set the task of creating the original Mac Mini. The Industrial Design group brought in mock-ups showing how they wanted the miniature computer to look, and Jony Ive, Apple’s chief designer, told them he wanted it to be as small as possible. Bilbrey, worried in part about the challenges involved in cooling a...

The Blockchain Trends You Need to Know

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When the blockchain launched in 2008, the expectation among enthusiasts was that Satoshi had created a new technology that would soon reshape the world. Money, in particular, would never the be the same. Instead of the whim of a central banker determining the value of a national currency through the printing of more cash, a connected world would use a limited currency whose value would be...

When You Should – and Shouldn’t – Monitor Remote Staff

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It took Adam Satariano less than an hour. Writing in The New York Times last year, he explained that he had started work at 8.49am. He responded to emails, browsed the news and scrolled Twitter. (As a journalist, it’s just possible that reading a newspaper and flicking through social media could count as “work.”) At 9.14am he started editing an upcoming story and read through his interview notes...

The Best Way to Tell a Story

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How do you tell a market to buy your product instead of your competitors’ products? One approach is to focus on your product’s unique features. Your product is faster, cheaper, and generally does the job better. It’s like the other products but gives customers more bang for their buck. The other approach is to tell a story. Ignore the characteristics and build an emotional engagement that will...

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