Tag exploration

The Goal.

Immersion: Progress Report.



I think I’ve always been interested in solving problems, and when I’m asked to describe my strengths, “problem solver” is a phrase that immediately comes to mind.

In my experience, there are three steps to problem solving:

  1. Identify & understand the problem
  2. Choose or build a framework in which to solve the problem
  3. Come up with the solution (or solutions)

For many of the problems I’ve tackled over the past several years (many in the form of specific projects), the “framework” has remained fairly constant: it typically involves the creation of a team organizational chart and a conceptual visual that depicts the project’s “end state.”

While this model works well for project management, it doesn’t fare as well for creating business models.

Historically, business models tend to be verbose and full of financial analysis and risk-oriented topics.  In many cases, this results in a business model that is too detailed, lacks true understanding and prone to gaps / errors.

In the book “Business Model Generation“, the authors present a different way of creating business models through the use of a modular graphic, or “canvas.”

This “canvas” approach streamlines the process of creating new business models by allowing participants to focus on the core subject matter vs. having to constantly remember how the pieces “fit” and whether anything has been missed.

Here is what this framework looks like:

I found this approach to be particularly useful, so much so in fact that I used it during a recent interview.  One of the questions posed involved identifying several key aspects of introducing a credit card portfolio to a company’s product suite.

To answer this question, I drew two canvas’ on the whiteboard.  The first represented the “as is” state and the second represented the future state, one where I had successfully integrated a credit card portfolio into their business model.

I used these two visuals to explain or identify:

  • what would need to change
  • where resources would be required
  • sources of revenue
  • potential opportunities
  • sources of risk

Once I was able to tell this initial story, I found I was able to answer additional questions much more easily now that I had a solid foundation to work from.

When problem solving, the use of a problem solving framework is, I think, essential to long-term success.  Once you find the right framework, you can continue to refine and expand its use, which can lead to more efficient use of your time and can open up possibilities in other areas as well.

When asked a problem that involves getting from point A to point B (physical location or point in time), duplicate the framework to show what sections need to change.  Once you have a grasp on the original framework, replicating and showing the delta between the two versions is easy.

It’s at this point where you can spend most of your energy solving the real problem, and that’s where the fun really begins!

Concept: Territories HD

New Beginning.

Territories is my new blog from which most all other creative endeavors will originate.  Territories will be a continuation of the journey described in Incubator, but the subject matter will focus less on healing / introspection and more on pure exploration – both from a concept and design perspective, as well as physical locations across the United States and around the world.

Below are some of the themes that you’ll see over the next year:

THEMES: electronic music . industrial design . graphic design . product management . emotional intelligence . advanced concept design . going beyond . HD . instructional . personal . travel . environments . deep-thinking . socialization . advancement . education . next generation . ideation . radical thinking . evolution . inspiration . post digital


Connect to Expand.

To date, the vast majority of my personal projects have been created independently of one another.  While many of my projects have built off of one another (e.g. Microcosms was built upon the Incubator concept), there has not been a unifying link between them.  I think there is an opportunity to alter this approach to enable greater creative expansion and exploration.

Over the past several weeks I have been thinking of a few new projects that begin to combine various aspects of my creative exploration in new and unique ways.

Here are a select few:

Mach1na: I came up with this idea a few days ago when listening to Drone Zone on Soma.fm.  The music that was playing was a combination of electronica and sounds of syncros, gears and other mechanical devices.  It would be very interesting to sketch out new mechanical devices, render them digitally using Photoshop, and then incorporate them in a fabricated information design – as if these devices were in fact, real.  Going a step further, being able to showcase these illustrations along with a similar audio track would, I think, create a unique experience.

Gaia: The theory of Gaia, in a nutshell, is that the Earth is a single living organism.  Illustrating and coming up with documented concepts that align with this theory could very well be a multi-year endeavor.  For example, illustrating plants and foliage from different time periods (prehistoric to sometime in the future) requires considerable research of the underlying taxonomy.  It’s one thing to come up with new plant concepts, but it can be more convincing if these concepts are based upon real biological principles.

This encapsulating concept could also introduce visuals that show how the Earth could appear in 2100, or 2200.  With global warming, could the Internet become part of the landscape?  Again, it’s not just about coming up with pure fantasy-based illustrations or narratives – it’s about combining research with creativity.