Time to chase a new kind of dream

Last week the time had come for me to say goodbye to Red Hat. I joined the company on the third day of the year 2000. Red Hat was 350 people then. Today the company is over 3500 and is the largest and most recognized open source company in the world. I may have left the company, but in many ways I will always be a Red Hatter.

But today I’m chasing a new kind of dream. Today is my first day at New Kind.

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When it’s time for change: Recycling and Redesigning Logos

Branding is about articulating the clearest, truest expression of who you are. For most brands, that expression is summed up in the logo identity.

If you’re a new company, a new logo is a chance to introduce yourself to the world and make a good first impression. But when your logo and brand are already in the marketplace, it presents a different challenge. What do you want your brand to say about you? And is that the message your logo is sending your audience today?

The fantastic book “Recycling & Redesigning Logos” by Michael Hodgson is all about redefinition–when your logo no longer represents who you are or who you want to be. Hodgson is the principal and creative director of Ph.D, a design firm in Santa Monica, Calif.

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5 reasons why rapid prototyping works for creative projects

The open source community has a phrase for the principle of rapid prototyping: “Release early, release often.” The theory is sound: Don’t wait until a project is perfect to share it. Instead, keep producing work so more people can experience it, react to it, find bugs, and improve it.

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Sharing the story of Red Hat’s brand and culture

Last week I was asked to speak about brand and culture to a group of visiting MBA students from the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary. They came to Red Hat to learn more about the company, and I gave a talk on how brand and culture align at Red Hat.

I love telling this story.

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Upgrading the motivational operating system: A conversation with Daniel Pink

The world of work has changed, but in many ways the model of motivation hasn’t. Are the traditional rewards of today’s organizations up to the challenge of motivating people to complete creative, complex tasks in creative ways? And can the open source way offer inspiration?

Daniel Pink is a bestselling author and one of the country’s top business speakers. His latest book is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. You can watch him deliver an insightful and entertaining introduction to Drive at the TED Conference.

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Meeting our business challenges with creativity

A tide is turning for the state of business. We have come to realize the old ways of innovating and competing are no longer moving fast enough. We’re looking for new answers, and more importantly, new ways of finding them.

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the 25th annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh. The forum brought together business and government leaders from across the state to discuss the challenges facing our economy as we race to compete in a changing world.

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Lessons from my favorite brands: Be more than a brand. Be a philosophy. – MUJI

Essential products. Minimalist sensibility. Restrained beauty and effortless simplicity. MUJI may just be the world’s most poetic brand.

And it’s not a brand at all. Or at least they reject all of the traditional definitions. MUJI is a Japanese company whose name means “no brand quality goods.” For MUJI, it’s not about being a brand, but about promoting a philosophy.

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Change By Design–How to put design thinking to work

Design is too powerful to be used by designers alone. This is the essential idea behind the theory of design thinking–applying the principles and techniques of design to help organizations innovate, solve problems, and create positive change.

Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, should know. His new book, Change By Design, is about how Design Thinking works, and how design consultancy IDEO has put design thinking to work in organizations around the world. The book provides a useful, comprehensive overview on the power and value of design thinking.

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Where design thinking and open source community collaboration meet

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I’m currently reading the new book on design thinking from IDEO’s Tim Brown called Change By Design. (Full review coming soon.) The design thinking philosophy was first introduced to me, and to Red Hat throughout the company, by David Burney.

In comparing traits associated with design thinking collaboration and collaboration in the open source community, there are many parallels: open exchange, broad participation, rapid prototyping.

There’s also one really interesting contrast: The mindset you tend to see when generating and choosing ideas. But what I’ll suggest here is that when you apply the best elements of these two mindsets at just the right time in their respective processes, the results can be pretty amazing.
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