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Posted on 11. Feb, 2013 by Jonathan Cherry.
With a magical mix of western influence and African design thinking, this country has some of the world’s most promising designers and inventors of our time. What they don’t have however, is fertile ground for that passion to flourish.
How many promising, young, design graduates emerge, heavily in-debt thanks to a student loan, from our tertiary institutions only to then struggle to find a job as a junior buyer at a local retailer? If they don’t see a future as an employee they then struggle for years to make ends meet – promoting their designs in a small market where mass-produced imports are valued far more than bespoke creations by an unknown.
The local market is too small, but this talent – rather than being a PR asset for South Africa as a design powerhouse – is left to either immigrate elsewhere, or just go it alone. There is just no support from government, institutions or any kind of design council to unlock this amazing gift.
If this opportunity is going to be exploited so that South Africa can start to position itself as some kind of a global design capital – this is what we would suggest happens to fix this problem:
- Form a design council that has teeth: …and by teeth we mean, a budget, that doesn’t just get spent on cocktail parties and politically organised sessions where some work gets presented and empty ideas are thrown around.
- Spend the money on the designers: Every year – identify and ‘recruit’ the most promising young talent to emerge from the tertiary institutions. Pick at least five young designers in various disciplines and coddle them like a litter of kittens.
- Expose them to greatness: Arrange for those five to spend at least a year as interns at the most prestigious design houses in the world. Let them get a practical feel of how things work on a global stage. This will hopefully instil in them a mindset of thinking global rather than just being a big fish in a small pond.
- Set them up locally: Instead of letting them immigrate and loose that talent forever – get them back to South Africa to set up their own operation here.
- Support, support, support: Assign them a business mentor, give each of them a financial grant (money that will get them going and keep them going for at least 5 years), monitor and support them in an ongoing programme so that their creative ideas can flourish. As their brands and business grow they in turn will mentor others and create further opportunities for the economy. This should be like national service or winning a Rhodes scholarship.
- Shout about it: When they start winning Red Dot design awards and other cool stuff like that – make sure that you shout about the country’s design success and promote those people and brands actively. Make sure that the world knows that they are South African and market the hell out of it. Who knows – over time the rest of the world might just catch on that something excitingly creative is happening down here.
Posted on 08. Feb, 2013 by Jonathan Cherry.
After loosing his Lego Ninjago figuring during a shopping outing just after Christmas, 7 year-old Luka wrote to Lego to find out if there was anyway they would consider replacing his character Jay ZX.
This is the letter that Lego sent back:
Think they’ve got a fan for life now.
Previously: LEGO really love their customers – Cherryflava
Posted on 07. Feb, 2013 by Jonathan Cherry.
Although known as a rather fugal billionaire, Warren Buffett has more than enough capital to afford taking his car to the office – no matter what the price to fill the tank. Due to the monetary resources at his disposal there would naturally be very little motivation for him to seek alternatives.
But perhaps his wealth is robbing him of the opportunity to experience Omaha Nebraska [that's where he lives] in a different way. What business opportunities pass unexplored when not overhearing a conversation of two students on their way to their first job? What invaluable insights are going unnoticed by sticking to the conventional option?
Granted, Mr Buffett isn’t motivated to immerse himself into the joys of an alternative perspective of his home town because he’s completely fulfilled in his life. But what opportunities are being stolen from other individuals and organisations because they have just enough not to be motivated to explore new ways of being even better?
Posted on 01. Feb, 2013 by Jonathan Cherry.
Posted on 01. Feb, 2013 by Jonathan Cherry.
Watching birds will teach you a lot about life. As graceful as they are, birds think nothing about attacking each other one minute to a scrap to space and then flying in formation with one another the next.
They live in the moment, without fear.
Posted on 30. Jan, 2013 by Jonathan Cherry.
We often present inspirational examples of clever marketing trends and ideas to audiences – and the ones that are simple and easy to do are always the clear winners.
This barcode ad that was done in a book store in Brazil by British Airways is a classic example of ‘simple and unexpected that didn’t cost the earth – creating a bit of a buzz and making an impact’. As they say – a smile doesn’t cost anything, but tends to be the scarcest resource.