Archive for December, 2011

My notes from Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

The 7 main take-aways from my reading of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

  • Confidence (and doing the impossible) is sharable.
  • Connect with feelings of the customer to understand their needs.
  • Focus (by eliminating unimportant opportunities.)
  • Impute desired qualities from the first interaction.
  • Creativity comes from spontaneous/random discussions.
  • Remembering that you will be dead soon — leaves what is truly important. Nothing to lose, already naked, no reason not to follow your heart.
  • Technology is not enough, technology married with the humanities yields the result that makes our hearts sing.

TOP 5 Highlighted Items

“Jobs came to believe that he could impart that feeling of confidence to others and thus push them to do things they hadn’t thought possible.”

“Markkula wrote his principles in a one-page paper titled “The Apple Marketing Philosophy” that stressed three points. The first was empathy, an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer: “We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.” The second was focus: “In order to do a good job of those things that we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.” The third and equally important principle, awkwardly named, was impute”

“Despite being a denizen of the digital world, or maybe because he knew all too well its isolating potential, Jobs was a strong believer in face-to-face meetings. “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat,” he said. “That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. We believe that it’s technology married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.”

Creative Director for GameOn

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

I am looking for a Creative Director to join my GameOn team at Sears.

Here is the posting on the Sears site

Title: Creative Director

Location: Downtown Chicago Illinois

Job Description:
Functional Visual Design expertise is mandatory along with team management and client facing skills. Requires the capabilities to direct and enhance the efforts of the creative teams focusing on gaming experiences and consisting of design managers, designers and copywriters in an online gaming environment.

We are searching for a highly conceptual team leader who is constructive, fearless, charismatic, smart, self-possessed and committed to a vision. Passion, perspective, innovation and impact are the Sears core values a potential candidate will be expected to embody.

The successful candidate will have a well-rounded understanding of:
• Mapping out and implementing game play logic
• Graphic design, information architecture, usability, technology, and experience design
• Applied conceptual strategy, brainstorm facilitation, day-to-day shepherding of a project to completion
• Team collaboration with engagement managers, production, and technology leads
• Creating backgrounds, characters, objects, and UI
• Leading and directing cross-disciplinary development and execution of short-term (project specific) and long-term (engagement specific) creative strategies.
• Representing and communicating Sears creative and business philosophy, methodology and capabilities to larger organization, as well as across all departments, business units and service lines
• Seeking out opportunities to collaborate across the Sears network with the OBU

Key Job Responsibilities:
• Fulfills leadership tasks and deliverables of a CD in support of the office of the Executive Producer. Specifically, leads and directs across disciplines, the development and execution of short term (project specific) and long term (account specific) creative strategies.
• Ensures creative scope, schedule and budget are accurate. Develops and signs-off on creative estimates and ensures high quality, profitable execution of creative deliverables.
• Provide strategic program direction and leadership, team management and stewardship for idea through implementation, of the various existing and evolving company’s business systems, solutions and processes, including the emerging commercial products space.
• Develops and executes account growth strategies with account core team members to meet account goals set by the engagement lead
• Coordinates with group director and resource manager in projections for, and assignment of, creative discipline group members to projects
• Maintains an awareness of status and project deliverables of all discipline group members’ project work
• Provide visual direction during the pre-production, production, and post-production phases of game development
• Oversee all aspects of creative design including particle effects, animation, color choices, logo treatments, etc.
• Supervise a team of internal/external artists, identifying the appropriate needs and resources to support the growing business
• Inspire creativity and style that will continue to innovate how art can be used in a game
• Participates constructively in inter-department and cross-service line communications
• Contributes to the evolution and maintenance of each creative discipline workflow

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Eight to ten years of professional experience – six years minimum as a senior level professional in at least two of the following areas: game interface design, interactive design, advertising, interactive advertising, marketing, publishing, broadcast, film or television
• High level of creativity whose art choices will appeal to the casual gamer market
• Clear understanding of how to integrate backgrounds, characters, objects, and UI to ensure continuity, clarity, and enhanced game play
• Strong technical knowledge to integrate art into a game
• Strong creative and conceptual vision for interactive, and the ability to execute high quality integrated interactive communications against strategic business objectives
• Solid ability to weave game play with storytelling art
• Is an expert in graphic design; demonstrated ability to mentor and guide other graphic designers
• Strong comprehension of information architecture and editorial disciplines and methodologies
• Mastery of project concept creation, site architecture, user-interface specification, functionality specification and interactive design
• Strong understanding of front-end interactive design solutions for back-end data systems. Working knowledge of capabilities of different platforms and browsers, and their design constraints on the Web
• Ability to direct creative teams including flash designers, designers, and writers
• Bachelors degree or higher in a relevant creative discipline (experience and training may be substituted)
• Online portfolio review required
• Has successfully directed/ managed multidisciplinary creative teams in the production of Interactive and web based products, and has worked in multi-disciplinary teams that included project managers, artists, designers, writers, and engineers