Thursday, September 15, 2011

World of Stock Supplied By Francesco Santalucia

a guest post...

When I started my career 25 years ago I entered a market with no internet. E-mail was just beginning. I mainly worked for advertising agencies and book publishers creating traditional finished art. I illustrated painting with a brush and airbrush on cardboard that needed to be peeled off the cardboard back and then wrapped to a scanner cylinder for printing. 

My clients were finding me because I advertised in design books and I would book face to face meetings with local art directors in Montreal and My art agent in New York. The illustration and design business was booming then. But I remember there were artists complaining then that things were not the same as they used to be.

Enter the Internet. Nobody saw this one coming. It was like a giant came by and kicked the creative content ant hill. 

One thing is for sure it is not a fad. It is not going away it is growing at exponential speed and evolving just as fast. Where it is going is impossible to predict but one thing is for sure it will be incredible. The Internet is like nature it will kill anything that does not adapt to its system and it will reward anything that takes advantage of its qualities.

Digital content today is still booming but how it is monetized is drastically changing. 

Example music industry artists today do not make most of their money selling content but have to tour to make a living. The content they produce helps market and increase their touring income. Music artists have been forced to change their business model because of the Internet.

Retail stores are now seeing their sales decline because of online purchases through online retailers like Amazon. Bookstores are going on the same road as the music stores went through. Album to cd, to digital download no brick and mortar store needed. Paper Book to e-book no brick and mortar store needed.

When was the last time you rented a movie at Block Busters? Netflix soaring
Day old Newspapers or to "up to the second" online news

See the pattern?

In order to adapt to the new Internet age. How did I change my business model?

When parts of my traditional business slowed down. Instead of fear about losing past success I had excitement for the future opportunities ahead. In essence I needed to become a creative entrepreneur.

I completely retooled my studio. Transferring my traditional design skills to new digital tools and applications. I researched a bunch of new online revenue streams. And licensing content was the thing that was the most intriguing to me because I could create anything I wanted whenever I chose and then upload it to websites that sell print on demand or stock or go talk to companies directly and speak to the decision makers on how my designs on their products can improve their profits.

 I would literally walk into a retail store pick up a product that had horrible looking package or art and I would contact the company find the decision maker and present my thoughts on how we could work together. And the amazing thing is finding clients this way has enabled me to create long-term business relationships.

Imagine a business model were you decide on how much you will earn. You create content whether it is an e-book, design, illustration, photography, movie, music etc and you sell a license fee for anybody that would like to use your art. Creating a large network of small revenue streams you will end up with an ocean that pays you dividends in perpetuity.

Somebody once said “there are people who complain about the wind and others who build sail boats.” 

I have made my choice.

Francesco Santalucia
Santalucia Art Inc.
gordongroup Montreal office

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What's the idea behind Design Thinking?

Reliable vs Validation

Design thinking has been put forward as a counter measure to lack of competitiveness and eroding domestic markets. Management theorists have suggested that designers use less scientific models to achieve outcomes or that designers base their choices on more intuitive factors. They attempt trial or pilot projects and experimentation. They take risks that may involve exploration into new areas toward validation of opportunity and innovation. Design Thinking challenges those within organization to approach management with a perspective that weighs reliable factors next to validation factors. Competitive organizations will continue to measure their market position and performance against reliable frameworks. This process will continue to benchmark organization legacy. The challenge for organizations though is to break away from repetitive systems that have not led into more innovative outcomes. Organizations it is suggested must change the lens to future opportunities. The notion of design thinking specifically validation places into context emphasis on taking risk, gaining insight from those who are on the ground and allocating resources in areas that may lead to break through in areas completely unexpected or uncovered.

The logic can be applied in many areas including municipal projects working toward better methods for recycling, educational practices or resource management. The thinking and strategy can go to the core of what may be a destabilizing issue within a society such as poor retention and drop out rates in schooling or drug and alcohol abuse.

IDEO has prepared the document Human Centered Design to offer a framework specifically for people in developing countries. The steps outlined are consistent with how design has been implemented to achieve innovation, engage stakeholders in the process and ultimately gain consensus to get to validation of a positive outcome.

The challenge has been that CEO and others within corporate executive suite echelons are not accustom to engaging in less reliable bets. To that end status quo is accepted and circumstances remain consistent with what has gone on in the past.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Design Thinking in Developing Countries

As practitioners within the design service business we’re fortunate since we gain so much through the introductions to people from diverse backgrounds, places and areas of expertise.

The Design Thinking narrative offers practical methodology and systems in support of management practices. Design Thinking is an inclusive process that will contribute to overcoming roadblocks and bring people together as a collective to achieve better performance or results. Over the years we’ve been witness on occasions to new businesses being established through utilizing the logic and steps prescribed in Design Thinking management. Clients engagements have resulted in solutions evolved from Design Thinking techniques, solutions that have gained positive measurable returns.

Affiliation with UGSM Monarch Business School has included introductions among a wider reach internationally, meeting people and learning from their shared perspective.

Much is available on this subject area today with a larger movement forming both among academia and corporate management.

The reference linked above is a very practical tool book that I discovered from the organization IDEO. The methodology offers thought and practical guidelines on design thinking.