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Reviews

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 nov 2018

The idea of coffee table books with thick pages and attractive glossy covers is accessibility, they are reachable and readily readable. Henry Miller said in his book 'The Books in My Life' (1969), 'A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.' But this may not be the case with coffee table books as they hardly lie idle. Moreover, Susan Sontag defined her library as 'an archive of longings'. Here are coffee table books on design that stand out in 2018 - (1) Andrew Martin Interior Design Review (Volume 22): With over 500 pages of the latest interior styles and trends, marks out the World's 100 greatest interior designers and showcases their projects on an international level. A must-have for interior designers and design professionals. Martin Weller, founder of Andrew Martin, says that the 22nd edition of the review 'honours alterity', due to the 'astonishing breadth and variety of work' involved. (2) Nina Campbell Interior Decoration: Elegance and Ease (Giles Kime): The book features a biographical essay that runs alongside images of lofty rooms with fabric-matched armchairs, tablecloths and curtains, antique occasional pieces and wallpapered wall panelling, each of which is punctuated with the finest upholstered furniture. (3) Shelfie: Clutter-clearing Ideas for Stylish Shelf Art (Martha Roberts): The idea of 'shelfie' started with Marie Kondo's de-cluttering trend, followed-closely by a surge in the popularity of open shelving. #Shelfie became a hot trend on social media with creatives and interior designers showcasing their shelfs. Martha Roberts brings the social media into the pages of the book. Her shelfie digest demonstrates a fusion of great design, an unapologetic display of personality and a deep sense of relevance to the digitally engaged generation of aesthetes. Read on...

The Independent: Best design coffee table books of 2018
Author: Anya Cooklin-Lofting


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jun 2016

Designers need continuous flow of creative ideas and motivation in their work. Sometimes they reach a state of creative block when they lack internal motivation and inspiration to generate ideas. In such situations an external source of inspiration would be of assistance. Following are 8 online resources for designers that can provide the spark of creativity and rekindle inspiration - (1) Designspiration: A design portal that has architecture, typography, illustrations and print. Features the work of global artists and innovators. (2) Dribbble: A hub for creatives to connect, share and inspire one another. Includes typography, website design, logos, illustrations and graphics. Designers can also be hired through the site. (3) Awwards: Recognizes best designed website from around the world. Jury comprises of renowned designers, bloggers and agencies. It rates websites and gives score comprised of different elements, including creativity, design, content and usability. (4) Siteinspire: Has some of the best filtering of any design portal. Can choose from multiple categories, and follow designers and their work. (5) Smashing Magazine: Includes editorial and professional resources for designers and developers. Have blogs from designers. (6) The Best Designs: Includes web design works of best designers. Helps find, connect with and share work with other designers. (7) Behance: Have archives of graphic design, photography, interactive design, art direction, illustration and more. (8) Adobe Kuler: As color is one of the most important aspect of design, Adobe Kuler can help one share, create and browse color schemes from designers and users around the world. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 8 Incredible Online Resources for Creative Design Inspiration
Author: Brittney Ervin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 jun 2016

Dr. Amantha Imber's new book, 'The Innovation Formula: The 14 Keys for Creating a Culture where Innovation Thrives', provides an authoritative curation of insights into innovation. Dr. Imber is an innovation psychologist and founder of Australian innovation consultancy Inventium. The book draws upon author's experiences, academic journals and research studies on innovation. It begins with an 'innovation culture audit' based on a survey of 28 questions, that will help assess an organisation's readiness and journey on the innovation path. The tips and case studies are classified into four levels or units of analysis: individual, teams, leadership and organization. These levels have a total of 14 key factors of innovation. (1) INDIVIDUAL LEVEL: CHALLENGE [Imagination breakthroughs (GE), Personal development hacks (Inventium)]; AUTONOMY [Design changes (Etsy, Vimeo)]; RECOGNITION [Innovation Awards (Intuit)]. (2) TEAM LEVEL: DEBATE [Voice of Youth (Infosys), Reverse mentoring (GE, Cisco, HP)], SUPPORTIVENESS ['Flat' teams (Mirvac]; COLLABORATION [Experts from other business units (Pfizer)]. (3) LEADER LEVEL: SUPERVISOR SUPPORT [Design thinking (Disney)]; SENIOR LEADER SUPPORT [CEO office hours (FourSquare), Customer Meetups (Etsy)]; RESOURCES [Hack Days (LinkedIn), Innovation Champions (Pfizer), Toolkits (Adobe, Nestle, CBA)]; GOAL CLARITY [Innovation KPIs (Mirvac)]. (4) ORGANIZATION LEVEL: RISK-TAKING [Annual failure report (EWB), Dare To Try awards (Tata, Pfizer)]; COHESION [Buddy Program (Buzz Products)]; PARTICIPATION [Hack Weeks (Etsy)]; PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT [Central atrium (Circus Oz), Participatory office design (Mirvac)]. Dr. Imber cautions, 'Creating a culture won't happen overnight.' She sums up, 'Innovation is a learned skill.' Read on...

Your Story: The Innovation Formula - 14 tips for business creativity and growth
Author: Madanmohan Rao


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 feb 2016

Reviews and recommendations related to products and companies are an important part of consumer buying decisions. Nowadays, technology has transformed word of mouth into word of clicks and taps, bringing consumers closer to other consumers and brands. Online communities around interests, products, and brands have mushroomed. Social media has further brought quality, quantity and speed into the recommendation and review process. According to a study by McKinsey, social media recommendations induced an average of 26% of purchases in 2014, that's up from 10% in 2013. Kishore Kumar, serial entrepreneur and CEO of AllThingsMine, explains how social media networks are assisting cosumers in their buying and purchasing decisions and what companies need to do to effectively utilize these channels for their product marketing and competitive strategies. According to him three aspects of social media influence consumers, and companies have to incorporate them to expand their product sales - (1) Social Referrals: Brands have to encourage and invest in social media referrals. Adweek infographic suggests that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Recommendations from friends and trusted sources are more valuable than product advertisements. (2) Access to Reviews: Consumers research before buying products and reviews are an important source. Companies should provide product reviews and give incentives to those consumers that leave a review. (3) Social Media Accessibility: Social media is freely available to anyone with an internet connection. Consumers can now purchase products directly from their social media feeds when people in their network recommend them. Companies need to effectively tap this potential and reach out to larger public through influencers. Read on...

Young Upstarts: How Social Networks Impact Buying Decisions And The Modern Consumer Society
Author: Kishore Kumar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 dec 2015

Design education promises to inculcate and enhance creativity within students and equip them with skills to build and develop products, services, spaces and environments in diverse industries. Given below is the select list of America's top design academics and educators from the disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture, that was created with inputs from design professionals, academic department heads and students - Amale Andraos (Architecture, Planning & Preservation at Columbia University); Alan DeFrees (Architecture at University of Notre Dame); Dawn Finley (Architecture at Rice University); Steve French (Architecture at Georgia Tech); Geraldine Forbes Isais (Architecture & Planning at University of New Mexico); Charles Graham (Architecture at University of Oklahoma); Aki Ishida (Architecture & Design at Virginia Tech); Kent Kleinman (Architecture & Interior Design at Cornell University); Sharon Kuska (Architecture & Civil Engineering at University of Nebraska); Alison Kwok (Architecture at University of Oregon); Mohsen Mostafavi (Architecture & Design at Harvard University); Daniel Nadenicek (Planning & Landscape at University of Georgia); Guy Nordenson (Architecture & Structural Engineering at Princeton University); Juhani Pallasmaa (Architect & Lecturer from Helsinki. Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); James Rose (Architecture & Design at University of Tennessee); Hashim Sarkis (Architecture & Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Jeff Shannon (Architecture at University of Arkansas); Robert Shibley (Architecture & Planning at SUNY Buffalo); Christine Theodoropoulos (Architecture & Environment Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo); James Timberlake (Architecture at University of Pennsylvania); Ada Tremonte (Architecture & Interior Design at Drexel University); Rod Underwood (Architecture &' Planning at Ball State University); Adam Wells (Architecture at University of Houston); Jim West (Architecture, Art, & Design at Mississippi State University); Keith Wiley (Architecture & Environmental Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo). Read on...

DesignIntelligence: 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 dec 2015

To keep pace with the happenings in the world of business and management, books written by entrepreneurs, business leaders, experienced professionals, learned academics, theorists, practitioners, subject-matter experts etc, provide valuable insights, diverse perspectives, latest practices and examples of what it takes to succeed. Here is a top ten list of leadership and management books of 2015 - (1) 'Work Rules!' by Laszlo Bock: Explores recruitment and various other aspects of HR and management. (2) 'Power Score' by Geoff Smart, Randy Street and Alan Foster: Provides mantras for business success. PxWxR - Priorities, Who (right people), Relationships. (3) 'Hiring For Keeps' by Janet Webb: Explains in detail the 'right fit' for hiring. (4) 'Triggers' by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter: Explain the relationship between beliefs and behavioral change and how to avoid the resistance to change by using triggers, the stimuli that reshape thoughts and actions. (5) 'Transitions at the Top' by Dan Ciampa and David Dotlich: Explores the role of stakeholders within the organization in the success and failure of the new executive's transition. (6) 'The 27 Challenges Managers Face' by Bruce Tulgan: Describes how organizational emergencies can be tackled successfully with minimal damage by applying a proactive, structured and rigorous approach to accountability on a frequent basis as part of the organizational processes. (7) 'The Wallet Allocation Rule' by Timothy Keiningham, Lerzan Aksoy and Luke Williams: Explains the approach where companies should accept that customers frequent their competitors and not focus merely on customer loyalty. Understanding these other relationships can help them gain a bigger share of their spending. (8) 'Leadership BS' by Jeffrey Pfeffer: Describes the shortcomings of the leadership industry and claims that it misleads on many fronts. (9) 'Your Strategy Needs a Strategy' by Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes and Janmejaya Sinha: Explains that strategy systems should adapt to specific situations and offer five approaches depending on the organization's environment. (10) 'I Know How She Does It' by Laura Vanderkam: Studied lives of working women and suggests how to make the best use of one's time. Other notable mentions - 'The Automatic Customer' by John Warrillow: Describes how to create a subscription business in any industry; 'Shadow Work' by Craig Lambert: Explores commitment to sustainability by large, reputed organizations. Read on...

The Globe and Mail: Top 10 leadership and management books of 2015
Author: Harvey Schachter


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 nov 2014

Digital marketing leverage can by accomplished by startups at low cost by clearly defining, creating and delivering the online message, utilizing the gamut of available technologies. These technologies have to be used effectively to target the audience, engage the customer and measure results. In their new book 'Taking Down Goliath', authors Kevin M. Ryan and Rob "Spider" Graham, provide the best strategy and tactics to accomplish this digital marketing leverage. The first step in the process is to create the perfect message and define it as selling solutions (not technology) to real customers with real needs and problems they want solved. Business-to-business (B2B) entrepreneurs should ask the following questions: (1) How does this solution solve an existing problem? (2) How does this solution provide a competitive advantage? (3) How does this solution make the customer a visionary/market leader? (4) How does this solution enable a significant value exchange? (5) How does this solution represent an exclusive opportunity? How does this solution increase performance and productivity? Effective marketing messages for business-to-consumer (B2C) audience, should stroke emotional triggers like sense of well-being, convenience, security, significance, exclusivity, positive social standing etc, that facilitate their buying process. Read on...

Forbes: Digital Marketing Is A Great Equalizer For Startups
Author: Martin Zwilling


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 oct 2014

Although economists were critized for not been able to predict the financial crisis of 2008, but macroeconomic forecasting is just one aspect of their work. In a recently published book 'Trillion Dollar Economists', author & economist Robert Litan, argues that while macroeconomic forecasters are more publicly renowned due to press coverage but there are other economists who worked for the private sector and contributed substantially to transform businesses in America. Following are seven economists mentioned - (1) Julian Simon: Helped revolutionize the airline industry by popularizing the idea that carriers should stop randomly removing passengers from overbooked flights and instead auction off the right to be bumped by offering vouchers that go up in value until all the necessary seats have been reassigned. (2) Hal Varian: As economist for Google, he fine tuned 'Dutch Auction' first designed by William Vickrey, that Google utilized for its 2004 IPO. He further helped develop the Google Trends tool and the use of A/B testing to improve the launch of other new services. (3) Vernon Smith: won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 for his contributions in helping economics become a more experimental science that relied on laboratory testing to understand human behavior. His experiments proved that through careful deregulation of energy markets, electricity companies could become more efficient and still sell energy at fair prices. (4) Frank Ramsey: In 1920s formally proved that rather than charging one price, firms ought to discriminate against customers based on where they fall on the 'Demand Curve'. In other words, companies should charge the most any particular customer is willing to pay, rather than one price for all. His concepts are utilized in airline and hospitality industries. (5/6) Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth: Nobel Prize winners of 2012, their work in 'Market Design' has helped revolutionize the way buyers and sellers are matched in many different markets. They worked on how to design markets to attract enough buyers and sellers, to give those participants enough time and information to make rational choices, and to do it in a way that prevents fraud or the leaking of confidential information (7) Burton Malkiel: He helped popularize the concept that investors do better when they diversify through his book 'A Random Walk Down the Street' and inspired entrepreneur Jack Bogle to work on 'Index Funds' as they would be a cheap way for the average investor to diversify. Read on...

FORTUNE: 7 economists worth their weight in gold
Author: Chris Matthews


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 sep 2014

Professor Brian Wansink of Cornell University, has been conducting research on eating habits and behaviors of consumers through his Food and Brand Lab, which he founded in 1997 while being at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His new book 'Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life' is just published and focuses on understanding surrounding and environment at five places - home, favorite restaurants, favorite grocery store, work-place, children's school - that influences eating behaviors and find solutions by designing them in such a way that encourages healthier eating habits. According to him, 'It's easier to become slim by design than slim by willpower.' Here are nine recommendations from him while doing a kitchen makeover - (1) Move healthier foods to visible spots (2) Make tempting foods invisible and inconvenient (3) Declutter your kitchen (4) Make your kitchen less friendly for lounging (5) Think twice before buying big packages of food (6) Use smaller serving bowls and spoons (7) Use smaller, narrower drinking glasses (8) Serve food from the counter or the stove (9) Avoid doing other activities while eating. Read on...

USA TODAY: 9 ways to lose weight by rearranging your kitchen
Author: Nanci Hellmich


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 may 2014

Eric Topol, in his book 'The Creative Destruction of Medicine', explores and explains the transformatory shifts taking place in healthcare with more democratization and power in the hands of patients as compared to caregivers and healthcare providers. Present state of our world with technological advancements and digital devices becoming part of our daily lives, has totally altered and transformed our communications and interactions. In other words, our world has been 'Schumpetered', based on the theory of 'creative destruction' by Joseph Schumpeter that describes transformation that is brought about by radical innovation. Similar transformations are beginning to happen in healthcare. The digitization process of human life is made possible due to the convergence of digital technologies and processes - remote and continuous health monitoring with wearable smart devices, three dimensional reconstruction of any part of the body, hand-held high resolution imaging devices to capture information anywhere, determination of a person's genome sequence, advance health information systems, availability of downloadable laboratory reports and medical records etc. The healthcare can now be individualized and personalized contrary to the traditional population-level model of practicing medicine. With genome and DNA sequencing, it is possible to dissect, decode and define individual granularity at the molecular level, from the beginning to the end of life. David Gelernter introduced the concept of WikiWatson computer that could bring the world's medical literature and clinical expertise at one platform for global health improvement. Medical community, government and life science industry have to converge and consolidate their efforts to embrace, adopt and facilitate healthcare innovation for the benefit of society. Read on...

US News & World Report: How Technology Is Transforming Health Care
Author: Eric Topol


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 may 2014

As business environment continues to change and evolve, the present set of skills and competencies of employees and business leaders may not be the desired ones in the future. They need to adapt to the realities of the times to survive and succeed and should continue to update and upgrade their skills. Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, of the executive search firm Egon Zehnder, in his latest book 'It's Not the How or the What but the Who' focuses on 'potential' as the key element and characteristic that defines the next wave of talent acquisition. He suggests that companies should focus more on qualities that grow and get enhanced with times while hiring prospective employees and less on their current skills. More on where they intend to be then on what they are. This becomes even more important and critical in case of hiring for top management positions. According to Fernández-Aráoz, companies should acquire talent on the basis of five indicators of an individual's potential - (1) Motivation (desire to have an impact) (2) Curiosity (illustrated by history of seeking out new experiences, skills, roles and challenges) (3) Insight (comes to those with industry expertise and exposure to diverse disciplines) (4) Engagement (ability to connect with others & motivate them for success) (5) Determination (resilient, overcome failures, adapt as markets change). He further mentions that it would be a mistake to assume that potential is only found in younger, less experienced people and cites the example of 77-years-old, Pope Francis, as a role model of potential due to his focus on dialogue, engagement and ability to challenge conventional wisdom. All these qualities demonstrate his willingness and openness to growth. Read on...

Businessweek: The Next Wave of Talent? The High-Potential Boss
Author: Diane Brady


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 dec 2013

Hospitals in recent times have become specialized and develop their competences accordingly. The specializations provide hospitals clear focus in providing the best available services and facilities to the particular segment they serve. One of the important segment of the hospital spectrum is children care as they have different needs as compared to adults and may require specific medical procedures and care services. Article provides review of some highly ranked pediatric hospitals in US and explores the reasons for their excellence. Some of the differentiating factors are - higher level of commitment to provide children focused quality medical services; dedication towards providing best healthcare experience to patients enables them to build solid reputation and attract best staff; invest heavily on amenities, equipment and technology; investment in research to discover new treatments. Read on...

Healthcare Global: Hospitals Blazing Trails, The Best in Children's Care
Author: Alyssa Clark, John McMalcolm


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 dec 2013

Advancements in digital and communication technologies are affecting the dynamics of how healthcare is provided and received. Patients have access to latest and sophisticated health information, improved access and communication with medical professionals, digital tools and improved social support. Some of the technologies that are participating in the healthcare delivery and access, and facilitating its transformation are wearable health monitoring devices, health applications, electronic medical records, DNA analysis, social media outlets and online forums. In their recent book 'ePatient 2015: 15 Surprising Trends Changing Healthcare', Fard Johnmar and Rohit Bhargava, explore the human aspects of the various technologies that are affecting the healthcare landscape, evaluate and understand the relationship that is progressing between humans and healthcare technology and how these technologies have the potential to save lives. Frad Johnmar explains "The future of healthcare is about more than economics, politics and individual technologies. We want readers to come away with a deeper appreciation to the human side of innovation and understand that looking at the big picture is required, rather than optional." The book examines and explains 3 themes that are changing healthcare and giving rise to 15 trends - (1) Health Hyperefficiency (Trends: Empathetic Interfaces, Unhealthy Surveillance, Predictive Psychohistory); (2) The Personalized Health Movement (Trends: The Over-Quantified Self, The Device Divide, Multicultural Misalignment, Healthy Real Estate, Medical Genealogy, Neuro-influence Mapping, Natural Medicine, Microhealth Rewards); (3) Digital Peer-to-Peer Healthcare (Trends: Care Hacking, Accelerated Trial-Sourcing, Virtual Counseling). Read on...

HIT Consultants: ePatient 2015: 15 Surprising Trends Changing Healthcare
Author: Fard Johnmar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 nov 2013

Customer participation in the design process is becoming an important part of the innovation and creative strategy. Though most organizations are still struggling to fully incorporate the concept of empathy and customer-centeredness in their business practices. In their book, 'Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All', authors David Kelly (Founder of IDEO and d.school at Stanford University) and Tom Kelly (Partner at IDEO and executive fellow at Haas School of UC-Berkeley) share their design experiences and how companies and organizations can build their creative competence. The excerpt from the book focuses on empathy (understanding what people need and incorporating them in products and services) and how over the years they have used anthropological field research at every stage of the design process to empathise with the end users. Authors suggest 'hybrid insights' an approach that integrates quantitative research into human-centered design. They cite a successful example of a bank that utilized these concepts to understand the needs and wants of the millennial generation (GenY) and created specific financial products for this target segment. Read on...

Slate: Why Designers Need Empathy - Designing better online banking for millennials
Author: David Kelley, Tom Kelley


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 sep 2013

With continuous improvements and developments in the television and broadcasting technologies, it becomes important for consumers to make informed decisions before buying a high priced HDTV. Current trends mostly involve LED, LCD and Plasma TVs. There are numerous competing products from consumer electronic companies. Moreover with involvement of internet and wireless technologies and convergence of devices it becomes all the more important to understand how they all work. The review provides description, comparison and recommendations on various HDTVs. Read on...

PCMAG: Review and Buying Guide for HDTVs
Author: NA

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