My Favorites From February: Samsung’s TV Privacy Policy, Bradley Wiggins’ Evolution & Google Cardboard

Yannig Google CardboardHere are a dozen of links, stories and videos that I liked in February. From Parker Higgins’ viral tweet about Samsung’s Smart TV to the Google Cardboard virtual reality gadget and a magnificent video about Dubai, I hope you’ll find some stimulating things here.  I’ve also inserted two cycling-related links where great champions, Sir Bradley Wiggins and François Pervis, tell us a little bit about their life experiences and cycling in different cultures – each in their own ways. I hope you like it, share it, and you have a great day!

A few weeks ago, in the wake of the tragic events in Paris, eYeka invited creatives to express their sympathy to the victims of Charlie Hebdo and your resolve to stand for freedom of speech. Over 250 creatives from 39 countries submitted more than 300 creative works. There were many great design, and we shared ALL of them with Charlie Hebdo. In this blog post (linked in the tweet) we just show our 10 favorites, coming not only from France, but also from Singapore and South Korea.

Samsung’s privacy policy for smart TVs contains a passage that could come from George Orwell’s 1984, basically saying that we should not say anything sensitive (making casually racist remarks, talking about credit card details, talking dirty ar just some examples) in front of our Smart TVs. The Voice recognition feature is being used by Samsung to help sell their recent model TVs, but by stating that it can be “always on” and listening, it sparked concern. To me it’s just about lawyers’ over-cautiousness than about Samsung’s plans to lister into peoples’ living rooms (read this Forbes piece on the matter). But still, the concern is there, and hackers may be smarter than Samsung in listening to people talking to their TVs. So I understand the fuss – what about you?

A great project to spark creativity internally at Adobe, called Kickbox. It’s not only the idea that is cool (a workshop that helps employees develop and refine ideas) but also the way it is presented and… packaged (a red box with a $1,000 prepaid credit card to fund their project along with supplies and instructions to guide them). Unfortunately, Adobe’s VP of Creativity Mark Randall, doesn’t really say what the outcome was, and it any of the projects succeeded. But he says: “Whether their first project succeeds is less important than the experience and skills gained. This is about investing in our people to build a uniquely valuable competency that will pay dividends for years.” So it was not only an innovation, but also a management tool.

Is Twitter becoming a talent agency, like YouTube and Facebook already start doing,? With the acquisition of Niche, a New York startup that connects “Internet stars” with advertisers, the company at least “bolsters [its] appeal to Madison Avenue advertisers” the Wall Street Journal said. Twitter explains on its announcement blog post that “[Niche] has helped fuel the creator economy by developing leading technology, consisting of free, cross-platform analytics, as well as connecting the creative community directly with the world’s biggest brands,” before sharing some cool Vines that were produced through Niche.

This is a very cool article, if you’re into cycling at least. It’s about Sir Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France winner, whose career has spanned over a decade and seen him ride for the likes of French teams like FDJ (“I saw how laid back they all were“), Crédit Agricole (“by far and away the worst team I’ve ever been in“) and Cofidis (“just as disorganised [as Crédit Agricole] but it was fun“), the American teams Columbia Highroad (“they took everything seriously and it was a real step up from Cofidis“) Garmin (“It had this incredible atmosphere“) or his current team Sky (“the intensity in this squad is at such a high level that it’s hard to maintain“). A very cool read, really.

A portrait of one of eYeka’s most active members, California-based Holly McAlister. “Because freelance designers are constantly on the hunt for new clients, McAlister decided to enter her first creative crowdsourcing contest,” the Napa Valley Register article reads. “[Since joining eYeka] in 2012, McAlister has become its most successful designer, winning 22 crowdsourcing contests, with prizes totaling about $60,000.” An insightful read, almost like free market research with positive PR-side-effects, about a freelance designer from the San Francisco area.

Here’s an interesting interview of Mark Polson, Estee Lauder’s VP Creativity and Business. He has a global role developing creativity as competence in a powerful house of brands, Estee Lauder, which runs Michael Kors, Clinique, Tommy Hilfiger (yes!) Ermenegildo Zegna, Estée Lauder (of course!) and numerous other brands. What is his role about? “I’m responsible for the development of the competency of creativity and innovation within the corporation. We have a number of internal programs that we’ve built, that enable our people to further develop their creativity and innovation,” he explain. To learn more, read the interview!

Not much to say about this one, much more to view! Watch the video, which is truly amazing, and learn about the creator and some of his secrets in the below interview. He doesn’t say much about who funded the project though, and that’s what I wondered while watching. Like one of the commenters, I believe that “[It could] be that Dubai itself was the client – That usually opens a lot of doors. 🙂” Seeing all the Emirates planes, thinkng about the aerial shots, and taking into account the many locations that were used, I think it is very likely.

Discover the exceptional documentary produced and broadcasted on Eurosport about the Frenchman track cyclist, François Pervis, who won 2 gold medals at the 2015 Track World Championsships this month. The 6-time World Championships gold medallist and World recordman of the 200m and the Kilometre has trained in Japan, where he lives every year during 4 to 5 months to compete in the Japanese Keirin races, which are highly codified events. It’s like horse-racing, but with bike riders (mostly) from Japan and (much less) from abroad. Pervis is one of the few strangers to have been granted (unpaid) training in the Japanese Keirin season, and this is a cool documentary about a totally different world!

I’ve blogged about Quirky numerous times, and this New York Times article dosn’t really bring anything new… except an outlook into the future, a vision. “Quirky’s ultimate goal, Mr. Kaufman insists, is to create an engine that accelerates the process of identifying and developing new ideas for all kinds of products. “I’d like Quirky to be a utility like electricity,” he said” the article explains, quoting Quirky’s CEO. How? By getting into the fast-growing connected objects market, and by partnering with big companies for crowdsourced innovation projects. I’ll be curious to see how this evolves, as they have USD 185 million (!) of funding to live up to.

You have to try this! It’s dead simple (a fold-out cardboard mount, lenses, a magnet, a hook-and-loop fastener and a rubber band) but it immerses you in a realistic virtual reality experience. I tried it with a rollercoaster app, but there are more, and I think I’m going to get one. Or I’m going to use it as the 2016 new year greeting card…

What do “Millennials” want at work? INSEAD’s Emerging Markets Institute, Universum, and the HEAD Foundation conducted the first (of what will become an) annual survey of Millennials, and the largest study of its kind. From May to August 2014, they surveyed 16,637 people in 43 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America, and the results are presented in “Millennials: Understanding a Misunderstood Generation.” This HBR blog post just gives some visualizations, and shares both differences and similarities; For examples “Many Asian Millennials also seem to stress the importance of social ties more than their Western counterparts. [Yet], some attitudes were similar across the world. For example, spending time with family ranked among the highest of priorities in every region we surveyed.

Is there anything you want to share?

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