Archive for 2012 What can businesses learn from Sharks?

Published by on september 24, 2012

What can businesses learn from Sharks?
Simon Young, Principal, Global Relations, syENGAGE Ltd

(Read the above blogpost to catch the takeaways from a Sharkonomics Down Under lecture).

Interviewing Weta Digital crew member Victor Huang

Published by on september 14, 2012

Weta Digital is the world’s leading visual effects company behind many blockbuster movies such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, based in Wellington, New Zealand. Right now they are working on their next movie The Hobbit – but even if I dress up like a hobbit I could not get into the studio, since they are doing the final work on that magic movie.

My friend Jack Yan arranged an interview with one of Weta Digital’s crew, Victor Huang, whose credits for visual effects include The Hobbit, Avatar and The Matrix Revolutions.

To actually meet someone who works at a company that created The Lord of the Rings makes me feel a bit like a geek. It is such an incredible masterpiece. In this part of the world, Wellingtonians seem to think it’s normal to meet these people or to play a role in the blockbuster movies they create over here. It is like the nature here – unreal.

Interviewing Victor Huang was pure fun. Down to earth and full of positive energy. I asked a lot of questions on how to find talent and make them deliver and grow. I got a feeling that it’s a lot about creating an ecosystem of people whose function is to deliver superb material. To call it corporate culture would make it too two-dimensional: it’s deeper than that. It’s more like the fantastic nature here – where every creature has its role to play. If talent does not grow in harmony with the Weta forest it will not be able to deliver world-class material. My impression is that this unique forest has a DNA that makes the team much more important than just one individual. To keep the forest young and vibrant, talent has to grow at a speed and in a direction that is demanded or they will have hard time to keep up with competition (they get thousands of CVs from all over the world). I asked if social skills are more important than technical. Victor says that visual effects are a blend of art and technology. You need the best skills from both sides coming together to create Academy Award-quality work. To work at Weta you have to be amazingly talented and gifted, but social skills are not a disadvantage (film-making is teamwork).

What I find specially interesting in their business field is that because they deliver a product that is so visual on the screen, some in the audience can challenge their skills and say to themselves, ‘I can do this better.’ Since they deliver movies so advanced, they have to create their own software to be able to create their magic so few can compete with them.

Victor could easily be working with coaching to make a team deliver beyond their expectations. And that is what this interview was – beyond what I could imagine. I thought it would be about movies but it was much more. Next time I will dress up like a Hobbit in order to get into the studio.

In the picture, me, Victor Huang and Jack Yan.

At the Natural Products Scandinavia event: Sharkonomics bites into health stores

Published by on september 12, 2012

It is an honour to be one of the keynote speakers at the Natural Products Scandinavia event.

International business expo for buyers of natural products, vitamins, minerals, supplements, health foods, natural beauty products and organic foods. With thousands of visitors – we are planning a fantastic first event. This event is free to attend if you pre-register before the event.
Natural Products Scandinavia

The event is 14–15 October, in Malmö, Sweden. Check out the seminar programme, with my topic: Can Health Stores Survive? Competitive Advantage/Sharkonomics.

Theatre vs. Organic food: Flowers from my Mother’s Garden

Published by on september 8, 2012

Theatre people often ask me, how do we get a greater audience? Yesterday I discover that they should not. Why? Simply because the audience, even if it’s nice people, it’s too little a target group. Instead they should get the people who like green values, like those who like organic food!

In a time when everything is artificial and nothing is real, we demand the authentic. This is seen with the demand for green solutions such as organic food. It’s locally produced with nothing artificial or a digital filter added to it, it’s real just like theatre.

Next time I get the question on how to increase a theatre audience, I will tell them to sell themselves as a green solution in the shape of organic food. People who demand green will also consume theatre. They could start by selling tickets in the vegetable section in stores. It will surely get the audience’s attention – not everyone will pick it up and make a salad of it. It does not matter how they reach this audience: what matters is that it’s a much bigger audience to reach (also it’s a fresh, green audience with artistic challenges, because they do not have an expectation of what theatre is or should be – as long it’s authentic they will clean the plate).

Last evening my friend Jack Yan took me to a theatre première called Flowers from my Mother’s Garden. The story was more real and authentic than I have ever seen in any play. The mother and daughter in the play were playing themselves, with real photos and recordings from their own life. In other words they out-compete Facebook, paparazzi and all other e-products that can create a distance to what’s real. It was like sharing their lives.

Was the play any good? Well, let’s put it this way. As you can see on the picture taken after the play, I went down on one knee and propose to Dame Kate Harcourt. She smiled kindly and showed me she still had the magic glance in her eyes (born in 1927). I wouldn’t mind a life with her eating organic food: of course we would invite Jack and Kate’s daughter Miranda to clean the plate.

Photos by Chris Fallows make Sharkonomics jump high in presentations

Published by on september 1, 2012

What I miss in today’s perfect digital photos is passion and a relation between the photographer and the objects they are catching. Chris Fallows has so much passion for the Great White Shark that I believe people will fall in love in this great creature when they see his magic photos. In my Sharkonomics lectures, I talk about business based on the Great White Shark’s fantastic nature and purpose to reveal how to increase business results. I also want my audience to fall in love with the Great White Shark. Therefore I am enormously thankful to get permission to share Chris Fallows’ photographs in my presentations when holding Sharkonomics lectures.

In my opinion he is the best photographer of the Great White Shark in the world. He is so good that no one knows who is number two! But Chris is humble and would never say he is the best, just that he would say that he had more opportunities to shoot (he has studied several thousand live attacks).

Chris Fallows is one of the world’s leading experts in Great White Shark behaviour. His work is regularly featured on the Discovery Channel, BBC, National Geographic and Animal Planet. He is the author of Great White: the Majesty of Sharks.

Check out Chris and Monique Fallows’ magic photographs.

Simon Sinek: How to innovate like a Shark

Published by on augusti 30, 2012

The best innovations, just like the shark in Jaws, is often something we don’t even know is there.
Simon Sinek, How to innovate like a Shark

Thanks to Kaisa F. for sending me this sharp blog post, she did think the idea in the post swims well with Sharkonomics!
I do think the same, hope Simon think so to.

Sharkonomics bites Down Under

Published by on augusti 26, 2012

After a long summer, Sharkonomics will swim all the way to New Zealand. I will be one of the keynote speakers at the Marketing Association‚s Marketing Today conference in Auckland, to be held on September 18 and 19 (hashtag #MAToday2012). There will be speakers from Universal Music Group, GM, Lego and Jack Yan in person on stage. I’m looking forward to meeting the 230 hungriest marketers in that part of the planet at the seminar.

Thanks to social media, I got the privilege to have one of my best friends in New Zealand, Jack Yan, work with me. Read Jack’s press release about the magic tour he and the association is arranging so well for me.

Blog break for the summer

Published by on juli 12, 2012

I will take a blog break for the summer and try to find the sun.

Sharks never stop swimming so Sharkonomics will not take a break on

Sharkonomics a flying bestseller

Published by on juli 7, 2012

This photo is from Pocketshop in Arlanda airport in Sweden the staff in the shop told me last week that my Sharkonomics book is selling really well in the shop (one of the best….).
It seems like its a perfect book to read high in the sky…

There are just as many new opportunities to connect as there are to get into potential danger

Published by on juli 2, 2012

In the topic of potential dangers with social media I would like to recommend an article that points out:

There are just as many new opportunities to connect as there are to get into potential danger.
Duran Inci, COO, Optimum7

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