Very cool. I always wondered why owls look so wise in their graduation caps. According to the internets, the association dates back to Ancient Greece. The owl is the symbol of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the patron of Athens—a city noted for its art and scholarship.
AirBnB is a brilliant example of collaborative consumption that features a clean, simple interface, curated content, and innovative search tools. This would be such a cool way for students traveling abroad to soak in the local culture in a home away from home.
I’m excited to see how AirBnB continues to innovate. Here are some of my initial thoughts on how they may expand their service: Multiple destination booking tool Group-planning tool Curated city guides and event listings Travel recommendations tailored by choice (example: wanderfly.com) Ability for users to connect and share tips and itineraries
The NYT recently published an article on how independent bookstores, that now account for 10% of book sales, are coping with the changing and challenging environment. Most of the sellers interviewed talked about embracing online with more seriousness, getting into social media and finding complimentary products to sell alongside books.
There seems to be one huge opportunity for bookstores that’s pretty much untapped- which involves creating a venue for social engagement. While Starbucks and other coffee houses- pretend to play this role, they don’t really do it, as you can tell by looking at the number of solo drinkers and individuals glued to their iPads or laptops- there’s very little social interaction happening.
What if bookstores stepped in and up?
They would probably say they already do this with author readings etc, but these are predictable and don’t truly offer opportunities for interaction.
Obviously having more social events around the author readings is a no brainer- get some drinks company sponsorship, serve some food and get people talking and interacting.
Museums have done a good job at creating social events in their spaces, bookstores could easily do the same.
In an interesting nod to the rampant remix culture on video sharing sites like YouTube that sees fans remaking popular clips and memes with themselves as actors, comes Yoostar 2, an evolution of karaoke culture that allows the audience to replace stars and bit players alike in their favorite movies. The game – available in March for all major platforms – uses tracking technology to capture a person’s voice, image and movements, and then digitally inserts them into scenes from blockbuster movies. Once a scene begins, actors watch themselves onscreen as they are prompted through their lines, creating a brand new scene in real-time.
The gameplay offers multiple modes that allow players to unlock challenges, get instant feedback on their performances and share and rate clips on popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
PSFK » Bus Stop Video Games In San Francisco [Pic]
MUNI-riders of San Francisco don’t have to fear notoriously long waits for the bus any longer. Yahoo has installed digital video screens, on which commuters can play video games against each other, at 20 bus shelters across the downtown core (we snapped this photo when the PSFK was in town earlier this week).
Passengers identify which of the 20 specified neighborhoods they would like to represent when playing, and the one that wins the two-month long contest — presumable the area with the highest score — will win a block party featuring the band OK GO.
In any case, it’ll make the daily back and forth that much more fun.
Restaurant guidebook links to online content for fresh reviews - Springwise
Bringing the online and offline worlds together is a rich source of opportunity for publishers, combining the tangible benefits and convenience of physical ownership with the opportunity to deliver up-to-the-minute content. Bringing this concept to the restaurant guide, Italian 2Spaghi.it has launched the SpagoGuida 2011, a physical directory of restaurants that links to online reviews.
The guide is available from the company’s website for EUR 15.90, and offers listings of over 1,000 restaurants throughout Italy. Each listing is provided with a QR code, which — when scanned by a smartphone with the appropriate software — links to that restaurant’s page on the 2Spaghi.it website. These pages are populated with user-generated content, providing the reader with the latest opinions from the 2Spaghi.it community and allowing them to provide feedback on their own experience.
There are over 50,000 restaurants listed on 2Spaghi.it — a fact that highlights the limitations of printing a traditional guidebook. However, rather than focusing on the limitations of the format, the challenge for the creators of SpagoGuida will be to offer their users the best of both worlds…
Cities across the country are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of bike riders on their streets (28% in New York City last year, for example). But with that good news comes the unfortunate fact of a corresponding rise in bicycle theft. Lacking the art and pathos of Italy’s cinematic classic, The Bicycle Thief, the experience of getting one’s wheels stolen is not only expensive, it’s utterly depressing.
One of the more ingenious solutions to the problem of bike theft was posted over at PUBLIC Bikes’ blog today: the Eco-Cycle Bicycle Storage Elevator. Despite its tiny footprint, an Eco-Cycle unit can hold up to 800 bicycles because the actual storage area is located below ground. The rider presses in a code and sends his or her bike on its way to subterranean safety. You can see how it works here.
The EcoCycle has been around for a couple of years now but as cities struggle to find adequate bike parking space for the increasingly crowded sidewalks, it’s worth another look. Once again, space-starved Japan demonstrates how the best design comes from constraints.
Excerpt from "Five Innovative New Year's Resolutions"
Associating: innovators “connect the dots”; they associate experiences and facts that others keep separate. The well-worn illustration of this is Steve Jobs connecting a calligraphy class he took in college with computers to make the Mac font more beautiful. In past posts we’ve talked about how the military strategist John Boyd believes great strategists orient themselves more quickly than competitors by rapidly seeing patterns in seemingly unrelated information. “Mosaic” investors make money by seeing the bigger pattern in seemingly unrelated information.
To be more innovative, then, you need more diverse sources of information and inspiration. Resolve to read magazines you’ve never considered, watch movies you think you’d hate, and attend lectures of topics apparently unrelated to what you do.