Category Archives: World news

The Future without Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was an amazing ‘creator‘, he consistently managed to innovate and I believe he has changed the way we consume music, has changed our expectations around how computers and mobile phones should operate and has given us products that we didn’t even know we needed (iPad).

Can we imagine a future without the input of Steve Jobs?  Who will take the innovation lead within Apple?  What legacy has Steve left?

I read a book about Walt Disney a few years ago, he is another  famous ‘creator’, who has left an amazing legacy. Incredibly, before Walt died he left a series of video recordings for the board to watch each year, featuring Walt explaining where the company should be by now. Talk about leading from beyond the grave!

I know time will show us just what legacy Steve has left us, but if an article that I read yesterday is anything to go by, we are already starting to understand the genius of the man behind Apple.

According to TechCrunch, Steve Jobs had told a “veteran Silicon Valley CEO, that Apple has 1,000 engineers working to refine its processors.  The thinking being if they can develop smaller processors with longer battery life, they will only be limited by their imagination on where they can put that technology.

This direction links back to the video in the Gamification post that I made a few months ago about the possibility of computers that are so small and so disposable that they could even be inside our Coke cans interacting with us through games or asking us to buy more product for a discount.

I feel confident that Steve more instore for us.

Looking forward to sharing in Steve’s legacy,


The End of PowerPoint

A Swiss political party has started a crusade to ban the use of PowerPoint, and I must say, it’s about time!

PowerPoint is an obsolete, out of date program that discourages creativity and puts us to sleep. I’ve heard many examples through feedback at events and conferences saying presentations were “death by powerpoint”… One has to ask, was it the presentation or the use of program?

Come on Switzerland, the party only needs 9,700 more signatures. Let’s start the domino effect to abolish PowerPoint around the world!

Yours in support of creativity,


Limited edition Diet Coke rebrand

Diet Coke, currently the N0. 3 soft drink in the world (according to The Coca-Cola Company) have introduced a limited-edition design to celebrate Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary.


The design was created by Turner Duckworth, who have produced some simple and clever designs for many of Coca-Cola’s products over the last few years (see below).

What I admire is the simplicity and boldness of just cropping in on the Diet Coke logo.

“There’s no visual fizz, no gratuitous waves, no fake swear drops, just a big-ass Diet Coke logo”, as Brand New blog put it. It’s simplicity at it’s best and is a great way of showing that a brand/product doesn’t always need all the bells and whistles to be eye-catching and inspiring. I do think the only minor downside is the placement of a smaller version of the logo three times, perhaps it’s a couple too many, for such a recognisable brand all over the world.

Whether it was intentional or not, I also like how the cropped form of the logo almost creates the word ‘ok’ when two cans are placed together. It creates a quirky and playfulness to the design, which I think is a core theme for the Coca-Cola and Diet Coke brands. It shows a bit of personality.




The following are some more of the designs developed by Turner Duckworth. I really love the bottom five cans designed for the USA Summer 2009 campaign to coincide with Independence Day. They’re fun, quirky and make me smile.

all thing about packaging design cocacola summer 2009 can 2



So what do you think of the limited-edition Diet Coke rebrand?

Yours in rebranding


The Orangutan Saviour

Willie Smits, a conservationist who has devoted his life to the orangutan, gave a powerful TED Talk where he describes his work restoring the rainforest and saves the lives of countless orangutans.

He expresses the horrific ecological barbarity resulting from the palm oil and timber industries as a result of greed. It’s saddening to hear of the human race brutally killing or selling orangutans – sentient beings who share approximately 97.8% of our DNA.

It’s great there are still people out there fighting to save orangutans from near extinction.

You too can make a difference – yes you can adopt an orangutan! :) There are other ways to help by choosing not to buy products with palm oil as an ingredient and choosing recycled papers when you print.

Willie Smits truly is a hero. Take the time to listen to his TED Talk so you can open your mind to what’s going on out there.

Yours in Conservation,
Amber van Sloten

SmartClinics opens at Westfield Chermside on September 19

I’m impatient, work long hours and not loyal to any particular doctor – I guess I’m fitting right into the Gen-Y stereotype! But seriously, when I need a basic prescription or need some basic medical care I just want to pop in and out of the doctor’s as quickly as possible – and I’d think many working Australians would be much the same (gee, that was a bit ALP wasn’t it…”working Australians”).

This is why I’m excited about SmartClinics – the new medical clinic run by Nurse Practitioners, opening at Westfield Chermside on September 19. Now full disclosure, SmartClinics is a client of ours and we’ve been busily working on their design and advertising in preparation for the launch, but really I can’t wait until it’s open.

I think SmartClinics is going to be a really great service for those of us who are fed up with trying to sneak out during lunch and then suffer the long wait in reception before our 10 minute appointment (although I love the trashy mags, do we really need to spend 45 minutes in the waiting room?). SmartClinics will open from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week – thank you weekend and night trading! Plus the appointments are quick and cheap – only $28 for a basic consultation. Now they just need to come to the south side of Brisbane!

Clinics like this have been operating in the US and UK for quite some time now so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about but obviously some GPs think SmartClinics is a teeny bit controversial…check out this piece on Channel 10

Check them out at

Yours in innovative health care,

Steve Jobs – Resigns In Peace

Well a new day of international mourning was created this week with the announcement that Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple CEO.

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


It really was only a matter of time. It has been well reported that Jobs has had health problems mainly in the form of pancreatic cancer, a survivor nonetheless and also a liver transplant. The early signs of Steve not being able to do his role as CEO of Apple were seen when he was unable to commit to one of his eagerly anticipated keynote speeches at a WWDC (Apple Word Wide Developers Conference), but he has always been open about his health.

It should be said though that Steve is not dead, nor has he left Apple at all. Jobs has nobly put the interests of Apple ahead of himself and it has been confirmed that, as he requested, Jobs will continue as Chairman of the Board and will remain with the company in that capacity. To take his place as CEO, Jobs personally recommended Apple COO Tim Cook. Cook has been ‘filling’ in for Steve when on medical leave and the recommendation comes as no surprise.

In 1976 Steve Jobs (21), and Steve Wozniak (26), founded Apple Computer Co. Their first personal computer released was sold for $666.66.

Some time after Apple became a listed company tensions between Jobs and the Apple board (in particular John Scully, who came from Pepsi to head Marketing) led to Jobs resigning from Apple, for the fist time! This turned out to be one of the best things that, in my opinion, ever did.

After that resignation, Steve went on to found two other well known companies neXT and PIXAR. The neXT computer was used to develop the original Word Wide Web system by Tim Berners-Lee. Unfortunately neXT was wiped off the market, but the new venture PIXAR was to become another hugely successful company. You would now PIXAR as the animators of movies such as Toy Story, A Bugs Life, and of course Finding Nemo.

Are you starting to see the incredible vision of this man?!

Jobs returned to Apple after the failure of neXT. The rest is history! All I need to say is two words, iPod and iTunes! But that’s just the start of Steves vision for Apple. Now we have the iPhone, iPad and the fastest computer operating system around, OS X.

I could go on and on about the success and credibility of this man, but I won’t put you through that! You can read more here!

I will leave you with some lesser known facts about Apple and Steve Jobs though:

• Microsoft Office was first made for an Apple Computer
• Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are friends
• There is a third Apple co-founder, Ronald Wayne who relinquished his stocks in Apple for $800!!!
• Wayne created the first Apple Computer logo

And finally for a bit of fun, if you haven’t seen the Mac vs PC TV ads you’re in for a treat! I found on YouTube the whole collection in one clip (below). Enjoy!



Office Etiquette


I just took off my scarf and flung it over the back of my chair, ate my muesli bar and left the wrapper on my desk (which I promise I will put in the bin), and took a look at my sticky notes all over my computer to remind me of whats next. As you can see, I have amazing office etiquette! (cough)

I thought I would take a 2 second break and take a look at the Brisbane Times Website just to have timeout from typography, bleeds, and crop marks. I then thanked my lucky stars that I did not work at BHP Billiton.

This mining giant (BHP) has just structured and handed out a new office Etiquette to their employees. This memo states:
– Post-it notes are to be removed from your monitors and keyboards at the end of the day;
– Other than workstation identification and first aid or fire warden signage, nothing is to be placed on workstation dividers, walls or doors at any time;
– Additional clothing must be stored in designated storage areas during the workday and not on chairs or at workstations;
– Food must not be eaten at your work station;
– Food that emits strong odours is not allowed at all;
– Mobile phone ring tones kept at low volume and forwarded to voice mail when out of office; and
– No iPod or MP3 players to be used in the office.

So maybe my office etiquette doesn’t match theirs?

Yours in Office Etiquette,

New social network to rival Facebook, Twitter and Google

I was reading the Brisbane Courier Mail on Friday and came across this story by Alex Dickinson about “the next big” social network, created right here in Brisbane.

Kondoot – a social network based around live streaming video – was quietly launched last month by a small Brisbane team of young technical programmers and already has users from more than 100 countries signed up, with most interest from the US.

It started out as just an idea last year and has taken a little over a year in the making when a few of them got together to see if it was possible. The tight-lipped technical crew has managed to keep it quiet until now.

Mr Hoad, 24, one of the team’s programmers, said Kondoot was a mash-up of the best features of the major social media websites. “Most of them do only their thing – nobody really covers more than that,” he said. “YouTube, for example, is big into video but the social side is not so good. We add that other dimension.”

The team of 10 who work full-time on the site’s business, legal and IT needs is currently working 18-hour days to develop new features.

Users can “friend” others, just like Facebook, but the main point of difference is the wide range of streaming video options.

Kondoot will allow users to broadcast streaming video from home or work live to the world.

“The video calling and text chatting is there and posting to profiles, but we add another dimension,” Kondoot spokesman Nathan Hoad told The Courier-Mail. “It’s mostly about connecting people and video is just one way to do that. “We think we can make a massive splash in the social media scene.”

Will you make the change to Kondoot?

Yours in social media
Angie Rapisarda

Fred Hollows Foundation – A Year in Review

With Brio Group having just ‘smashed’ our team goal of donating the equivalent of 365 gifts of sight to the Fred Hollow Foundation we thought it would be a great way for us to cement this achievement by getting a run down on what the foundation has done over the last 12 months. So we invited Sue Larsen from the Fred Hollows Foundation to join our monday morning team meeting today to fill us in.

From my perspective it was really inspiring to see a Foundation that continues to grow and support the vision of one man who died almost 20 years ago.

Sue told us about her recent trip to Vietnam and The Foundations work over there that she experienced first hand. In Vietnam they preformed 14,147 cataract operations and 15,498 other sight saving or improving interventions.  It was a shock for me to realise that for many in third world countries hospitals mean the end of your life, meaning that you have to be so so sick to be taken to one and in most cases that person ends up dying. Sue was lucky enough to see a few operations taking place and could sit with an reassure the nervous family who for some had travelled for 4 days on foot to get there. Sue said she could see the family members in the waiting rooms with such fear on their faces thinking the worst. I guess it will take time for these new hospital facilities to be accepted as a place where ‘miracles’ can happen and not a place to be feared.

In 2010 The Foundation trained 12,961 medical and support staff, preformed 194,903 eye operations, took delivery of $3,475,629 dollars worth of equipment, did 1,310,226 eye screenings and constructed and renovated 41 medical facilities.

Sue said that The Foundation is active in around 18 countries. Thank you Fred Hollows Foundation we are so pleased to have been able to contribute in some small way to your amazing success in the last year.