The Mint Blog
Last week I attended the gigantic conference-a-palooza that is Content Marketing World, taking over downtown Cleveland for three days of rockstar keynotes and jam-packed break-out sessions. Oh, and a guest appearance by Captain Kirk. #nbd
Now in its third year, CM World is riding a wave of industry-wide enthusiasm for the benefits of a content-based marketing approach. For me, the overwhelming message of the event was: helping people beats selling to people . Both in terms of (long-tail) bottom-line results, and in feeling good about what you do.
This definitely struck a chord. At Mint, we’re shifting our focus from just making awesome stuff, to making awesome stuff that actually improves people’s lives (expect more on that in the near future.) And I have to confess, at CM World, I drank the Kool-Aid...
At Mint, we’re shifting our focus from just making awesome stuff, to making awesome stuff that actually improves people’s lives.
As usual, my conference notes are a hodge podge of the interesting and the illegible, but here’s an assortment of my favourite takeaways:
Once again, it’s that most wonderful time of the year when a fresh ruckus of graduates sprout forth from various design education institutions around our fair isle. In my mind mind, this has come to mean three things:
One of the main objectives of Foundry is to provide graduates with a solid stepping stone into our industry, so they can sustain themselves going forward.
We are delighted to announce that StickyGram is joining the PhotoBox family. StickyGram was conceived in March 2011 and launched June 2011. These last two years have been an amazing voyage of discovery.
Mint have always had a strategy of using the skills we develop as an organisation to create valuable products.
StickyGram will remain true to its mission of bringing your Instagrams to life in the real world, but will now have the resources of PhotoBox focused on improving the product, and developing new products to offer the StickyGrammers.
StickyGram is about more than fridge magnets. It's about memories made real. It was clear from our first conversations with PhotoBox that they understood this concept as clearly as we do. They understand what motivates the typical StickyGram customer, and they could see what was valuable about the brand.
We'd like to introduce you to Projecteo. The tiny slide film projector that brings your favourite Instagrams to life in the real world. It's matchbox-sized, meticulously designed, and basically adorable. We’re pretty proud of this little guy.
Projecteo’s high-powered LED lets you display your Instagrams on a wall. Just switch off the lights and enjoy.
A smash-hit Kickstarter success last year (funding at 450%), the response from our initial 2,789 backers has been hugely positive. And now we’re excited to set Projecteo loose on the rest of you...
Prototypes sound good: they suggest innovation and flexibility, without the cost of setting anything in stone.
As a digital innovation agency, we’ve built a good few prototypes for our clients. Alas, these prototypes have been some of our least satisfying projects.
Yes, we've been inspired by the initial vision. Yes, we’ve worked hard to make the client happy. Yes, we’ve gone the extra mile to delight. And yet, and yet... something has never quite clicked.
What goes wrong?
Well, believe it or not, Mint has them fixed! And the solution came from an unlikely direction, meaning it took us a while to realise we had a solution.
With no go-live date, difficult decisions get delayed.
There are bigger ambitions for a prototype than for a normal project. Freed from the constraints of shipping code, everyone hopes to create something game-changing. Extra features get added as the team grasp towards that big ambition.
Lack of Focus
Not wanting to blame the client, but... usually there’s no one at the client firm who is totally focused on the prototype. A prototype is often a bit of a hobby, somewhere down the to-do list.
Good digital products are often simple ideas kept sharp by hard design decisions. Prototypes pull in the opposite direction.