Design for Life
What Gadi Amit describes are the factors that should drive our industry toward more sustainable products ("What's Wrong With Green Design"). There have been startling recommendations in the past, like "try not to use fasteners" and "minimize material use." Are we to make products that collapse for lack of strength? There are many well-intended, misinformed advocates for the environment spewing verbal garbage about designing for a green universe. If we want to make products sustainable, we must ask people like Amit who actually design, engineer, and manufacture items used by real people in real applications.
Palo Alto, California
Design should always be with purpose ("Can Design Save the World?"). The fact that some designers are beginning to do it more obviously shows that our society is coming back to its values, as before the recession we saw a lot of work created just to attract attention.
Every year I wait with great anticipation for the Masters of Design issue. What happened this year? I want movers and shakers who are really making it happen, not some pie-in-the-sky young turks who might have future potential. The design business is full of people who don't know, and don't know that they don't know. Get back to knowing in 2011 with the design gods of the world.
Not Lovin' It
"Super Style Me" left my blood boiling. As McDonald's points out, the designs from this $2.4 billion makeover "will lose freshness" and "have to be updated more frequently." That's a lot of remodeling, retooling, and waste to keep what should be a dying sector going. If McDonald's spent $2.4 billion on improving food quality, sourcing local ingredients, and improving the communities within which it operates, that would be designing for the future.
Ronald McDonald's lower profile may have more to do with shame than high design. With childhood diabetes and obesity hitting record levels, marketing junk food to kids is no longer seen as a harmless business practice. But make no mistake — McDonald's still uses the clown to hook its next generation of customers with a kid-centric website, appearances in schools and pediatric hospitals, and children's charities that obscure his role in a health crisis.
As managers, we strive to develop processes that are uniform and efficient. It can be difficult to manage workers who all have different operating styles, whether you were born pre- or post-1980 (Do Something). I commend Nancy Lublin for recognizing the potential in each staff member.
Kyle R. Camping
New York, New York
Merging Hulu and Netflix is something I've been wishing for (Tech Edge). I use Hulu to watch current shows and Netflix to watch past shows, but if it could all be in one place, it would be heaven! Netflix needs to make more current shows available.
San Antonio, Texas
In the Now section of the October issue, we incorrectly identified Neenah Paper as one of the pulp-industry players threatening the gray wolf in Ontario's Kenogami boreal forest. Neenah Paper has sold its mill in that area.
In "Waving the Flag" in the November issue, we wrote that CEO James Diener raised $550 mil-lion to start A&M/Octone. He raised $5 million.
We regret the errors.
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A version of this article appeared in the December 2010/January 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.