Music's Secret Money Machine
Thank you for the phenomenal article on Musictoday and the visionaries behind it ("Way Behind the Music," February). It was interesting to read about the back-end operations of one of the most brilliant, passionate, and eclectic bands of all time. That, of course, is the Dave Matthews Band. Please keep the wisdom coming.
Santa Monica, California
Can't Touch This
Your story on Jeff Han was a great piece of journalism ("Can't Touch This," February).What's fascinating to me as a blogger, journalist, and all-round technologist is the melding of the user into the interface to create connections to information that previously were viewable only in the mind and big-budget movies.
Imagine being able to graphically explore tags at home in minutes like Digg does, or view source ties and virtually anything else with the feel of navigating a dream. Googling just got more interesting. Social networks such as Technorati, Wikipedia, and MySpace are in for a rocking. The user interface changes the efficiency of so many things that it's both exciting and frightening at the same time. Needless to say, I don't think anyone's heard the last of Jeff Han.
San Jose, California
Man, this will be pretty cool when it gets out! We'll see if
This looks like the kind of technology Tom Cruise's detective character used in the film Minority Report. I knew it was the future. As a publisher, I am glad to see something coming that will allow me to work faster. Soon, I suppose, we will be able to do even more with just a thought.
Yearn. That's all I can say when I see Jeff Han's touch-screen technology. This has so much potential and looks so much cleaner than
Frank Jonen Idstein, Germany
Math Geeks, Unite!
I am a 14-year-old math geek. I took algebra in seventh grade and geometry before even going into high school. I have often thought of the possibilities of working with math my entire life. After reading "She's Got Their Number" (February), I found myself thinking more than ever that math has many interesting career paths. Thank you for publishing this article. It has really made me consider all of the possibilities that are open to me.
Riding the Bus in L.A.
It is great to see Los Angeles willing to invest a little more to make the transit system something people will actually want to ride ("L.A. Goes Public," February). The real test, though, will be how they treat bus stops outside of the main Bus Rapid Transit corridors. Will riders on those routes have anything more than a rusty signpost next to a muddy path by the road?
John Z Wetmore
Accounting for Design
I am not against numbers, but Chuck Jones's methodology doesn't look very appropriate to make design decisions ("No Accounting for Design?" February). Focus groups give qualitative data, so it would be wrong to extrapolate those results to the rest of the market. This would be even worse if you use that same data for the rest of the world. It isn't correct to use past information to predict the future behavior of the market.
I once heard a really interesting quote: Art collectors didn't ask Picasso to invent cubism. When we talk about disruptive innovation, you cannot ask the consumers for things they can't even imagine. Maybe that's why they don't use focus groups at Apple.
Nicolas Gonzalez Garrido
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am confused. I recall reading an article a few years back where Chuck Jones said that initial consumer feedback for the Duet washer and dryer was extremely negative because it was such a new concept that consumers could not relate to it. Therefore, it was rejected initially. If we depend on this type of qualitative data to measure design, we run the risk of never bringing consumers truly innovative products that they're not accustomed to. The same thing happened with Herman Miller's Aeron chair. If it had taken consumer feedback to heart and not moved ahead on instinct, that product would have never come to market.
Sergio de Oliveira
For a father of three, the hard facts of climate change ("Degree of Difficulty," February) are overwhelming for the future existence of my great-grandchildren (and yours). I always enjoy learning of any small armies digging their heels in, especially through political action. I hope you'll do more articles on climate change that go deeper than the alpine winter recreation business.
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
For Auden Schendler and Patrick O'Donnell to sing the praises of 20
The Sound of the Future
Thanks for the interesting article "Twenty People, Four Notes" (February). As a 52-year-old CEO brought up in the creative music world of the 1960s and 1970s, I was pleased to see that Robert Fripp was part of the project. After a tough day in the modern business world, I can't think of a more appropriate song than his biggest hit, "21st Century Schizoid Man."
Fort Myers, Florida
John Mackey's $1 Salary
In years to come, we may no longer think it's unusual, strange, or suspect for someone to say, "I no longer want to work for money," as
Arlington Heights, Illinois
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A version of this article appeared in the April 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.