Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday: Trend Conductor

First time reading? Dive in, stick with us, and soon enough you'll be a pro.

Today's whack comes in two parts. Patient while I set it up.

Part I. As a kid Edison was hard working. At the age of twelve he impressed a train station manager so much he was offered a job as factotum (servant with many responsibilities). An opportunist, Edison quickly took on an additional job as news butch (paper boy). Traveling by train was relatively new and reading the local newspaper while on board was desirable by most. But, a rolling stone gathers no moss. It didn't take long before Edison recognized people's interest in gathering local news and he began innovating. He introduced the novelty of printing the newspaper on board a moving train and was a hit among passengers!

Part II. History of an the ice cream cone. In the year 1904, St. Louis hosted the World's Fair. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire, was selling a crispy waffle-like pastry. The booth next to his was selling ice cream. Ice cream in the early 1900's was very popular, so it didn't take long for the vendor to run out of serving dishes. Hamwi saw an easy solution. He rolled one of his waffle-like pastries into the shape of a cone. The pastry cooled quickly and was soon filled with ice cream. Customers were happy and the ice cream cone was officially born.

Edison's Creative Principle: Innovation may begin by tracking a trend, but it succeeds by coming - in some significant way - to lead the very trend it originally tracks.

Edison did it by starting as a newspaper butch and quickly figuring out how to print his newspaper on board a moving train. Hamwi did it by noticing the growing trend towards ice cream consumption and innovating a new way for consumers to eat the popular dessert.

Now your turn. And, I'm really anxious to hear what you have to say.

Going green? The i-Phone? Chunky earrings? Trouser pants? Reality t.v.? What trend are you noticing and how can Highlowaha use it to lead the way?

Signing off until tomorrow...

27 comments:

BeeKayRoot said...

I saw on the Food Network the other day ice cream cones made of pretzel... Oh my, I wish I could find those in a store nearby.

.....

Working in higher ed (like many of you out there), most of the trends I tend to notice are those among the 18-22 year old population.

Most of these trends are directly related to technology in some way. Ipods are increasing in popularity, Facebook has become both a noun and a verb, video games are making a comeback, and teh list goes on.

I wonder if HLA shouldn't dedicate a week to linking the two concepts -- creativity and technology. Maybe it would produce some interesting discussion.

BeeKayRoot said...

Just so you ladies know, all this talk about ice cream this week is driving me crazy. I have to intentionally limit myself to one or two days a week in the summer.

Ice cream is my dessert of choice. I might eat it every day if I had the opportunity.

cassie p said...

My mom caved and bought two half gallons of ice cream yesterday...all because I just had to go to graeters the other night and get mine and her fave ice cream! We ate "death by chocolate" last night...

Ill have to think on this whack while im in classes for work today...this is a pretty good whack to the side of the head!

PS 58 days until TASTE OF USA!!!

Chaotic said...

I am so not about trends... umm... what have I noticed? My rat likes to be bathed in the morning rather than evening. Does that count? I love ice cream, it is not so fond of me. I feel ya, Brian! I don't see many people outside my chosen community and I am not a TV fan... most of my "trendy times" are about rain barrels, smaller carbon footprint...

Robin said...

I love that we're doing fb and twitter. I think there is potential there but we need to maintain the momentum. Sometimes that can be difficult. But it does pay off in time.

Claudia said...

So far Brian gets the blue ribbon for best whack of the morning.

I love the idea of dedicating a week to the link between creativity and community. Talk about challenging me!?!?!? I might need to hire an outside consultant.

Robin.. true, true about sustaining momentum. It requires on-going energy.

Chaotic... no trends in the scrap booking world?

The next best idea can come from any corner of the world. So what's it going to be. Dig deep for the latest trend you are noticing and help us whack how Highlowaha can build on it to become a trend setter.

Kat said...

This is a great concept. I'll need to whack it for a while before I reply, but I really love the idea of combining two thing to make something new and exciting.

Cheryl said...

Think back 5 years... blogs were not a trend, they were just beginning. And now! The internet has exploded with any type of blog you can imagine. I wonder what the next big thing will be?

I like Brian's whack with technology... think about photography... that's creative and do you remember when you used to take your film to a store and wait an hour for it to be developed? Now? Instant gratification! You can see if your eyes were closed and retake the picture right on the spot.

Everything has a trend...I'll have to think about it and come back later. :)

Peggy said...

I agree with Chaotic, technology trends, gadgets and electronics are not something I seek... it takes me a long time to get up to speed, mainly because I am frugal and some of this $tuff co$t$.

Two conversations I had recently with family... DS... I told him when I was in high school I had an electric typewriter and used liquid paper (invented by one of the Monkees' mom, Bette Nesmith Graham) {I had to explain who the Monkees were} It took forever to type a paper, researching at the library (physically going there, on the bus)

And then with DH, 15 years ago we couldn't wait to watch 'This Old House' on PBS on Saturday mornings, we loved all the renovation projects... now with HGTV and DIY, TLC we can renovate in 1/2 hour.

I could mention what's going on for kitchen gadgets and card making... but this is so long as it is!!

Cheryl said...

I have to disagree with Chaotic and Peggy. Everyone follows trends. It's inevitable. That's not saying you give into whimsical or faddish subjects but your very participation with this blog is following a trend.

The newspaper and the ice cream cones were trends that became accepted subjects. And now the newspaper companies are in trouble because of the Internet. Hopefully the ice cream cone will never be obsolete. :)

Claudia said...

Oh... debate AND whacking! What could be better. This is the true sign of community.

Gourmet coffee from Starbucks started out as a trend, but as Cheryl noted now it is somewhat accpeted practice. McDonalds, Krispy Kreme, and Duncan Donuts all sell their version of gourmet coffee.

Back to us. Let's keep thinking and flexing those muscles. What trends are out there and how can Highlowaha lead the way in advancing the trend?

Peggy said...

Is a half apology acceptable? If so I apologize... I discussed with my dh last week in regard to the glass being half full, or half empty... he was almost mortified by my answer, he said y'all were just looking for the answer... not an extended... "well it depends on where the glass has been" yadda,yadda....so, I'm sorry if my right brain can't grasp life's metaphors.

Cheryl can certainly disagree with my opinion on following trends... however... then I guess I say I'm not a trend setter... I don't seek out to have the newest, greatest and latest.

In saying that, I like photography, digital cameras and uploading/downloading... I like HLA's recent cemetary pictures and the umbrella pictures.... if the community can bring pictures to the blog to start a conversation... extreme close up what is in the picture? make a story for the picture, I spy...here's what I'm talking about in the picture, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Katie K said...

Current trends that I see include efficiency. Efficiency to save on energy and efficiency to save on money, too. With the economy the way that it is, a lot of people are cutting down on what is absolutely necessary to get the job done. Then, I think of the lightbulb and the way it has evolved to try to save on energy. Some people are following the trend by buying the new lightbulbs and others are sticking the tried and true lightbulb.

What does that mean for us? What can we do to be efficient- both with energy and money. Do our best but get the job done. Even just last night when Cheryl and I were working on a project, we were joking about how it's all about the efficiency of getting the work done.

Cheryl said...

That's it Peggy! And though you're cute to offer an apology it's not necessary. I value your opinions even though I may not agree with everyones 100% of the time. :)

I like the idea of the photos. I'm wondering how we spread our message of creativity and Positive Mental Attitude to others.

What about like online greeting cards? What if Ray becomes an online greeting card? He could wish people Happy Birthday and Congratulations. He could even be snarky and make people laugh.

Using what we have that brings us together... the computer mostly. Internet. The blog. Facebook. But we can also use mail and taking a trip and the phone... just thinking out loud here... Things we like- community, creativity, ice cream, RAKs... Does anyone know of another community like ours? What if we could find another one similar to ours and compete?

Claudia said...

Another trend... jumping off of something Katie said.

More and more people are foregoing meals out and eating at home.

How can Highlowaha jump on the trend. We are a blog about slowing life down and spending time with family and friends.

Can we create a line of things you use around the table? What would they be? Who wants to start?

Kat said...

Ok, I have a lot to say, so we'll see if I can remember it all!

I think that one thing HLA already does well is combining the internet with "real life". I feel like I know all of you even though we have never met in person and I think part of that is the fact that we have conversations every day on the internet, yet we challenge each other to do real things like projects or mailing things.

A trend I can see us following is that of being more thrifty. I guess it kind of goes with Katie's idea of efficiency. People are not going out as much, they are making more things for themselves rather then buying stuff, and they are fixing what they have instead of throwing it away. I can see a whole theme week on HLA about ways to save money on the things we need to buy or to renovate what we have. I have been on a major decorating kick lately and have spent very little money. It has really opened my eyes to how much money can be saved with just a little time and effort. HLA is filled with so many creative people that I would love to see how many way s we could come up with to be the go-to source for all things thrifty!

Claudia- We have been eating out less and the main thing that I would love to improve on is making dinner feel special. Conversation cards would be a simple way to make dinner at home seem more fun. I'm sure as a group we could come up with a few conversation starters!

Tera said...

What I thought of ties Brian & Katie's ideas together. We're now a society that is trying to "Go Green" and try to cut back on using natural resources through the use of technology. From going paperless to converting rain water in to useable water and everything in between. In the end, it all uses technology.

A lot of people are jumping on the band wagon with this concept. I'm not sure if we're "Going Green" out of necessity or just because it's the "in" thing. It didn't seem like that many people were earth conscious before. A group of people who wanted to save the earth got together and have now made it a very trendy thing!

All the talk of ice cream yesterday FORCED me to go to Baskin Robins! I had 1 scoop of World Class Chocolate and one scoop of Oreo with carmel on top. YUM-O!

heather said...

I agree with the being frugal/being green thing being a trend. What about providing our readership with creative things to do on a shoestring budget?

I'm not feeling very whacky today...hopefully this isn't a trend ;)

Chaotic said...

okay, maybe I am trendish & just clueless?
1) "Go Green".. I don't see that so much as a trend but as a necessity. We collect gray water because we are in a drought and every drop counts. 2) "Reduce Reuse Recycle".. I recycle the oddest things into cards /mixed media art because I am frugal.
3) "Connecting vs Entertaining".. I don't go out much because I am frugal but also bc it is hard to be social in loud places & I can't eat at most eateries w/o getting ill (food allergies).
4) Ray cards!! Now that trend I can support !! I am actually working on a Ray idea stemming from the lunch we did in Austin July 5th...s tay tuned!

Cheryl said...

I wish someone would find a trend that would give me more time in the day (other than me losing my job)! There just isn't enough time in the day to do all the things I want and need to do!

b.k.root said...

Katie... you raise a good point. Maybe Ray Wattson should look more like one of our "energy efficient" light bulbs.

We're "so NOT with the times" by having Ray look like an "old school" light bulb.

RAY NEEDS A MAKEOVER!!!

cassie p said...

i like the trend that developed today...ways to "go green" save money, and reuse what we already have... as i begin to think about moving out, i wonder how much it will cost to decorate...

Katie K said...

Oh, Brian! I disagree about Ray! I think he should stay just the way he is. It makes him classic. Plus, if there is anything that I have learned about Ray it is that he would refuse the makeover just on principle. He is all about being his best self regardless of what someone else wants from him! That's part of what I think makes him so snarky!

Cheryl said...

Plus, drawing that funky lightbulb would be complicated!!!

:)

Chaotic said...

Cassie...decorating comes cheap & over time... just do what you like, let the new place EVOLVE over time!

b.k.root said...

Just kiddin about Ray... it was just a funny thought. I can't even imagine what Ray would look like as one of those weird, new light bulbs.

cassie p said...

where is thursdays post?!