Fig. 1: A card-carrying Cardinal (who still roots for the Cal Bears).
Fig. 2. Studio 2 in building 550, the best class room at the d.school.
Fig. 3. A student creates the mind map of her homepage concept.
A little over ten years ago founder David Kelley and Executive Director George Kembel tapped me to help to them articulate and launch the Institute of Design at Stanford University. It was a true privilege and an honor. Over the years I’ve stayed involved, be it lightly, advising and guest lecturing for classes.
However, this last summer, I conspired with Caroline O’Connor, a former d.school fellow and current lecturer, to develop and teach new course curriculum.
The driving idea was to create a series of classes specifically geared to aspiring entrepreneurs, providing design training and frameworks that they could immediately apply to their own budding ventures. Dubbed “Founders Studio”, our mission is to offer hands-on experience (and tools) for some of the most pressing needs facing new businesses — everything from brand strategy to user experience design.
Authentic to the d.school’s ethos, we begin by developing a prototype to test our idea, and ran a three-evening class in the fall called, Guerrilla Branding for Entrepreneurs. Each night was a three-hour intensive workshop that featured a series of mini-lectures, followed by group and individual exercises for the students. Additionally, each class had special guest advisors, to help guide the students.
We started by introducing a concept stub — a germ of a product concept, specific enough for the class to quickly grasp the idea, but open enough for their own direction and interpretation (see the course ‘teaser’ below for the details).
Day one focused on research and need finding for the target audience. Day two focused on positioning and articulating the brand. And finally, day three focused on bringing the brand to life and expressing it on a prototype home page.
Yes, from product concept to testing homepage designs in three nights. That’s a lot. Perhaps too much, but the prototype absolutely served its function. It was clear the students got a lot out of the studio, and in the process, the whole teaching team learned a ton from the students. Learnings that will certainly be applied to develop future Founder Studio classes. So, look out for more in 2013.
Last week, David Bliss and I presented at the 2012 Planning-ness Conference.
For those that haven’t had a chance to attend, Planning-ness is described as an "un-conference" for creative thinkers who want to get their hands dirty. Each session is half teach and half workshop where participants put the presented ideas into action. This year a two-day, two-track event was hosted at the Annenberg Community Beach House in sunny Santa Monica.
In our session, we mapped the ever expanding Internet of Things landscape, broke down the “anatomy” of connected objects, and described how personal connected objects have the ability to encourage new behaviors, even increase human potential.
After which we gave the following assignment: Think of a personal object. Imagine how you might embed sensors, log interesting data and connect it to the Internet for analysis. Consider what insights this new information would bring to light and what behaviors, or ideas those could inspire.
All of the participants embraced the challenge with passion and enthusiasm — generating ideas that sparked imagination, laughter and smart thinking for where the Internet of Things may go.
The Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Atomic Age, the Jet Age, the Space Age and the Information Age - every technological era has brought about profound effects on socioeconomic and cultural conditions. They've reshaped human behavior and reset reality.
But, before the full effects of each of these technological developments have taken hold and fully permeated the collective understanding, people and businesses undoubtedly found themselves navigating a strange "in-between" time - a time where future visions are uncomfortably mingled with legacy artifacts and pre-existing expectations.
Today, in the Connected Age, technological innovations are bringing about seismic shifts in our reality every day. The dust is far from settled, and perhaps, it never will be. For businesses and brands this uncertain and unpredictable landscape is wrought with danger. Red herrings, pitfalls and fruitless dead-ends surround us, while opportunity is elusive.
But fear not, Larry Johnson (Odopod's Associate Director of Strategy) and I (Director of Brand and Strategy) have been hard at work cataloging the common mistakes, collecting helpful techniques and distilling best practices to survive and thrive in today's in-between times. We've compiled them neatly, into a presentation of course, and would love the opportunity to share them with you, our industry friends and peers at SXSW 2012.
This preview is just a taste of what's to come. We promise to keep it short, sweet and useful so send us a vote and we'll see you there.
Lynda.com came to Odopod to get some insider information on our approach to the key business problems that many of us face in creative and design industries. They spoke with innovative thinkers from large companies like Google, Apple, and Adobe and small shops like Odopod. With these interviews, Lynda.com has developed the upcoming course, Pitching Projects and Products to Executives.
Over the next few weeks, they will be releasing short previews of the series. Today's release features our very own Founder and Creative Director Tim Barber discussing, "How do you sell yourself?" Check it out.
Associate Technical Director, Boris Pique shares his experiences attending and speaking at this year's FITC San Francisco.
FITC had its first FlashintheCan conference in Toronto in 2002 and has since grown to become one of the most important events of its kind. What initially started as a Flash-only conference has expanded over the years to include sessions about other relevant technologies such as Processing and openFrameworks just to name a few. Even if the event is a Flash conference at its core, the broader breadth of topics is, in my opinion, a welcome approach since it’s undeniable that technologies other than Flash are better suited for certain types of work.
FITC just announced its San Francisco lineup - full of inspirational speakers from all over the world including Odopod's Associate Technical Director, Boris Pique. FITC comes to San Francisco August 17-19 with Boris' talk, "Innovation through Collaboration," being held on the 19th at 12:30.
For the full schedule visit FITC San Francisco. See you there!
Last night we open our doors to the AIGA San Francisco community for a studio tour and presentation of all things Odopod. We were delighted to see such a great turnout and interest in everything we do. Special thanks to AIGA for inviting us to participate in their annual studio tour program and to those who made it to our event.
Jay Wolff recently returned from Moscow, where he presented to top brand-clients of our friends at GRAPE, one of Russia’s leading interactive agencies.
His trip included visits to iconic sites in the great city, adventures with the staff of GRAPE, a lecture for an “all digital” university program, and most importantly, presenting to a large audience of international brands on the business underlying all digital campaigns.
To develop this presentation, Jay taps his experience as Odopod’s president, as well as his board positions for SoDA (the Society of Digital Agencies) and Boulder Digital Works. The lecture covers what it takes for agencies to be healthy in this business and is full of insights to be shared with actual “clients” on How Brands Can Be Successful in the Digital Space.
Take a look:
March 2010 seems like ages away, but it's time to start thinking about the 2010 SXSW Interactive Festival! The panel picker is now open and you have the opportunity to select what panels you want to see. With a ton of topics and speakers to choose from, we wanted to make it easier for you to make solid choices when it comes to SXSW content. Here are some key suggestions:
Digital Ethnography: Gathering Insights in the Digital Landscape - Guthrie Dolin, Odopod Interactive Storytelling: Learning From the Masters - Tim Barber, Odopod SoDA Pops! Best Digital Agency Advice and Practices - Paul Lewis, Society of Digital Agencies
To participate, all you have to is login to the panel picker, hit thumbs-up in the panels listed above and that's it - you've made a difference.
Please join SoDA members, directors, managers, planners, strategists, creative directors, artists and producers in a session where the agenda is planned and driven by its attendees and the topics are evolved through the discussion.
La Venue, New York City
608 W. 28th Street, between 11th & 12th Avenues
Staring at 8:30am
It's been thirteen years since we started Odopod.
We've always wanted one thing: to do the best work of our lives. Along the way, we have been joined by an eclectic and exceptionally talented bunch of people who wanted the same thing. Together, we've built a company we love.
Two years ago, Odopod was acquired by Nurun.
The acquisition was a validation of everything we had built. It was also a catalyst for some big changes we wanted to make. We began to tackle bigger, thornier problems and to work all over the world. With Nurun, we've had a series of huge wins and have been producing our best work yet.
That's why we recently decided to retire the Odopod brand, formally adopt Nurun as our name, and take the reins of Nurun's US operations.
We're all still here—same team with the same appetite for great work, only now with different e-mail addresses and more frequent flyer miles. And we're growing, so send your talented friends our way.
Keep an eye out for new work from Nurun. It will be our best yet.
Tim, Dave, Jacquie, JT & Guthrie
For new business, contact Stacy Stevenson
For general inquiries, contact us at
For more about Nurun, visit