5 links: the obvious one, brand-logic, happy places, e-toys, neuroscience ~ Sounds + Food 'n' Retail

Marilyn.jpgIt's Sunday again, and I have a nice big collection of links today: on running a cheap yet effective start-up; on why brands exist; on creating happy places for yourself and employees; on the business of children; and finally on a whole load of neuroscience. The aesthetically pleasing picture of Marilyn links to a particularly disgusting image of a "healthy" burger—my initial choice of illustration. You have been warned.

Previous link-discussions can be found here.

Link 1: the obvious one - Seriously, unless you actually used this weekend to, eh, have a life, you'll have noticed the firestorm started by Jason Calicanis, continued with Duncan Riley, tempered by Jason Fried, and the final words of wisdom by Micheal Arrington. Crazy, how opinionated these entrepreneurs/bloggers are, right? Yeah, right. A good read if you're (thinking about) running your own business, with like lazy employees and expensive tables.

Link 2: A brief history of brands - well actually a blurb about a book. I like:

"Branding became necessary when large-scale economies started mass-producing commodities such as alcoholic drinks, cosmetics and textiles. Ancient societies not only imposed strict forms of quality control over these commodities, but as today they needed to convey value to the consumer. Wengrow finds that commodities in any complex, large society needs to pass through a "nexus of authenticity.""

Link 3: the architecture of happiness -
"There are three concepts central to the “yoga of the home”…. The first rule is to align your schedule with universal schedules by getting up and going to bed with the sun. “We try to keep lightweight and low furnishings in the north and east — to create an openness — so that we can draw in the healthy early morning sun,” says Cox. Heavier, taller furniture goes in the south and west. Second is bringing nature indoors — plants, natural fibers, no synthetics. “Vastu is the first intentionally green science,” Cox says. And last, vastu asks us to “celebrate who we are and what we love” by surrounding ourselves with things that have meaning. “When someone enters our living room and we’re not in the room yet, we want this guest to get a sense of who we are,” she says. “The room speaks of us.”"
I've been thinking about this topic and the general issue of creating happy places for a while. A worthwhile read is also Frank Addante, a serial entrepreneur, on choosing the office-space for his start-up: link 1 and 2.

Link 4: building a toy e-commerce store - since I linked to Lego last time this seemed appropriate. In all seriousness however, I think the subscription-model + children is a cash-cow; kids always want more stuff and have old stuff to get rid off. Applicable not just for toys, but clothing and furniture as well.

Link 5: Some neuroscientific stuff - ignorant shoppers are blissful, though information that stimulates the imagination still works (as do quality-labels as they allow you to charge a premium); body-language works for consumers, in other words an in-store-television-advert or one of those annoyingly friendly taster-people in supermarkets, should cause people to buy more food. A little bird tells me this applies more to the US than the French; 15% of women don't like perfume, which is interesting I think as I'm not a big fan either; and Art-adverts work, enough said. And yes, EurekAlert is my new favourite site.


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