Monday, April 06, 2009

Why I Want to Have Lunch with John Maeda



Well, OK, maybe dinner. Or lunch. Or even a package of M&M's from the La Guardia airport vending machine. (See video to get this.) I would want to talk about leadership, and simplicity, and blogs, and a whole lot more, as I came away rather awed during his keynote presentation at last week's web 2.0 conference. It wasn't just because he was a smooth and articulate speaker, or that he understood the important link between technology and humanity, or that he had clever witticisms (RISD stands for "Reason I'm Sleep Deprived"), or that he showed us his really cool sculpture of a fish using Nanos, or that he has a blog that is more of a community blog than his blog, or that he has an "anonymous day" in which the blog is self-managed, or that he drew a distinction between the creative leader and the traditional leader that made me do a mental doubletake. As in, yes, he gets it. I get it. We all need to get this. Here is a brief snapshot:

Traditional Leader:
Loves to Avoid Mistakes
Thinks Hierarchically
Authority
Yes or No
Sticks
Orchestra

Creative Leader:
Learn from Mistakes
Non-Linear
Carrots
Networked
Inspiration
Jazz

Other interesting factoids: His path started at a Seattle tofu factory. Was associate director of MIT Media Lab. Named one of Esquire magazine's 75 most important people of 21st century.

In the interest of simplicity, I'll leave it at that. And John, if you're ever at La Guardia again, the Snickers bars are on me. We can call it lunch.

Links of Interest:
Interesting Commentary on "Laws of Simplicity"
RISD blog
Designs for iGoogle

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