This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Weekend Wanderings - Henry Petroski - With the passing of Lewis Thomas and Stephen Jay Gould, I've had to find a new favorite author for non-fiction non-managerial subjects. Given my tech/engineering bent, civil engineering professor Henry Petroski seems to be quickly rising to the top of my list of possible replacements. While his subjects come uncomfortably useful to my work thinking (as did Gould, surprisingly, from time to time), they are delivered in a too entertaining way to feel like work. The books of his that I've read include...
His latest, Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, looks like a prime candidate for next on my bookshelf. According to Publisher's Weekly's review at Amazon.com, "...his latest effort, a wide-ranging exploration of the history and design of the everyday technologies like supermarket aisles and telephone keypads that are practically invisible in their ubiquity. Petroski emphasizes that these "small things" aren't in fact the results of a smooth and simple design process, but are rather the products of a constellation of oft-conflicting constraints, frequently with unintended consequences (consider the recently redesigned, fat-handled toothbrushes that, while more ergonomic, have rendered millions of traditional toothbrush holders useless)." His themes surrounding engineering and design make one all the more appreciative of the serendipitous successes and "good enough" failures we run into every day.
posted by Frank - Permanent Link -