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How to create things people love, three important things…

How do you create that memorable, tangible, touchable and feel-able emotion-inducing thing? Will people fall in love with your thing?


  • That was an awesome Experience!
  • Oh my goodness that was so fun!
  • That was an awesome process!


#1-Begin with Deep empathy & Needs understanding


We all understand the basic need states of Survival, Enjoyment, freedom, companionship, comfort, protection and approval. But what about the learned needs of being informed, curiosity, cleanliness, efficiency, convenience, dependability, style, economy and bargains?


Highly successful Products like PlayStation, Lipitor and Scrub Daddy have hit on a combination of these needs to be leaders in their respective categories. While other products like Breakfast mates, Google glass and the HP touchpad missed the mark.


The reason people fall in love with your thing is you have connected with them on a deep need or pain likely on many of the levels .


#2-Leverage both Art and Science


Process or science is incredibly important when it come to repeatable measurable outcomes. Processes like Product Lifecycle Management and Agile enable us to deliver. You could say that human centered design is also a process. The art is selecting the right tools at the right time, much like the artists are the masters of their craft. A little ethnographic research here a little experiment there and a little market research here.


The results can be stunning when put together by a true artist and creating love for your thing.


#3-Creating the Team of Teams


In order to create things that people love you need to create a high performing team that has deep empathy and love for which they serve. The leader of this team needs to be an artist that both protects and drives the creative process of art and science. They need to inspire learning and mindfulness in order to deliver great things. Enablement of the team depends on sustaining the creative culture, hiring and managing high performers, enabling open communication, being highly flexible and having a productive approach to experimenting.


High performing teams that have love for one another and the people whom they serve create things people love.


If not us, who? If not now, when?

If not us, who? If not now, when?


Love this concept and framework of flow

Love this concept and framework of flow by @samspurlin


Day 2 rough notes

Ford, all about convergence solar panel roofs on cars, app sync with over 30 apps from pandora to you name it

Toyota introducing hydrogen and a personality adapting car

Kia gesture driven car and healthcare

Micro 360 camera very very cool

People who use these in trade shows should be shot

This next section is from the innovation awards…..I focuses on health related mostly

Innovation award lost and found tracker for Alzheimer’s

Smart sleep

Wearable technology headphones really thin

Smart pillbox, cloud connected

Skulpt portable body comp

Key vitals cool tool for moms

Sun exposure warning

Mini drone just cause its cool

Micro sensors

Smart watch

Mi coach

Kids cell phone

Senior stride predicts seniors falls

Digital stethoscope

This section is eureka , weird stuff that did not fit…..

Crowd funded 1m camera ball with 16 cameras

I love the name of this company

Devices and coaching

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Note from Las Vegas Convention Center in Winchester

Our booth

John showing digital health

Fun and interactive


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CES Day One Rough Notes

Quick Overview

-The show is MASSIVE

-There is a TV density war 4k is the current standard and the quality is amazing

-Wearable technology market is growing dramatically new entrants like Epson have wearable smartglasses with associated devices heartrate,activity level, calorie burn, and sleep patterns

-Digital fitness devices are pervasive Garmin, FitBit, fitbug the emergence of Programs for specific goals are coming about

-3D printing had a huge buzz

Intel was by far the leading innovator with live augmented reality and cool new devices which were introduced like the Bucket a amazingly designed bucket you throw your devices in and they just charge up. Below hard to see but it virtual reality 3d….you can imagine pre-med students using to trial surgery.

Haier smart home where you can scan food that is recognized and gives recipes you also can input your  mood where the system tesll you to have a glass of wine 🙂

Tobii Eye tracking enabled navigation but also actions like clicking.

Gesture navigation actually very cool

SoftKenetic Full body tracking

Lots of device companies Inbody Full body analysis

NeuroSky Body and mind biosensors, interesting to think about the data that can be captured

ibitz focused at kids good way to extend and promote kid healthcare

Interesting remote monitoring devices

Reebok’s wearable head impact sensor

Measurement devices are everywhere

Greatcall combines apps devices and services for a full expereince

People love playing with their spheres

Withthings is a really cool device company, example below is a active sleep system to aide sleep


Piston, check out the form factor of the computer below the screen…big buzz

Gyroscopic controlled robot insane

Sony 4k technology is sick

Samsung curved tvs

Artistic concept kid robot and samsung

Bmw i3 whatever

There is just something about good branding iluv

I would not have named a company this

Epic booth from moneual Korean vacuum company that competes with irobot

Augmented reality from Intel


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One of the most incredible data visualization tools I have seen…..

One of the most incredible data visualization tools I have seen…..


Great short video by an inspired photographer

“We say a lot about who we are from our work”
-Chris Burkard


IRONMAN and Business Synergies

Having just completed my second IRONMAN this weekend, I started to think about the synergies of Ironman training and the business world.

First and foremost the people involved in this sport are amazing from coaches, pro’s or age groupers they are tough, highly focused and purpose driven. Just being surrounded by these people is amazing knowing the the massive amount of planning, preparation and effort each person has put in even before the gun goes off.

-Whether a triathlete or not these are the type of people you want in your business; Tough, highly focused and purpose driven, they will achieve anything

Competing in triathlons takes a massive amount of planning and every single detail is measured. You have to plan 12-18 months in advance, set your race calendar up, every day is planned, and every minute-mile-stroke-heart rate is measured. Nothing has ever given more clarity for me around why goals are critically important. What you do every minute of every day is investing in your ability to achieve your long-term goal.  Every once in a while when I run out the door for a workout my wife will say, “Are you working out again?” I usually have the same answer, “If I don’t I will fail”…dramatic yes, accurate possibly.

-As individuals, departments and companies if you are not serious about long-term goals, measuring what you are doing on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis you will fail.


There are two modes in triathlon speed-training and endurance-training.  Speed work is meant to build muscle and power in order to gain speed. Endurance training builds and conditions the whole body and mind to go longer distances. It is an amazing combination.  When you do speed work you are pushing yourself beyond sustainable limits, which has a psychological effect when you are doing endurance work making it relatively easy.  The combination is massively effective. When it comes to race day there is a saying race in the box. The box is the point where speed can be maintained for a long durations.

In business know when to push speed or endurance and as much as possible race in the box  in order  to maximize performance

There is one guarantee during training and on race day something(s) will go really wrong. For me this year was crashing into a car and luckily bouncing off my first time on my tri-bike or three weeks before the Florida Ironman getting a rib-cracking cough.  What every triathlete does is fill their mind with positive visions and outcomes and aggressively attack and solve the issue at hand in a very calm and controlled manner.

The unplanned event or the failed outcome will absolutely happen in business be prepared for it, don’t focus on the negative, focus on solving the situation and move on.


The greatest attribute of Ironman triathletes is the vision that anything is possible; this is reinforced when you finish you cross the finish line of your first one. During the 10-15 hours of time it takes complete in combination with the effort doubt enters your mind. This doubt needs to be crushed with undeniable force of vision of crossing the finish line.

Doubt in business needs to be crushed with an undeniable force of a great plan, flawless execution, and a crystal clear vision

I am fortunate to work in a local start-up here in Boston SnapApp with Elite performers, which have a great long-term vision, measurements in place and come to work and race in the box everyday.


Getting lost / Getting found

I was in the tall dry grass and felt the cool air of the forest

I was in the forest and smelled the salt of sea

I was in the mist overlooking the bluff and felt the warmth of the rising sun

And then I knew it was possible.