I came across a great word in a recent post on GigaOm (referencing an NYT post):

Kaizen (改善, Japanese for “improvement”) is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life.

According to the post, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is a big proponent of kaizen.
The United States auto industry executives? Probably not so much.

What they’re looking for…

So it looks as though my little experiment was fairly successful.
I posted an entry in September of last year with a layered Photoshop file containing the iconography for the mouse hand and arrow. I figured since I always have needed those assets when showing various interaction states for projects, others probably needed them too.
Looking at my stats since then, I’ve observed a steady stream of hits from Google Images with search terms ‘hand cursor icon’, ‘link hand cursor’, ‘arrow cursor icon’… and so on.
While my agenda with Daily Exhaust isn’t to acquire the most hits by posting trendy buzz words and topics, I knew this post might attract some visitors.
I hope this means people have found what they’re looking for.

i just want a Kit Kat

I enjoy intellectual discussion about philosophy, technology and art, to name a few. I read books, articles and blog posts that stimulate my imagination. I also like to express my views on these subjects on this site.
As much as I like ‘high cuisine’ items such as these, sometimes I’m just in the mood for a Kit Kat.
This made my day today, via ffffound:

Kindle on my iPhone

Amazon releasing a Kindle application for the iPhone was a very smart move. Like a lot of the news I’m reading today, I’m happy to see Amazon make this move and not try to wall off other devices. While it’s not going to replace the Kindle 1.0 my wife bought me for Christmas, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to read e-books I bought from Amazon on my iPhone.

Now some of you are thinking right now, ‘But Mike – you don’t seem to have any problem with your beloved Apple and their gated community of iPhone applications? Why aren’t you demanding the same openness Amazon is showing with its Kindle app from Apple and its iPhone?”. Ah – but I’m a proponent of the content being open, not the platform. Amazon is selling media files for the Kindle (books, magazines), the same way Apple is selling media files in iTunes (music), and if you remember, Apple didn’t want DRM on their music, the record executives insisted on it because we’re all nasty little thieves. Google made the same move with Google Docs publishing out to standard (albeit Microsoft proprietary) formats like .doc and .ppt instead of inventing its own.

With each succeeding year, it becomes more and more clear why Amazon isn’t just a website that sells stuff, they’re clearly a company focused on innovation.


What could this post be about? Michael blasting Microsoft again?
They make it too damn easy for me. This bit of exhaust has to do with the new ‘vision’ piece for 2019 posted over at istartedsomething.
Microsoft has a vision for things in 2019 and it involves lots of touch screens and e-ink – all networked together. That’s great. And the film short is beautifully produced. It reminds me of of The Island and Minority Report combined with a good helping of Target – all mixed together.
The vision piece is the easy part. A lot of other companies could have produced something similar. The hard part is applying that vision. Maybe if another company were proposing this vision I might have an easier time believing it was possible, but not Microsoft.
This is a company who originally claimed Longhorn (aka Vista …aka Windows 7) would have 3-D rendering within the OS because, you know, 3-D immediately makes thinks better (that pesky 2-D Exposé on OS X sucks!).
Steve Jobs nails it when discussing concept cars in a Time magazine article from 2005:

“Here’s what you find at a lot of companies…You know how you see a show car, and it’s really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! …What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”

When Jobs took up his present position at Apple in 1997, that’s the situation he found. He and Jonathan Ive, head of design, came up with the original iMac, a candy-colored computer merged with a cathode-ray tube that, at the time, looked like nothing anybody had seen outside of a Jetsons cartoon. “Sure enough,” Jobs recalls, “when we took it to the engineers, they said, ‘Oh.’ And they came up with 38 reasons. And I said, ‘No, no, we’re doing this.’ And they said, ‘Well, why?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m the CEO, and I think it can be done.’ And so they kind of begrudgingly did it. But then it was a big hit.”