The last 2 weeks in Tokyo have been wonderful. There are more than a few posts worth of material, but today helped to bring together a number of threads I have been trying to pull together.
In short WWW = Win Win Win. Because when organizations set out to collaborate with others: they win, their customers win and the people they collaborate with, win too. We talked a little about how others outside your organization might be able to help you grow your business and also about Obama, who did so many things to make it easy to help his campaign.
So here are some more ideas on this theme, direct from Tokyo.
Lets start with UNIQLOCK
Saneel has been raving about this since we arrived in Japan and I admitted that it was not installed as my screensaver. He couldnt figure out how I had been telling time.
Today we were fortunate to hear from one of the founders (team of 2) of Projector, who created UNIQLOCK for Uniqlo.
It turns out that this is much more than a beautifully crafted, award-winning, fan-generating, entertaining timepiece.
Lets take a look at some numbers. Today there are more than 61,000 UNIQLOCK widgets installed on blogs around the world. More than one year after its launch, it continues to produce steady interest. And this doesnt account for installed desktops.
But whats more interesting, is how this came to be. The folks at the projector worked on an earlier project, involving dance, called Mixplay (shown below). Mixplay came about when the good folks at Projector saw the dancers and reach out to them to collaborate. As they put it “the were interested” in their work and this led to the collaboration. Which in turn led to 1.5m views on youtube and lots of active discussion and a realization that bloggers were picking up the video, too.
This then laid the groundwork for some of the creative in UNIQLOCK, but also the promotional and distribution strategy. UNIQLOCK is made available as a, you guessed it, a clock widget. And since it constantly updates, its unlike other widgets that get boring and removed. And so bloggers get something slick continuously updating content, Uniqlo gets traffic and sales and potential customers get to be entertained (and tell the time). Win. Win. Win.
[also, organizations like Circ De Soleil were brought in - they got awareness, UNIQCLOCK and the bloggers got more original content ]
So what is Pecha Kucha?
This idea was started in 2003 by Mark Dyson and Astrid Klein. As Mark desribes it -
Architects are boring
So why not give them 20 seconds for 20 slides? This way, you see the work, sans boredom. Excellent. But they never expected Pecha Kucha nights to be running in 160 cities. The numbers tell the story of steady growth in interest in the last few years or so (“pecha kucha” on google trends). Other than the local event promotion in Tokyo, they never did anything to push it along – more people started showing up and then asking to host it elsewhere.
We did everything wrong
Says Mark of their approach. But he feels positive, that if they werent open to collaborators, the idea would never have left their event in Tokyo. The only real agreement is to ensure that there was one person representing Pecha Kucha in each city.
Mark is amazed by the growth in interest, because they just have sought to promote it and yet is continues to spread. The format is even being used by some at Davos. But the core remains a willingness to work with and support whoever is interested and willing to help.
Whats interesting, is the way real events have results in the spread of a presentation format and the creation of a presentation forum for work that might not have any good forum otherwise and it emerged on its own, with very little support other than the maintenance of the site (and now responses to requests for interviews).
Maybe your city is on the list – if not, why not get it started.
Pecha Kucha continues to spread indirectly build awareness for Astrid and Mark. Across the world, presenters get a new forum to share the work and ideas. Attendees get to see one anothers wonderful work. Win. Win. Win.
Finally, an idea that could inspire 1 billion people this year.
In 2007 5m people did it. In 2008 the number was about 50m in 35 countries. And in 2009, the target is 1b people in 1000 cities, who will turn off their lights for an hour to focus awareness on energy and environmental issues.
Its a non-for-profit, with minimal budget, growing globally, rapidly, using various means to get more people involved. And also providing a focal point for business to do something positive (and benefit by association). Hopefully we all win, as we get more people to act in ways that can reduce energy consumption and the associated environmental impacts. The stakes are high, but we are hopeful that this is well on the way to Win. Win. Win.
There a few more cases that need explanation: A cosmetics brand used mobile to engage with a few thousand early adopters to help them develop and launch a product. Over a 3 year period they went from idea to 8m unit sales working tightly with their community. Then there is Graniph who partnered with artists to create T-Shirts and build their business while they increased awareness for artists. More to come.