Weekending 11272011

Whoa. Last week? Well — it was a short one. It was quiet ’round the studio. Which meant that quite concentrated bits of work could happen.

Advanced Projects Tippy-Top News — the Project Humbo set is done for Project Audio in the Advanced Projects Wing. That’s work, work. By “done”, I mean — built and tested. They work. The studio will hum with the sounds of a new wave of radio audio micro-local broadcasting. The world’s been turned upside down. RCA/Victor win! McCaw Cellular never was in this little parallel universe. More later.

Advanced Projects Near-The-Top News — major breakthrough with the Project Ear Freshener for Project Audio. I took a blurry little photo which is just a blur cause I think I was tired and the light was lousy. And, anyway — it’s a small breadboard with some bits on it. Imagine. As it turns out, poor documentation was the cause of the snags and hassles. And fortunately technical support was forthcoming and informal and conversational, which likely has to do with the outfit that makes the chips being nice and small. But — I’ve been spoiled by the Arduino kits. They’re way easy. I suppose I shouldn’t expect much clarity and convenience for a chip that basically winds up in stuffed talking teddy bears and the like. ((We’re not making talking teddy’s, by the way. Much better things.)) I have a little draft post of some of the technical gotchas we faced just to document the ways of working with this chipset.

Laboratory Tippy-Top News — Jayne Vidheecharoen has become more formally and less informally a part of the studio. You’ll notice the little post with an introductory Q&A with Jayne. She’s a clever creative with a lovely playful sensibility. There’ll be some fab projects and provocations in the future. I recommend you look closely at Jayne’s prior work, especially Customer Service Romance and Souvenirs From The Internet.

And in Just The News, came across an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review, which finds its way into the kitchen and livingroom of the studio but I don’t normally read it. I think I was waiting for the microwave to bleep at me and starting absent-mindedly flipping through it. There was a curious article on what makes a functioning, innovative, creative team. It came down to less management and more trust and some mechanisms for individuals setting their tasks and objectives based on a simply stated, tangible overarching organizational goal. That feels quite a bit like what happens in the Advanced Projects studio. The article is called First, Let’s Fire All the Managers.