Over the past several weeks a number of items have caught my eye, all worthy of mention, but not necessarily material for an entire article, so I've pulled them together here--Monday's miscellany.
Failure--it's everywhere. With creativity and innovation subjects of keen interest these days, a focus on failure as part of the creative process naturally follows. A few recent highlights on the subject:
- Harvard Business Review's April issue
- Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by television host Tavis Smiley
- Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Financial Times Editor and author Tim Harford
- Regrets, I've had a Few, an article in the Financial Times this past weekend, also by Tim Harford
HBR's consideration of the topic is very buttoned up, Tavis Smiley's is personal, while Tim Harford's book explores the corporate angle. I still think that artists--who often deliberately seek failure on the path to successful expression--have an incredibly healthy relationship with failure, one that business people can learn from. And in fact, Tim Harford opens his FT article by referring to Twyla Tharp, whose book The Creative Habit I featured in one of my early articles on artistic creativity.
Also, I got around to Steve Jobs' 1985 interview with Playboy last week. It's a worthwhile read, and in it he talks candidly--and without regret--about some of his early, rather spectacular flops at Apple. Given that the interview is 25 years old and that he also speaks with uncanny prescience about the path forward for Apple, the piece frames the scope of his remarkable vision and underscores the contribution of his failures to his overall success. Amazon is taking pre-orders for Jobs' biography to be released next spring, written by Walter Isaacson. It's already a best-seller.
Take one part Ruth Reichl, sprinkle liberally with artisanal products + gorgeous photography, add one heaping dose of amazing recipes + a dash of hip from much-loved bloggers like Immaculate Infatuation and you have Gilt Taste, the new food-focused website from the über-successful Gilt Groupe. Yum.
More food: yesterday was New Amsterdam Market's opening day. My haul? Honeycomb from Red Bee, cheese from Vermont's Jasper Hill Farm, bread from Sullivan Street Bakery and strawberries from Do Re Me Farms. Plus, while I was there: little morsels of ridiculousness--Chesapeake Bay crab cakes from National Crab and a mini BBQ pork pie from Pie Corps. I don't know who started this whole tiny-pie-in-a-jar thing, but I like it.
Paris made bike sharing chic and now Boulder, Colorado is the latest to get in on the action, with the launch of B-cycle two weeks ago. B-cycle made it onto Fast Company's 2011 list of top transportation innovators. Look at these--aren't they cute? I'm dying for New York to join the fun--I voted for 10001 here.
If sharing's not your thing, Bowery Lane Bicycles was also on hand selling their wares at New Amsterdam Market yesterday (that's their Broncks bike, above)--the perfect urban ride, made in New York in a solar powered factory, accessorized by the perfect wooden box for your local produce and products.
And thank God for Yakkay bike helmets--making it safe for people who care about style to get on a bike. For summer: Yakkay Smart Two in Tokyo Color Stripe or Tokyo Flower.