Monthly Archives: May 2013

Geek Chic and Mathematics

We live in the age of the computer magnates. Maths is used every day, we don’t always realise it. Technology and electronic music associated with maths is clear.. you’re having to think when the music is instrumental and without words, it draws more thinkers than feelers. If someone is a really good singer song writer.. they are doing maths.


Neuro-scientists who analyse brain function, how information passes through the brain looked to music to explain how we think and how messages are transported around the brain.

Machines can’t successfully write to satisfy most of us, some or most people think that electronic music is programmed, they’re right, but the programmer is building an instrument like a violin and emotion’s involved.


It comes back to how much people want to feel. Some people don’t want to feel much at all, some people really want to feel. The artist leaves space for the listener, in that case it is a form of art where there is room for you.

So much now is spelled out, in Hollywood films, everything is explained so clearly to the audience, they don’t have to do anything but stay awake.

function of brain

In great art, the creator has left room, an audience brings an alchemy of experience. The creator doesn’t always know what they’ve created, the audience takes from it. There’s a hope, a plan and a dream of that and yet it’s totally out of their hands.

The music you respond to is incredibly abstract – it’s not the lyrics or structure since the abstract side of music are patterns of numbers and how they connect. How a piece of music mutates is personal; modern day composers are using these techniques which the brain responds to and you think -hey, I like this.


BBC Radio Six

Desires and Technology

History does not follow the path of opportunities but the path of desires.
-Humberto Mutarana, biologist

sony walkman

Technology changes lives but only if people want it to, the key to understanding progress. Akio Morita, founder of Sony, used to make inventions not by writing code but by making minute, detailed studies of how people lived their lives.

Once Morita was no longer directly involved in product development at the company in the 80s, Sony seemed to lose its knack of developing breakthrough technology like the Walkman, which became a worldwide brand.

Steve Jobs, widely recognised as a pioneer of the personal computer and smartphone revolution, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.

apple logo

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Steve Jobs

Jobs oversaw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad and on the services side, the company’s Apple retail stores, iTunes store and the App store. The success of all these products propelled Apple to the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in 2011.

However much it seems that machines are in control, they are not, yet the belief that the technology alone holds the key to determining the way people work, buy, and do business is strong. The rise of the dotcoms in the late 90s was accompanied by a belief that technology was changing the rules of marketing and employee relationships.

The changes appeared when technology made it easier for people to communicate with each other.

Philip Whiteley

Social networking sites such as LinkedIn for professional networking, launched in 2003 by co-founder, Reid Hoffman.

linkedin bubble

I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not.

You have to be constantly reinventing yourself and investing in the future.

Reid Hoffman

Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, named after the book given to US students at the start of the academic year to help them get to know each other.


By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.

Facebook was not originally created to be a company, it was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.

Mark Zuckerberg

Twitter, launched in 2006 by Jack Dorsey called the product exactly what it was, a short burst of inconsequential information or chirps from birds

twitter logo

Everything we do is about getting people to be more open, more creative, more courageous.

The strongest thing you can cultivate as an entrepreneur is to not rely on luck but cultivating an ability to recognize fortunate situations when they are occurring.

Jack Dorsey


Social networking platforms rely on technology but the central dynamic is still a human one.

Going the Extra Mile

As merchants with a product to market, we take the ordinary – a shoe, a knife – and give it a new life, believing that what we create has the potential to touch others’ lives because it touched ours.

starbucks' first store

Without the product the company has no reason to exist. There is a word that comes to mind when thinking about the company and the people. That word is love, love of the product because everything is steeped in humanity. Respect and dignity. Passion and laughter. Compassion, community and responsibility. Authenticity.

When we love something, emotion often drives our actions. This is the gift and the challenge entrepreneurs face every day. The companies we dream of and build from scratch are part of us and intensely personal. They are our families. Our lives.

starbucks mug

The entrepreneurial journey isn’t for everyone, yes, the highs are high and the rewards can be thrilling but the lows can break your heart. Entrepreneurs must love what they do to such an extent that it’s worth the sacrifice and sometimes the pain but doing anything else would be unimaginable.

Work should be personal for all of us, not just for the artist or entrepreneur. Work should have meaning for the accountant, the construction worker, the technologist, the manager and the administrator.


Infusing work with purpose and meaning, however, is a two-way street. Yes, love what you do but your company should love you back. As a merchant, the desire to inspire customers, exceed their expectations and establish and maintain their trust. As an employer, the duty has always been to do the same for people on the other side of the counter and for our partners. The latter responsibility has driven me for many, many years.

Howard Schultz
Chief Executive Officer, starbucks

Motivation at Work


Motivation is found in the unlikeliest of places and absent in the most promising locations. It can’t be measured or easily viewed.. like quality, it’s only understood when it’s experienced.

It can cause the most amazing and unlikely human achievements and can bring people together in times of misfortune. Although its absence breeds discontent, disaffection, mutiny and in some cases revolution.

The science of motivation begins where the limits of instruction end, human beings are mostly free and able to make their own choices and generally dislike instructions, it is a broad area.


Research has demonstrated a consistent link between the motivation of the workforce and the success of the company. With increasingly complex technological tasks and with most companies tied up in intangible matters, this link between motivation and success is set to become stronger.

Motivation matters to the individual in the workplace – why am I doing this work? How does this fit into my dreams and hopes for life? – and to the manager seeking to get the most out of the team – how can I encourage them to reach their goals and share their information?

A mathematical formula for motivation does exist: in the 60’s the workplace psychologist Victor Vroom put forward that motivation can be quantified as being equal to the strength of preference for some action multiplied by the expectancy that the action will succeed.

A similar strand of psychological thinking known as goal theory argues that people work best when there is a difficult but achievable goal.


These observations seem to hold up in real businesses and in research but there is more to life than goals and expectations, other areas like culture and meaning contribute too.

There is science in motivation but there is also a strong argument to say that it is a mistake to pretend that motivation is tangible. It is individual and complex not formulaic.

The ethos, climate and ethics of an organization, it’s unwritten rules matter since we need to stay motivated.

Philip Whiteley