August 8, 2017 - Comments Off on Dave Fletcher is featured in The Silicon Review as a Silicon 100 Recipient for 2017
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Founder Dave Fletcher was recently featured in the technology section of CIO Review. His thought-piece, "Throughout this Big Idea" offers a perspective on the history of manipulation through advertising and the importance of taking the time to absorb multiple viewpoints in the age of "Alternative Facts". Written before the 2016 Presidential election, the article presents a stark and vital viewpoint about the dangers of media manipulation from a technology industry veteran.
Modern technology and network-based communication contains and amplifies the desire originally facilitated by the print, radio and television mediums. As the internet continues to evolve, we must recognize that the quality of information is crucial. Groups of humans have always preferred to gather where people share the same beliefs, and without careful deliberation, we may continue to separate humanity into tribes of singular opinions. It's one of our great flaws, and keeps a vast majority distant from truly understanding those who oppose them. Viewpoint is religion and technology is the church. Right and wrong are blurred thanks to the internet's delivery mechanism, which facilitates quantity over quality. One could even argue that a younger generation has become accustomed to perceived communication patterns predominantly through text entry rather than actual speech - internalizing our thoughts and espousing complexity through emoji. It's faster, but certainly is a means to impede advancing our brains to their fullest potential. Wide-eyed, yet lacking wisdom, we coast dangerously close to only consuming what we understand implicitly. This is how technology captures us and how we lose our humanity; our ability to reason and the desire to better ourselves through healthy disagreement, knowledge and discourse.
Humanizing the Machine
If we learn one thing by examining the past of any medium’s evolution or any technology revolution, it's that as time goes on, we expect things to get easier. Interface design has always been about humanizing the machine - cleanly separating us from the bits and bytes; from the tedium of engaging with an electronic contraption by creating a natural interaction without falling face-first into the uncanny valley. The interfaces of the next generation of devices will follow the engagement rules perfected by the veterans of the digital era, but complexity will be undercut by the passive introduction of vocal dialogue with our device. As Artificial Intelligence improves, we will learn from and mimic the personalities of our devices. And likely, vice-versa.
Read the entire article in CIO Review: http://web-development.cioreview.com/cxoinsight/throughout-this-big-idea-nid-23278-cid-121.html
For additional information, speaking or media inquiries, please contact Sharon Terry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dave Fletcher, CEO of The Mechanism is defining digital branding in a new way by maintaining an interest in and working with tactile relationships; understanding what it means to interact physically with something – whether it is a brand or an experience, and interjecting the potential of a human being actually enjoying the interaction. Under his leadership, The Mechanism strives to create affection for clients’ brands by injecting organic, fluid and meaningful interactions into the digitally-driven solutions that they are creating.
InsightsSuccess Magazine, described as an arch that is sustaining Entrepreneurs quench regarding technology and business update that is currently ruling the business world, featured The Mechanism's founder, Dave Fletcher in their latest issue in their list of Top 50 Creative CEO's to Watch.
The Mechanism’s team is selected on the basis of acumen, longevity and belief that the future is brighter when people are able to connect with one another through technology. Dave is confident that The Mechanism will continue to function as an innovator and conduit for these types of technologies while maintaining a grasp on the humanity that is required for authentic relationships between people, their devices and brands, individuals or products.
In the two-page interview, Dave candidly discusses The Mechanism's history, successes, and ways to continue to be innovative in the modern age.
We will remain visual design-focused and technology-mindful well into our foreseeable future. We can never forget that on the other side of our client’s device, there’s a human being – looking to be astonished and wishing to be connected to something bigger than themselves
Read more in the latest issue of InsightsSuccess Magazine: http://bit.ly/50-most-creative-ceos-to-watch
Our founder, Dave Fletcher was interviewed for CIO Outlook.
Read the entire interview, right here: http://bit.ly/CIOoutlook
Check out some highlights here:
"We will soon live with systems that interpolate Big Data seamlessly - by plugging directly into an artificial or ambient intelligence to manage your life, curate your interests, drive a vehicle, keep track of your day to day travels and never force you to remove yourself from an existing experience to use a website to research what the Network will already know you’re looking for. The next generation will be the “Mighty Untethered”, ubiquitously connected to the cloud. You and your friends and colleagues interests will be part of the system, and as they change, so will your personal experience to match your tastes. Diseases, dangers, economies and civilizations will be repaired on a global scale due to mass shared information and the artificial intelligence to be gained from it."
Read the entire interview, right here: http://bit.ly/CIOoutlook
The Founder of The Mechanism, Dave Fletcher, was interviewed in the recent issue of CTO/CFO Magazine about the company, their work and what surprised him over the past 16 years of running a company.
Read the entire interview, conducted by Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine right here: http://bit.ly/CTOCFOinterview
Here are some highlights:
CEOCFO: Mr. Fletcher, front and center on your site is “We use technology to develop authentic and affectionate interactions between human beings.” What does that mean day-to-day? What are you doing at The Mechanism?
Mr. Fletcher: I founded the company in 2001, and have worked in the digital design field since 1996. One thing I discovered early on is that many digital agencies were focused purely on technology and programmatic solutions, and less so on developing human-focused, branded interactions. After all, whether it’s an app, a website or another hybrid interface, ultimately, there’s a human being on the other side looking to build a relevant, enduring relationship with a brand or product. Since my background is in brand identity development, I still maintain an interest and enjoy working with tactile experiences and understanding what it means to interact with something; whether it is a brand or an experience. Therefore, The Mechanism strives to create affection for our client’s brands by injecting organic, fluid and meaningful interactions into the digital solutions that we are creating.
CEOCFO: When you are developing a concept for a client what might you take into consideration that less experienced people do not realize is important?
Mr. Fletcher: The number one thing I explain to our clients is that no matter the size -- their audience is always the gauge – the most important thing to focus on. What does your audience want? What does your audience expect? Not, what do "you" expect. It is a tough pill to swallow at times. This is because when you are working with large companies, there tends to be large egos involved at the top. There is nothing wrong with that, because I believe that it is definitely a part of how they achieved success. However, I also believe that one of the most important things is to help company leadership (and their marketing teams) understand as much as they can about the people they are reaching out to with their brand identity. What do they expect? Where else do they go online? What are some of the apps they use? In knowing this, it helps us pull it back to a second tier, which is, “Let us look at what else is going on in your industry by examining trends and data, and let us look at all of those things that are a part of who you are as a brand or company.” By looking at the audience first, we tend to find serviceable information.
CEOCFO: On your website it indicates you do select projects on the basis of their challenges and opportunities. Do you know pretty quickly when you are first talking with someone if the project is right for you? How do you know?
Mr. Fletcher: We look at projects that have a meaningful impact. I know that sounds like kind of a bogus response, but we really like working with clients that are either doing good for other people, helping people succeed, or helping people enjoy their lives or their work lives. It is funny, because when you focus on positivity, if someone contacts you and has a well funded, but personal project that may not have a positive impact on a larger scale, it is easier to turn them away. In rare cases, we will look at a project on the basis of what the long-term ramifications are. When we worked with Flight of the Concords, for example, we enjoyed the music, and they were nice guys. Over the years, we have gotten a lot of interest for potential employees and interns from that client. Was it a financial windfall because we worked with them? Absolutely not. But that's ok, because from a business standpoint it was something that helped us to build reputation. Therefore, occasionally projects will come along that are reputation builders and not the most financially fantastic.
Read the entire interview, conducted by Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine right here: http://bit.ly/CTOCFOinterview
Building a smart company requires all the traits they teach you in school: personal persistence, vision, acumen and inner confidence - but subscribing solely to that rationale, is too myopic. Your company is never about you - it's about your clients.
Please. Never forget that.
It's only after you've started the company and had the time to recognize your personal points of failure, that you ultimately come to the conclusion that you must surround yourself with people much smarter than you are. Some people go out of business before they get out of their own way. But when you surround yourself with sharp people, you develop a consistent source of inspiration, expand your company potential, and build a team that actually enjoys each other's company.
In the past 14 years, one crucial thing that I've learned is to be on the lookout for people that can be brought in front of clients and will add something useful to the conversation when they are there. Every person you hire will not be instantly ready for that step, but you must learn to identify the people that can eventually reach that goal.
Here are some criteria that I look for when interviewing people at The Mechanism. These questions help me to make the decision about whether or not they will be able to meet directly with clients:
- Does the candidate have clear and focused communication skills? (e.g. how quickly does any nervousness dissipate during the interview)
- Do they have the ability to teach me something that I don't know? This speaks directly to communication skills and teaching ability. Good teachers deliver knowledge with empathy. (I also may have stolen this one from @ElonMusk )
- What do the other team members think about the candidate? Typically, the first interview is conducted without me even in the room. I want to get a gauge from my staff what they think first. If my team has reservations - 10 times out of 10 - I take a pass. Trust your team or don't hire them in the first place.
- What was the last book the candidate read? It's a personal question, but speaks volumes more than asking their favorite outdoor activity (If it's One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, you may actually have to give them a shot...)
- What is the candidate's process to complete a project? The journey is more important than the final destination.
- What was the most difficult conversation they had with a previous employer or client, and...Who was at fault? Useful responses and stories come out of this one, especially with regard to how they will work in the future with clients and team members.
- When was the last time they experienced failure? A candidate willing to discuss their shortcomings openly - are surprisingly strong spirits.
Learning how to lead is a tug-of-war between our inner selves. It's the leaders who learn to let go of their ego – and hire true genius – that will build solid, loyal, creative teams and stand the test of time.
As part of our 14-year celebration, we sat down with our Founder, Dave Fletcher -- to talk candidly about The Mechanism, how it started and where it's headed. We've put together a series of short video clips from the lengthy interview that we'll be sharing over the next several weeks.
Hightlights of an interview with Dave Fletcher from The Creative Group. Read the entire interview right here: https://www.roberthalf.com/creativegroup/blog/mobile-web-design-trends-qa-with-dave-fletcher
Our first interviewee is Dave Fletcher, founder and DEO (design executive officer) of The Mechanism, a digital agency based in New York City. For more than two decades, this noted design expert has explored a wide range of media, including interactive design, print, video and photography for clients around the globe.
What's a mobile trend that's working well?
You've probably heard a great deal about the "Internet of Things." Apple has announced HomeKit, which will turn your iPhone into a remote control for your interconnected home. To expand on this, eventually, we will live with systems that plug into an artificial or ambient intelligence to manage your life, curate your interests, drive a vehicle and keep track of your day-to-day travels. It will never force you to remove yourself from an existing experience to use a website to research what the network will already know you're looking for.
What's a mobile trend you wish would just go away?
How do you determine whether a client needs an app, mobile-specific site or responsive site to reach their customers via mobile devices?
Typically, the answer emerges from an honest and collaborative conversation with our client partner about their audience, their ambitions and their budget. The audience is key here, and in most cases, the client has an idea from either Google Analytics or other research as to what type of device or devices their end users have.
Mobile plans, available carriers and speed of connectivity based on geolocation of the target audience are important yet often overlooked factors when it comes to a mobile initiative. They should be researched as well so we have an understanding of these factors during the planning phase.
If the client requires deep integration with a smartphone operating system that simply cannot be replicated within the smartphone browser's capabilities or there are very serious security concerns, a discussion about appropriate mobile operating systems and native app development can take place.
To address the "mobile-specific site" or "responsive site" question: A digital experience should always be designed and built to render and function appropriately on all devices.
Read the entire interview right here: https://www.roberthalf.com/creativegroup/blog/mobile-web-design-trends-qa-with-dave-fletcher
August 12, 2014 - Comments Off on Finding Design Inspiration with The Mechanism Founder – Talkback Tuesday
"Talkback Tuesdays" is an original weekly installment where a team member of The Mechanism is asked one question pertaining to digital design, inspiration, and experience. The Q&A will be featured here on The Mechanism Blog as well as on The Mechanism's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, every Tuesday. Feel free to offer up your 2¢ in the comments.
This week The Mechanism Founder, and all around design-guru, Dave Fletcher, discusses why his photography is one of the first places he turns for design inspiration.
Where do you find design inspiration?
Since around 1996, I’ve been taking an abundance of digital photographs from my travels to conferences, events and holidays. Simply being able to look into my treasure trove of images has helped me out of an occasional creative jam. From a photo, I generally can find a color palette or typographic element that ignites something new, or a visual that sparks a memory and triggers another. Before you know it, I’m well on my way to a fusion of ideas without having to do too much thinking. It just flows. Everything we do is connected in a very cosmic (and occasionally “comic”) sense, so the invaluable inspiration gleaned from a photograph I took in New Orleans in 2003, could trigger ideas for a logo or visual metaphor completely unrelated to the original photographic resource.
I’ve read a great deal about sparking inspiration from simply changing your typical path. We are all creatures of habit, and once we lock into a routine, we are easily able to drown out everything around us. We shut down our minds and put our bodies on a kind of “auto-pilot” to get from the train to the office, or our house to the grocery store. However, if you consciously break a habit or routine and try a different route to your destination, you’ll be forced to experience new things and to pay closer attention to your surroundings.
In 2005, I was keynoting an AIGA event in Jacksonville, Florida. Part of my daily ride to my destination involved passing an old, overrun Goony Golf mini-golf course. There was a spectacular and decrepit roadside dinosaur in front, clearly visible from the highway, that I simply had to photograph. During my keynote, I showed the audience the dinosaur in one of my slides, and only a few locals recognized it. After I mentioned that I took it not more than a mile away, they were a bit taken aback. This group of highly creative individuals had become so accustomed to passing the dinosaur in their daily routine that they no longer even saw this majestic beast deteriorating right in front of their eyes. Years later I learned that a few of the attendees had taken it upon themselves to save the roadside dinosaur from further deterioration by repairing him and moving him to a safer location.
They just needed to have their eyes opened to their own surroundings to be inspired. It was immensely gratifying to be part of this. It galvanized the lesson that inspiration can be found directly under our noses, and sometimes we just need to be nudged a little bit in one direction or another to actually see it.
November 9, 2010 - Comments Off on Working at the Creative Workshop – Magical
A while back, I worked with a delightfully creative fella named David Sherwin (@changeorder) on his newly released book, Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills. David had the monumental task of presenting a variety of challenges to a gaggle of designers - all meant to be quick and highly creative interpretations of individual challenges - much like a teacher dolling out projects to students at the last minute, curating them, and finally, organizing the copy to support the designs. Well, it turns out that putting a deadline of 90 minutes on a project and taking out the financial rewards that occasionally come with the practice graphic design, actually enables you to develop some fairly exciting stuff, as documented in Mr. Sherwin’s new book from the good folks at HOW Design Press. As far as I can recall, in addition to doing all the heavy lifting involved with writing a book these days, David also was self-tasked with doing some design as well.
I just got a chance to revisit the logo design I created for the Global Magic Society, (one of David's cheeky challenges for the book), by happening upon a blog post at changeorder.com - part of the marketing for Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills. As it turns out, it was an otherwise creatively productive use of 90 minutes of my day.
The proof of my contribution to Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills is documented at this link and on the Print Website for your enjoyment. While you’re reading about my small contribution to this magnificent tome of creative hutzpah, get yourself over to Amazon to order your very own fancy copy, printed on glorious slices of tree.