July 21, 2016 - No Comments!

Highlights of an interview with Dave Fletcher in CTO/CFO Magazine

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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

October 9, 2015 - No Comments!

Friday Link Bait: A More Civilized Commenting System, Google Docs Disaster and a new Relaxation App

Link-Bait

We heard you missed us, we're back. The Mechanism's "Appy hour" must have started early last week. Enough with the excuses, let's talk about stress this week in your weekly dose of Link Bait. Wen looking to relax, Synchronicity is a natural plant-based tincture that contains no THC. The company's mission statement says, "we produce hemp oil for your mental well being.” Order here: https://synchronicityhempoil.com/product-collections/hemp-tincture-500mg/ .

But before we continue keep in to account the new cbd gummies which are proven to work amazing to relax mind and muscles.

    • In recent weeks, we've become more aware of the fact that our glorious concept of the interwebs becoming a hive of blissful creative collaboration, is nothing more than a pipe dream. Littered with vicious, hate-mongering, vapid mongrels - the idea of civil discourse is all but a dream -- Until now, of course! We discovered an interesting project underway from Civil Comments that promises a "new set of online social rules that more closely mirrors how we treat each other offline." Bravo! We'll be following this closely...so should your favorite internet troll (we're looking at you "monkeybutt102"!).
    • Unbeknownst to anyone who has not been within fifty feet from me, I live in a constant state of unrelenting stress. My floors and drawers are littered with every type of stress ball known to (hu)man, so I was skeptical about this $1.99 app called "Pause" from UsTwo, and Pauseable (not to mention a nice, modern and creatively relaxed typeface design by Pedro Azedo). Without getting into too much detail, what it does is to focus your mind on something visually calming by forcing you to perform a very subtle task with your finger. My screen glass is not cracked yet, so it must be working...

  • Speaking of stress, however - Google Drive has been down for most of the day. Much to the fury of millions of users. Keep up with the madness here.

September 25, 2015 - No Comments!

Friday Link Bait: Honda Paper Stop-Motion, the iPope, and Opera Rebrands

Cowabunga! It's your weekly dose of Link Bait - September 25, 2015.

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  • Honda Paper Stop-Motion Ad We're big fans of Analog animations. The fancy computer-generated stuff is cool too, but there's something to be said about work that is crafted by hand. Adam Pesapane, a New York-based creator of digital shorts, made this one. We just love it. If you want to read a little more about analog vs. digital, check out our founder, Dave Fletcher talking about it right here.
  • iPope? The Pope has been in town for just a day, and while it seems that the city has geared up for his tour, one thing that's undeniable - The Pontiff's mere presence was enough to delay iPhone 6S deliveries. Other than this non-issue (which certainly has upset the iPhone faithful), we hear he really likes to take selfies...
  • Opera Rebrands Google just did it and Opera was soon to follow. While we don't mind testing on Opera, we don't think that a new logo is as needed for them as much as an increase in market share. It's a vast and thoughtful improvement to the identity, nonetheless. While the engineered simplicity of Opera's new brand certainly doesn't break any new ground (we've seen plenty of logos with dimensional shadow-effects to create visual interest), it still feels familiar and cleaner than the previous iterations.

Published by: davefletcher in The Linking Mechanism
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September 23, 2015 - No Comments!

Why Failure Enhances Confidence

The great Winston Churchill said, "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." Michael Jordan, arguably one of the best basketball players who has ever lived, noted that "I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." I cannot say that I've been throught the same, but I can certainly relate. After having spent immoderate amounts of money on buying gaming accounts. If you were to check out AussyELO, you'd know what I'm talking about. I do not stand at a significant level in that game, but I've always kept on playing the same game.

Everyone fails. Sadly, we're not taught this crucial bit of information while we're in school. The kids who fail repeatedly are usually assigned labels, or worse yet, separated from their peers and put into special classes or situations that create a direct correlation between failure and fear. The most experienced and thoughtful leaders understand that in order to better themselves, they must not be afraid to travel into the unknown or take on a challenge that might not turn out as expected.

When mistakes are made, the important part is to stand up and move ahead. For the smart ones, failure becomes a motivator; a talisman, which encourages an individual to move forward in spite of the fear of failure. And it's the business leaders who embrace this mantra who continue to move forward one misstep at a time.

Everyone fails. It's the leaders who turn failure into calculated prediction, and who are able to better rationalize their next move, that confidently take the progressive steps toward victory.

September 18, 2015 - No Comments!

Friday Link Bait: Elon Musk, Carbonite Pop Tarts and the Mystery of the Dislike Button

Cowabunga! It's your weekly dose of Link Bait - September 18, 2015.

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  • Elon Musk Not many people know that The Mechanism has a connection with Elon Musk, who according to Steven Colbert may be the world's first Supervillain.

    Back in the days that we were working on the Ansari X Prize website, Elon had a team in the competition, building a spaceship to win the prize. We were introduced to him at the Explorer's Club in NYC for a fundraising event - and he was a real swell, quiet and thoughtful guy. For a dude who's "afraid of robots becoming smarter than humans through A.I.", it seems very "supervillain-like" for the guy behind Tesla and SpaceX to want to deliver the internet to every corner of the world by sending satellites into space. What should he name it? Perhaps Skynet – and maybe we should call in a Terminator or two to really expedite his (presumably) evil plans?
  • Han Solo Pop Tarts Before they sold out in minutes, you could buy a 30-dollar Pop-Tart with Han Solo frozen into the frosting, just like he was frozen into carbonite. Hospitals anxiously await sick nerds lining up who couldn't resist tasting a hand-painted, resin Han Solo. May the Fork Be With You... Always.
  • Dislike Button? Everyone, including many highly-regarded social media bloggers, members of the Technorati, and several TV newscasts touted the Pro's and Con's of Facebook's upcoming "Dislike" button, causing an internet uproar. In reality, there was no such thing, as Facebook noted they were working on an emoji that will convey "empathy" for instances where a "Like" might be a little inappropriate. Sounds to us like they found out about a project we recently did with the Pharmaceutical giant Amgen...

September 11, 2015 - No Comments!

Friday Link Bait: Star Wars’ BB-8, AirBnB Logo Thievery, Burger War and Peace

Welcome to Friday Link Bait - September 11, 2015.

Link Bait week 37

  • http://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/09/07/30-year-belo/ Way back in 1975, a cool designer named Akisato Ueda created a logo for a Japanese drive-in called Azuma. Roughly a year ago, Airbnb switched it's logo to something very similar. Now there's a vicious debate going on, and heaven knows that arm-chair designers are always on the lookout a thief. We'll let you be the judge and jury, but in the history of graphic design we can all agree that this has happened before - and will again. One can only assume that designers in general are a good-natured folk, much like Hobbits or pretty much anyone from Denmark - so we'll give the Airbnb designer a pass. It's probably just a coincidence, right?
  • http://www.howbb8works.com People have gotten crazier than a sarlacc with a mouthful of bantha poodoo over the cute little droid from the new Star Wars film - named BB-8. And now that the Star Wars franchise is owned by the trademark holders of the largest mouse in the galaxy, we can expect a deluge of products, toys and clothing to be forced upon both our kids and on those who want to relive their youth. However, BB-8 has captured our attention here at The Mechanism, and the mechanics behind that cute little fella are quite fascinating. So much so - that Carlos Sánchez and Emilio Gelardo (aka "EGPJET3D") have put up a website all about it, with theories on how it actually works. Bonus footage: If you want to see where Star Wars really could have headed, go ahead and watch this video
  • http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-responds-to-burger-kings-truce-proposal-2015-8 Nobody likes a corporate knucklehead. Especially one with a mouthful of presumed snark. Former Chief Brand Officer and now CEO at McDonalds, Steve Easterbook responded to Burger King's rather cheeky suggestion to co-brand a product in honor of Peace One Day with his backside. Boo!

September 4, 2015 - No Comments!

Friday Link Bait: Ikea Nakedness, Bootstrap Alternatives and Some Seriously Hot Books

Welcome to Friday Link Bait - September 4, 2015.

Every week, we are inundated at the office with links to technology, programming and design. We decided to put some links together for you every Friday to give you something to actually do on your weekends besides live a life. Enjoy and see you next week.

  • Ikea Bizarro Ad Campaign - The manufacturer of fantastically complex and brittle hipster furniture clearly had a conversation with their agency (in this case, Paris-based Buzzman that went something like this: "Viral is important! Viral is how you reach people and sell stuff! Show us something so perplexing and wildly preposterous that the kids will blindly share it...Bring the weirdness, you hipster design donkeys!" Said agency responds with nudity, creeps and the terror of summer camp. Viral gold, baby! Gold!!
  • Frameworks That Can (Potentially) Take over Bootstrap - We passed this along to our development department and they are investigating between afternoon shots of pop-rocks and Pepsi. Notably Foundation uses Reams to measure instead of pixels, and has UI elements baked right in – to ensure that the web will continue to look like one great big universally similar mess.
  • Founded by Victor Cheung in 2001 (same year we were founded, you rascal!), viction:ary books specializes in visual arts and design books, and boy are these books sweet. We'd like to visit them in Hong Kong and buy everything, but sadly that would mean that we would have to sell everything we own and eventually build a shelter right on Shell Street in North Point, Hong Kong – from the books we purchased. Check out the work though. Breathtaking.
  • Speaking of China...China, China, China. Donald Trump is either behind this or enjoying this 15 minutes of political viral fame. Either way, it digs into your brain like a Ceti eel from Start Trek, The Wrath of Khan.

August 28, 2015 - No Comments!

How to Build a Smart Company by Hiring Client-Facing Teams

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. You can also seek business advice from a professional like Robert K Bratt DLA Piper.

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. Learning from Andy Defrancesco and other successful CEOs will also help you create better strategies for your business. It is also important to unite with companies that will provide what you need to succeed. One of the top priorities in having a company is data security and sapphire.net is an expert in securing your company's data. For more information on network security and better business applications for your business go to this site

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. Loads of companies take example from the thailand team building teamxl successes. It's become common to send fresh employees to do client facing exercises in foreign countries together. This builds strong professional bonds by taking them outside of their comfort zones while on a work mission.

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. Find out more about Pici and Pici and arrange a team building seminar.

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.

August 18, 2015 - No Comments!

How to Bring Big Design Ideas to Big Pharma

In this short, Dave talks about how to bring big design ideas to Big Pharma. The Mechanism has recently been introducing innovative interface and identity solutions to several large pharmaceutical companies.

The Pharmaceutical industry is evolving - digitally. By trusting modern creative agencies to innovate within the eLearning and branding space, and by cultivating micro-branded communities and unique gamification-centric learning techniques (typically reserved for modern university-level education), to transcend their internal curricula, they are educating their teams, physicians and caregivers in profound ways. Granted, there are always going to be government-controlled conditions to prevent certain online communication from being immediately accessible, but it's the agencies that are able to think outside of the regulatory box that will usher forth a new paradigm in pharmaceutical learning and sharing.

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.

August 10, 2015 - No Comments!

Being Fearless in Business

In this short, Dave talks about why The Mechanism has been fearless with approaching different industries for work. 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.