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Yhprum´s Law

12 Jan

Why everthing you think you know about Murphy´s Law is wrong.
Finagles ´Law (sort of the pinnacle of the often quoted Murphy’s Law: «Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong») is a refreshing mixture of cruel logic and farfetched claims. It goes something like this:

  1. What we have is not what we need.
  2. What we want is not what we need.
  3. What we need is impossible to get.
  4. You can get hold of this information for a much higher price then you are prepared to pay.

Sounds like something out of your life? But what if Finnagle´s Law got it all wrong? Let´s take a look at Yhprum´s Law (Yhprum = Murphy backwards). It states that everything that can work, will work. Richard Zeckhauser from Harvard noted: “Sometimes systems that should not work, work nevertheless.“

Wether things work or not seems to be up to ourselves. Why do so many of us prefer to point out the mistakes other poeple make instead of simply doing things better? Any fool can critize – and most fools do, as Bejamin Fraklin famously stated. And he was right! We call these people fault-finder. Their sentences usually start like this: „This idea is great, but…“. Kill the but! We suggest the famous appreciate inquiry-method by David Cooperrider that involves concentrating on the strengths of a company or a person rather than on the weaknesses. Next time you give a feedback, don´t say „Yes, but…“. Try: „Yes, and we could also…“. Sounds strange? Give it a try.

Ah, a friend request! But who the hell is Benno?!

31 Aug

The line between a friend and an enemy is sometimes as fine as the one between bravery and stupidity. This little friendscouting-model shows who to trust.

So, let’s start in the bottom-left corner: „The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend“. We all know this basic principle from the school yard. Some senior citizens might be remembered of World War II when longtime enemies France and Britain united against Nazi-Germany. Let’s have a look at the upper-left square: „The Enemy of my Friend is my Enemy“. This is the highly moralistic conversion of the Machiavelli principle. Some of you might have been lucky enough to have experienced this in the school yard. Others might know it from math: trusting other and being trusted (tit for tat) is the ultimative solution for the prisoner’s dilemma in game theory. „The Friend of my Enemy is an A…hole“ – everyone who’s ever experienced betrayal knows what we’re talking about. And finally: „The Friend of my Friend is my Friend“. This is the basic principle of Facebook. Here’s a question: How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them do you know? And how many do you trust?

The Face-it Book

12 Apr

We at 50topmodels cannot stand any more stories about web 2.0, social networks and nexnext-scenarios.
That’s why we were really happy to find this comprehensive explanation for the internet-madness: despair.com. His work inspired us to draw up our own version of the black hole in the worldwideweb. The model is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t get it, you must have been on the moon for the last four years. Or off-line. Which is pretty much the same.

What’s the best and what’s the right idea?

26 Feb

Best vs. Right Idea

If your idea is neither groundbraking nor lucrative, it’s not an idea. Ideas who appear to be very lucrative are often copies of exisiting, lucrative ideas. Take Motorola’s 1996 „StarTAC“ clam-shell. How did everyone in the market react? They copied this idea, even Nokia did. Ideas that seem far out are what we often call „the best idea“. Ideas you fall in love with. When studying with the Kaospilots (www.kaospilot.dk) we were given the task to re-brand the danish City of Aarhus. The City is known as the City of Women (they have the only exisiting Women Museum, their girls are known as the most beautiful in the whole of Denmark etc) Our idea: in Europe all pedestrian traffic lights have small green/red men to indicate WALK/NOT WALK. We wanted to exchange the men with green/red women. Aarhus said: great, but too expensive. So what is an exemple for „the right idea“? An idea that is lucrative for the market and groundbreaking? Like Radiohead’s idea to give away their latest album „Rainbow“ for whatever you are willing to pay. They ended up with more money than they would have earned selling the CD in stores.