Saturday, March 27, 2010

To the Design Engineers at Thermos

I know I'm a geek, but I just wrote this note to the design engineers at Thermos:
It's not often that a product as routine as a water bottle gets me motivated enough to write a letter to the company about it.  Your intak bottle, however, is worth the trouble.   
My wife picked four of these up for our family a few weeks ago.  We go through water bottles like we go through, well, water.  Most of them do the job, though occasionally you wonder how anyone could be shameless enough to create such a lousy product.   
But when I saw the intak bottle, I was immediately struck with the quality and ingenuity of the design.   Click, it's open, with the lid back out of the way--where it stays until you shut it.  Snap, it's closed tight.  Flip the latch, no fears of leaks.  It's easy to clean (which, as Chief Bottle Washer, is a must-have feature), easy to carry and hold, and--oh, yeah--it has just the right sized opening for drinking--without spills and without having to suck and slurp and make a bunch of noise.   
In a word, this bottle is brilliant.   
I'm not an engineer, but have always appreciated the simple elegance of a good design where it is evident that the designers actually dug into the lives of the people they were designing for.   Keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep telling everybody I know about how great these bottles are.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

David & Goliath on YouTube

GreenPaperMonster's posting of my March 1st debut of The Meaningful Yoose Rap at the HIStalk Reception at HIMSS broke the 1000 view mark on YouTube in the last 24 hours Click here for the video and here for the lyrics.

For perspective, while that may not seem like many when comparing it to something like the 5million+ views of the Old Spice “I’m on a horse” commercial (a work of pure marketing genius in my view), the rap is a bestseller in HIT-land. We HIT aficionados are all so deeply immersed in the details of meaningful use and EHR adoption and HIT news of the day fills our inboxes--it seems surprising when we lift our heads and see that the rest of the world is thinking of a thousand other things.

But in our little world, when looking at all the other HIMSS-related videos, no other 2010 video comes even close. And only two videos from any year surpass it--a Cisco video from 2008 (1100 views) that looks like it had all of its employees watch it (lots of links from Cisco sites) and Eric Schmidt’s 2008 keynote (73k hits), but how can you really compete with Google when they… well, they’re Google…

That’s pretty cool when you think about it… I love that little more than some clever thinking and a grainy video clip can still run circles around the marketing machines of all the behemoths on the HIMSS exhibit hall floor.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Meaningful Yoose Rap

Maybe I'll finally get around to posting stuff on the Medical Informatimusicology blog. Here's one...