Ideas by Dave Mason

Desired state.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  09.24.18
Most people might associate the ‘d-word’ only with things like cars, furniture, websites, buildings, or shoes. But by definition, we‘re all designers.
Cusp 2017 video: food upcycler Bertha Jimenez on combining and connecting.
Updates  /  Chicago  /  09.11.18
Cusp 2017 presenter Bertha Jimenez is the co-founder of RISE, a startup that turns organic industrial waste into value by converting it into raw materials.
New word. Old challenge.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  11.22.17
I learned a new word recently. Chaordic. Maybe you’re familiar with that term, but I wasn’t until Natalie Nixon sprung it on us at Cusp Conference 2017.
We can do this.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  08.31.17
It’s been more than ten years since we thought maybe we could help inspire the kind of thinking that makes a difference. And what an incredibly optimism-inducing experience it has been.
Do you copy? Over.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  06.27.17
Despite the sheer number of ways in which so many of us now make ourselves available to the world — websites, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, MySpace (believe it or not, people still use MySpace!), SnapChat, and yes, even actual phones — it has become increasingly difficult to connect with anyone.
(Un)known.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  01.31.17
Innovation is rooted in knowing and not knowing. It's about being able to look at something that exists (in some cases that existing something might actually be ‘nothing’—an unmet need) and then combining expertise with creativity to conceive and develop previously unknown ‘things’ that solve problems, create value or generate opportunities. We do a lot of work with people who simultaneously know and don’t know. And we love it, because that’s the way we approach what we do.
That night in Toronto.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  08.23.16
I once had the incredible good fortune to spend a few hours with Gord Downie. The enigmatic front man I’d ‘known’ from afar, was at first almost shy, but also incredibly warm and funny and engaging, a guy like any other guy you’d be happy to hang out and watch a game with. I can’t think of any greater quality than that.
Frustration = opportunity.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  05.26.16
While it may be true that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, for members of the world’s population who are cursed with abnormally sharp critical thinking skills, the simple frustrations of everyday life can be a source of inspiration.
And the assist goes to...
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  11.10.15
I know there are people out there who like to pretend they’re ‘self-made.’ Who claim that it’s their own hard work, smarts, and guts alone that made them successful, and whose lesson for those who aren’t quite as successful is, “well you’re just not hard-working, smart or gutsy enough”. I call bullshit on that.
Industry standard.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  08.26.15
I mean, why would someone who wants to throw a monkey wrench into everything that drives his industry—everything that represents the status quo he deals with every day—want to do anything ‘standard’?
The paradox of BRANDING!
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  05.07.15
Among other things, I help people and organizations communicate their best selves to the people they most want to connect with. But something about BRANDS! doing BRANDING! just rubs me the wrong way. At least to me, BRANDS! can seem like the equivalent of the loudmouth in the busy restaurant. They’re the guy in the powder blue tuxedo who shows up at your wedding.
You’re welcome.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  01.21.15
Many species communicate. It's thought that whales, dolphins and porpoises do it sonically and that bees communicate with each other via some sort of pheromone-driven interpretive dance. Parrots can ‘talk’. But can you name a species other than homo sapiens that’s created and perfected a system of symbology in order to communicate? More specifically, what other species has been able to graphically encode thought or spoken language?
Procurement is for paperclips.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  09.29.14
The next time your favorite organization (sports franchise, bank, airline or design firm for example) lets you down, just imagine how much better it might be if it only sourced its personnel the same way it sources its office supplies.
What are you Selling?
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  05.27.14
As I drove away, my brain swam with two conflicting thoughts: 1. What an asshole. 2. Now I really want to work with that guy.
Reciprocity: Brand Builder, Brand Killer.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  03.10.14
When everyone's Airbus A300s (or mobile phones, SUVs, software, sports drinks, accounting services, data plans etc.) and prices are essentially the same as those of their competitors, how do we decide where to put our dollars? We make decisions based on our perceptions of the candidates and then we vote with our wallets. That’s brand power.
Leave Room for the Unexpected.
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  02.11.14
Sure, we all need to know a lot about what we do to do it well, so ongoing, focused learning is a must. But if we're open, pay attention, and think beyond our own horizons, there can also be tremendous value in boldly going where we have no clue.
It’s Only Graphic Design (But I Like It).
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  01.21.14
My ‘formative years’, as they say, were the 60s and 70s. And that’s why I became a graphic designer.
What Else Have You Got?
Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  12.11.13
So you’ve got good cars. Good airplanes. Good hotel rooms. Good software. Good design. Good food. Good whatever. What else have you got?