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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

First Look at Microsoft's New OneNote
How does Chuck Frey get his hands on this stuff before I do?
Fellow Idea Guy and marketing guru, Chuck Frey, shares his impressions of Microsoft's new product that might just be perfect for taking all my idea notebooks into the digital age.

While you're viewing Chuck's review, why not poke around the InnovationTools website? It's filled with lots of great articles and links to help you THINK BIG.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Cool Idea -- Lame Lawsuit
Clever concept overshadowed by silly suit
The Washington Post website has an article about The Library Hotel, a Manhattan business that overlooks the New York Public Library, has filled their rooms with books and numbered the rooms according to how the books would be shelved in an actual library. For instance: reserve room number 700.003 and your reading material will consist of titles in the Performing Arts, book room 800.001 and you'll be reading erotic literature (sounds perfect for the honeymoon suite.)

Most of us probably remember learning about this book classification system during our elementary school years, but how many of us know it's actually a protected property? Me neither... at least until today.

This system of book filing is called the Dewey Decimal System. The system was created in 1873 by Melvil Dewey, but The Online Computer Library Center in Dublin, Ohio (OCLC) acquired the rights when they purchased Forest Press in 1988. OCLC charges libraries that use the system a minimum of $500 per year for permission.

Fine. Although I feel the system should have long ago been absorbed into the public domain, (it's used by public institutions, right?) as a creator I understand the need to maintain and protect the integrity of an intellectual property. But, why are they suing the hotel for TRIPLE the hotel's profits since it's opening?

Getting a little greedy there, ain't ya?

If won, this lawsuit will effectively crush this guy's idea, business, and any chance at OCLC earning future royalties on the hotel's use of the system. Obviously I am not privy to the details of this case, but I gotta believe no one involved in the creation of this hotel ever thought about investigating the ownership of the Dewey Decimal System. It's use has been drilled into us by schools and libraries since before we even applied for our first library card. It's very strange to think of someone 'owning' this filing system. I mean, do we pay a royalty to anyone when we file alphabetically?
Comedian Stephen Wright once asked if the alphabet was in that order because of the song. Do schools pay a royalty when teaching young students the alphabet by singing them the song? I understand that the song "Happy Birthday" is still protected and cannot be sung on tv, in restaurants, etc. without a royalty being paid. Do the same rules apply to the ABC song? What if the hotel simply renamed the rooms after authors or subjects? "I'd like to book the Byron Room -- or the Classic Literature Suite, please."

How does the Library of Congress shelve their copies of books? If they use the Dewey Decimal System do they pay a royalty?

I hate to see a creative idea like this put to death by what seems to me to be a silly lawsuit. Do YOU -- my readers -- have any other opinions on this topic, or ideas on how to defeat it or render their dispute moot? I'd love to hear from you. Email your suggestions to: me@dontheideaguy.com

Sunday, September 21, 2003

KFC Contest
Idea Guy and friends enter create-your-own-commercial contest
Aaron Johnson of DoDatDen Productions, Eric Williams, writer/producer of Blue Arm Productions, and I (of...um... I really need to come up with a production company name!) spent Saturday down on the campus of The Ohio State University filming our entry for KFC.com's contest to produce a commercial about their new "Bigger and Better Popcorn Chicken."

With accompanying audio by Chuck Francis of Tunecom.com, we three amigos filmed a pretty good commercial in about 8 hours. AJ and I were in front of the camera and Eric acted as both director and cameraman to film our 30-second tour de force: "Tailgating."

Our two heroes tote in the tasty KFC to help enjoy the tailgating festivities and cheer on their favorite teams in the big game -- but just how "big" a game is it? With a little luck, you'll all be able to judge for yourself. If KFC chooses our entry as the winner, we'll be $10,000 richer and the commercial will air during primetime on October 2nd!

The deadline for entry is this Tuesday (the 23rd) -- if anyone else reading this has entered the contest, drop me a line and let me know. I also have the video archived on my website, so if you'd like a peek at the entry send me your email address and I'll forward the link.

Wish us luck!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Neil Gaiman on NPR
Online interview with a favorite creative mind
On yesterday's Talk Of The Nation, Neal Conan interviewed one of my absolute favorite writers and literary visionaries -- Neil Gaiman -- side-by-side with an equally incredible illustrator, P. Craig Russell.

Neil speaks about the original Sandman comic series, the release of his new hardback book; "The Sandman: Endless Nights", the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and many other topics. It's a great interview. ENJOY!
Listen to the Neil Gaiman Interview

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Operation Find Don
A cool and worthy quest -- can you help find Don?
No... it's not me. But according to the lady searching for him, he's a pretty cool guy. Read her story, and see if you can lend a hand in helping her to locate this gentleman. It seems like a creative mind with a few ideas could definitely make a difference in helping to reunite Sarah with this person who impacted her so positively on such a negative day.

A Sars says on her site: "One man. Six degrees. A thousand thanks."
Operation Find Don

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Do they still need an Idea Guy?
I always hear about this stuff too late
I recently learned about a new reality show called The Apprentice.

I would have loved to have auditioned for this thing! It would have been a chance to OutWit, OutLast, and OutThink the other contestants..

Winning a six-figure income and working with the Trumpmeister for a year wouldn't have been a bad thing either.

Monday, September 08, 2003

The Art of Possibility
This book belongs at the TOP of your reading stack
There's just never enough time in the day to get through all the books in that stack beside my bed, but every so often I come across one that moves me so much, that it in turn deserves to be moved to the top of that stack.

"The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander is one of those books.

This book is part philosophy, part creativity, part business coaching, and part common sense. It shares stories of a world of possibilities if only we shift our focus -- it's not even a BIG shift -- just small things anyone can do to dramatically improve not only their lives, but the lives of those with whom we interact.

Each chapter begins with an outline of that section's idea, moves into stories demonstrating that concept from both Rosamund and Benjamin, and then closes with ways to put the concept into action. My favorites so far are "Give Everyone an A", "Rule #6", and "BTFI". My thanks to the Zanders for giving us a book that not only deserves to be at the top of everyone's reading stack, but deserves to be slipped right back into the stack to begin its cycle back to my hands to read again and again.

Do yourself (and the the world around you) a favor, and go get a copy of this excellent book.
The Art of Possibilityby Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Make Sales History...

Sales Labor Day Amazon Give Away is TODAY ONLY - Wednesday September 3!
On Wednesday, September 3rd (until 11:59pm Pacific Time), buy the newly revised, paperback edition of Jeffrey Gitomer's classic The Sales Bible from http://www.amazon.com/salesbible and we'll give you $1,300 (and then some!) worth of free e-books, articles and reports that will help you close more sales forever.

This special offer includes my e-book "100-WHATS of CREATIVITY" and Jeffrey's new unreleased e-book on CLOSING, as well as dozens (if not HUNDREDS) of other items! On my site alone, I'm offering access to my entire list of creativity web links, and free e-books my Seth Godin, Kevin Donlin, Monique Harris, AND a free chapter of the new book "5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers" by Richard Smith and James Citrin!

Forward your purchase receipt from Amazon to salesbible@gitomer.com and Jeffrey's staff will send you a secret web address where you can download your free e-books and reports! Where else can you get this much free information for purchasing one book??

Book Sold Out? Jeffrey assures me they have a huge shipment on the way to Amazon, you'll still get the free stuff, and you'll have plenty of secret free stuff to explore while you wait a few extra days to have your copy of the book delivered.

You must buy the book TODAY -- tomorrow is too late -- and forward a copy of your receipt to
salesbible@gitomer.com. Let's make sales history and help Jeffrey's updated version of The Sales Bible one of the all-time bestselling books on Amazon.com!

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