April 11, 2006
Who is Theodore Levitt? Not a name that is tossed around in motion graphics circles at cocktail parties. Levitt is a professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School, and the author of the classic business article on Marketing Myopia.
OK, great, so what does this have to do with After Effects? I'll attempt to make the connection with a quick synospis. Levitt speculates why the railroad companies fell from prominence. Why aren't we flying on Reading or B&O airlines instead of United or Delta? The reason according to Levitt was that the railroad companies thought they were in the train business and not in the transportation business, and as a result when trucks, and eventually airplanes arrived they missed critical business opportunities that eventually led to their demise.
How do you define your business? If you define your business or job as broadcast design, or interactive design (or a variation of either of these), you might be missing opportunities. What if you defined your business as "time-based design" or even more more broadly as information design? Don't let your talents and competencies be defined by the medium used to deliver your design and creativity.
If you are broadcast designer, I encourage you to go to a Flash conference. Not only may many of the sessions be relevant and hopefully inspirational, but once you start talking with Flash designers, you might discover you have more in common than you might have thought. At least this has been my experience over the last 9 months as I've has an opportunity to attend several Flash conferences.
Coming up in a few weeks is Flash in the Can (4/21- 4/23 in Toronto). FITC is billed as a design and technology festival. I'll be presenting 2 sessions on After Effects which I hope people find useful, but I'm especially looking forward to being inspired and educated by "real" designers (I just play one on TV).
Hope to see you there.