Thought You Should See This, September 30th, 2011

Lots of breathless excitement and hoopla this week over Amazon’s introduction of a new series of Kindles. Of particular note was a post by longtime Apple employee about what this means for Facebook and, particularly, Google. “This,” wrote Chris Espinosa, “is the first shot in the new war for replacing the Internet with a privatized merchant data-aggregation network.” Gulp.

Also this week on Thought You Should See This:

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely warns of the dangers of creating a “complete contract” with employees, ie, being too specific about who must do what, when. Instead, he advises, build a culture in which employees actually buy into your company’s broad objectives.

The New Yorker‘s architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, weighs in on the proposals for Apple’s new HQ design, and he’s not exactly a fan. “It may not be entirely fair to expect [Apple] to conquer suburban sprawl,” he writes of the circular building. “But you would hope that a forward-thinking company would at least try not to compound the problem.”

The Journal runs an excellent look at the innovation process at H. J. Heinz, where executives just spent the past three years developing a new tomato ketchup sachet (top).

Method’s founders write of the value of “soft innovation.” “Appropriating ideas from another category is about being inspired and translating someone else’s innovation to a new purpose.”

More thoughts on the tech innovation cycle and the mirage of net neutrality, c/o tech world veteran Dave Winer and author Douglas Rushkoff.

And finally, musings on Facebook’s “frictionless sharing” from The Atlantic, along with an eye-opening chart from Nielsen detailing the state of social media. (The full report has lots of stats and useful visualizations.)

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