Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Design Matters

On vacation, would you ever choose a hotel with fluorescent lighting and drab grey rooms? The answer is obvious. But plenty of small-business owners forget simple things when it comes to office design. Exactly how do the smartest, most collaborative small companies use office design to reinforce their culture and inspire creativity? Furniture-maker Turnstone recently visited 19 of America’s coolest small businesses to find out. Here are some tips – and clicking on this link you’ll find more, along with pictures.

  • play anthropologist: forget asking your employees how they would like to furnish it and try watching them instead;
  • allow your employees to bring in personal items, family photos;
  • let your team pick personalized coffee mugs, items on their desks;
  • think you need one desk per team member? Think again;
  • like a good city or a good restaurant, have thematic zones;
  • cultivate density – and buzz;
  • set a space for concentrated thinking;
  • brand your space with iconic objects;
  • add plants, as well as natural materials, light, and games (ie. ping pong tables) is another small change that pays big dividends.

Spurs’ Big Three

Intense sport day today. First the final match of the European Under-21 Championship in Jerusalem, which replicates that of Euro 2012, although Italy will be looking to avoid a similar 4-0 against Spain. Both sides are unbeaten en route to the final, with Italy conceding just a single goal and Spain none at all. I will support Italy as Spain is just too strong and I dislike their football superpower. En plus, Italian national players and coaches are much more professional than they used to be back in 2010 when it was plainly impossible to support them.

And later in the night match 5 of the NBA finals, with San Antonio Spurs challenging Miami Heats for the title. I will, of course, side with San Antonio Spurs who, after a miraculous ride, now find themselves one victory shy of their fifth NBA championship since 1999. The Spurs are the underdog and I always side for the underdog. But if you need further reasons, then you can read a partisan piece that has been published on today’s Repubblica. The Spurs come from all over the world and among their best players there are celebrities – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili – who were the acclaimed stars of the team already in 2008, the last time I played NBA Live on my computer. Miami, on the other hand, is a team based on three superstars – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – who were supposed to dominate the tournament in 2012 – they lost against the Dallas Mavericks in the finals – and again in 2013 – they are now down 3 to 2.