The diary #001 – We moved to Chiasso

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Setting up the phone landline

So, this post comes after a while. A lot happened during the last year and we must admit that we didn’t like 2013 too much.
We moved. Yes. We took our private and professional lives, put them in a blender and turn it on. The result? Well we have (almost) launched a startup. We have been involved in lots of initiatives to promote innovation and startups and we finally have been asked to join the team of the Agire foundation to support them with the management of the digital hub in Chiasso. Read more on »

The “Swiss made” and the challenges of design

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Helvetica

People tend to imagine Switzerland as a special country, made of strong contrasts and, perhaps, many clichés. Foreigners tend to imagine the Swiss people living in idillic landscapes such as those described by Johanna Spyri’s Heidi or surrounded by austere and severe banks, with their coffers hiding the most precious treasures of the world.
To describe Switzerland from a designer’s point of view a good way is to abstract it from the stereotypes and put it in its real context.

Switzerland is a small country right in the middle, but outside, of the European Union, surrounded by Germany, France, Italy and Austria.
Believe it or not, Swiss don’t speak Swiss – it doesn’t exist such a language! We have three official languages: German, French and Italian. It’s a federation of states, where each of the 26 Cantons is an autonomous republic with equal forces in the Helvetic parliament. This type of union, over the centuries, has strengthened the concept of unity in diversity, the strong direct democracy and neutrality that the world envies us. The constitution is thus a premise for stability and multilingualism. Read more on »

Nearbors – launching soon

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We just activated Nearbors and we’re almost ready to open it for early subscribers.
Sign up today and me and my team will let you know as soon as the beta is available.

Nearbors???

Ek, Yes!
Nearbors is a web based platform which aims to connect people unable to move and people already in movement in urban and in rural areas, as an alternative and cheaper approach to traditional delivery systems based on couriers.
Nearbors is a delivery platform that gives the ability to occasional, but trusted, individuals to purchase goods on behalf of customers at any retail store or merchant within a certain distance and deliver these goods efficiently and in return of an incentive. By exploiting the real-time location information of people and goods and the ability for members of the Nearbors community to deliver items for others while moving, it’s possible to lower the number of unnecessary trips, reduce travel demand in urban and sub-urban areas and help people who aren’t able (or willing) to leave their homes receive their purchased items.

The Nearbors platform matches customers who expect their purchased goods to be shipped faster (in terms of hours rather than days) and cheaper. All the items are purchased through the platform by leveraging real time data on availability of goods (and later on their quality too) and their current prices.

Mission statement
Helping individuals unable to move to have their locally purchased goods at their homes more efficiently and at the best value worldwide.

Company vision
Nearbors is a worldwide community driven platform that gives the ability to people already in movement to purchase and deliver locally available goods faster, efficiently and sustainably on behalf of customers that aren’t able to move or physically buy in-store.

We would love you to give us feedback with our soon to be released beta… If interested just sign up (and no, we won’t spam you!).
Nearbors

You can follow Nearbors both on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nearbors or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nearbors

Responsive Web Design: is how we do it at Plastical

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At the beginning of 2012 we changed our approach towards web design and development.
We switched from a desktop oriented to a multi-size and multi-platform coding technique.
We fully embraced the Mobile First – Responsive Web Design way of doing all things web.

We’re committed towards our clients to help them build a long-lasting relationship with their markets by promoting and engaging their customers/users in a unique and memorable way.
Statistics show that the latest works made by us so far have had a huge increase in terms of visitors and appreciations: a customer oriented approach is always the right choice for paving the paths towards success.

We think that the Mobile First – Responsive Web Design approach is the best option for building web sites; and we, at Plastical, decided to offer it as a standard, regardless of the size of the project and for every site we will be involved into.

Follows a list with our latest and most interesting projects built with the MF – RWD technique (July 2012):

AITI50 – www.aiti50.ch
Flex4 – www.flex4.ch
HR-Pro – www.hr-pro.ch
Michele Moor – www.michelemoor.com
PPD – www.ppd.ch

The end of an era: Ad Agencies are doomed.

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clock

I’m more than convinced that the business model of ad agencies is at a major turning point.

With the advent of crowd sourced platforms offering logos, templates, pre-made layouts and, in general, any kind of inspiring creative ideas (think of sites such as Zooppa, which offers users’ contributed videos for TV commercials) for ad agencies is becoming harder to justify their “raison d’être” in front of their clients.

In three years the role of ad agencies has been undermined by a new form of creative flow coming directly from customers. No doubts that very soon this phenomenon is about to explode and spread in every direction.

Read more on »

Is creativity the new entrepreneurship?

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A quick one on entrepreneurship and creativity.

Today, as the Economy spirals downward and competition becomes stronger, businesses are struggling to find new ways to emerge and succeed.
Experts and consultants are all claiming that, in addition to the usual development and sale of innovative and top-of-mind products, there’s the need for CEOs and management to orient their decisions focusing more on creativity. Paraphrasing, it means that the old strategic model is surpassed and it’s time to embrace ideas generation as the preferred way to make (and take) decisions. Focusing on alternatives means finding new and unexplored ways to deal with complexities, while developing a new mindset is the key factor to enter a new era of business management.

Read more on »