When I was a kid, my siblings, cousins, and I used to have fun tripping up on the answer to this riddle (or anti-joke, as it's apparently referred to) about fire engines. Have you ever heard it? It goes like this.
Travel enough, and you encounter a lot of elevators. This simple device can offer some interesting user experience lessons. Some are bizarre ones, like the incomprehensible control system I described in Don’t Redesign Your Elevator! The other day, in a perfectly fine Southern California hotel, I found elevators whose control panels all showed a virtually identical wear pattern. In every one of the four different elevators, the white paint was rubbed off the “L” marking the Lobby floor.
In 1798, there were about a billion people in the world and economist Thomas Malthus predicted that overpopulation would lead to war and famine. In 1968, at 4 billion people, scientists published The Population Bomb and The Limits to Growth, whichpredicted the same.
James Surowiecki's column in The New York last week, Twilight of the Brands, seemed to suggest that brands are dying. He argued that the usefulness of brands as decreased given that "consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos."