Managing the Invisibles
Harvard Business Review, May, 2014
"In October 2004 a skunkworks project called Lab126, staffed by brilliant and accomplished engineers, began a three-year venture developing a device that would revolutionize an industry. Just a year into the endeavor, the huge tech company behind it brought in an outside firm to create a key component of the product: its name."
David Zweig writes a thought-provoking story about the folks who make the things we don't notice, "The better they do their jobs, the more they disappear. It may only be when something goes wrong that they're noticed at all." He includes : : CRONAN: : in this group, "When I spoke with Hibma, who now runs the firm, I kept pressing her on the remarkability of her trade. After all, there are very few people in the world who can introduce words that penetrate a culture with near ubiquity."
"How do you handle the stress when a billion-dollar company like Amazon entrusts you with naming what it hopes will be its next blockbuster product? 'We are curious,' Karin Hibma told me. 'If you transform fear into curiosity, you operate from a position of fascination and wonder.'"
David's book will be released in June, 2014.