Thursday, April 10, 2014

How Are Creative Companies Different?

Throughout this entire semester I have attempted to make a conscious effort to recognize creativity in the world around me. Whether it is "Big C" creativity or "little c" creativity, we are consciously surrounded by people, companies, and other institutions that are attempting to work toward the next big thing. The western culture in which we live is consciously striving for a novel and creative product to make our lives in some way better. In a competitive world economy it is easy to see this strive for creativity in the corporate world. So what makes one company better than others? What makes creative powerhouse companies like Apple and Pixar different from other companies? Although initially it seems that these companies are more creative because of the amazing end product that they produce (i.e. IOS, iPhones, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story), it only takes a little effort to realize that what separates the creative from the non-creative is the process that is used to develop the end product.


In an article written regarding Pixar's creativity, Ed Catmull examines how the motion picture studio is different and superior in the digital media world. Unlike many other major studios, Pixar has never brought scripts, ideas, or technology in from the outside and as a result have had to continue to produce new stories and new processes to continue to progress and grow. When conversing with a Pixar executive, Catmull was told that Pixar believes that what makes them different is an adherence to a set of principles to manage creative talent as well as managing risk. This business operating structure is seemingly opposite of what most major corporations do today. Pixar recognizes that a true community and family feeling produces happier and more productive employees. Furthermore, they believe that managements job is not meant to manage risk and make sure to minimize creative "waste" and maximize tangible product. It is the job of management to foster an environment where individuals are encouraged to attempt new thing, to recognize that failure will occur, and to focus on the ways to fix a failure only after it occurs not preventing it before it takes place. 

In a product focused society, it is easy to forget that the creativity of hundreds of people go into producing that one final animated film. There is hundreds of thousands of ideas suggested for a single movie, with thousands of those initial ideas actually helping to produce what you see on the screen. Thus, creativity must be present at every level within Pixar as well as in every step along the proaction process. According to an executive at Pixar, " If we aren't at least a little scared, we aren't doing our job." It is the job of executives in companies to break the tendency in business and give up on trying to avoid or minimize risk. If you want creativity and ingenuity it is necessary to accept uncertainty and accept failure. 

This seemingly reversed business model to what people consider as standard today is what Simon Sinek speaks about in his TED talk on the Golden Circle. As we discussed in class cultural differences drive the focus of the corporate world. Western society is extremely product driven while eastern cultures care more about the process that is used to get to a product. Sinek focuses on the fact that people that we see as creative often times have essentially the same resources available to us. He discusses the intangible thing that makes Apple or Pixar different from others. The golden circle includes why you what you do, how you do what you do, and what you do. Most companies work from what--> How--> why, while those that are successful reverse the order. He puts this difference into a simple statement: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." This focuses on the importance of focusing on the process for success not necessarily on the goal of a creative product at the end of the process. 

This article as well as the TED talk by Sinek have interesting implications for individual people as well as corporations. As Sinek says, what makes people creative or successful isn't necessarily a drastic difference in available resources, it is simply a change in thought process and focus. By working so hard to produce something creative we may possibly be hindering our creative ability. By giving more focus to the process we would likely produce more creative solutions. Additionally, by accepting the possibility of failure we are able to allow ourselves to be creative.

http://hbr.org/2008/09/how-pixar-fosters-collective-creativity/ar/1


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nikola Tesla - A Man Born Out of HisTime


Does the name Tesla ring a bell? The Tesla Coil? Alternating Current? Maybe you’ve heard of Tesla Motors with its impressive electric Roadsters? What about the man himself: Nikola Tesla?




Here is a simple list of “The 10 inventions of Nikola Tesla That Changed The World”, that Nicholas West compiled in his article for the Activist Post.

1.       Alternating Current

2.       Light

3.       X-rays

4.       Radio

5.       Remote Control

6.       Electric Motor

7.       Robotics

8.       Laser

9.       Wireless Communications

10.   Limitless Free Energy

Yes, that reads “Free Energy”. It has been kept a secret for almost a century now. Tesla upheld the notion that “all people everywhere should have free energy sources… Electric power is everywhere present in unlimited quantities and can drive the world’s machinery without the need for coal, oil or gas”.  Tesla sought out to rid the world of the economic challenges and political turmoil that continue to frustrate participants in the struggle for energy. His talents and gifts were intended to benefit mankind.
 
 

    This creative worked as an inventor, a physicist, electrical engineer, and much more. He was a man who could foresee the future, in regards to the technological advancement that would eventually shape the course of human history. Tesla was determined to save the world from its increasing dependency on fuel energy. With his brilliance and determination, he devised a plan to do just that.
    The link to creativity is beyond evident. Nikola Tesla did not create paradigm shifts. His inventions were not objects improved through the elaboration of others’ work. Tesla envisioned things from thin air. His wireless transmission tower, the Wardenclyffe Tower, originally constructed in Shoreham, New York was the key to allowing for free energy to the entire globe.
 
    Allow me to direct you to the magical force allowing you to read this article right now. That would be the beautiful Wi-Fi humans have grown overly fond of. Thanks to Nikola Tesla, humans have access to transmit messages, music, and news to anyone anywhere. Indeed, Steve Jobs is accredited with the iPhone glory, but do not forget to look back to a man who envisioned the gadget during a time when this could not have been dreamt of.

“An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant. In the same manner any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place”.

 

    Next time you pop in those headphones to tune in to your favorite songs, remember who made that possible...a hundred years ago.  
 
External actors were aware of Tesla’s capabilities to change the world. Edison tried to convince the world the his direct current was more efficient and safer than Tesla’s alternating current. Marconi utilized Tesla’s patents to cultivate his own reputation. And J.P. Morgan refused to continue funding Tesla’s projects as they were not seen cost efficient to the monetary values he held. Tesla was not given the credit that he deserved.

    His remarkable aptitude for withstanding the temptations of greed, wealth and fame sets him apart from other scientists of his time, as Nikola Tesla genuinely cared for humanity.

    In Margaret Cheney biography of Nikola Tesla, “Tesla: Man Out of Time”, she argues that had he been alive today, the man most likely would have been diagnosed with schizophrenia because of his abnormal demeanor. Just as Kaufman and Baer concluded, many eminent creative fit in this category of psychological differences that set apart such thinkers from ordinary people. Even though their work focuses on mainly female poets, the connection can be made by the strange behavior that Nikola Tesla was said to conduct. The analysis of childhood trauma and tragedy that often strikes the inspiration in such thinkers is also prevalent in Tesla’s life.

    However, it must be understood that Tesla indeed was an eminent creative, if not more than that. Human history is privileged with people of Tesla’s nature every couple centuries. As John McManamy addressed in his piece, A Quick Tesla Appreciation, “What fascinates me most, though, is not what Tesla produced, but what produced someone as unique as Tesla”.

    Tesla, a Serbian Orthodox man, claimed that, “the gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. My Mother had taught me to seek all truth in the Bible”.  Despite personal opinions of others, Tesla truly was a man born out of his time.
 

 More References to check out:

A New Response to Natural Disasters

Although natural disasters are a common occurrence in the U.S. and abroad, disaster relief is something that seems to occupy our collective conscience for a relatively short period of time. At the first breaking news headlines we are shaken up, and maybe even prompted to donate to the cause. But within a few weeks, we quickly settle back into our respective universes. But not Michael McDaniel. For him, the issue of how our society responds to disasters has become a personal obsession.



It began with his recognition of a problem: there is no practical sheltering system that can effectively respond to large-scale natural disasters. After a natural disaster strikes in the United States, it is estimated that it will take at least 18 months for permanent resettlement to begin for those affected. In the case of large-scale disasters, that means shelter must quickly be found for thousands of people. This typically involves housing the displaced in sports arenas, gymnasiums, and auditoriums until a transitional shelter can be arranged. When it does come, that transitional housing typically takes the form of hotels or FEMA trailers. Each of these options, however, poses serious drawbacks. FEMA trailers won’t arrive on the scene for at least 45-90 days after the disaster. And when people are given vouchers for hotel stays or RVs, the government pays quite a sizable sum: averaging $65,000 per family.


In light of this dilemma, Michael McDaniel began designing his revolutionary Reaction housing system—just three days after Hurricane Katrina hit. As the researcher Weisberg noted, “all problem solving is based on knowledge.” So McDaniel drew on his expertise as a designer. And where he wasn't confident, McDaniel drew on the experience of others, surrounding himself with a team of experts who could help solve the issue. As their website boasts, “The Reaction team is comprised of some of the world's absolute best designers, technologists, and business minds. The team is backed up by a board of directors and advisory board that bring industry leading experience in product design, manufacturing, supply chain, and business together.” It is clear that they draw on a model of collaboration that has been heralded by many researchers as a wellspring of creativity.  

In a process that is reminiscent of what many researchers refer to as divergent thinking, McDaniel (first alone, and later with his team) began brainstorming possible solutions to the problem of housing in the midst of a natural disaster. And his breakthrough came with the simple process of analogical transfer. In a moment of insight, he realized that a coffee cup provided the perfect model for temporary housing: it would be insulated, stackable, and safe.


Starting from that point, McDaniel and his team developed a two-part housing system that is secure, easy to transport and assemble, and cost-effective. By turning the coffee cup upside down, McDaniel made a housing unit: what was once the lid became a floor and the cup itself became a roof and walls. And just like coffee cups, McDaniel’s housing units are stackable. This is essential, because it means that a far greater volume of shelter can be put in a much smaller space, allowing for efficient transportation and shipping. The components of the housing unit are lightweight and uncomplicated, so when they arrive on site they can be assembled by just four adults. The two main pieces “snap together,” and set-up is done. There are no tools involved. This means that the units can be transported and set up faster than any other housing option available today. In addition, the units are designed to be environmentally friendly, reusable, and cost-effective. They are one fourth the price of FEMA trailers, one third the price of shipping containers, at just $5,000 per unit. And when they are no longer needed, the units can be cleaned out and shipped to their next assignment!


Beyond just efficiency, McDaniel’s housing units also address another major need in the midst of natural disasters: community. The units can be arranged in a “city grid formation” (rows) or “pods,” which can provide somewhat private, communal areas for families or neighbors to congregate. With slight modifications, several units can even be connected to one another, providing a way for large families to stay in the same home. Modified units can even be used for bathrooms or kitchens. And the units are climate controlled, with electrical power capabilities that power lighting and wall outlets.



McDaniel's innovations expertly demonstrate that creative problem solving can have real-world implications. Creativity isn't just a process that can lead to aesthetically appealing pieces of art or new business strategies. Rather, creativity is something that can be mobilized to respond to real-life crises and impact thousands for the better. McDaniel says that his mission is “to revolutionize the way the world responds to disasters” and he is quickly making that bold ideal a reality.

For more information about the Reaction housing system or to donate to the project, visit their website.

99% Invisible

Have you ever thought about how your toothbrush got its shape? Ever wonder why the teddy bear became a household toy while the billy possum is pretty unheard of?    What about having trouble appreciating Superman? Roman Mars has. 


Roman Mars is the creator and host of a brilliant podcast, 99% Invisible. He started his show in 2010 and is now in its fourth season, and has produced over 100 episodes anywhere from 2:30 - 30 minutes long, all about a variety of design, architecture and otherwise "invisible" activity going on in our world. What is "invisible" activity? Well, the title of the show comes from a quote by architect Buckminster Fuller, "99% of who you are is invisible". Mars has embraced that idea to see the world as always hiding an interesting story, whether it be something mundane, like barcodes, or magnificent, like the Chrysler Building, there is always a more interesting story under the surface. He tries to focus on the little things that are nearly invisible, the things that people kinda notice as they go about their day, but never actually give any thought to. He has an amazing talent to dig out the stories in these little  and get people to tell them in an enticing way, then put it all together in a way that has gotten it to be one of the most popular podcasts in the world. It is also a show that has changed the future for funding public radio, more on that below. But first, who is this guy called Roman Mars?

He is a man who has a PhD in genetics. However, after two years of working in that field, he decided that it wasn't for him, instead he wanted to go into public radio. He spent some time in a tech job and after that company was bought out, he took the opportunity to intern at KALW, a public radio station in San Francisco, and climbed the ladder from there. He was not particularly interested in architecture until he took a boat tour of Chicago during which the tour guide told the story of how one building  didn't have any corner offices so that company vice-presidents couldn't fight over who got one. This led Mars to realize that he "wasn't invested in the aesthetics of buildings, but [he] loved the stories of buildings a whole lot" (Ahner). It is this love for stories that got him involved in the "bite-size design segment" that KALW wanted to add to the station (Ahner). However, the short segments were so well received that Mars started expanding them and putting them out as podcasts.

So, why is this guy creative? Well, there are a few different areas where his creativity really shines through. The first is in his actual composition and work on the podcasts. The fact that Mars is able to put together a 4 and a half minute podcast on how the modern toothbrush got its shape, and have millions of people listen to it and ENJOY it! There is something special going on there. He has expressed that what he is really interested in is telling the story of humanity throughout the lens of design, and by doing that, "making the mundane world seem more wonderful somehow" (Popovich). I would claim that he has a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation pushing him forward in this endeavor. On the one hand, he truly loves these stories that he is uncovering, but part of the thing that he enjoys is sharing it with others, and making them be full of wonder over something small. 

He is also really creative in the way he has approached fundraising. As he was entering his third season he set up a set of goals for fundraising, that based on how much was raised, he would be able to add certain things to the show, such as a part-time collaborator or a smartphone app. However, those goals were reached really quickly, so the 5000 Backers Challenge was set up. An institution pledged to give $10,000 if Mars go 5,000 backers, which was exceeded! Overall, Mars raised over $170,000, breaking Kickstarter's record for fundraising for a journalistic venture. Further, this got people talking about new ways to fund radio. And it got Mars excited about how much people were willing to support him. He hopes that his experience can show other public radio programs how they can be successful in the game, because honestly the public radio format is hard to break into, generally requiring longer, more general-interest shows. But, by gaining support, especially financial support, online, hopefully more independent, niche shows can gain popularity.

Each one of Mars' podcasts is an absolute delight to listen to, and introduces an approach to the everyday world that the audience most likely hasn't had before. His form of creativity, then, is important, in that it's helping broaden peoples minds and teaching them a little bit. However, mostly, they are just enjoyable! Hopefully he is able to keep coming up with new designs and stories that he is willing to share, and hopefully the public continues to support this expression of his creativity. 




The Land Institute: Solving the 10,000 Year Old Problem with Agriculture


Humans have been engaged in agriculture for thousands of years, and we have always cultivated annual crops. This is because annual crops are more likely to produce a higher yield of crop, because they have put less energy into their root systems and stalks. Instead, their energy has gone to their offspring, of their fruit. Though this is a very beneficial system to humans, it is not very sustainable. The Land Institute in Kansas is a non-profit, research and education facility that is working towards a more sustainable agricultural system. It was founded in 1976 by Wes Jackson, an agro-ecologist. He is shown bleow in a conference, speaking about sustainable, non-conventional agricultural. 


The difference in root systems of perennial
and annual wheat.
The Land Institute is looking to for a perennial solution to the year-old problem that agriculture faces: how do we have a perennial crop that also has high yields? The problem is that most species are either K-species or R-species. K-species have an emphasis on growing great root systems with little energy going into reproduction, while R-species have more emphasis on offspring and less on living long lives. Many of our staple and cash crops today are R-species. They create many fruits but focus little on creating root systems that will last for more than one growing season.

Wes Anderson and others at the Land Institute are researching a way for crops to both have strong systems, making them last from season to season, and have high reproduction, causing a create crop yield. Check out more about what they're doing here: http://landinstitute.org/.


This is creative because it is looking at agriculture in a way that has never really been looked at. In many interviews with him and in some of his books, he talks about where he got the inspiration for this idea. Insight is defined as "when a new interpretation of a situation or the solution to a problem suddenly springs into conscious awareness, seems obviously correct, and is accompanied by a surprising and emotional experience known as the 'Aha phenomenon' " (Kaplan & Simon 1990).

He saw the problem that modern agricultural practices bring, such as water use, high carbon emissions, and depleting soil nutrients. Monsanto and other big companies have privatized many seed strains, leaving farmers dependant on them year after year. Creating a perennial strain of these stable crops would give farmers another layer of independence in their own farm. 

Why the Superdesk Matters.



The Barbarian Group, a New York-based Advertising Agency has revolutionized the workplace dynamic with their Superdesk. A marvel in design ingenuity, the structure is super awesome, and the theory behind its creation cultivates an entirely refreshing sense of collaboration between the agency's 125 employees; a key aspect to the creative process. The Barbarian Group thinks of the Superdesk as a defining factor in their workplace culture, "literally - 4,400 square feet of undulating, unbroken awesomeness to keep people and ideas flowing."


The Superdesk is itself a metaphor for workplace collaboration. Times are changing. More creatives are working from home, and thus creating an increasingly smaller, closed off world for themselves. Though "creating" is never wrong, this type of "creating" cannot nourish you in the way that creation should. In advertising, groupthink and collaboration are critical. When creatives are creative together, the most meaningful ideas crystallize and begin to take form. To combat this increasingly nuanced job landscape, the firm hired LA architect Clive Wilkinson to create not only the structure itself, but to combine the structure and the space together, making them one in the same.


The New York Times recently asked Wilkinson to explain his vision of how a modern office space should look and feel. His reply? It's very insightful.
“Desks, as they’ve been traditionally defined, are becoming redundant.
They are based on people working with paper, and I think our attitude toward
paper is changing because paper no longer has the same meaning. Twenty years
ago, we printed out things and found ways to store them. Now you store things
electronically. People say you just need a surface to put your laptop on.”
The Superdesk is merely a mechanism for flow. Different departments and disciplines within the office are more organically connected, and one person's work then becomes the work of many, resulting in more interactions between coworkers. The workday becomes an improvisation of sorts, for one day is never the same as the next.


Class readings offer a similarly beautiful way to look at communication, as everyday conversations are improvised as well. Conversations are "collectively created," and their meaning and tone are unique manifestations of those present and the varying moods they express. When viewed through this perspective, others' inputs and the insights gained through conversing with another, are experiences, an expression of oneself and an absolutely creative form of art. If art's intent is to enhance perspectives and instill in its audience a new way of looking at the world, than are conversations not also art?


The Superdesk is not super because it looks modern and sleek, and makes work an interesting place to be. Assuredly, it is indeed these things, but it is so much more. It reminds us all of how great we can be when we can be together.






Thinking Outside the (Marketing) Bun


According to statistics by Digital MarketingRamblings, there are 1.23 billion users on Facebook, 243 million active users on Twitter, 200 million users on Instagram, and 40 million users on Vine. Though these numbers are high, they are not unexpected. The world is becoming seemingly overrun by social media, a fact that has greatly influenced marketing in large companies.

Just as celebrities can interact with fans over the Internet, companies can create personal relationships with their customers. Arguably, no company has done this better and on as large a scale as Taco Bell. In a World Wide Web of literally billions of things vying for users’ attention, Taco Bell has managed to capture the hearts of millennial Internet users using a marketing plan creatively crafted for social media.

            By the numbers, Taco Bell’s social media does very well. Its Facebook page has nearly 10.5 million likes, and the company’s official account has 
1.1
5 million followers on Twitter, 366,444 followers on Instagram, and 105,700 followers on Vine. High numbers aren’t what make Taco Bell’s social media strategy creative, though. The creativity lies in the way the company has responded to the social media trend and the way that customers have responded to the company.

Since its conception, social media has been a means of breaking down barriers between people. With the emergence of Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, fans can be a part of their favorite celebrities’ lives. For example, anyone with an Instagram account can comment on what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast or what they think about Miley Cyrus’ latest outfit. The social media team at Taco Bell has made Taco Bell a celebrity. It has surpassed the status of just a company, which is an abstract concept for the Internet. Instead, “Taco Bell” has become fans’ “bae” (a millennial term for “before all else” or a boyfriend or girlfriend) and even a few lucky fans’ Valentine. Taco Bell will tweet back at fans with fun messages. For example:




On all of its social media accounts, Taco Bell receives thousands of messages and mentions. There are interns, such as Liz Arcury, who writes about the experience in a blog, who are specifically hired to filter through the countless messages from fans of the franchise. These interns, as well as the marketing team, pour over analytics from not only the four social media sites mentioned above, but also other sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest. Taco Bell is leaving no Internet stone unturned in its quest to reach its target customers.

One reason Taco Bell’s social media campaigns are so successful, according to PolyMic.com, is that they have a very specific target demographic. The typical Taco Bell customer is age 18-34, so all of the online content is directed at young people, mainly millennials. They do this by using language and trends that millennials will understand and appreciate, such as slang and hashtags. The company ensures that it stays in tune to the latest trends by hiring teams of young people to run the social media campaigns. 

         “Our method is hiring Millennial-minded individuals because they live and breathe social media,” Head of Social Media Nick Tran said in an interview with CMO.com. “We are staying on the forefront of trends…then everyone in the organization contributes to this sort of “think tank” or social center of excellence.”

         Besides targeting mostly millennials, Taco Bell specifically targets celebrities to advertise for the 
company. They did this with model Chrissy Teigen. She announced her engagement over Twitter, so Taco Bell sent her custom Taco Bell rings with a hand-written letter. She Instagrammed a picture of the gift and the note with a comment mentioning the company. Teigen is not the only celebrity to receive a gift and a note. Taco Bell has done this many times, and when celebrities receive a gift, they normally upload a picture of it with a thank you comment. Every time celebrities do this, Taco Bell gets free advertising, and depending on the creativity of the gift, they could win extra attention from that celebrity’s fans. 


         Gifts are not reserved for celebrities, though. Taco Bell will send fans shirts, posters, and other merchandise. Like celebrities, these fans will post pictures and videos with the gifts on their social media accounts. This direct interaction with customers is bolstered by the use of hashtags and video contests. Followers will use their own creativity in pursuit of that ever-coveted retweet, regram, or revine that would give their personal accounts exposure on Taco Bell’s official account.

         Collaboration with customers is one element of the three-pronged approach Taco Bell uses to produce online content. The social media teams create their own content, they gather content from other users online, and co-create content with those other users. Tran described this process in his interview with CMO:
“Like many brands, we dabbled early in social media and used it as mostly an announcement board for other things going on at the company. We were taking content and commercials from other channels and repurposing them for social media. Today, we create, curate, and co-create content specifically for our social channels.”
Taco Bell’s social media policy is teeming with many of the elements of creativity discussed in the readings, most specifically Bennis’ article titled “A Computer with a Rebel Heart.” In the article, Bennis cites a Steve Jobs interview where Jobs, who is arguably the father of computer creativity, said, “Creativity is just connecting things. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

This was what the Taco Bell social media team did. It saw that social media was being used for connecting to customers and saw the future in that area of marketing. Taco Bell was not the first company to use social media, just as Apple was not the first company to make home computers. Instead, Taco Bell and Apple saw what was happening in the field and ran with it. Taco Bell went above and beyond simply presenting information to customers. They interact with customers and have created a mutual friendship with fans of the franchise.



Jobs’ description of creativity that is embodied by Taco Bell’s social media campaign is mirrored in Steenburgh et al’s article about insight. The article defines insight as, “when a new interpretation of a situation or the solution to a problem suddenly springs into conscious awareness.” Though it is unclear how Taco Bell began their personal-level communications with customers, it is a true statement that someone at the company realized that there was a single demographic that made up a considerable majority of its business. This insight allowed them to recognize that this demographic needed a marketing plan made especially to cater to it. This insight was the impetus to use social media as a platform for advertising.

Once the idea was born, the company took the investment approach to creativity, as described in Lubart and Sternberg’s article “An Investment Approach to Creativity: Theory and Data.” Because Taco Bell is a business and the social media marketing is aimed at raising revenue for the franchise, the investment is a monetary one. Lubart and Sternberg describe this part of the investment theory as, “[pointing] out the importance of concentrating the evaluation of creativity on observable products. In the evaluation of financial investments, the measurement of performance is tangible—monetary gain.” For Taco Bell, the monetary gains from its creative marketing endeavors are quite tangible. The company invested in hiring team members and was rewarded by posting an increase in sales in 2012 that was double that of rival fast food chain McDonalds.
Monetary gains go hand in hand with Collins and Amabile’s theory of extrinsic motivation. Though the social media team members may find personal satisfaction from interacting with customers, the ultimate goal is increased sales. The interns and social media experts are businesspeople, after all, and at the end of the day, the most important thing is the profit. This is an external reward that drives team members to maintain a certain level of creativity with their posts and promotions. If the profits start to dip, the company will move on, looking for bigger and better ways to reach customers. 
Taco Bell also is representative of Howard Gardner’s triangle of creativity described in Creating Minds, which includes the creative person, other people surrounding the creative person, and the work itself. The people who work for Taco Bell’s social media team comprise the “creative person” that creates the product. The “other people” that make the second corner of the triangle are the customers that interact with the company through social media. The third corner of the triangle is the product itself. Gardner’s triangle is paralleled by Taco Bell’s three-pronged approach to social media of creating, curating, and co-creating. 

         So, if you are a millennial, even if you aren’t a fan of underpriced Americanized Mexican food, you can appreciate the way Taco Bell has grabbed the reigns of social media and driven it into the future. Live mas.