Dan Weingrod is Senior Vice-President, Innovation Strategies at Cronin & Co., an advertising agency based in Connecticut. I recently had a chat with him about the state of the industry and all things technology, so here goes:

To start with, please tell me a bit about Cronin and how you landed up there - a few years ago now, I imagine? 


Creating habits to encourage participation

Cath's recent post about Mappiness , and my response, prompted me to think about habits. How we form them, how we break them and how, as designers of utilities and services, we can build our apps to encourage habits to form in users.

After all, don't we want the things we build to be adopted and used regularly by thousands (millions!) of people?

But we all know that is difficult. Apps that look great on first glance, are downloaded with a sense of eager anticipation but are abandoned in the fetid wasteland that is three screens into your iPhone a few weeks later are all too common.

Why is this?


A Plateau Of Toy Technology

I don't like toys, I've lost the imagination required to play with them, and I have too many adult pretensions to play without the inhibitions required.

Toys are great predictors of the future, though. When technology is cheap enough to be embedded in toys, then we should be paying attention.

Recently I've been tinkering with Bakugans. Toys that would probably qualify as a craze just a few years ago, but from what I can tell are still popular now.

I almost universally hate them. They're unreliable. A confused mash of game mechanics and hooks designed to extract money from children with the smallest amount of fun in return. But aren't they pretty?


Made by Many's summary of the weekly tech news

Following on from my post last week, here's what's been happening in the tech space this week. The companies being invested in are certainly those that are truly a) hot and happening and b) showing a lot of potential for growth. 

Digg and WeFollow founder Kevin Rose and best-selling author Tim Ferriss have made a co-investment in Facebook on the secondary market SecondMarket. No big surprises here: Facebook continues their plans for world domination (as Tim would say here at Made by Many), and post Goldman Sachs' recent $1.5 billion injection, Rose seems to be optimistic about the social network. He believes that Facebook's graph
"is starting to extend into interests and personal preferences. This is going to enable a slew of new ideas and startups..."

Our top Slideshare presentations of the week

More Slideshare goodness. This week's lot has presentations from various people and companies that span all our areas of interest as a company: software development, gaming, digital projects, next generation devices and consumer engagement. Read on for more. 


Instagram and Creative Blindness

Over the last month it's been exciting to watch Instagram grow within Made By Many. Tim's post Quora is from Mars, Instagram is from Venus talks about the "simple pre-verbal delight of sharing something beautiful by showing it to other people" and that's the heart of the attraction. Instagram is incredibly casual, it doesn't demand you share your location, and the community is clearly encouraged to "like" other photos, rather than submitting comments, or rating pictures.

My first reaction to realising how much and how often I checked the Instagram feed was to start thinking about an API. Perhaps that's a natural reaction, wanting to build things on top of a successful, social application, but I'm becoming more convinced that it's also the wrong one.