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Culturematic: How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football, Burning Man, the Ford Fiesta Movement, Rube Go (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, 15. Mai 2012

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“McCracken’s lively exploration of how media experiments, rule breaking, and parody can expose culture and move it forward proves fascinating and provocative.” — Publishers Weekly

“Inspirational and quirky, McCracken’s book offers insight on why corporations might want to do this, and suggests a recipe for going about it.” — Research-Technology Management

“This book is for all businesses and is written to inspire new innovation and creativity.” — T+D magazine (American Society for Training & Development)

“McCracken’s point is that in the modern world it is almost impossible to know where the next big idea is coming from… But, thanks to social media and also to the fact that the world is in many ways a lot more homogenous than used to be the case, certain ideas, thoughts, programmes spread like wildfire.” —

“Grant McCracken introduces, in this thought-provoking book, the notion of the culturematic, a machine for making culture – otherwise described as an ingenuity engine... McCracken has interesting observations about how the growing inscrutability of the world haunts traditional producers of culture.” — The Irish Times

“Worth the read if you’re trying to create meaning and value in the world.” — LeadershipNow (

“Working in the digital culture industry, Culturematic is certainly inspirational. If nothing else, it’s an excellent compendium of cultural artifacts that have touched the zeitgeist in the last few years.” — Social Media Group (

“Engagingly written and accessible to both business and lay people, the book will have broad appeal to entrepreneurs, marketers, inventors, artists, and people looking for a creativity boost in their professional or personal lives.” — Library Journal

“his book will definitely lead you to a greater appreciation of your own inner curiosities” — Marketing Daily/MediaPost

ADVANCE PRAISE for Culturematic

“No one views American culture—nor discovers its meaning—in quite the way Grant McCracken does. With his sparkling Culturematic as your guide, go from consuming culture to making it, one small, achievable, and ingenious step at a time.” — B. Joseph Pine II, coauthor, The Experience Economy and Infinite Possibility

Culturematic pulls back the curtain on the fascinating cultural world that drives brands, corporations, and society. Both a revealer of history and a predictor of the future, Grant McCracken provides tools for innovation and mischief that will help you place yourself and your company on the relevant edge of culture. A guidebook, a tool, and a great read.” — Stanley Hainsworth, Chief Creative Officer, Tether

“Grant McCracken is a cool guy and thinker with consistently cutting-edge insights about the way people are thinking, working, and feeling. McCracken’s challenge here, to be a culture-making entrepreneur—‘a Culturematic’—resonated strongly with me, as I expect it will for many people and leaders who want to invent their futures by starting small.” — Peter Sims, author, Little Bets; Cofounder and Director, Fuse Corps

“We are leaving behind a marketing age that rewarded safe bets. Culturematic prepares us to listen more and hear the answers in unexpected places.” — John A. Deighton, Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

“There’s a misconception that innovation lives only in labs populated by white-coat wearing scientists. In his wide-ranging and entertaining book, Grant McCracken shows how that is not true. Culturematic manages to be both an engaging and practical guide to creativity and innovation. A worthwhile read.” — Scott D. Anthony, Managing Director Innosight Asia-Pacific; author of The Little Black Book Innovation
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Grant McCracken, an anthropologist, has studied American culture and business for twenty-five years. He is the author of several books, most recently Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 15 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Said Better Elsewhere 28. September 2013
Von mark_e - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
In Culturematic, McCracken introduces a methodology of creativity. By following his methodology, you create a "Culturematic," a thought process* that creates intriguing new concepts. McCracken gives countless examples of recent pop culture phenomena he believes originate from Culturematics.

The methodology for creating a Culturematic is simple, if unclear. Using examples pulled from the book, the methodology is:

1. Test the world: Ask "What if..." or "What if I..." (e.g. What if I invented a professional sports league?)
2. Discover Culture: Your "what if" should reframe culture and produce new culture (e.g. Lonely Island starts with "What if I prematurely ejaculated to an insane degree," ends in Jizz in My Pants skit.)
3. Unleash value: Profit! (e.g. Think about all the money made by Julie and Julia food blog, or Supersize Me)

To his credit, McCracken immediately seems to realize his methodology is vague and unhelpful. As such, he spends a significant portion of the rest of the book attempting to clarify what following these three steps actually entails. Such clarifications include:

-Culturematics have no desired or definite outcome when born.
-Culturematics are not posturing in anyway (except incidentally).
-Culturematics reframe the world in a way that makes it more organized, more tangible, or breaks previous distinctions (such as between art and science).
-Culturematics have something like an emergent order (and as such, you should go out in the world and experience ideas unrelated to your own).
-Culturematics work from native curiosity and excitement.
-Culturematics should focus on small ideas that can grow, rather than on big ideas.
-Culturematics shouldn't conform to taste, social rules, or genres.
-Culturematics should result in small scale projects that can fail without much consequence.

These clarifications, of course, don't really connect to his Culturematic methodology. Instead, they're just good tips for being creative, said better elsewhere.

McCracken then attempts to show how you can apply the Culturematic approach to yourself (by being a spectacle or curator, for instance). He does the same for various creative mediums, and then concludes by discussing how corporations can employ the approach. (I believe another review discusses the corporation part more.)

There are numerous problems with the book, as should be evident here. McCracken has clearly stumbled upon an idea. Unfortunately, he has trouble conveying it clearly: his linguistic invention of the "Culturematic" fails to illuminate, as do his countless examples. Even worse, the lack of clarity does not result from his idea being so novel as to defy easy description; rather, other writers have already said it better. (See, for example, Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content for content generation, and Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear for what content tends to influence others. Secondarily, I'd recommend the blogs Barking Up The Wrong Tree, Brain Pickings, or even

In short, don't buy this book; buy those others.
*McCracken also uses Culturematic to describe people and entities embodying this thought process.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Relevant, then informative, then inspiring, then actionable 19. Mai 2012
Von Cameron Maddux - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I have been a fan of Grant McCracken for several years. Not only has his blog been consistently thoughtful and timely, but back before social - his blogroll was the standard for creative-cultural amazingness. I've mostly enjoyed his books with head-nodding and inner exclamations of "yes, absolutely."

This book is different, in a good way. This book had me wanting to hurry up and finish it so I could get up and DO SOMETHING CULTUREMATIC, almost similar to the way one feels at the end of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (who is a Culturematic reference.)

The book starts nicely by building relevance, especially if you are a fan of the often mentioned with this title Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries or the great Gilmore and Pine books (The Experience Economy, Updated Edition & Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want.) McCracken's discussion and points about modern culture making are diverse and simple to understand. What he is writing about in Culturematic weaves into many existing conversations. After establishing relevancy, he helpfully gives the reader dozens of up-to-date examples. It is informative, but also respectful of our access to Wikipedia, Google and YouTube - so we get the important bits and how it ties in with the discussion, but no more.

The book then moves into action mode - and this is where it seemed to become a McCracken 2.0 for me. I've had the pleasure of attending a McCracken lecture, which was full of energy and created quite a buzz in the room and for days later, but I rarely got that from his books (perhaps more because I don't fit the typical reader profile, than anything to do with the book's content.) For me, this book actually captures his unique energy, while not giving up on being both well-researched and intelligent. He shows the reader the patterns in modern culture-making and helps us recognize them ourselves; he gives us experiments and then challenges us to "Be a Curator" or "Be a Storyteller" or my personal favorite, "Be a Cartographer." I have pages filled with notes on how I'm going to act on Culturematic. The book closes with a quick chapter of actionable items for executives, managers and corporations (but really anyone can absorb it as "long-term" "day-to-day" and the "entity.")

Read this book. It reminded me of Jane McGonigal's Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World or Marcus Wohlsen's Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life in that these are important issues that are growing in significance and permeating into unexpected everyday places, you just plan HAVE to be informed about these subjects. Also, it is a quick read, but it leaves you with lots of places to go investigate or just get up and build your own Culturematic.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Terrific discussion of experimentation 8. Mai 2012
Von Tim Kastelle - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
In his last book, Chief Culture Officer, Grant McCracken made the case for why firms must pay attention to culture to succeed. In this book, McCracken outlines a method for doing this effectively. He defines a Culturematic as a tool for cultural innovation. They are basically tests - you answer a "what if..." question, try it out, discover what works (and what doesn't), and then unlock value from what you learn.

The idea is deceptively simple, but profound. You may read the descriptions of the book and say "but I'm not interested reality TV, fantasy football, ROFLcon etc." It doesn't matter. What McCracken describes is an experimental approach to innovation that applies more generally than might be obvious. Experimenting is at the core of any successful innovation effort, and the tools described in this book can be used in much wider contexts than those used as examples in it. In that, it is a good companion to Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.

The ideas in this book will be useful to anyone interested in innovation, design thinking or those running organisations that have a strong connection to culture (be it low or high). On top of that, it is well-written and fun to read - an added bonus.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A fresh take on a classic notion. 16. Juni 2012
Von Bill O'Connor - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is a wonderful book that uses metaphor and storytelling to refresh and reaffirm today's too often trivialized notion that the secrets to building iconic brands are all around us, imbedded in the popular culture. It reminds us that the perfect is the enemy of the good and it touts the efficacy of the "think it, do it, fix it" model. From its title (If that doesn't evoke Ron Popeil then you've missed some classic infomercials.) to its many fresh examples (Not the predictable parade of Coke and Starbucks and Apple.) the author liberally uses the principles he presents. This very book is a 'culturematic': a thing that is sent out into the world to discover meaning and create value.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Refreshing Insight into Innovation 18. Juni 2012
Von barbcfa - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
As an Equity Analyst, I love reading business strategy books to gain new insights into how to look at companies. I discovered Culturematic while listening to a recent HBR Ideacast podcast interview with its author, Grant McCracken - [...] I was intrigued and downloaded the book onto my Kindle. I found Culturematic a refreshing change from most business strategy books as McCracken approaches the concept of innovation from his expertise as an anthropologist. It is interesting as McCracken's own blog which "sits at the intersection of anthropology and economics" - [...]-camps - is a culturematic itself as it brings together two unrelated domains and creates a new way for people to look at corporate strategy. Another example of a company that is a culturematic which follows McCracken's "...rules: Don't look for big ideas. Seek small ideas that can grow. Fail fast. Fail often. Keep learning and never give up." is lululemon - [...]. I highly recommend you check out this fascinating book!
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