About the Vision Project

“An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision.” – James Whistler

The dream; a team’s true north. Its primary objective to inspire and create a shared sense of purpose. In truth, a vision should be a self-fulfilling prophecy. A prediction directly or indirectly causing itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behaviour. At Bamboo we believe vision is what truly governs people and organisations, regardless of the quality of articulation.

With this in mind, the ‘2014 Vision Project’ allowed us insight into our client, partner and friends’ visions for the year ahead. We also got to flex our creative muscle and give something back to our project participants – their goals for 2014 designed and expressed in useful formats like Facebook timeline covers and mobile wallpapers.

But first, we shared our vision for 2014 to illustrate the project as well as to share an example of a vision, and to demonstrate what we meant by “we’ll design your vision for you”.

Click on image to enlarge

We designed the posters in batches as they came in. We unpacked each vision and drilled ‘til we found what we dubbed ‘the essence’ of each message, this made it easier to synthesise a concept for each poster and to design – which in turn made the visions more accessible to others, and more importantly, themselves. We ended up with a series of 9 posters.

Browse the poster series below. For rationales, go back to the 2014 Vision Project  page.

Vision: An African Future

With Africa’s future and innovation in Africa a point of interest for us at Bamboo too, Bogosi’s vision was real exciting for us to imagine and create.

What does ‘An African Future’ look like? Well, to us, taking into consideration that Bogosi needs to get around in the digital space, a space-boda-boda, complete with custom African print body work because we know Bogosi has a penchant for African-print-anything, seemed the perfect expression of his vision. A true vision of an African future, original and progressive.

Boda-boda – a term used for motorcycle taxis used extensively in East & now West Africa. Read more about the boda-boda here.

The true nature of innovation: from challenges to opportunities

The last year  has been the most challenging in our company’s short history. No time has taught us the true value of innovation like this. Our outlook has always been turning challenges to opportunities. I will tell you a story of antifragility and innovation and tell you what learning we have accumulated on the key components of innovation.

With the festive season over we returned to work rejuvenated and ready to make an impact. Our biggest problem was cash flow and the generation of new leads. While we were thinking about what New Year’s message to send to our clients, we thought about our value system, and decided the best thing to do was to focus on delivering value to our stakeholders. This is when we developed the 2014 Vision Project. The results where amazing, and very telling of the true nature of innovation. Not only did our clients appreciate the gesture, it also helped them shape their visions for the year. The clients were so overwhelmed by the gesture they all suggested increasing their current business or entering into new projects with us.

It lead us to the understanding that innovation in a team requires 8 key components:

  1. Motivation – You have to want it. Without a real reason to do what you’re are doing it is near impossible to drive a team to meaningful results.
  2. Insight – Not just knowledge, but insight, a revelation of some sort. Few great innovations have been without one.
  3. Confidence – Your team must believe in themselves and their ability to do the exceptional.
  4. Creativity – The mental ability to create something. Your team must explore what can be and not just what is.
  5. Skill – Ability will determine the quality of your execution. Make sure you have the right mix of skills.
  6. Fun – Your team must enjoy what they are doing. Without this it is difficult to get the inspired environment required for breakthroughs to happen.
  7. Service – You must be of service to someone. Do not innovate to appease your own egos. Do it for somebody else, after all they will adopt, purchase or support your innovation. That is the true nature of innovation.
  8. Diversity – A respect for different approaches, backgrounds and views is fundamental to getting novel ideas throughout the process.

Innovation is not a specific action, but rather a culture that you cultivate over time. Any industry or group, regardless of function or purpose, must think about how they are solving problems. Here at Bamboo we pride ourselves in being an innovation ecosystem, constantly innovating for success. That is our true strength and if you follow the 8 key components I’m quite sure you will start to see the same results in your organisation. And realise for yourself the true nature of innovation.

Image reference:

The evolution of the web

In a blink the Web has become possibly one of the most important human developments ever. As the Web grew as a business opportunity many of the world’s large companies have grown with websites at their centre.

How has the evolution of the web manifested its self?

Explore the full evolution of the web here in this interactive website.

Below are ‘then & now’ comparisons of 10 of some of the most popular websites and how they’ve changed since their inception.

Ebay, then

Bamboo_network_Evolution of the web_amazon now_ebay oldEbay, now

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_ebay now

MySpace, then

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_my space now

MySpace, now

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_my space now

Wikipedia, then

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_Wikipedia then

Wikipedia, now

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_Wikipedia now

Yahoo, then

Bamboo_network_evolution_yahoo now

Yahoo now

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_yahoo now

Youtube, then

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_youtube then

Youtube, now

Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_youtube now

Facebook, then
Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_facebook now

Facebook, now
Bamboo_innovation_Evolution of the web_facebook now

Innovation strategy: a look at China, originality and copying

“The New Originality”, a witty project by Droog (Amsterdam) in a search for new incentives, new business models, and new ways of developing original thought, links copying to innovation and looks to the hub of copycat culture – China. How does copying affect ‘innovation strategy’?

Brands steal from each other all the time so what’s the big deal?

What’s the value of overpriced “original” ideas that can be copied and innovated, sometimes being made even better than the original, at a fraction of the cost – especially in a world where the divide between the haves and the have nots is so large? Innovative ideas don’t have to be original to create value. Consumers would agree we’re sure, but what about brands? Would a brand dare to “re-innovate” another brand’s original idea openly? Brands do copy and steal from each other all the time anyway – is that a bad thing when it often means ideas are bettered? Isn’t that what innovation’s about – finding new ways to make things better? How long is an idea original? We think Droog has opened a very interesting topic here.

Imagine tweaking the old saying “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” to “imitation is a sincere form of innovation.”

This is the attitude behind a set of 26 new objects created by the witty Dutch design collective Droog. Each of the objects, you see, are copies of traditional Chinese designs, such as teapots and vases. Only they’re slightly tweaked: the pot has a chic, sleek new handle; the vase is decorated with hip, minimalist stripes. These “fakes” will be on view in a cheeky new exhibition that opens on March 9 in a Chinese shopping mall in Guangzhou. And all of the objects were made in Shenzhen, an area known for its copycat goods.

The show, called “The New Original,” is part of a larger initiative, “The New Originality,” by Droog Lab, a research arm of Droog. It consisted of visiting China and doing field observations of design practices and hosting workshops there to discuss findings in the context of global design. While the show in China might seem almost stunt-like, the issues that it raises have business relevance.

As stated on Droog Lab’s site,

…if we are for or against open design and co-creation, we have to admit that a rigid system of copyright laws can block creative thinking. Since copying is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and is not seen as something negative, we believe China can be a model country for new understandings of originality.

Click here for the full article.


Reclaim Your Creative Confidence

It’s been a passionate departure point at Bamboo – that creatives need to spend as much time out of the office as in it. It seems too much of a creative’s skills must by default include being able to project oneself into the mind or environment of a subject or topic for every single job. Very rarely do creatives in the ad industry get to immerse themselves in their subject matter.

While solutions can still be reached in the confines of an office as has been the status quo for years, with no signs of reprieve, this article proves that increasing creative confidence by getting out of the office for constructive immersions, can almost always positively impact ideas.

Creativity is the most sought-after trait in leaders today.

Most people are born creative. As children, we revel in imaginary play, ask outlandish questions, draw blobs and call them dinosaurs. But over time, because of socialisation and formal education, a lot of us start to stifle those impulses. We learn to be warier of judgment, more cautious, more analytical. The world seems to divide into “creatives” and “non-creatives,” and too many people consciously or unconsciously resign themselves to the latter category.

And yet we know that creativity is essential to success in any discipline or industry. According to a recent IBM survey of chief executives around the world, it’s the most sought-after trait in leaders today. No one can deny that creative thinking has enabled the rise and continued success of countless companies, from start-ups like Facebook and Google to stalwarts like Procter & Gamble and General Electric.

Students often come to Stanford University’s “” (which was founded by one of us—David Kelley—and is formally known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) to develop their creativity. Clients work with IDEO, our design and innovation consultancy, for the same reason. But along the way, we’ve learned that our job isn’t to teach them creativity. It’s to help them rediscover their creative confidence — the natural ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out. We do this by giving them strategies to get past four fears that hold most of us back: fear of the messy unknown, fear of being judged, fear of the first step, and fear of losing control.

Click here for the full story on creative confidence by Tom Kelley (general manager of IDEO) and David Kelley (founder and chairman of IDEO).

Image credit: Teddy Hahn

Neo Matsau – Chief Executive Officer

 “Leadership is growing the relationship between people, resources and goals.”

Neo Matsau – Visionary

Neo Matsau is a polymer who believes in the power of innovation for growth. His fascination with technology, lead him to creating his first computer game at the age of ten. His broad spectrums of interests have led him down various paths, from studying branding, to engineering, to anthropology. Always hungry and foolish. After pursuing his studies, he was key in developing a four-day youth diversity-training program for The Diversity Institute.

More recently he was invited to speak at the 3rd commission for investment, trade and enterprise on entrepreneurship amongst young South Africans. He has also contributed to a UN report on ICT as a private sector enabler in developing countries. Neo has developed growth-based solutions for various blue chip companies and global organisations and has been a team leader, in various projects, from app builds, to TTL advertising campaigns.

Neo is currently has a fruitful music career as a part of  Twelv & Thesis, as a performer and music producer. Always ensuring he is current, relevant and intelligent Neo Matsau is a digital native with an insightful understanding of the 3.0 World. With knowledge, imagination, inspiration and integrity, Neo leads Bamboo on a path to grow organisations that change the world.

Currently Learning:

Financial Markets, Yale


Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies; University of Maryland

Leading Strategic Innovation in Organisations; Vanderbilt University

Design Thinking for Business Innovation; University of Virginia

Competitive Strategy; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

Foundations of Business Strategy; University of Virginia

View Neo Matsau's LinkedIn profileView Neo Matsau’s profile