Wikipedia Has a Great Entry on Fractals

I watched an interesting episode of Nova  last night about fractals in nature.  If you want a detailed description of what fractals are, you can visit Wikipedia, where they even have some cool animated examples, or you can click on the Nova link (for about the next week I imagine) and see the over-dramatic trailer for the episode I saw last night.  Or you can get a very basic explanation from me.

Fractals are patterns that are the same, or similar, at all levels of magnification. One example is a coastline – it looks roughly the same from space, from an airplane, from a thousand feet up, from 50 feet up, and when you’re standing on it.  The leaves of a fern are another good example.  Or the branching of the bronchial tubes in your lungs; and the branching of the limbs, branches, sticks, twigs and twiglets of a tree.  (On the show last night they actually proved that even how the trees are distributed in a forest is an extension of their branching fractal pattern!)  Even the universe could be described as fractal: electrons orbit nuclei to form atoms which (sort of) orbit each other to form our local matter, which orbits the centre of the earth, which orbits the sun, which orbits the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, which orbits the center of our galactic cluster, etc.

So before this get too science-geeky, let’s bring the concept to bear on marketing.  I believe that your organization should have the same “pattern” at every level.  From the corporate image or “brand,” to the philosophy of its executives (for instance, about how to treat customers), to the coaching of management, to the behaviour of front-line people, to the feel of the Website, to the design and execution of the product.  A consistent story that resonates with people is more powerful than a Super Bowl ad any day.

Note: No post tomorrow – I’m off to spend the spooky day with Bishop.  Happy Hallowe’en!

34, but it took some thinking.


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