Stockholm Thumb Wrestling

Adam Lawrence seems to have embraced the role of court jester for the Service Design Network. It’s part of the brand he actively cultivates with his rubber chicken prop. The community thumb wrestling war he proposed with Lauren Currie from Snook offered a nice boost of energy near the end of the Stockholm conference and honestly his remote control blimp at SDN San Francisco in 2011 brought down the house.

He’s really good at that type of thing but he’s also written some insightful pieces about customer experience and service design. I’d love to see more of that substance in future conferences.


  1. Thanks for the kind words!
    I’m glad you liked the article on the dramatic arcs of experiences. (Please excuse the look of the old Blogspot blog. The new skins don’t work well and now I usually post at workplayexperience.com.) Markus Hormess and I use the concept of dramatic arcs in our work and have published an article on dramatic arcs for service design in Touchpoint 4.2.
    I don’t see the rubber chicken as a branding thing – you’ll have to look hard to find chickens on our webpage.🙂 Markus and I have been using rubbish gags in our work for many years, as an invitation to connect (and work) on a human level; a way of “failing openly” which for me is a key part of facilitation. This approach has also been adopted by many in the Global Service Jam community, typifying that group’s passion for using fun to power insanely hard work.
    Thanks for remembering the blimp! We were trying to explain the Jam in just ten minutes – but you have to _feel_ the Jam, so really the only way to do it was with a karaoke rock song, a Markus muppet, the Girlie Chorus and a flying shark. For me, the most amazing part was two strangers from Kansas spending the best part of a day assembling, launching and learning to fly a shark blimp in a tiny hotel room just for a ten second gag because “we are Jammers”. Wonderful people.
    It’s been my first SDN conference without a presentation or workshop. Inspired by your kind word, I’ll see if we have something new to talk about next time.
    Thanks again,
    Adam
    @adamstjohn
    PS Why the Chicken? http://vimeo.com/52783828

  2. Jeff

    Thanks for commenting Adam. I’ve missed the past couple SDN conferences so I’m a bit behind the curve. I picked the Boom-wow-wow-wow-boom article primarily because the memorable title was easy to Google and because I think it’s one of the first pieces of yours I encountered. Live-blogging the conference has been fun but it doesn’t allow as much time for researching my posts as I’d like. I’ll definitely check out the newer material.

    And thanks for confirming that it was indeed a _shark_ blimp. That’s an important distinction but I wasn’t 100% sure and Googling for “shark blimp” was surprisingly ineffective. There really deserve to be photos of that thing.




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