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Keeping it Real

Optimize Blog - March 23, 2011 - 0 comments

The future for all you frustrated rock gods out there is looking promising. Until now the road to becoming a rock legend has been a long and arduous one – the prospect of which deters many… After all, who wants to put in all those hours of guitar practice when all you really want to do is to get on the stage and be worshipped by your adoring cathedral of fans as you rock out some serious tunes?
Well, the answer may be just around the corner with the air-guitar T-shirt. No, this is not our April 1st blog – this thing actually exists! Two inventors from Wales have won a technology award with their interactive T-shirt for people playing air guitar. The shirt developed by Warren Fauvel and Luke Khan allows the wearer to score points as their hand passes over a barcode on the shirt. It won an award at this year’s annual SXSW music and technology festival in Austin, Texas.
The designers’ firm has applied for a worldwide patent on the T-shirt, which it hopes to sell to other bands as merchandising. The T-shirt has a “barcode”-type symbol picked up via a webcam and the design is printed on an ordinary T-shirt, like those sold to music fans at live gigs. As the “strummer’s” hand passes over, it blocks the light and a point is scored.

As we were thinking about this latest product in virtual reality it reminded us about keeping it real in business. The air guitar analogy is interesting in that you can potentially convince yourself that you are a rock god when in reality you are just an arm waver with an active imagination.
We come across arm waving people with active imaginations quite frequently who, rather than investing time and energy into actually learning to develop the skills required to play an instrument, instead prefer to pretend. The outcome is not dissimilar to the performances at the now common international air guitar competitions – lots of histrionics, face contorting action and passion but no real technique.
If you stand an air guitarist next to Eric Clapton and ask them to perform, anyone would spot the difference… and the same is true for leaders. Whilst the fake individual is funny to watch, the difference in talent is stark. In playing the guitar, there is no short cut to rock fame and stardom by way of a clever T-Shirt and there are no short cuts to effective leadership. It takes the practice and the dedication to master the skills required.
Invest in the practice and develop the talent. When considering your own leadership performance – are you an ‘Eric Clapton’ or are you just another air guitar fake?
Oh, and for those ‘lefties’ out there you do not need to worry because as well as new versions of the interactive game, the designers say that they are also planning a T-shirt for left-handed air guitar players

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