Andrew McCoy

Freelance Writer

Andrew McCoy is an associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Contact him at

Articles by Andrew McCoy

October 2013
In the 1960s, Xerox copy machines started appearing in American offices, providing a stunning example of how innovation enabled by technology can create new marketing opportunities.
August 2013
A select audience of industry practitioners and university researchers recently gathered in Kansas City, Mo., to grapple with a mind-boggling quandry: how to define the next industrial era of the global economy. READ MORE
June 2013
Much as they might seem like antiques when scattered among children’s electronic toys and games, wooden alphabet blocks have remained a constant in American family living for more than 200 years. While they were overtaken as teaching tools in the digital age, they may never be surpassed in the power of their iconic value as universal symbols of basic learning. READ MORE
April 2013
It was an online phenomenon that went viral. READ MORE
February 2013
Try not to think of pink elephants. That silly proposition makes us chuckle when we hear it because we know that, as soon as someone says, “pink elephants,” we will unavoidably visualize pink elephants. We think in pictures. Hearing or reading words triggers mental images of what they mean.
December 2012
There’s an old joke about Michelangelo in which he explains how he was able to create his enormous 6-ton, 17-foot-high sculpture of the young, biblical hero David: Michelangelo shrugs his shoulders and confesses, “I just chipped away everything that did not look like David.” READ MORE
October 2012
John Spellman never dreamed the day would come when he would be thought of as a “hot-dog marketeer,” whose down-to-earth business techniques would be touted to the country’s best electrical contractors as ways to improve their service-related efforts and results. READ MORE
August 2012
In 1911, Leon Leonwood Bean (better known to his friends by his initials “L.L.”) stomped in from the chilly Maine weather with cold, aching feet after a long hunting trip. He had a fierce, personal obsession to design and manufacture a more comfortable boot for hunters and outdoorsmen. He dreamed of marketing it across the United States through a mail-order catalog. READ MORE
June 2012
It never fails. Five minutes before the end of the workday on Friday, the phone rings. Just as the last remaining people in the office are ready to rush out the door and head home, a customer calls with an urgent problem requiring immediate assistance from one or more of the electricians who all left work to begin their weekends at least an hour ago. READ MORE