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The WSJ is wondering about the facebook hype of 25 random things about me. Apparently 5 millions users have listed the 25 things about themselves at the profile page. The article raises the question why people go about listing private stuff about themselves at the internet. I feel that sharing information about yourself online is all about ‘identity’. Like the cloths you wear or the brands you choose, posting ‘25 random things about me’ is saying something about identity. At the one hand, it helps you to know yourself better (it actually is a good exersise of self-reflection) and at the other hand it provides means of identifying other ‘like-minded’ people. We are all searching and longing for our own ‘tribe’ and many see no boundries in achieiving this, even if that means to reveal personal things about yourself online. More thoughts?
“Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop new products, services and processes and even strategy”. These are words by Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. He is evangelising the idea of what he calls ‘design thinking’. In an article at the Harvard Business Review he writes:
“As more of our basic needs are met, we increasingly expect sophisticated experiences that are emotionally satisfying and meanigful. These experiences will not be simple products. They will be complex combinations of products, services, spaces and information. They will be the ways we get educted, the ways we are entertainted, the ways we stay healthy, the ways we share and communicate.”
According to Tim, “design” is longer just about styling or aestheticts but more about innovation. There are more proponents of this idea. For instance, Josphine Green from Philips Design claims that ‘design’ will be new marketing of the 21st century (as part of here presentation around ‘social innovation’). The way I intrepret this comment is that tradionally, (product) marketing function is in charge of the product creation process whereas more and more ‘design thinkers’ (should) take charge of this process.
That brings me to the question as to how corporations should (re)organise their product creation and innovation process. From my own experience, typically product marketeers play a central role in the creation process, starting by defining product functionality and specs. Marketeers often act from a narrow view of the type of products they (are allowed to) work on (in Wacom’s case, the product marketeer for pen tablets thinks about computer interaction as ways to use pen input with a computer). It is not hard to imagine that this kind of process results in products that are fairly similar to past products and that real innovation is very difficult to achieve.
According to Tim and Jospehine, design thinkers should play the central role in the creation process. In a collaborative way, they should lead a group of marketeers, engineers and end-users throughout the complete design process. This is not limited to the initial creative fuzzy idea phase, but goes all the way from ideation to implementation. For instance, it includes supporting marketing to design a communication strategy.
For corporations that do not want to rely on the IDEO’s of this world to create new products, where in the functional lines do you put these ‘design thinkers’. They do not naturally belong in any of the functions such as marketing, development or engineering. Should it be a function in itself? If so, which place in it the hierarchy does it belong to?
By the way, I regard myself as ‘design thinker’, even though I do not have a design background and I do not think of myself as ‘designer’. Maybe it would be better to think of some other term, in direction of ‘creation’ or ‘innovation’. Anyway, I would appreciate any examples of how corporations are dealing with this issue, e.g. how they are organising themselves for the new century.
This post at Springwise caught my eye: Team meeting space meets product testing ground. The US-based office furniture company Steelcase offers meetings spaces that double as testing ground for their products (such as whiteboards, flipcharts). This is an interesting initiative because of two reasons:
First of all, I believe that there is an opportunity for more inspiring meeting facilities. We have seen enough of those boring and depressing conference centers and hotel meeting rooms for the many ‘off-site’ events that companies send their employees to.
This initiative also fits nicely into the trend to let customers try and test your products (and create some brand awareness along the way). I could see this for Wacom as well… How about a Wacom design center that is equipped with Intuos and Cintiq products? The center could have individual workstations for freelancers and professionals, class room settings for courses and even conference/meeting facilities for creative sessions. Such a center could also be interesting for partners such as Adobe. If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment…
In this interview I explain how Bamboo is going beyond hardware into software and services. It is taken by Ric Holland, a business development colleague from Wacom Australia. Ric is writing a book called “the art of making marks” for which he regularly interviews many people within the digital imaging, design and interaction industry. All interviews, including with Bill Buxton and our CEO Yamada-san, can be found at his blog theartofwa. Thanks Ric, it has been a pleassure!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
I have been looking into text input concepts for computing devices for many years. In particular for mobile devices, text input is slow and cumbersome. The founder of T9 now has started a new venture around a new text input method called Swype | Text Input for Screens. Presenting at TC50, they received quite a lot of attention. From the video, it seems to be a very fast way of text entry, but at the same time requires a lot of practice. Good news is that it works great with a stylus! It is unclear for which type of user this could be attractive at first. Would like to test it in combination with a Bamboo…
Tomorrow is a big day for me: the (re)launch of Bamboo! For months, I have been leading the activity to create a Bamboo software and service platform. What you will see tomorrow fits into the drive to make Bamboo a global consumer brand. It will be the first step in what hopefully becomes a major strategic process for the company. Have a look at the Bamboo website after Sept 16 and let me know what you think.
We know that many consumers are increasing looking for special experiences and thrills. But I was really suprised to read that in Korea you can experience what it would be to die… These ‘well-dying’ courses are to “encourage them to assess their priorities in life and as a suicide prevention measure” according the Financial Times.
“…Will completed, they collect their funeral portraits – participants are asked to pose on the way in – and enter the “death experience room”, a large, dark space containing a series of open coffins and decorated with posters of famous bygones such as Ronald Reagan, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Lee Byung-chull, Samsung’s founder. In front of an altar covered with flowers and his funeral portrait, Mr Ko instructs his trainees to choose a coffin, put on a traditional hemp death robe and then read out their wills one-by-one. Next, it is time to be buried. Participants lie down in their coffins, while a man wearing the outfit of a traditional Korean death messenger places a flower on each person’s chest. Funeral attendants place lids on the coffins, banging each corner several times with a mallet. Dirt is thrown down on the lid, as loud as stones on a tile roof. The attendants leave the hall for five minutes – but it seemed like 30 minutes to those taking part…”
About 50,000 people have taken part since 2004. There are even large corporates that send their staff to these cources. Those who completed the course “…become more considerate and attach greater value to life…” according to the report.
How about sending reckless drivers or work-aholic managers to a course like this? Or setting up a course in prison life for would-be criminals (did I hear ‘guantanamo bay’ adventure land for derailed presidents)? This could be a huge market opportunity!