Friday, October 26, 2012

Redefining Productivity

As Seth Godin noted in a recent blog post, we are redefining productivity. I believe this is tied to the evolution of our economy over the last forty years.

1. Industrial Economy
Industrial economies are judged by throughput. Fewer dollars in; more product out. Successful companies are those that consistently lower production costs, whether through automation or lowering total fixed and variable (mostly labor-related) costs.

2. Globalization
Cheaper shipping and increasingly available workforces led to global outsourcing – again focused on containing costs even when it may impact quality control. Not surprisingly, the successful players are those that make the best decisions to take advantage of this new expanded (and cheaper) labor force.

3. The Connected Economy
Networked workforces, dynamic teams lead to a shift in focus.  Making the best decision about what to do next becomes more important. Finding the right dynamic team – and innovative thinking – becomes the key to success. You may not have the lowest cost offering; but you have the most innovative.

4. The UX Economy
With networked communication in our pockets, the consumer focuses on the best and most consistently good user experience. Successful brands focus beyond turning visitors into customers; they focus on turning customers into loyal brand advocates… by consistently being better than expectations.

Consider the rapid growth of Big Data as a multi-billion dollar industry dominated by the U.S. with technologies that allow the innovative development of new products and services using data research that years or even months ago could not have seemed feasible, are now not only conceivable but remarkably inexpensive.

In 2002 Zappos was an online shoe company that decided to offer great customer service. Today it is a brand known for good service that just happens to sell shoes (which Amazon bought for $1.2 billion).

A decade ago, the mobile phone market was dominated by foreign players, from Scandinavia to Southeast Asia. In 2007 Apple launched the iPhone and 2008 saw Google’s Android phone. Today this market is dominated by Google and Apple.

Productivity no longer has the same dictionary meaning as it did when viewed only through the lens of the Industrial Age. This is the Connected Economy – where information is one touch away. If I don’t like what I see on your shelf I will comparison shop and purchase it online, or look for friend’s reviews and recommendations. We have to start thinking in terms of value-added innovation, and provide an educated workforce ready to compete in that economy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New TSA Pat-Downs

All this talk about new body scans and aggressive pat-downs at the airports have me seriously considering changing my travel plans. You read these headlines and then you have to become more informed, so you can make reasoned decisions about your feelings on the subject... Yessir, if I can come up with the money I just might have to start flying more often! Some of us can't be too choosey, you know.

And after hearing that the agents have to go through several weeks of training and continual daily testing -- well, who knows, that might even help with our unemployment problems!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Facebook Re-invents Email

Facebook announced yesterday the release of their Titan project - a re-definition of email in the context of a Facebook-centered world. I can fully understand why they would want this. But what does it say about us, and what behavioral shifts might it reinforce?

Technology seems to be helping us move further towards continual "content snacking" -- to feed our voracious need for constant realtime updates in order to validate our existence. Our ADOS (Attention Deficit - Oooh, Shiny) mindsets already mean we cannot drive two miles without being on our phones.

Our messages (and thought processes) get shorter
We no longer communicate via written letters, because we don't want to spend the time & effort to get out pen and paper, perhaps actually THINK ABOUT IT, then compose & write the letter, find an envelope, address & stamp it and then mail it. Now Facebook (from listening to high school students) decides that email is too slow; and we don't really want to leave Facebook and fire up some sluggish email software just to mail someone a message, when we can just do it right there in Facebook! Wow. Now we'll get to spend even less effort engaging our brains before we put our (figurative) mouths in gear.

I thought mainstream media was doing a good enough job of that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Facemash vs Winkleface?

The Social Network gives us an intriguing look into the creation of Facebook -- a tool perhaps best described as "permission-based stalking". And while the film has elements of jealousy, loyalty, friendship, power, money, envy, social status, recrimination and lost innocence, it skips lightly over the immense amount of coding, arguing and just plain "testing" and "fixing" that are required to keep up with an ever-expanding user base and the inherent feature wars that helped it grow.

I cannot help but wonder what Facebook might have become:
  • if it had stayed within the walled vision of Winkleface?
  • if Eduardo's fiscal conservative Ad-supported view had taken over?
  • if Perky Parker had stayed clean?
  • if the west coast VCs hadn't stepped in?
  • if the addictive allure of the "who's Hottest" Facemash hadn't kick-started it?
What are your thoughts? What were the key influences?

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Augmented Reality Device Goes Open Source | Singularity Hub

The uses for augmented reality keep piling up, but this is the first actual new "device" I have seen - as in new hardware vs just a phone app. Wow! Right out of Minority Report!

The demo is awe-inspiring, and the fact that MIT has made it Open Source means that it will quickly become a commercial product. And the price point shouldn't be that bad either. The total cost of the demo version is under $350.
Exciting stuff indeed!

Posted via web from Our "clicked" list

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Evolution of Social Media

For those who think social media is a fad, a fast-forward overview of thirty years of social media history should provide some perspective. The article takes us through the ever-shifting ways we have used social media tools to connect with each other through several decades. I think it provides ample evidence that we are evolving ever newer ways of connecting and communicating.

As Clay Shirky pointed out in the book Here Comes Everybody,
"Every webpage is a latent community. Each page collects the attention of people interested in its contents, and those people might well be interested in conversing with one another too. In almost all cases the community will remain latent, either because the potential ties are too weak, or because the people looking at the page are separated by too wide a gulf of time, and so on."

In several ways I think that Google's Sidewiki is a step toward recognizing the potential of "community" in every web page.

As Shirky indicated, we are continuing to experiment with various ways to use these new communication tools. And they will continue to evolve. The article from Cameron Chapman at WebDesignerDepot is a real help in providing perspective.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Bringing Social Media to your doorstep

Jeremiah's blog post about Google Sidewiki points out one more reason that brands need to be monitoring constantly -- Sidewiki is letting them comment right next to your web page!

Best take a proactive stance and welcome visitors to your site via that sidewiki space. And then monitor that space regularly for comments.

in reference to: Damage Control: Social Media Reversals « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing (view on Google Sidewiki)