Electric cars, digital attention spans, and the history of meal time are featured in this week’s round up.
What would happen if the general consumer market suddenly made an attempt to buy items just once?
A car – just once. A bicycle – just once. Clothing and shoes – just once. How would this effect marketing and bottom lines for businesses? Below are a few interesting articles that helped me think about these ideas, all from varying perspectives: as the consumer, as the maker and as the entrepreneur.
— Taj Reid on Points of Interest
So, I haven’t been posting for a while, but there’s a good reason for this. I’ve been working on a new website and business plan for Plannerzone, the consumer insights practice I work for.
If you’re a planner, strategist, marketer, creative, troubadour, etc. Please check out our site. I hope you enjoy!
Writing begets writing, so I’m getting back on the Tumblr train.
I posted this on Quora and thought it would fit here as well. Some thoughts on new ways to structure market research:
Applying Product and Service Design Methodologies
Marketing tends to rely on its own tool kit.
There are valuable concepts from product and service development that can be used to enhance traditional methodologies. In particular I’m thinking of some techniques described in Creativity in Product Innovation.
Like all business books there is some filler that you can do without. The section on advertising is especially tiresome. But the first principles under which the authors operate are insightful:
- They put forward that in some cases a truly brilliant, novel product concept can’t be culled from market information. Consumer need (market information) diffuses through societies just like innovations and ideas do; think of it like a diffusion of awareness.
- Therefore, competitors with similar market capabilities will draw upon the same pool of market information, driving them to build competitive advantage elsewhere (e.g, development team, time to market, cost leadership).
- Put another way, it’s statistically unlikely to get “ahead of the curve” in product development because the incidence of consumers with a truly novel unmet need is exceedingly low, at least until awareness of this need diffuses into the larger market.
- Building upon this, the authors provide evidence that there is a common taxonomy of innovative products that can be used as a template for creative product development; the configuration of the product itself is used as a source of market information since innovative products (e.g, iTunes, ATM, Railroad) can be seen as a snapshot of the market information from a given point in time.
In effect, they provide an argument—and subsequently a set of tools—that we may deal with the product itself, through analyzing its attributes and environment, as a source market information that can be used to develop new, unsought products. The product is treated as a sort of media that communicates market need.
As a market researcher this points to ways to apply qualitative and quantitative research techniques to identify the product attributes most relevant to the market, and then use various methods (morphological analysis, service delivery mapping) to find new ways to configure a product.
Other fun service design concepts (all qualitative—cause that’s my jam):
- Having respondents suggest ways to make a product or service channel worse (identifies strong points)
- Projective and role playing to explore service delivery. This can include developing narratives of an idealized service design, or storyboarding a service channel with consumers and drawing in “what if” points where the service could pivot.
- Wikis and other crowd sourcing tools
Turing machines are theoretical computers used to solve problems in mathematics, formal logic, and computer science. They form the basis of the modern concept of a computer, one with rewritable memory and programs. And as you’ll see below, they can be made from many things, especially very small things.
This is a Turing machine constructed using something nerds lovingly refer to as an “elementary cellular automaton,” meaning that it is a discrete model of interacting cells with “on” and “off” states.
The model shown above, known as Rule 110, is said to be “Turing complete,” it is capable—in theory—of modeling the behavior of a Turing machine and running any calculation or computer program.
Is it amazing that these little blocks can run any calculation or computer program? Is it elegant that we can do so much with so little? Does the similarity between simple computers and simple organisms point to something larger? How can you tell?
If you ever run out of storage space in the cloud, remember: there’s always rule 110.