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Monthly Archives: April 2013

What to make of Twitter #music

Last week it finally happened: Twitter launched its own music service in Twitter #music. This is “a new service that will change the way people find music, based on Twitter.” Like so many other music and content-oriented services out there, Twitter is trying to crack the holy grail that is ‘discovery’.

Here are three reasons why I think Twitter is in a fairly good position to do so:

  1. It knows what’s popular – Since Twitter’s acquisition of music service We Are Hunted, which specialised in analysing the likes of Twitter and making recommendations accordingly, the question has been how Twitter would encourage its users to discover music. An obvious first angle is to highlight music that’s popular, showing “new music trending on Twitter” (see Fig. 1 below). The tracks on here are irrespective of a user’s taste or the artists you’re following on Twitter.
  2. It can point you in the direction of new talent – I’d love to find out more how Twitter’s algorithm compile the artists and bands that appear in its “Hidden talent found in the Tweets” screen (see Fig. 2 below). Twitter suggests over a 100 artists who are considered “emerging”. Because Twitter Music primarily focuses on the artist, it will let users discover new music through the artist. For instance, when I click through on The Blank Tapes, one of the emerging talents mentioned, I get a neat overview of all the artists that The Blank Tapes follow (see Fig. 3 below).
  3. It’s dynamic! – The dynamic nature of Twitter is probably best symbolised by Twitter Music’s #nowplaying view which displays those tracks tweeted by the people that you follow. The tracks that appear on this screen are likely to change in rapid succession (obviously dependent on the number and kinds of people you follow and their Twitter activity).
  4. It’s cross-platform – Users can currently access Twitter #music via the web and iOS. An Android version is set to follow soon, with Twitter also looking to expand the service beyond the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. One can imagine a tablet version to also be introduced soon. Apart from being cross-platform (which was to be expected), Twitter Music offers a tight integration with iTunes, Rdio and Spotify. By default, you users can listen to track snippets through iTunes and will have to log into to Rdio or Spotify account to listen to the full-length track. Twitter is thus creating its own – fairly closed – ecosystem around music and music discovery.

Main learning point: in a way, with “Twitter #music”, Twitter has launched a music service that very much does what you’d expect it to do. With the amount of ‘social data’ that Twitter has of its users and the activity on their platform, you’d expect nothing short of a highly usable and ‘intelligent’ music service. Twitter #music definitely delivers on those fronts: it provides a good user experience, it’s visually appealing and – most importantly – it does stimulate users to discover new music.

However, Twitter’s new music service still feels fairly one dimensional. Opportunities to actively engage with artists are limited and ways to find out about more things than just their music (e.g. live dates, discographies) are non-existent. It would be great to see Twitter build on its music service by adding more ‘interaction’ over the next few months.

Fig. 1 – Sample “Popular – New music trending on Twitter” view 

FireShot Screen Capture #029 - 'Popular I #Music' - music_twitter_com_i_chart_popular

Fig. 2 – Sample “Emerging – Hidden talent found in the Tweets” view

FireShot Screen Capture #028 - 'Emerging I #Music' - music_twitter_com_i_chart_emerging

Fig. 3 – Sample of viewing the artists followed by the artist you follow

FireShot Screen Capture #027 - 'Artists followed by The Blank Tapes I #Music' - music_twitter_com_theblanktapes

Related links for further learning:

  1. https://music.twitter.com/
  2. http://evolver.fm/2013/04/12/twitters-trending-music-app-set-to-arrive-on-web-ios-android-to-follow/
  3. http://blog.twitter.com/2013/04/now-playing-twitter-music.html
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/12/twitter-apple-music-streaming-service
  5. http://www.macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyle/news/?newsid=3442038&pagtype=allchandate
  6. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9994422/Twitter-Music-coming-soon-officially.html
  7. http://musicindustryblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/why-twitter-music-should-only-be-considered-a-small-first-step/
  8. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2013/apr/22/twitter-music-iphone-app-review
 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Digital Content, Music, Social Media

 

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Creating my own product – How to develop it?

So I had spent some time thinking about my product vision and assessing my product idea, but I now had to work out how to best a develop a basic mobile app. I’d been dreading this moment since I don’t have a  a development background. Where to start? Which operating system to start off with? Best to do the development myself or to hire a developer instead? All these questions (and more) raced through my head as I starting think about actually developing an app.

Once I had calmed down, I started breaking it down as follows:

  1. What’s the operating system I want to start off with? – Thinking about whether to go for an iOS (Apple) operating system or Android, or both, I decided on concentrating on iOS first. The key reason for this decision was purely because of my familiarity with Apple and its operating system. My simple thinking was that I could always add an Android app further down the line.
  2. What’s the device to start off with? Also, I briefly thought about doing a tablet version but then decided against this. The main rationale for this decision was twofold. Firstly, my gut feeling was that the smartphone as a device lends itself really well to HipHopListings’ central proposition; a comprehensive list of all Hip Hop gigs and releases accessible wherever you are. Users can check their app or receive concert alerts on the go. Secondly, FOCUS. I really had to force myself to keep it as simple as possible. Starting with a ‘channel’ that seems a good fit (i.e. the iPhone) and not wanting to try and do too much at once were key lessons that I learned at an early stage of this process.
  3. How can I release the app within a short space of time (and a limited budget) – One thing I was certain about: I didn’t want to spend 6 months developing an app and then spend another month submitting the app with Apple’s App Store. My goal was to create something simple, launch and get real-time feedback. The question was whether it would make sense to either develop a basic myself or to hire a dev / use an existing app generation platform. I looked at the pros and cons of developing something myself (see Fig. 1 below) and I asked experienced developers on Quora for their thoughts and advice. Also, I looked at courses on app development that I could do as well as at existing app generation platforms that I could utilise.
  4. What “smart steps” can I take? – Well, the first step I decided on was to create a basic app through an app building platform called “AppMakr”. Through this platform I could convert my HipHopListings Tumblr feed into an iOS app, without having to design and develop too much functionality. This step was be free and relatively easy to do. Taking that first step of deciding on a tool and starting to play with it was a big and important step for me. I reckoned that, if anything, it would give me more insight into what I realistically could develop and launch within a short space of time (see Fig. 2 below).

Main learning point: I have to admit, starting to think about development felt like a slightly scary step. Of course, this is something that I do most days as part of my job. However, as this concerned my own app, it felt different. Thinking about actually implementing my product vision, creating a ‘MVP’ really helped in getting me to start considering constraints, key features and – most importantly- forced me to focus.

Fig. 1 – Pros and cons of developing a basic iPhone app myself

Pros

  • It would be good to learn a programming language, even at the most basic level
  • Learning a bit about coding might help me more in understanding more about the ‘pain’ that developers sometimes feel and the day-to-day challenges they encounter
  • Developing an app myself will give me more control going forward over possible design changes or functionality improvements
  • It’s probably cheaper to develop something myself
  • I can imagine that I’d derive great personal satisfaction from developing my own app

Cons

  • It could take me while to master the basics of the programming language required to build an iPhone app (i.e. Objective-C)
  • Is it necessary to spend the time learning the language to create what is in fact a very basic app (my ‘MVP’ would effectively consist of two lists)
  • If I were to develop beyond my initial ‘MVP’ (e.g. by adding more features), I’d most probably have to turn to a professional developer anyway
  • Knowing myself, there’s a great risk of getting incredibly frustrated (with myself) when my app development is not going ‘according to plan’

Fig. 2 – What do I want?

  1. Being able to publish the app under the HipHopListings ‘brand’
  2. Offer the app as a free download in the App Store
  3. Create an ad-free app
  4. Having mobile analytics set up to monitor performance
  5. Be able to send push notifications (alerts) through my app
  6. Be able to add functionality over time (e.g. the ability to filter concert info by location)
  7. A flexible design that I can change or add to, based on real-time user feedback

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3949995/what-programming-languages-can-one-use-to-develop-iphone-ipod-touch-and-ipad-i
  2. http://www.quora.com/Mobile-Applications/What-are-good-ways-to-develop-a-basic-iOS-app-when-you-have-no-technical-background?
  3. http://just-start.com/
 
 

Book review: “Lean UX”

It was a situation that I had been in before: trying to get developers and interaction / UX designers to work together effectively. Not always easy. The UX person had worked out a vision of what the monitoring tool could look like, we then used these visuals as a starting point for internal discussion, trying to figure out the key requirements to concentrate on. When a developer saw the visuals however, his face contorted in an expression of shock. “What were you thinking!? This is a typical case of ‘Big Design Upfront’, this is a complete fallacy!” As a strong believer in cross-discipline collaboration in product development, there was a clear challenge here to get the different disciplines on the same page, to agree on an appropriate approach.

Reason enough for me to start reading “Lean UX: applying lean principles to user experience”, a book recently published by Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden. Jeff is a New York-based product designer who has led cross-functional, Agile development teams and now runs a design studio which was recently acquired by Neo a company co-founded by Eric Ries. Josh Seiden is a managing director at Neo who specialises in user experience design and has worked closely with Jeff Gothelf on the Lean UX book.

Like Ries, Jeff Gothelf specialises in Lean practices which he applies to user experience and user-centric design thinking. In “Lean UX” Gothelf explores a more collaborative and ‘lean’ way of designers, developers and product managers working together. Gone is the idea of interaction or UX professionals thinking up a design in isolation, then passing their design on to developers to implement. In contrast, Gothelf proposes a more cross-functional and incremental approach to user experience.

These are the main things that I learned from “Lean UX”:

  1. Collaborative and cross-functional – Gothelf stresses the importance of ‘one product team’ where the product manager, developers, designers and any other stakeholders work closely together on product development. It’s therefore critical to come to a shared understanding with your teammates of the product outcomes that you’re trying to achieve.
  2. Measuring outcomes  One of the key principles of Lean UX is the measurement of progress in terms of outcomes (instead of outputs or deliverables). Gothelf’s point is the effectiveness of features can only be proven once they’ve been launched. He therefore suggests an approach which concentrates on specific, well-defined outcomes. This approach also means that you can test your product features against these desired outcomes as you develop a product.
  3. Design in small batch sizes – True to the concepts of Agile and Lean, Gothelf urges teams to avoid working with big “inventories” of untested and unimplemented design ideas. I agree with Gothelf that it’s more effective to work in small batch sizes instead, using the release of each small batch to learn and improve, however, I nevertheless believe that it can be very valuable to have an underlying vision of what it is that a product is trying to achieve. Such a vision can be visualised through some rudimentary sketches or a more detailed design. This can subsequently be broken down in small batches that can be worked on. As with the recent example I mentioned earlier, I learned that when you create such a vision upfront, the challenge is in ensuring that stakeholders don’t view this as set in stone or to be delivered exactly as the visual suggests. In my view, any design done upfront can only act (and be presented) as a guide; getting feedback on the direction you’re thinking of following and having a starting point for specific features to work on.
  4. Design based on assumptions – The whole premise of the “Lean Startup” movement by Eric Ries is the notion of validating assumptions. In Lean UX Gothelf applies the same thinking to user experience: don’t get too hung up on fixed features but concentrate instead on testable assumptions (see Fig. 1 below). He goes on further by recommending to focus on the riskiest assumptions first, “the higher the risk and the more unknowns involved, the higher priority to test those assumptions.”
  5. Test your assumptions using hypotheses – The bit in Lean UX which I probably found most helpful was the creation of hypothesis statements as a way to test (or validate) assumptions. A hypothesis statement is a more granular version of the original assumption which is easier to test (see Fig. 2 below). You can use these hypotheses to test a specific product area or workflow. Outcomes are the market signals that help us to validate or invalidate these hypotheses (see also point 2. above). These signals are often quantitative but can also be qualitative.
  6. Lots of tools you can use!  “Lean UX” offers a wide variety of tools and techniques that you can use to achieve collaborative design. Whether it’s practical tips on how to run a design studio or create personas, Gothelf outlines the practical use of each tool (and provides real-life examples). This in my view makes books like Lean UX, “Rocket Surgery Made Easy” and “Undercover UX” such valuable and helpful references.

Main learning point: I found “Lean UX” a comprehensive and very helpful book. The book provides a clear departure from a more traditional way of thinking around the inclusion of user experience / interaction design in product development. In Lean UX, Jeff Gothelf stresses the importance of ‘collaborative design’, getting all stakeholders involved as early in the process as possible. He makes a strong case for cross-functional product teams which are continuously looking to validate certain assumptions, developing products iteratively and learning along the way.

Fig. 1 – Assumptions Worksheet template (by Jeff Gothelf, “Lean UX: applying lean principles to user experience”)

Business Assumptions

  1. I believe my customers have a need to _________ .
  2. These needs can be solved with _______ .
  3. My initial customers are (or will be)  ______ .
  4. The number 1 value a customer wants to get out of my services is ___________.
  5. The customer can also get these additional benefits ___________.
  6. I will acquire the majority of my customers through ___________.
  7. I will make money by __________.
  8. My primary competition in the market will be _________.
  9. We will beat them due to _______.
  10. My biggest product risk is _________.
  11. We will solve this through _________.
  12. What other assumptions do we have that, if proven false, will cause our business/project to fail ________.

User Assumptions

  1. Who is the user?
  2. Where does our product fit in the user’s work or life?
  3. What problems does our product solve?
  4. When and how is our product used?
  5. What features are important?
  6. How should our product look and behave?

Fig. 2 – Common hypothesis statement format (by Jeff Gothelf, “Lean UX: applying lean principles to user experience”)

  • We believe [this statement is true]
  • We will know we’re [right/wrong] when we see the following feedback from the market: [quantitative feedback] and/or [key performance indicator change]

A way to break a hypothesis statement into smaller, testable parts:

  • We believe that [doing this/building this feature/creating this experience] for [these people/personas] will achieve [this outcome]. We will know this is true when we see [this market feedback, quantitative measure, or qualitative insight]. 

A simple way to include personas in your hypotheses:

  • We will [create this feature] for [this persona] in order to achieve [this outcome]

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://www.jeffgothelf.com/blog/
  2. http://founderswiki.com/wiki/UX_%26_Collaboration_techniques
  3. http://blog.crisp.se/2013/03/24/jeff-gothelf/lean-ux-in-the-enterprise
  4. http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/lean-ux-getting-out-of-the-deliverables-business

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Agile, Book Reviews, User Experience

 

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Developing my own product – Assessing my product idea

After I spent some time thinking about a vision for my product, the logical next step was to assess my idea. Naturally, I was excited about creating a mobile app that lists Hip Hop gigs and releases but at the same time I worried that no one was waiting for this new product or that it wouldn’t be a viable idea.

As I tend to do in my day job, I started going through the same steps that I normally use to assess a product opportunity or idea. In short, these steps come down to the following:

  • Who? – Who make up the target audience of my product? Which of their problems is my product looking to solve?
  • Why? – What value is my product looking to deliver? How will it differentiate itself from the competition? How big is the opportunity?
  • What? – What is the product that I’m looking to develop? What are the functional and non-functional requirements that I need to consider? How is this product going to make money?
  • When?  When do I need to launch the (first version of) the product? Are there any user, client, market or regulatory expectations that I need to consider in this respect?
  • Where?  Where can the product be developed? Has something similar (or the underlying technology or platform) already been created by someone else?

When I had to apply these steps to my own HipHopListings app, I just took a blank piece of paper and started answering the following questions for myself:

  1. What’s the problem this app will solve? – A single app that provides a comprehensive overview of all Hip Hop gigs in a particular area. You don’t have to track a specific artist; HipHopListings will make sure you’re up to date on all shows and releases in your favorite genre. Since HipHopListings also includes release dates, it thus provides a great source for Hip Hop fans who wish to be kept up to date on all upcoming Hip Hop events and releases.
  2. For who will it solve this problem? – Fans of Hip Hop music who enjoy going to Hip Hop shows or events. The initial target audience is that of fans of Hip Hop music in the UK or tourists who are looking to visit the UK and going to a concert as part of their trip. In addition, the idea of genre based event and release info can easily be extended to fans of other genres. 
  3. How big is the opportunity? – Not sure. Recent Live Nation stats show a decline in people going to concerts. However, 2010 stats still indicate a value of £1.5bn of the UK market for live music. Combined with a strong concert and festival culture in the UK, it’s no surprise that there’s strong competition on the market for ticket sales and concert alerts. However, I believe there’s a clear niche (with a substantial target audience) for HipHopListings to step into: provide a single source for all UK Hip Hop events for fans of Hip Hop music who wish to be kept up to date on any gigs scheduled and discover new shows / artists in the process.
  4. What’s the competition like? – Huge. Established ticket re-sellers such as Live Nation, Ticketmaster, TicketWeb and See Tickets cover most of the market for entertainment ticket sales between them. In addition, UK-based Songkick is an incredibly well-funded provider of concert alerts.
  5. What’s HipHopListing’s main differentiator? – It’s all about Hip Hop, listing all UK concerts and events within this genre. Most of the competition cover all genres, basing alerts on a user’s selected artists or music collection, thus limiting opportunities for discovery. Instead, HipHopListings covers UK shows by well-known and lesser known Hip Hop artists alike. As I currently curate HipHopListings manually it’s easy to see the number and variety of sources that list Hip Hop events, even having different ticket re-sellers list different shows / locations for the same artist! As a result, HipHopListings offers a single resource for all Hip Hop events in the UK.
  6. Why now?  HipHopListings now enjoys a significant following both on Twitter and Tumblr which provides it with a good opportunity to introduce a new ‘channel’ in the form of a mobile app. The nature of mobile applications could fit in with well with HipHopListing’s main value proposition (see point 1. above) and the requirements of its (target) users.
  7. What will be HipHopListings’ go-to-market strategy? Start with HipHopListings’ online following. With nearly 4,000 followers, if an initial 10% of that following download the free app that will be a good basis to start building on. I can use a small group of users to both spread the word and improve the application. Once the app has a larger user base and an improved product, I can start marketing the app more widely. For example, working more closely with ticket re-sellers (providing them with referrals) and artists to promote shows or releases.
  8. What’s the business model? How will I make (some) money from this mobile app? Potential revenue is likely to come from taking commission on referrals to ticket sites and working with artists or promotors to showcase specific events. Also, the demographic data gathered through the app on a specific user group can be used for targeted marketing campaigns by brands and marketing agencies.
  9. Critical success factors – The initial KPIs to concentrate on are: (1) number of people installing the free app (2) the number of monthly active users (there’s not point in people installing the app and then never looking at it again!) (3) the number of listed events shared through the app via social media and (4) number of people clicking through to a ticket site (and subsequently purchasing a concert ticket). I reckon these four factors will provide a good initial indication of how successful the app is at addressing the problems of its (target) users (see point 1. above).
  10. How? – Starting with a basic app, concentrating on a Minimum Viable Product which will hopefully help to validate some of my assumptions (see points 1-3 above). Even though I’m not a developer, it would be great if I could create an app that’s basically a list. At this stage, that’s all I need to launch the offering, measure some key analytics and build on it. Once the app has a bit of traction, I can then always decide to get a developer to further improve the app and add more functionality.

Main learning point: even though I was very keen on ‘just getting something out there’, I was pleased that I took a step back to assess the opportunity a bit more. Even though I could have easily spent a lot more time on things like market research and working out the best business model, I instead decided to start with some initial assumptions, launch something and then validate these assumptions.

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_requirements_document
  2. http://grasshopperherder.com/business-model-canvas-for-puppies-part-i/
  3. http://grasshopperherder.com/business-model-canvas-for-puppies-part-ii/
  4. http://www.svproduct.com/assessing-product-opportunities/
  5. http://www.product-arts.com/articlelink/23-assessing-opps
  6. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/20130206concert-attendance-down
  7. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120504easier
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_concert_tours
  9. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/dec/02/picky-customer-2012-live-music
  10. http://www.ukmusic.org/news/post/147-music-tourists-contribute-at-least-864m-a-year-to-the-uk-economy
  11. http://livemusicexchange.org/blog/whats-it-worth-calculating-the-economic-value-of-live-music-dave-laing/
  12. http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/Higher-prices-help-2011-apf-1243635975.html
  13. http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/creating-an-adaptive-go-to-market-system.aspx
  14. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2012/01/30/why-we-shouldnt-worry-about-the-decline-of-the-music-industry/
 

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Book review: “Culture Shock”

“Culture Shock” is the first book by Will McInnes. McInnes runs NixonMcInnes, a Brighton-based social media agency and he has been advocating business change for years. NixonMcInnes has been recognised as one of the most democratic workplaces by WorldBlu, a global organisation that strives to have “1 billion people working in free and democratic workplaces.”

I guess the biggest caveat to this book review is that the author of the book I’m about to review is one of my personal heroes. About 5 years ago, Will McInnes got me excited about working in digital and I thank him for that to this day. Will is one of those guys who knows what he’s talking about, but does so in a warm and completely unpretentious way.

In “Culture Shock”, Will McIness outlines how we can all make our workplaces more democratic and transparent. The book provides readers with a number of practical ideas to consider, varying in degrees of ‘radicalness’, in relation to changing the way in which businesses are run and employees are being involved.

These are the main things I picked up from reading “Culture Shock”:

  1. Having A Purpose of Significance – As McInnes points out, the idea of having a purpose that drives an organisation isn’t a new one. However, the addition of the word “significance” is the bit that distinguishes 21st century organisations from the more classic organisational mission statements (see Fig. 1 below). More and more organisations are trying to broaden their aspirations and add more ‘meaning’ to their day-to-day activities.
  2. Democracy, empowerment and transparency – For me these three terms – democracy, empowerment and transparency – sum up a lot of the real-life examples and practical suggestions that McInnes highlights in “Culture Shock”. This becomes particularly relevant when you consider these terms from a technology point of view; using the Internet and dedicated software to ‘open up’ your organisation and decision-making. McInnes provides readers with numerous examples varying from companies opening up their Application Programming Interface (‘API’) to organisations using collaborative software like Yammer and Basecamp.
  3. Crowdsourcing innovation and marketing – The likes of Kickstarter, Pledge and Innocentive clearly show the growing popularity of crowdsourcing, getting the ‘crowd’ involved in (funding) innovation or in marketing. In “Culture Shock” McInnes makes a strong case for the value of collaboration and for engaging directly with customers.
  4. Openness (1) – I know it’s easier said than done, but I absolutely LOVE the points McInnes makes about the kinds of behaviours that come with workplace change. I picked up specifically on the suggested use of Buzz monitoring systems and on openness around ‘failure’. Buzz monitoring is the technology that searches the web for keywords of your choice. This helps companies in getting a better insight into the  sentiment around their business or products. However, an important aspect of such systems is that they enable organisations to engage more effectively with customers. Good examples of such systems are Brandwatch and HootSuite.
  5. Openness (2) – As for ‘failure’, McInnes’ central point is that a greater willingness to fail will lead to greater levels of trust between people and will encourage organisational learning. A good example are the “Church of Fail” meetings at Nixon McInnes where employees can volunteer to stand up and describe a time that they failed in the last period. Having described their failure, the crowd will start cheering and clapping loudly. This ritual might not work for every organisation or individual but there’s something to say for sharing ‘failure’ and learning from it.
  6. “Tech DNA” – It was interesting to read what McIness considers a “technical DNA”. In essence, it comes down to organisations having an “embracing attitude towards the disruption and opportunity that technology creates.” The emphasis here is very much on using technology to learn more quickly, thus gaining a competitive advantage sooner than others. In addition, the idea is to involve people all the way through any technology initiative (and not making technology the exclusive  domain of an IT or development department – see Fig. 2 below).

Main learning point: “Culture Shock” is a great read for anyone interested in changing organisational culture. The book provides some strong arguments for the value of making the workplace more democratic and transparent. McInnes illustrates his key points by looking at numerous companies who have introduced a different approach to things like decision-making and employee involvement. He also offers a lot of practical suggestions to consider in relation to making changes to the workplace. All in all, I found “Culture Shock” to be as inspiring to read as it is to listen to McInnes talk in real-life!

Fig. 1 – The checklist for creating A Purpose of Significance (Will McInnes – Culture Shock, p. 11):

  • Does our Purpose address a fundamental problem that is caused or exacerbated by this business industry?
  • Does our Purpose lead to decisions which can surpress or limit short-term financial gains for longer-term achievements?
  • Does our Purpose inspire a community to develop?
  • Does our Purpose address a fundamental injustice in the world?
  • Does our Purpose disrupt and positively revolutionise a whole marketplace?
  • Does our Purpose fundamentally make the world a better place?

Fig. 2 – Some characteristics of an organisation that has technology in its DNA (Will McInnes – Culture Shock, p. 201-202):

  • It typically moves before its peers to experiment with technology.
  • It typically expects technology thinking to happen outside of just the IT or Technology areas – it expects marketers, R&D people, customer services, operations, retail and everyone else to be thinking ‘how can technology help us improve this given area?’
  • It usually takes an Agile/Beta approach to technology innovation and manages expectations accordingly.
  • It always puts the human aspect of how the technology will actually be used and valued over the whizz bang feature set – prioritising user-centred thinking and involvement over tech-for-tech’s sake. 

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://willmcinnes.com
  2. http://workplacedemocracy.com/2009/09/30/interview-with-worldblu-founder-traci-fenton/
  3. http://stoweboyd.com/
  4. http://blog.kissmetrics.com/zappos-art-of-culture/
  5. http://www.subtraction.com/2012/06/28/an-interview-with-charles-adler-of-kickstarter

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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Agile, Book Reviews, Social Media

 

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