Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Idea of Differentiation

Nintendo Wii has a fascinating story to tell. It's a story of doing it differently rather than better. "Re-thinking, re-minding, re-approaching and re-discovering" what gaming is about. I can picture the excitement of those who envisioned it, pitched it, and worked on it. But I question what they had to go through to make it happen. The end result, a modest video quality and picture definition gaming opposite of what gamers seek. But it didn't matter. We were given the opportunity to discover something else. A different twist in gaming experience with motion sensing technology. People bought into it. So how do you create something that would put a company in such a trouble (a good trouble) of being short satisfying demand? My life's journey is to explore, learn, enable and practice the art of disruptive innovation. I'll continue posting topics related to this.

What I see Wii differentiated:

1. Brand: Very friendly, playful, short, quick, easy to say (for everyone) and remember. It also sounds like "we" as all of us, it's inclusive and brings people together. The promise and value proposition speaks for itself.
2. Audience: It's for everyone, not just for traditional gamers (kids and enthusiast adults)
3. Affordable: Wii $250 (well..$549 because of shortage), Xbox 360 $349+, Playstation 3 $399+ (Amazon.com)
4. Ease of play: Simple and easy to play, easy to learn and get into the game within seconds. Make mistakes in the beginning but quickly becomes a -aha! moment when you learn.
5. Interactive: You need to get up and move your entire body, not just fingers.
6. Changing Behavior:
Every game is different, you need to move differently to control. It's contextual and sensitivity changes based on situation.
7. Expandable: You can plug in the controller into a steering wheel and drive, plug it into a gold club and swing, plug it into a tennis racket and hit the ball, a guitar, a shooting gun, lightsaber, you name it...
8. Personalization: Mii allows you to create personal avatars
9. Freshness: It's new, never experienced before, eye opening, mind blowing, stimulates your senses, body and mind, create laughter, it's wow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

I think this is a really good place to start thinking about how you plan to visualize your communication and when anyone sees the information, make them say Ah! I get it.

Visual Literacy.org has provided this beautiful tool to help you choose the right method to make you an effective communicator.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Navigating the sea of innovation

Philips Design - New value by Design Magazine- Issue 34, Oct 2007

Key point here are:

1. "Effective innovation is about managing the entire approach in a non-linear, holistic way and finding the right path to solve an innovation challenge"
2. "Innovation can be seen as a network of opinions" Identifying the right mix of competencies a team must possess is key.

3. Competencies and roles needed:
  • The Pathfinder: The Pathfinder must be clear about the end goal or destination. They plan the journey and anticipate all the kinds of expertise that will be required.
  • The Interpreter: The Interpreter can see things from different perspectives and build bridges between new combinations of disciplines to create collaboration. They are also responsible for communication of information and the sorting out of what is relevant.
  • The Catalyst: Philips Design maintains the creative red thread for the organizations with which it works to ensure it doesn't get watered down. It inspires confidence and motivation; encouraging organizations to get out of the box and embrace the new.
  • The Alchemist: The Alchemist synthesizes the right insights and the right chemistry of the team. Whilst there is no set formula, there are three key factors for success: embrace trial and error, allow creative breathing space, enrich initial ideas. "Not every person in the team needs to have these competencies," Taylor explains, "but the team in total should cover them all."
4. Innovation Matrix model:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

PARK:Developing Young Design Managers

Every month Park sends out a statement on a burning design management issue to 50 international senior design directors. They collect and share their opinions. This issue is about whether organizations should hire design managers straight from school and position them as design leaders. 68% agree, 19% don't agree and 13% don't know.
It's an interesting discussion and myself being a recent graduate of Design Management, understand that education in school is just the tip of the iceberg. But you know what, I got the foundation and have a lifetime to work on getting to my new goals that otherwise whould have not thought of. Some people go to have a higher education with a lot of professional experience under their belts. Education definetely challenges your mind and makes you think deeper. Daily professional job in a way prevent you from being able to be visionary and think about the higher level issues and work on it unless you get upthere and able to have the strategic conversations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ideas about the discipline of Innovation

Doblin has some very interesting ideas about the types of innovation, ways of identifying patterns, and conceptualize businesses. They not only show metrics about innovation but also came up with a visualization tool that make it clear when you see it in a new perspective.
Basically businesses can innovate in one or more in the areas of Business Model, Networks and Alliances, Enabling Process, Core processes, Product Performance, Product System, Service, Channel, Brand and Customer Experience. So where are you trying to innovate? Pick your value add and drive business success!

Designing Workspace

Jump Associates put together some thoughts for making a great creative environment, a place where it's not only to work but also to play. Flexibility and interactivity is key to a living environment.
"A great environment can lift us up, make us better at what we do, and inspire great thoughts. A lousy place can leave us depressed, tired and dull individuals, dying to go home."
If you are leading a creative workforce and want to inspire, thinking about the environment, activities, behaviors, interactinos are imperative. The goal is to make the designer say I love working here, it's fun, spark a lot of creativity and positive energy that we really can make a difference.