Monday, 18 July 2011

The PreCog's at Ebay's PreViz Hive

In the future forward film Minority Report, the PreCogs organized themselves as a hive mind with the capability to pre-perceive events that were to take place allowing for crime to be eliminated. While firms usually form R&D labs to create further innovations, design "groups" have also been used to focus and develop scenarios, testing environments and ultimately prototypes of goods and services that can be evaluated for next generation breakthroughs.

MIT's media lab, London's RCA IDE program and private initiatives such as Ebay's PreViz group do just that. More the lessons learned from Ebay's group are some of the basic building blocks for the development of consistent innovations similar to what GE, XEROX PARC, AT&T, etc., have been doing for years.

These programs and the internal mechanisms used in these groups are the building blocks of a firms capability to stay ahead of competitors and ultimately the marketplace. Firms consistantly staying on the cutting edge therefore are poised for growth by delighting customers with functionality BEFORE it is even requested or understood as valuable by the customer - one of the best definitions of innovation.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Design in the Boardroom

Today an interesting article became available regarding design and the boardroom. From the perspective of "newness" it is the design team the defines this. Some have also argued that it comes from the marketing team, and the sales team and yes it does. However the larger question, and most often overlooked is for what TIME FRAME do these two departments have influence over product offerings and to what level of effectiveness do these teams contribute to the longevity of a firms position in the market.

The simple argument, the COO is responsible as CMO and CTO functions reporting into the COO are effectively combined with design to form the basis for timely development. HOWEVER shifts have begun to emerge in many firms where positions such as the Head of Global Product Development are being offered seats at the board for the simple purpose of expanding the often limited scope of the 6mo, 1yr, and 2yr strategic plans typical when COO, CTO and CMO discussions are had at the board level. This ISDA article on Design in the Boardroom sets a good indication of how this is happening.