Friday, 24 January 2014

The 4 steps: Tech Disruption (BitCoin) vs. Design Disruption (Herman Miler's 2011 $1.6B rev)

Technologists are known for taking apart (breaking) rules and things, reassembling them and creating disruptions - the mother of invention's doppelganger. But how do designers do it? Here's how BitCoin is doing it and Herman Miller has done it.

A recent article describes one of many basic 4 step disruption models. This one by Steven Sinofsky - Board Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz whose founder Mark Andreesen brought Tim Berner Lee's World Wide Web to Life. Andreesen's web server prototype system at Michigan University, turned into the 1994 commercial success Netscape - the 1st commercially dominating web brower and web server technology. Steven's article and model here describes the basic process:Disruption of Incumbent, Rapid linear evolution, Appealing Convergence, Complete Reimagination. And Andreesen Horowitz is doing the same with Bitcoin having invested $40M in Bitcoin based startups so far. Mark describes how and why in a perfect Bitcoin blitzkrieg of strategy and execution purpose here. 

But Herman Miller is no Andreesen Horowitz VC or maker of Netscape. Or is it? Just one of Herman Miller's line the "Action Office" started in 1968 has alone generated $5B in revenue with total Herman Miller worldwide revenue topping $1.6B in 2011 alone. How have they done it? In possibly one of the best overall descriptions 108 Years of Herman Miller in 108 Seconds but how did they do it: similar to Steven's model above.

Now the harder question: which lasts longer: Netscape or An Eames Chair? 
And which one would you want to sit and read a story to your grandchild in?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Renovation + Design = almost $9B in 2012

Innovation vs. Renovation is a touchy subject, but when one firm reports almost $9B in 2012 via design, eyebrows are sure to raise. Dissimilar to the Nike Fuel Band, UP, Supersoaker discussion, Swatch hasn't "innovated" they've embraced the design canvas. Here's how:

In "Creating New Value for Old Innovations" the discussion surrounds how the tired old watch was "innovated" from 10% of the worlds watching being made in Switzerland to almost none until the emergence of Swatch. Did Swatch just grow via NPD or did they innovate? No they renovated. And they continue to renovate the humble watch every year tirelessly via designers and their paintbrushes and pencils on the face of a watch and band. Following Schumpeter as we always do this time via "The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics: Creative Destruction" and MIT"s "Creative Destruction", the underlying principal is design and the object as a canvas for designers is this time a watch - constant renovation & renovation at it's finest 

Unlike The Nike Fuel Band, Facebook and a host of other product and industries that did not exist before they were created and unrelated to other products before, renovation is a separation of church and state. How not to do this, how to incorrectly wield design is best described via Forbes " Creative Destruction Is Not A Management Philosophy - It Can Be Avoided Kodak, Hostess, Microsoft"