I have bumped into Clay Shirky’s presentation: “It’s not information overload, it’s filter failure”. I couldn’t agree more. For the past 2 years I am fantasizing about a magic attention application which will deliver only the information that I want.
Clay’s point is that Information Overload (IO) will get worse. The reasons are clear and simple:
- Exponential growth in Information Producers (IPs) – Everyone has a blog. EVERYONE has a profile on facebook. And it’s getting worse.
- Time to publish (TtP) shortens over time – A couple of years ago you had to be around an internet connection. Then you had to login to your account over an ISDN 56k connection to a bloated CMS in order to publish to the web. Today you can publish from you mobile phone within seconds.
- Free time for publishing (FTfP) – As people already see blogs and other publishing tools as important means for marketing and promotion, as well as keeping in touch, they free more time for those activities.
Now, the equation is simple: IO = IPs * (FTfP / TtP) – this simple math points that IO is skyrocketing.
So, as Clay claims, it is a matter of filters now.
Here is my wish list:
- I want to get only 10 posts per day via my RSS reader. Currently I get over 70, and this is after my RSS diet… I manually filter them to the 10-20 most important of the day.
- I want to get only 30 mails per day (70-100 a day today and counting). I want to get the important ones by importance context so I can focus on the important stuff.
- I want to get the top 10 most important and relevant news headlines for me (I currently read YNET and The Marker from Israel and NYTimes twice a day at least).
- I want to get the most new and interesting 10 links for me each day.
If in the midst of this financial downturn, someone will go for it, I am sure that he will see a huge ROI. I am waiting for the “Semantic Web” but I’m afraid we’ll have to wait at least 4-5 years…
Usually when I try to tell people how important are infographics in a world where the amount of generated data is growing exponentially, I get this strange look. So, NewsMap is nice but is a gimmick, and SparkLines… well…. why the hell do we need such small graphs when you can have a big one?
But the Map of The Market overview by SmartMoney helped me nail it (At least with those who find some interest in the stock market). Suddenly, the power of infographics is so evident. It takes only a short glance to see what’s the status of the market today (the last year or 26 weeks) and how did it perform. You can also quickly notice the exceptional companies that performed better than the market.
I really love management and organizational theories. I spend a fair amount of my time reading books on this subjects (Usually 2 or 3 at a time).
One cannot love those subjects without reading the materials and concepts of the biggest theoretician of them all – the late Peter Drucker.
Currently, I am reading his book “The Effective Executive” and I am enjoying every moment. While reading the book I have bumped into a very interesting idea of his concerning the complexity of organizations. It did remind me of the 37signals model.
And it goes like this (taken from page 14 on the book):
The fewer people, the smaller, the less activity inside, the more nearly perfect is the organization.
And it really works well with Seth Godin’s “Small is the new big” and Tom Peters’ idea of the Professional Service Firm (PSF).
The only difference is that Drucker wrote about this in 1967. 1-9-6-7. That’s right, 40 years ago. This man knew what he was talking about.
Well… it’s always time for innovation and focus.
But, it seems that we will be facing some hard times in business in the coming year or two. It is in these times, when resources are scarce and options are limited, that innovation and focus are crucial for business success. Businesses and organizations must get out of their comfort zones. The old and pricey way of doing things will not work when budgets will be cut, and a blurry execution will not take advantage of the budgets left.
Consumers will get picky as to where they should spend their dollars, and businesses which will find innovative ways and will focus on effective execution to make their product cheaper or more valuable, will win the game.
Consider marketing – in the lack of adequate marketing budgets, people will have to find new and cheap ways to market their products and services. Some of the most amazing marketing initiatives were born when marketing budgets were too small to be using the traditional marketing channels. (Yes, yes… the same old half.com story).
Those are the times when the individuals within the organization matter the most. The organizations which have nurtured innovation will be getting now a return on their investment. Those who neglected innovation will pay the price…
Design thinking can transform your business. Tim Brown explains how on HBR.
Being a small business is not an excuse. I agree and think it is a tremendous opportunity to create a unique User Experience.
Insights from Starbucks marketing chief. They surely know how to innovate.
Technology is not the answer for everything. The super interestingcase of Dabbawala demonstrates this.
Posted in WeekMarks
Service design is an evolving field which clearly connects business success with design. Stefan Moritz has a great white paper about it.
Peter Coughlan video keynote from MX 2008, on how to strengthen UX design skills within an organization.
Customer satisfaction is a result of employee satisfaction. Ask Herb Keller from SouthWest Airlines.
Customer Experience is critical and this is an era of EBD – Experience Based Differentiation.
Prototyping of retail spaces to improve customer experiences.
Posted in WeekMarks
There is a huge buzz around Zappos recently. I had some questions on my mind regarding the great culture of that company (which is clearly it’s competitive advantage). The main thing was whether this culture was born in lengthy strategy meetings or was it more of an evolution of the company.