As the exchange of personal data becomes a lynchpin of the modern business model, mobile operators are confronted with new challenges and opportunities. At frog, we’re working with mobile operators on the challenges and opportunities in a world where a richer personal data stream is opening unprecedented possibilities for creating value. This article explores the why behind the market’s development and how operators can use Leverage, Risk, Scale, and Tangibility to evaluate opportunities to create value from personal data.
Personal data is the root of the next-gen business model
Twenty years ago, nobody imagined creating revenue from personal data. But a number of factors—the rise of the Internet, globalization of workforces, heightened access to capital, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit—changed all that by opening the way to rapid social and technological growth. Enter Google, Facebook, Twitter, and a whole new era in the sharing and consumption of information (read: data). All of these business models were predicated on the notion that if you can create a service cheaply and then offer it for free to establish a large user base, value would follow. And it has, mostly in the form of personal data monetization.
Now, by the time you read this, a huge trail of data will have been generated. Nearly everything we do in our daily routes—from checking email to buying coffee or driving to work—leaves distinct trails of data exhaust that describe who we are, what we do, and how we spend our resources. Today, your morning coffee not only gives you a buzz but also generates a rich personal data stream that can be logged, tracked, shared, and monetized.
This is an excerpt from from my new book, Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers, out now from HOW Books.
Culture is everything people in a design business do that supports the process of making work happen. Culture can create joy for designers, while improvements in process can facilitate profit. A common misperception is that culture emerges organically based on the decisions of a business owner or CEO. But a design studio’s culture is not created solely by those at the top. For a design-led business, culture is generated from ongoing contributions and discoveries from both studio owners and employees.
In researching my recent book on how design businesses can be more successful, I began to see important building blocks that were present in the most successful studios. These building blocks are divided into two groups: hard building blocks and soft building blocks. Hard building blocks are realized through a budget, meaning that you can allocate money and time for them as part of business overhead. The soft building blocks can be created through the decisions employees make over the course of their daily work, life and play (with less material investment by the owners).
A healthy studio culture draws equally from both types of building blocks. They provide emotional and material stability to employees in the face of ongoing work challenges, and often clients, family and the general public perceive them as ingredients of the company’s brand. These building blocks are equally present within design firms and in-house design teams—though for the latter, the composition of some building blocks may be heavily influenced by the company's overall behavior and needs.
Let’s take a deep dive into these building blocks, with important questions to ask yourself (and your team) in order to create a strong studio culture.
Approaching a problem with a design mindset is a craft—a way of working that may seem effortless, or even second nature, to a master craftsman, but can prove very hard indeed for a novice. And, like all crafts, it is something you learn by doing rather than by knowing. You can read all about “Design Thinking,” or other user-centric approaches, but it is only when you start to do them, to apply them, and to practice them that you start on the journey to becoming a master craftsman. As a result, these methodologies don’t really lend themselves to classic corporate education seminars. You can learn what they are in a seminar but not how to apply them. Such methodologies do not easily fit into a traditional school curriculum either. Though core curriculum standards are beginning to value twenty-first century skills, such as collaboration and creative problem solving, it is not obvious how a school might integrate the design-mindset into students’ schedules. It’s creative but it’s not “art”; it involves problem solving but it’s not math. So, if design-centric thinking is the future, and schools are not adopting it, how and where might we teach it?
Museums are a great place to start. They aren’t constrained by curriculum, they are environments that celebrate innovation and creativity, and they are often dealing with groups of students looking for an interactive experience.
Download Mobile Ecosystems Evolving
Mobile technology is more than the sum of the world’s portable electronic devices and the supporting telecommunications infrastructure.
Unlike earlier versions of the Internet, the mobile Web is a halo of information that follows us almost everywhere, an increasingly meaningful part of our most minute interactions with the physical world. It is an infinitely complex, dynamic system fed by billions of users and a growing variety of hardware and software programs that generate, transmit, and structure data.
These continuous streams of data are already transforming business on many fronts. How can improved user experience design make the vast trove of data more useful? What role does hardware play in the new digital ecosystems? And as the mobile Web continues to evolve, how will we prefer to interact with it?
frog explored these questions over the course of several weeks in our recent web series, Mobile Ecosystems Evolving. From healthcare, to retail, to enterprise—download the full collection of the insights and perspectives that were shared as we studied the future of mobile technology and its impact on diverse industries.
In today's age of hyper connectivity, data consumption and production will continue to grow at an inexorable pace especially in China and throughout Asia. Organizations will not only be challenged to manage, secure, and understand the data but also to create experiences that consumers find meaningful. With frog's Chief Creative Officer Mark Rolston, Executive Creative Director of Global Insights Jan Chipchase and Executive Creative Director Rainer Wessler, we will explore the notions of radical transparency, intimacy and authenticity that are pushing the boundaries of big data in Asia and enabling a new generation of change agents.
在当下的这个网络世界，数据正在以惊人的速度被生产、被消费。如何更好地管理、保护和理解这些大数据，将是未来几年里，我们所有人的重要工作之一。而其中最关键的，则是要让数据对消费者有价值。本次活动演讲嘉宾包括青蛙设计首席创意执行官Mark Rolston、全球视野洞察执行创意总监Jan Chipchase以及执行创意总监Rainer Wessler。届时，我们将与大家共同探索、搜寻，究竟有哪些开放透明真实的理念在整个亚洲范围内不断推进着大数据的变革。
Join frog at our "Rethinking Big Data" event, to be held at the SOHO Design Center on May 16.
Mobile connectivity is creating and enabling new approaches to markets which have traditionally been hard to crack. For emerging economies, connectivity can improve everyday life for the poorest if companies find a sustainable model for reaching new consumers and understand the complex canvas of emerging markets.
Visa, a payments company, recently partnered with frog to complete a three-month long project in Rwanda to uncover how technology can advance financial inclusion. Teams immersed themselves fully into their local Rwandan surroundings, living alongside the people who would ultimately benefit from financial inclusion to understand their everyday lives more completely.
Join Visa and frog at Singapore's historic Arts House on the evening of May 7, where we will present details of this design research activity plus an innovative model for understanding consumers and building market share in the developing world and beyond.
frog developed the Connected\Projected program to explore potential for emergent, integrated product solutions by blending key trends in technology and user experience design.
Using wireless product-to- product and product-to-user features as well as sensors and laser projection, we created a series of first level “Superprotoypes”. Our prototyping process and the prototypes themselves have triggered an avalanche of new use cases, ecosystems, and product concepts that have all grown out of the seeds of that first idea.
I am discussing mobile application development with the IT manager of a provider of online content and services to millions of users, when the conversation touches on HTML5. He tells me:
“On September 11, 2012, Mack Zuckerberg stated that the biggest mistake made by Facebook was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native. The very next day I got a call from my boss asking me if I was sure our company was not making the same mistake.”
Since that day, I've heard similar stories over and over again as the “Facebook dumps HTML5” headline spread through the web and reached even a non-technical audience. Many IT directors and software architects that had been pushing HTML5 as the future of mobile within their organization began to see their strategy questioned by upper management.
“We provide customers with native applications for iPhone, iPad, and Android to access our online content and services. Each application was launched at a different time and outsourced to a different supplier. Eventually the apps became misaligned to the point that managing updates and adding new features has become a painful process. HTML5 looked like the ideal solution to overcome that, but now I am no longer sure.”
Indeed, HTML5 was hyped as the ultimate write-once-run-anywhere solution for mobile, solving all the problems of cross platform development and device fragmentation. This has been proven to be plainly wrong. Not surprisingly, the old saying “no silver bullet” also applies to mobile applications. On the other hand, HTML5 remains a powerful technology for mobile development, a fact that is demonstrated by well-crafted executions like LinkedIn's original app. When it comes to choosing HTML5 over native or vice versa there is, of course, no universal answer. There are, however, key decision criteria.
There is but one remedy for the Glass wearer - a bucket of iced water in the face whenever you suspect he has taken you unawares
With the public beta launch of Google Glass there has been a lot of discussion on why it will or won’t fail. The ultimate benchmark for success is high: After someone has tried Glass can they imagine life without it?
It’s the wrong question.
Glass is Google’s unintentional public service announcement on the future of privacy. Our traditional bogeyman for privacy was Big Brother and its physical manifestation (closed-circuit TV) but the reality today is closer to what I call Little Sister, and she is socially active, curious, sufficiently tech-savvy, growing up in the land of “free,” getting on with life and creating a digital exhaust that is there for the taking. The sustained conversation around Glass will be sufficient to lead to a societal shift in how we think about the ownership of data, and to extrapolate a bit, the kind of cities we want to live in. For me, the argument that Glass is somehow inherently nefarious misses a more interesting point: It is a physical and obvious manifestation of things that already exist and are widely deployed today, whose lack of physical, obvious presence has limited a mainstream critical discourse.
As a product that is both on-your-face and in-your-face, Glass is set to become lightning rod for a wider discussion around what constitutes acceptable behaviour in public and private spaces. The Glass debate has already started but these are early days; each new iteration of hardware and functionality will trigger fresh convulsions. In the short term Glass will trigger anger, name-calling, ridicule and the occasional bucket of thrown water (whether it’s iced water I don’t know). In the medium term as societal interaction with the product broadens, signs will appear in public spaces guiding mis/use1 and lawsuits will fly, while over the longer term, legislation will create boundaries that reflect some form of im/balance between individual, corporate and societal wants, needs and concerns.
Crowdsourcing Gives Everyone a Voice
The overall response to the Crowd Sourced DJ was overwhelmingly positive. It was described as "novel" and people loved that it allowed them to participate in the music selection. When we probed further about what made it attractive, party-goers were enthusiastic about the philosophy of crowdsourcing, noting that it is a vehicle that gives everyone a voice. We were struck by the passionate tone and language of the participants. Some of the comments included:
- "It's for the community by the community,"
- "It's democratic,"
- "You have a chance to have a say"
However, while people embraced the spirit of crowdsourcing, many openly acknowledged that it compromised the quality of the output. We heard comments like:
- "The masses have bad taste"
- "I don't trust the public"
And yet those interviewed did not perceive the conflict between crowd selections and individual taste as an inherent negative. One music-savvy partygoer intimated that while the music being played did not align with his preferences, it still "fell within his range of acceptability." In the context of a large social experience, like a party, the spirit of empowering the crowd reigns supreme. Many people acknowledged the party context and noted that there's a time and place for everything. So while crowdsourcing is okay in one moment and social environment, it may not be appropriate for every situation.