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Designing for Networks: Four Provocations
 

Designing for Networks: Four Provocations

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Slides from my talk to the Startup Track at Harvard Arab Weekend 2013

Slides from my talk to the Startup Track at Harvard Arab Weekend 2013

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Designing for Networks: Four Provocations Designing for Networks: Four Provocations Presentation Transcript

  • Designing for Networks: Four provocations ! for Harvard Arab Weekend 9 November 2013 ! by Ian Fitzpatrick
  • Hello. My name is Ian. ! Principal / Chief Strategy Officer, Almighty Mentor, TechStars Mentor, Harvard Innovation Lab @ianfitzpatrick
  • A brief history: ! Student of philosophy to founder of Unwrapped to music journalism to design research at Mattel to production at Havas / Euro RSCG to founder, Almighty
  • A caveat: ! It will, occasionally, seem as though I particularly dislike marketing. And startups. This is not really the case. ! I just believe in people.
  • Let’s start here: ! Using channels and tools designed for the needs of larger competitors, but at a smaller scale, is not a viable strategy for resourcestarved startups.
  • Here’s a useful way to think about ‘marketing’: ! The price that organizations pay for improperly aligning the value they provide to the needs of users.
  • ! Put another way, courtesy of John Willshire: ! Make things people want > Make people want things
  • Value: ! It’s what gets me to buy/use/pay attention to you because it’s more useful/helpful/enjoyable than the 1000 other important things I could/should/would otherwise be doing instead.
  • The product experience and the marketing experience are intertwined.
  • Currency is (a) measure of value, and it takes (at least) two important forms: ! 1. The direct value of a product, service or experience (or information about it). 2. The indirect value of exclusive access to that information, product or service.
  • Four provocations for the startup enterprise:
  • Provocation #1: Who uses what you make?
  • When someone asks what you do, do you describe a market need or a human need?
  • Audiences are passive receivers. Users are active participants. This distinction is not trivial.
  • It has never been easier or less-expensive to learn about what your users want and need.
  • It’s probably time to start thinking (far) beyond your vertical. ! Only organizations talk about ‘best in class’. People talk in terms of what they like.
  • Provocation #2: It’s time to stop equating byproducts with ‘waste’. ! When we make one thing, we almost always make something else. Too often, that byproduct goes unused (which is why we tend to confuse the two).
  • Stories are one kind of byproduct.
  • Data is another.
  • Data & stories about us will spread more than data & stories about you.
  • Provocation #3: Build for, rather than take from, networks. ! It’s more than a magical place to push stuff. No one wants you at their dinner party.
  • Get to know Metcalfe’s Law. ! The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users within it.
  • Adding scale to a network should create value for each user, not just each shareholder. ! How does adding more nodes make your product, experience or service better for users?
  • As a rule of thumb, you should add more value to a network than you take from it.
  • Provocation #4: Design for non-linear engagement. ! (and stop saying ‘engagement’)
  • Traditionally, communications hinged on the sequential consumption of messages, hence ‘communications stream’.
  • In an ecosystem defined increasingly by search and word of mouth (social), sequence is a lot less relevant to the way we process things.
  • Design for a crowd that comes in through the windows, not through the doors.
  • Try this:
  • Pick the most important user and build only with them in mind.
  • Go deep on that user, in their lives, where they operate. Look for gaps in value.
  • Place a lot of small bets. 50 ideas x $100 is better than 5 ideas x $1000.
  • Thank you for listening. ! @ianfitzpatrick