Sxsw tree slideshare

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Here's a slightly edited version of the material I presented at SXSW 2011 in a session called "Will your Technology Survive? Ask a Tree"

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Sxsw tree slideshare

  1. 1. Huge thanks to:Stephen Strong, Karen McGrane, Robbie Whiting, GarethKay, Eric Goodwin, Eric Reiss, Jay Pattisal, Ed Cotton,David Terry, Karl Turnbull, Joe Gray, Mark Pollard, MichaelFassnacht, Chris Miller, Nick Bilton, Faris Yakob, GriffinFarley, William Charnock, Abby Covert, Eddy Hodgson,Al Gross, Kevin Drew Davis, John Kenny, Steve Himel,Finn Brunton, Russ Unger, Eric Vogeleer, Kristin Cavallo,Peter Totman, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Emily Brennan, RadTollett, Scott Johnson, Dave Knoepfle, Nat Jones, ShaneMcDaniel, Ric Johnson, Judy Immel, Bill Taylor, DawnBaskin, Claire Grinton, Patrick Moorhead, Bud Caddell,Stephanie Kelly, Soton Rosanwo, Anna Parker, MarcWilson, Michael Leis, Jason Mitton, Mary Knight, TomTrenta, Dave Clark, Sam Yagan, Shane McDaniel, Anna
  2. 2. Will your technology succeed? Ask a tree.
  3. 3. "Didnt anyone ever stop to consider thatthe machismo laden boast of the venture capital community that their model works well, when 90% of VC bets fail, might, just perhaps, be a little too forgiving? -Pip Coburn, The Change Function
  4. 4. Getting even a tiny bit better at making the right bets in the IdeasxPeoplexTechnologyspace would save us a huge amount of anguish and resource.
  5. 5. How are we making decisions on whattechnologies will resonate and beadopted? Game Designers Mobile MarketersInterviewed 48 developers Digital brandsuccessful strategists UX Experts IxPxTprofessionals Tech analysts Programmersworking in the Venture App Developers Capitalistsspace Game Social media theorists experts
  6. 6. Q: How does it feel to you,personally, to work in this space right now?
  7. 7. Why does it feel so exciting/overwhelming? Probably because technology (the wind) is causinghuman behavior (the tree) to change pretty dramatically and erratically right now. And that makes guessing the future really tough.
  8. 8. Q: Will technology _____thrive, survive, or wither?
  9. 9. It will succeed becausecool, yes or no. Is it it does something that humans need - to connect with their neighbors ItSpreadability or failI based on tellPersonalize about this I other social tools where will succeed - am willing to how well it connects into do this. Gut reaction. it. Would my friends to me personally people are spending their natural and useful I just ask - does it feel tim Will the average person spend 5 minutes with it? Is it interesting enough? Can It are asking for a new behavior I find it interesting" it essentially comes down to "do You survive the market dynamics interest personally? Does this thing spark my Is it friendly and usable, does it look nice? Look at the media habits of themy fiends about it? Do I feel like telling all of target. Personal reactions IsDoes it feel natural straight away it offering grab me toof gamification to keep them progressing Does it some sort me personally? throughait, to keep them it come naturally It is chore, or does engaged? Does it have a social aspect to enable its spread? Is there social contagion layer Does it have a social aspect to it? Spreadability Will influential people blog about it? Is it offering things like it seem to work? Do other people sufficient benefit? Are there similar things in the market that are working? It’ll fail because scalable lazy to leave everything on Not we’re too Facebook or transfer everything over. Is it connected to human behavior Is it Can it be monetized? And how? asking too much change of people? Barriers Does it make me learn a new behavior DoIs it connected toon download thrive the math based commerce to Get on Forrester and see if people are doing this, or doing things like this.Looking Forrester and see what they are doing - theyre not up loaders, 
 Think of the business motives of the developers.so we cant Behaviorask Is it big an ask?to human behavior they do? connected Is too to make content, so, what do them Do other things like it seem to work? How another, bigger player social tools that people are using? Will does it play with other replicate it? Can it scale? Are there similar things in the market that are working? Business dynamics Could another technology gobble it up? Is it on-trend? Will another player in the market buy it out?Is it making it easier to do something that I fundamentally want to do? Is it genuinely useful? Human nature Does it feel like an organic extension of something Im already doing? What’s the consumer insight? about it? Are my friends tweeting Is it expressing something that’s in our interesting, or not? Do I think that it’s fundamentally nature? How would I keep score and know if I’m good at it? Do the math based on download
  10. 10. Our personal reactions definitely matter. But beware. We are becoming less and less likeour audience with each passing year.
  11. 11. Q: Be totally honest. When you first heard aboutAmerican Idol, did you think it would ever be assuccessful as it eventually became?Yes. I could see from the beginning it was gonna be huge. 19%No. I admit Im surprised it caught on like it did. 80% * Informal poll conducted among 88 marketing professionals who ought to be better at predicting this stuff. 1/2011
  12. 12. “There is great danger in assuming that you are anything like your audience.” - Eddy Hodson
  13. 13. "I would never have thought people would ever tweet about mundane sh*t and that other people would read it and like it, so I never get too cocky"- David Terry- on the wisdom of W+K philosophy "walking in stupid everyday"
  14. 14. “The next huge step forward in technology isn’t a technology, it’smainstream people actually being able to use what’s already out there.” - Steve Himel
  15. 15. Smartphone penetrationTablet penetration
  16. 16. “We desperately want to work in the future. And we need to be careful about that.” - Russ Unger
  17. 17. “Now that we have progress so rapid that it can be observed from year toyear, no one calls it progress. People call it change, and rather than yearn for it, the brace themselves against its force.” - Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now
  18. 18. OK. So I cant just use my own feelings as a proxy. Ill study the actual behavior of my audience in the space.That way Ill know what theyll embrace and adopt.
  19. 19. "Current "Behavior is behavior ishuman nature constrained by filtered throughopportunity." VS technological barriers that could disappear tomorrow." - Clay Shirkey - Nick Bilton
  20. 20. Your audiences current behavior isonly really useful for what it tells youabout their wants, needs and nature.
  21. 21. "Somewhat successful technologies arebuilt off of observing how people behave.Really successful technologies are built off understanding what people need. - Abby Covert
  22. 22. Social forces (like technology)Rapid changeHuman behavior (the tree)Changes quickly and erraticallyHuman nature (the roots)Change VERY slowly, if at all
  23. 23. “Unless it connects to people on a deep,visceral and human level, it won’t work.” - Jon Steel
  24. 24. OK, so how do I define human nature?
  25. 25. ?
  26. 26. Growth Achievement Inspiration Adventure Optimism ?Freedom Virtue Self OtherFocused FocusedIndulgence Responsibility Power Caution Belonging Dependence Stability
  27. 27. ?
  28. 28. ?“All human actions have one or more of theses even causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion , desire ."  -Aristotle
  29. 29. ?
  30. 30. When it comes to technology, evolutionary psychology can be massively insightful
  31. 31. Basic human nature and drives have remained constant for a very long time A handful of those drives seem to lie behind much of our Internet behavior. The fact that religion has called out,named and forbidden behaviors suggeststhat powerful elements of human nature drive them.
  32. 32. Vanity
  33. 33. Pride
  34. 34. Greed
  35. 35. But theres a brighterside to our nature that drives a lot of our behavior too.
  36. 36. SurvivalReproductionKin investment Reciprocity
  37. 37. Or brains evolved with specific structuresdesigned for empathy and reciprocation.
  38. 38. This image has been altered to protect the innocent Richard Dawkins My mom is having surgery tomorrow morning. Please keep her in your thoughts.
  39. 39. The genius of Facebook is in making thereciprocal relationships we need easier. Thinking of youI cant exactly hit the "like" button here to reciprocate now, can I? What if Facebook could make other reciprocation "like button-easy"
  40. 40. The skills and structures we evolved forface-to-face reciprocation are challenged by online anonymity.
  41. 41. One last deadly sin.Its so powerful in driving technology- related behavior that it gets its own section.
  42. 42. Beware Sloth
  43. 43. The genius of human nature is thatwere lazy. We got brilliant at figuring out how to avoid doing stuff byinventing something to do it for us." - Jamie Shuttleworth
  44. 44. So what does all of this mean to us?Think of the tree. And remember four simple rules:
  45. 45. One: think about the roots first.What fundamental human desire or need is this the filling. Start there, instead of checking there later.
  46. 46. Two: When we look at behavior, remember it’s probably constrained.What’s relevant about behavior is that itindicates something in our nature that drives it, not the behavior itself
  47. 47. Three: Go broad and deepinto human nature. The more of it you appeal to, the more engaging the experience.
  48. 48. Four: Remember “we’re simpler creatures than we’d like to think.”*Appeal to as basic a part of our nature as you can. Give us superpowers. - Mark Pollard
  49. 49. Five: Don’t make guesses about human nature if you don’t have to. Generatemultiple expressions of your idea, and letpeople reveal their nature through theirbehavior. Then iterate and double down on success.
  50. 50. Huge thanks to:Stephen Strong, Karen McGrane, Robbie Whiting, GarethKay, Eric Goodwin, Eric Reiss, Jay Pattisal, Ed Cotton,David Terry, Karl Turnbull, Joe Gray, Mark Pollard, MichaelFassnacht, Chris Miller, Nick Bilton, Faris Yakob, GriffinFarley, William Charnock, Abby Covert, Eddy Hodgson,Al Gross, Kevin Drew Davis, John Kenny, Steve Himel,Finn Brunton, Russ Unger, Eric Vogeleer, Kristin Cavallo,Peter Totman, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Emily Brennan, RadTollett, Scott Johnson, Dave Knoepfle, Nat Jones, ShaneMcDaniel, Ric Johnson, Judy Immel, Bill Taylor, DawnBaskin, Claire Grinton, Patrick Moorhead, Bud Caddell,Stephanie Kelly, Soton Rosanwo, Anna Parker, MarcWilson, Michael Leis, Jason Mitton, Mary Knight, TomTrenta, Dave Clark, Sam Yagan, Shane McDaniel, Anna

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