Designing for Networks:
for Harvard Arab Weekend
9 November 2013
by Ian Fitzpatrick
Hello. My name is Ian.
Principal / Chief Strategy Ofﬁcer, Almighty
Mentor, Harvard Innovation Lab
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
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
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
Currency is (a) measure
of value, and it takes
(at least) two important
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.
When someone asks
what you do, do you
describe a market need
or a human need?
Audiences are passive
receivers. Users are
This distinction is not
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.
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).