Going behind Ford Model-T, black…
It all started October 1, 1908. Before each
car was special one builded for each
customer, specially designed for that
customer, very expensive and very difficult to
maintain1 and repair.
After Henry Ford cars where no more
builded for that particular single customer,
car was for everyone of us. Not a fancy car,
THAT car with one design, same features
and even one color: black.
Was a huge success, but then things
changed: we now have the possibility of
choosing the car we like more among the
available ones and we may choose among a
lot of different options.
This approach is common to most of the
products and services offered on the market,
but, oddly enough, NOT in most of the
internet based services2 .
The last time you asked your bank to buy an home banking service did you get a list of different
products to choose among, a large list of options?
Most probably no!
You got a username, a one time password key and the indication that the PIN will be delivered later by
The most important feature of the Ford ModelT was to be the first one builded with interchangeable parts, before
each car had different parts and in case of failure it was necessary to adapt it, the chain production is only a
byproduct of this approach. This is something that should teach us a lot of things, but is another story.
The same concept applies to most of the software packages and operating systems, but again another story.
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There are a lot of different customers, there are a lot of functionalities and possible operations but
apparently the onesizefitsall philosophy is still there!
We should have different products with the possibility of choosing different functions and different
working procedures. As an example a customer that makes a payment every week will love multiple
pages wizard helping him step by step, but a customer that makes 10 payments a day will love to have
a single page fast multiple payments form.
The system could also continuously analyze customer's activities and propose the alternatives that
seems more suitable for that particular customer. Of course log and behavioural analysis could also
be an important instrument to help us building new and better ways of delivering services.
The idea of adaptive system is not new, it is somehow an extension of the old idea of programming by
examples: big data and computing power are the enabling technologies that could make it a reality.
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