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CES and Macworld--Where Consumers Become Producers

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on January 7, 2006

The avalanche of stuff—and I do mean stuff—coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is overwhelming but one trend is clear to me: companies that want to succeed must be in the enabling business, not the product or even the service business. Today, you have to build capabilities of entertainment, shopping, education, employment, you name it. Consumers increasingly demand to be their own producers and companies must collaborate and co-create with them. All the talk about platforms and convergence and content is about people building their very own products and services to fit their lives. Macworld will be no different from CES.

Sam Lucente, the design/brand experience/innovation genius at HP said it all at a recent HP/IDSA conference when he blurted out—to his own amazement—the epiphany that designers can no longer design products alone, using their brilliance and magic. They are no longer in the business of product or service design. Whether it is consulting with consuming people on the streets of Chicago or in the villages of India, design is all about integration of those you design for into the core process of design. Look at all the “tricking out” of cars these days. It’s one of the biggest things out of the LA Auto Show and will be a big theme in Detroit next week. All the hot car sites let you trick out your new auto and Business Week is teaming up with JD Power to launch a new Auto Channel that to do even more for individual customization.

And it’s not all about products either. Take Google and Yahoo and all the portals and sites that are now name brands trusted by people around the world. BuzzMachine notes a smart Ad Age piece about these new brands and warns that people trust them because they allow individuals to find, choose, edit, manage and just their own sources of information on their own. Gap, Starbucks, Levy’s Verizon, Motorola, Citibank—I don’t have to continue. You get it.

We’re moving way beyond the “consumer experience” here folks. It’s time to dust up on C.K. Prahalad’s book on Co-Creation. It’s the post-design, Big D Design Era. Or something like it. I’m just beginning to understand it. Time for a book I think. So please help. What do you think? Give me twelve chapter titles and I’ll give you the next stage in the evolution of design—and capitalism. CEOs take note. This discussion could determine your future and the future of your corporation’s global success.

Reader Comments

Georges de Wailly

January 8, 2006 6:39 PM

Co-creation! What's a nice concept! Unfortunately, it is outdated! Strange? Not at all! The future is to symbiotic design. Co-create supposes a too long time to market! Symbiotic creation supposes real partnerships at all steps of the product's lifecycle. In co-creation, you can establish relationships between designers and customers. Later you establish relationships between designers and engineers, later a relation engineers-production unit. These stagged way of thinking introduces time wastes. The relationship management for the future will have to remove barriers as much as possible. IPTs and IPPDs (Integrated product teams and integrated product and process development) are newborn children.
Following the TRIZ evolution, an efficient management should evolve for strictly hierarchical (linear) to collaborative(2D) to buckyball(3D) and later to nanotube (3D + linear)
So a more efficient way of work should be to have marketing, designers and engineers working together with the client. The goal is to developp new products but also new services.
I do believe that massive customization is an entry point to set up such a way of doing job!
I wish everybody a very innovative new year,
Georges de Wailly


January 9, 2006 1:05 PM

deal, bruce.

here is my table of content:

the enabling economy in a creating society

1. a short history of linearity and balance – lessons from a modern age

2. after the experience society: the creating society
“getting involved instead of being entertained”

3. the creating organization - integration, leadership, processes…

4. after the brand economy: the enabling economy
“open my eyes and i’ll love you forever” – expanding the customers’ parameters is the driving force in the enabling economy

5. 3x design – a) aesthetics (laws of formgiving), b) co-creation (processes of experience design), c) fashions (roles of culture)

6. no marketing required. - 1:1 production closes the structural gap between producer and customer. a whole new game…

7. brand new brand – “sing thy song, customer!”
successful brands are not the ones that guard their one code rigidly but those that live in a thousand interpretations, colors and voices.

8. new market communication – between motivation, provocation and interaction

9. laws of leadership in the enabling economy

10. culture as the ultimate resource in the enabling economy – the five layers of culture

11. culture as the ultimate resource in a global economy: creation, access and protection

12. the whole picture: culture, economy, and politics in the creating society

Ed Geiselhart

January 16, 2006 8:31 PM

The integration of the consumer into the process used to design for them should not be new to anyone in the design industry, as it is the cornerstone of a successful development approach.

Implicit in this notion of integration is the ability to understand the appropriate manner in which the consumer wants and needs are integrated, and how those opportunities harmonize with other business considerations for the enterprises) involved. It's a process which demands to be intelligently managed. This is where the brilliance and magic of designers should not be ignored. Successful enabling of consumers should entail defining what boundaries should exist in a product/system/service to guide users, to nurture simplicity, and to promote positive use experiences. Successful design methodologies apply designers' expertise beyond form development, to translate the needs, concerns, and desires of the consumer into something actionable, real, and meaningful.

In this capacity, consumer integration is not the 'next' new thing, but rather a universal constant that informs all new development.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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