Monday, April 19, 2010

Dare to be different

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. Technological advancement varies greatly from industry to industry, but very little within an industry. It seems like the companies within an industry care more about matching their competition, and less about bettering the competition.


Industries without pressure to innovate usually stagnate. The thought process goes something like this: If the competition isn’t advancing, why should we?

Here’s my question: What if one company stepped forward and dared to be different?

For example, if I found a doctor who provided access to a web portal that I could visit and pay my bills, view my records, schedule appointments, etc… that would be a huge selling point. If I was reasonably comfortable with the doctor, I would switch in an instant.

Another example: I know of b2b insurance companies that still require hand-written, faxed applications. Everything is manual and nothing is on the web. It’s not just one company either, it’s the entire industry. If one company stepped forward and offered online applications, customer portals, online bill pay, etc… wouldn’t that be a big differentiator? Of course it would.

If you’re stuck in a stagnate industry…what’s holding you back? What keeps your company from taking the lead and forcing the competition to catch up? If you’re worried that it’s too expensive, time consuming, or difficult, I recommend you take a look at m-Power. m-Power allows you to quickly and easily create web applications that interface with your current software. If you want to see it for yourself, take m-Power for a free test drive.


Anonymous 11:23 AM  

The reasons are everyday reasons:
1. People have to focus time and resources within the boundaries of their industry because that's what their told and how they're rewarded.
2. This creates blindness. People used to chat and mentor and help deal with blindnesses. They're too busy these days.
3. People used to party at conferences and bump into strangers with compatible interests at public events and shared spaces like golf courses, bowling leagues, public schools, big industry events. All that is going away or getting more specialized. More bumping into people you already know.
4. Kids are being given encapsulated childhoods run by adults, managed by adults. Kids aren't hands on and handling problems themselves. Pick up sports became adult run leagues. Kids assemble legos instead of twine and sticks. They don't take apart digital clocks because what's the point? So they don't see how things work, how they are made of parts that break, and how to repair those parts or find substitutions. We are losing our minds when it comes to hands-on knowledge.
5. Computers and IT have accelerated the disconnect between people. Doctors spend less face time with patients and teachers spend less face time with students. Because of the requirements of digital paperwork. And because the digital tools demand you divert your time to learn them. This is changing with empathic UI design so digital tools of the near future will learn you and your preferences and adjust to give you a customized experience.
6. Mergers and Acquisitions led to a disconnect between designers (planners in the C-Suite) and users (frontline folks who deal with customers). Watch the CBS Sunday hit show "Undercover Boss" to see how quickly this can be dealt with well.

There's more. We're launching stuff. I'm on twitter as eggdawg.

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