So just what have I been up to?
I’ve been dividing my time between a major initiative and product development. Much of my involvement revolves around Evidence Based Marketing – and it’s literally that deadly. It’s that level of sustainable competitive advantage. It’s like a Philosoraptor armed with an RPG, riding a shark. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah.
The most interesting aspect has been the integration of measurement science with information architecture with development with creative with product development. There are continuous collisions between the desire for intuitive simplicity with utility with robust functionality with elegant design with data accuracy – all within budget and a desired launch date of yesterday.
The best business models are those which you solve a problem for a group of customers and they give you money in exchange for doing that for them. If the problems were were trying to solve were easy to solve and the integration of multiple considerations were easy – well – we’d either be doing it wrong or we wouldn’t be successful. I know that based on the quality of the discourse, the attention to detail, and a disposition towards evidence that we’re doing well. The market is voting and we’re winning.
Many of us come from a very orthodox user-centered design thinking school. Many of us come from a very orthodox product development lifecycle. Much work and time is spent doing aggressive inquiry – asking why somebody has come to a particular conclusion with a desire to understand. And when people not only come from very different professional backgrounds – but actually use different languages that within themselves have very specific meanings and biases – well – it’s all the more challenging. Much to the credit of the teams – there’s a lot more meaningful discourse aimed at solving very specific (and frequently wicked) problems.
Within socialTALK, a product that helps you manage and measure your social media presence and impact, we have an evidence based marketing experience. The initial version of that tab was designed to be very simple and laid out in an intuitive cause/effect, count and ratio, format. The initial dashboard communicated, clearly, that this is what you’re doing – and this is how people are responding. The evidence is right there. Subsequent versions of socialTALK are looking more robust – with the same attention to detail. When you put a lot of thought into it – it just naturally looks easy. (That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to actually make it that way!).
The ability to actually optimize the experience for your communities through a single interface is particularly exciting. The unification of reaction-action-reaction-action is coming together. I’m working extremely hard to make the experience of doing and learning and doing better again as elegant and clear as possible. In effect – working hard to solve your problem so you don’t have to.
The second reason why post activity has been reduced was eMetrics London. It was a whirlwind 48 hours – 18 of which were spent in airplanes and preparing for it. I went over. I listened. I said my piece. I was heard. I got some very good feedback.
In sum, I’ve been spending a lot of time feeding the shark and making sure the RPG is ready to go. Philosoraptor is always on my side.