I Love Technology.

I am not 100% sure, how, when or why I fell in love with technology. My most obvious guess would be somewhere between efficiency, eliminating boredom, the fast pace it changes at and my childhood interest in imaginary new innovations. Within technology development, usage (both personally and professionally) as well as the economics, philosophy and psychology of technology, I always find myself in one position.

STANDING IN THE SHOES OF THE PERSON. That is by far my favourite position.

And I am not referring to the buzz word – customer centric – that every consultant throws around the boardroom table, no, I am referring to HUMAN BEINGS.

This is probably one of the best examples I could find, again one of those that I am so delighted to stumble upon, as it takes all my complex insights and illustrates the scrambles of my mind in simple points. Another, further illustrating where my head is at is:

http://www.cluetrain.com/

Since I find myself in the banking industry, and against my initial expectation I am starting to really enjoy the industry I thought would be worse than being stuck in a society where people only wear ugly clothes. But it is not, in fact, it is rather fascinating,

and I don’t think I am the only one that thinks so, according to the BRANDZ 2010 report

Even more fascinating, is the FUTURE OF BANKING.

(source: slideshare.net – and i wish i could remember the name of the presentation)

This iPhone 5 mobile payment prediction in particular – READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

The lines between telecommunications, banks and retailers are all blurring. Think MPesa, Pick n Pay Banking, Cardless Mobile Payments, and somewhat unconventional payment review technologies popping up everywhere

-my choice for the day – BLIPPY

Basically an online mobile payment tracker & reviewer. In simple terms, you buy something, and you post it with a review of the product you have bought. You can follow your friends, but you can also see exactly what everyone has said about a product you might want to buy,or service or anything really. And here is the key differentiating factor – you know that they have actually bought it.

To me, it just makes sense, it is more relevant, but whether people will take onto it, well that is what we will probably learn in time. Any Ideas? Perhaps just what Vodacom’s The Grid need, a Location Based Purchasing Review Functionality, or have they already done that, it just missed the USER experience. Typical Fail.

And on that note,

Today I would like to end off my love for people in technology, with a quote, which for the life of me I cannot relocate where I found it, but it has become one of my corner stones in strategic thinking around technology development –

” What is remarkable about the growth of technology, is not how rapidly the hardware has evolved, nor the software, networks or even the internet,

BUT RATHER

the fundamental way in which technology is changing human behaviour…

P>S – just some cool stuff to check out, if you have not already:

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The Changing World We Live In

We all have different opinions and experiences influencing our perception of when the world started changing, personally for me it all started back in April 2005 when Thomas L. Friedman published one of the most influential books probably released that year –

http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/the-world-is-flat
We were entering Globalization 3, and it happened whilst we were sleeping. The world has changed from:
Countries ——>    Companies ——>    Individuals
The world became a flat global playing platform, the product of:

horizontal convergence of the Personal Computer, Fibre Optical Cables, Workflow Software & Standardized protocols, The Internet and later the WWW which brought about a technological revolution that transformed every aspect of business, life & society, which not even the Global Conglomerates could have prepared for.

My favourite flattener and most indulged concept since, that day in April 2005 when I read the whole book in one day, have always been “The Steroids”
“ Technologies that turbo charges and enables information  – digitization; at high speed; wirelessly (mobile) shared on personal devices –
FASTER< FARTHER<CHEAPER and more easily!

And this is exactly where the Google’s, the tweeters, the ipads, the Facebook’s of the world fit in.Soon after the “The World is Flat” , the discovery of things exploded as more and more journalists, authors and bloggers  illustrated the changing world we live in, and each in their own individual right trying to make sense of this phenomena we find ourselves living through.

Think, Freakanomics, Tipping Point, Google, Life Inc, 7 habits of highly effective people, Good to Great, Who moved my cheese? , The Power of Now, The Innovators Dillema and more recently – SUPERCONNECT

Snippets below from a presentation illustrates where my thoughts are floating:

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Opening Keynote at the Creative Company Conference by arne van oosterom (SOURCE)

Soon organizations started changing, with unconventional ways of thinking, where the old age of bureaucracy and people management are influenced by the changing world we live in –

The MEDIA REVOLUTION – key ingredient in the changing world we live in:

And today we are presented with what is called Web 3.0:

Digital convergence is taking on new meaning as we start seeing the proliferation of  the internet across television, mobile devices and any other electronic devices both online & offline. The word interactivity takes on new meaning.

Technological innovations both online and offline brought about a modern day culture recently defined as the “ Innovation Insanity “ The media realized that the power are shifting into the hands of the consumers and publishing took on a different style of make up. People all over the world are realizing the playground is becoming smaller, and we are moving into an era where soon it will be one Global Technologically Connected world we live in.

The impact on society stretches into every industry where technological innovations and the internet changes the workplace, medicine, dating, drinking, eating, feeling, communicating, publishing, designing, developing, etc

In marketing, or real marketing as I like to call it, I feel the fight for digital can end now. It is no longer about budgets shifting or modern vs traditional or above, below, through or ontop of some silly line that no one even knows what it stands for. Technology is supposed to be integrated; it is about making lives better and bringing more relevant offerings. It is about increasing marketing effectiveness, lowering costs for research, it is about involving the customer. It is about publishers – no longer simply producing content, but rather “ packaged information” tailored according to behavioural and social habit analysis.

It is about connecting the dots, between people, products, places, information and this thing called life.

It is about the changing world we live in.

Integrate it.

Trend Season

It is trend season, and I love trends. Hence, I simply cannot help myself snapping away. Below some highlights from – http://www.slideshare.net/urbanology/trends-v2

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Lets see what happens 🙂

Social Periphery & Mobile Social Networks

Just something that has been running through my mind since 2008. Mobile Social Networks & Real Time & Location Based Services. It has been such an underlying theme in a lot of the work I have been involved with and exposed to over the last two years, that I simply cannot help but to ” SNAP ” this genius illustration of:

Source: David J Carr – davidjcarr.wordpress.com

based on Nokia’s Mobile Gateway & Jyri Engestrom

Seriously one of the most comprehensive overviews that puts the strategic thinking behind mobile social networks into some sort of a logical place.

And talk about Mobile Social Networks, some local genius in the mix:

www.motribe.com

And just for fun – Facebook Places launched in the UK today and I just loved reading these ” placeoffs ” 🙂

Happy Friday.

I love trends.

And as the latest trendwatching.com briefing crawls into my inbox, I could not help but try it out myself – QuickPress – hardly ever do i use this instant feature, my posts are long, and usually incorporates various sources of information dumped together. Not today. Today I am being more risqué – it is just this:

MATURIALISM | Thoroughly exposed to (if not participating in) an uncensored, opinionated and raw world (especially online!), experienced consumers no longer tolerate being treated like yesteryear’s easily shocked, inexperienced, middle-of-the-road audiences. Able to handle much more honest conversations, more daring innovations, more quirky flavors, more risqué experiences, these consumers increasingly appreciate brands that push the boundaries.

And a little preview of what to expect in the 2011 – Trend Report. I love trends.

Table of contents (2011 Trend Report)
An overview of trends and industries covered

With so many interesting, creative and lucrative innovations happening within our existing trend framework, the 2011 Trend Report doesn’t just try to identify ‘novel trends for 2011’ but also builds on major ‘2010’ trends that continue to matter.

So yes, expect loads of new trends (check out GAME ON, EMERGING, WELL-BEINGS and so on) but also numerous new insights and innovations on how better-known trends like GENERATION G, JOYINING or NOWISM will evolve in 2011 and beyond.

In fact, with our dedicated Premium team and our spotters network still expanding, and tracking more sources than ever, we dare to say that our 2011 Trend Report truly captures all consumer trends and insights that will shape the new year, and thus needs to be on your radar:
1. TOP 10 MACRO TRENDS

While our focus firmly remains on emerging consumer trends, we do include a brief overview of current global macro-trends. These economic, demographic and political trends are sourced from leading research firms and institutions, providing you with the context for everything that follows in the database and the 2011 Trend Report.
2. CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY 101

Equally important, understanding consumer needs, wants and desires is at the core of tracking, understanding and applying consumer trends. Building on Maslow’s hierarchy, this brief section is basically a consumer psychology ‘101’, giving you a crucial framework for understanding consumer behavior (in both developed and emerging consumer societies).
3. STATUSPHERE

Closely tied to CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY 101, the STATUSPHERE trend continues to evolve, and thus our coverage (including many new trend examples) continues in 2011, too. This theme incorporates trends such as HAPPYNOMICS, UNCONSUMPTION, STATUS DESPAIR, STATUS SKILLS, ECO-BOASTING, YOU-NIQUE and STATUS STORIES.
Includes 80+ related trend cases and examples
4. MOVE WITH THE CULTURE

A brief overview of the current revolution in business and consumer culture, and the processes, practices and convictions defining the business arena in 2011. We’re witnessing the ‘perfect storm’ that links new generations, emerging markets, ideas about status, environmental concerns, corporate responsibilities and beliefs on what role business should play in society. While a threat to static incumbents, infinite opportunities exist for B2C brands that move with the new societal and cultural realities.
5. GENERATION G

Giving and sharing will still beat taking in 2011, so expect lots of new, cutting-edge trend examples for GENERATION G’s sub-trends: from (CO)-DONATE, EMBEDDED GENEROSITY, BRAND BUTLERS and FREE LOVE, to PERKONOMICS, TRYVERTISING and RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS.
Includes 250+ related trend cases and examples.
6. ON

Expect the differentiation between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ to be irrelevant for GENERATION D(IGITAL). Life is ‘online’ now as both mobile online access and time spent online continue to explode. This is one trend that never stops, so expect plenty of new material illustrating ONLINE OXYGEN, WEBTITLEMENT, CONTENT SNACKERS, and OFF = ON at their most powerful ever.
Includes 130+ related trend cases and examples.
7. GAME ON

Closely related to ON, consumers are embracing ‘gamification’ in all aspects of their daily lives. Fun and entertaining, games allow players to visualize progress, while satisfying fundamental needs and desires – for reward, status, achievement, self-expression, competition, and altruism. Includes sub-trends such as TRANSMEDIA and PLAYSUMERS.
Includes 50+ related trend cases and examples.
8. (UN)REAL

A colorful overview of how in 2011, earthly authenticity and well-executed ‘fakery’ will co-exist in a consumer society that paradoxically embraces both with gusto. Includes trends such as MATURIALISM, FAKETASTIC, PROFESSIONALL and INSPIRIENCES.
Includes 70+ related trend cases and examples.
9. INFOLUST

One of the most impactful themes for 2011, we’re diving deep into the endless new services and brands now helping consumers to satisfy their lust for information, for transparency, for tracking, for mapping, and so on. Includes HYPER-ATTENTIVE, VISUALISATION, TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH and ANNOTATED SPACES.
Includes 120+ related trend cases and examples.
10. CURATED CONSUMPTION

Faced with today’s avalanche of content, curators offer consumers a solution to information overload, FILTER FAILURE and choice paralysis. Get ready to help consumers to become curators in TWINSUMERS and SOCIAL-LITE, or let customers SURRENDER by being OPENLY OPAQUE.
Includes 60+ related trend cases and examples.
11. NOWISM

Consumers’ ingrained lust for instant gratification is being fuelled by the host of novel, innovative, practical and fun real-time products, services and experiences. NOWISM includes sub-trends such as REAL-TIME, MASS MINGLING, SEE-HEAR-BUY, and LIVING THE LIVE. Now’s the time to embrace the here-and-now in all its splendid chaos, realness and excitement.
Includes 80+ related trend cases and examples.
12. EPHEMERAL

In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) intangible goods and services, and physical needs become increasingly satisfied, experiences become ever more valuable. The accumulation of material goods is replaced by preferring OWNER-LESS hassle-free existence – an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span (FSTR), and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible. Closely related to NOWISM and HAPPYNOMICS.
Includes 30+ related trend cases and examples.
13. LOCALITY

While the entire world may be at their fingertips, the vast majority of consumers still live a ‘local’ life, and happily so. Overlapping many of the other trends, the enduring appeal of all things local, from URBAN PRIDE to MADE HERE to SOURCED to NICHE NODES, will prove to be an endless source of innovation in 2011.
Includes 160+ related trend cases and examples.
14. DESIGN OR DIE

While, strictly speaking, not a ‘consumer’ trend, design has become such a key concern in the consumer arena and society at large, that it warrants a section in the 2011 Trend Report and database. Expect a to-the-point overview of key design trends and thinking in 2011, from innovative solutions to enhance ‘user experience’, to better engage customers, to tackling global warming.
Includes 90+ related trend cases and examples.
15. LUXYOURY

As sources of both status and scarcity are being overturned, visions of luxury are increasingly in the eye of the beholder. We’ve aggregated the various views and predictions on where the notion of luxury (and thus the luxury sector) is headed in 2011.
Includes 90+ related trend cases and examples.
16. JOYNING

It’s all about collaborative consumption as traditional boundaries between corporations, competitors and customers continue to blur. Brands are teaming up with customers, with designers, with brands from other industries and even with competitors. On top of that, consumers will continue to explore novel ways to form any kind of CROWD EXPRESS, connect P2P, or go down the SELLSUMER lane, joining the business arena not just as collaborators, but as players. Includes numerous new (and surprising) examples from the collaboration arena.
Includes 80+ related trend cases and examples.
17. BRAND ME

From the MECONOMY to PROFILE MYNING to SIPs (Socially Important People), consumers are embracing (and profiting from) everything that has to do with personal branding, relishing their elevation to MASTERS OF THE YOUNIVERSE.
Includes 30+ related trend cases and examples.
18. WELL-BEINGS

While GENERATION G demands collective generosity, consumers remain focused on ‘me’ as much as ‘we’. With basic needs satisfied, consuming products, services and experiences with embedded benefits and achieving self-actualisation becomes a key concern. Look out for EVER-EDUCATING and HEALTH COMMODITIES, as consuming becomes a positive pursuit.
Includes 150+ related trend cases and examples.
19. EMERGING

From FUNCTIONALL to EXCEPTIONALL, via URBANY and the GLOBAL BRAIN, the rise of emerging economies (yes, that would be Turkey and China and South Africa and India and Brazil and Vietnam and so on) and satisfying the demands of both newly minted middle classes and low(er) income consumers remains one of the key opportunities in 2011. Get ready for an avalanche of innovation both by and for consumers around the world.
Includes 110+ related trend cases and examples.
20. INNOVATION OVERDOSE


Some trends are so well-researched and so pervasive, that the only thing they’re good for is relentless innovation. Think certain demographics, lifestyles, or themes like ‘convenience’ and ‘personalization’. Hence our focus on fun new products and services from around the world, delivering on specific needs and wants. Brace yourselves for the latest and greatest innovations in PINK PROFITS, FEMALE FEVER, BOOMING BUSINESS, MINISUMERS and more, all waiting to be copied or improved on in 2011!
Includes 300+ related sub-trend examples.
21. GREENEST

The 2011 Trend Report and database will continue to bring you the best of the best in brilliant eco-thinking and innovating from around the world. From ECO-EMBEDDED, to ECO-EASY, ECO-ICONIC, ECO-SUPERIOR and more, the sheer amount of smart green innovations leaves you no excuse to not go all out on profitable sustainability.
Includes 210+ related sub-trend examples.
22. BRAND FABRIC

Last but not least, BRAND FABRIC is really a roadmap for brands and organizations on how to anticipate and apply all trends highlighted in the 2011 Trend Report. Time to ‘MOVE WITH THE CULTURE’ indeed!

SOURCE:  – one of my favourites as always –  http://www.trendwatching.com/briefing/

A project I just Love

And sometimes when you see something it ignites a feeling inside, similar to how the guys at Epipheo Studios are changing the world of online video advertising.

The internet is designed to share experiences.

Everyday change is happening around us, every day we discover new things. Innovations are happening by the minute, innovations that changes the way we live our lives. Today I stumbled upon this article, and as it is relevant to my current project at Nedbank, I read it. And I liked the thinking behind it. So I shared it. And this I do about 20 times a day to about 20 people. You do the math…

Bank of America and Visa Working to Bring Mobile Payments to the Masses – click here to read full article.

Real marketing is no longer a word I just made up, it is a reality. The global vision is here.

“Create products that make our lives better”  “Tell us about things that will make our lives better” “Tell us in ways that ignite good feelings”

Companies are realizing that they have to start listening to what people are saying. True or False – well until I saw this new joint venture, I might have been in doubt. But now I know, that even the smartest of them all are realizing this. So new companies are formed – like this one. (I actually found this article in an Egyptian newspaper – random piece of information 🙂

Nielsen and McKinsey form Joint Venture to Help Companies Use Social Media Intelligence for Superior Business Performance – click to read full article

So i think it is safe to say, that the world of marketing is changing, it is forced ( unfortunately that is, i mean it is a bit idealistic to think that people will actually create things that are good for other people, willingly and make money, i mean who will buy that right?) – forced to change the way they used to do things, make things, communicate things, deliver things in order to make peoples lives better. In a more corporate way of saying it – as per the public relations officer over at NM Incite – ” The initial areas of focus are measuring and improving marketing effectiveness, product launch optimization and customer service experience ”

And that is what real marketing is all about, or at least the way I like to define it.

And as said in the beginning of this post, sometimes when you see something it creates a feeling inside, and my feeling for the day is this Project I just Love.

Imagine it actually happens. I might go to Time Square then next time I am in New York. Either way, the thought is there, the project is there, the movement is there, and that is a good start. Now all we need to do is share.

http://www.timessquaretoartsquare.org

Watch the video – CLICK HERE

Times Square to Art Square Teaser from Times Square to Art Square on Vimeo.

So it can be safely assumed, that we are living in a fast, flat and rapidly changing world, which is probably going to be the heading of my next post…

The convergence of creativity, influence & media.

Hybrid Theory |ˈhīˌbrid thee-uh-ree |: The fusion of creative and communications, combining earned and paid media to enliven ideas, unite communities, amplify stories and spark desired outcomes.

A snippet from one of my favourite thought leaders online – www.briansolis.com – the theory is best explained visually, as per the image below.

And ever so often, I find something online that takes the complexity of many thoughts & theories and simplifies it in one easy to understand diagram that provides a guideline for many other scrambled thoughts and ideas. This is just a “snap” of something, i know I will either add onto or utilize within something different at a later stage, and ofcourse the introduction of a new thought leader that has been a key influence not only in my head, but all over the world.