Tag Archives: mobility

Mobile CEO of the Year– or how to REALLY love your customers

When Corporate Executive Officers speak, everyone listens.  The only question is, what sort of reception do they enjoy?  Depends on the CEO of course.

Mobile CEOs tend to be a unique breed.  Brash, media-savvy and antenna-focused.  Like relative newcomer to the fold, Steve JobsHis Silicon Valley DNA made him perfect for Lord of the iStuff, so it should have come as no surprise to industry pundits when his zealous microguidance pushed the iPhone through any and all walls of resistance to success.  He didn’t have to rise up through the mobile ranks to achieve greatness there; he already possessed the necessary components, and so success in a new area was simply a matter of applying them appropriately.

But even as I objectively admire Jobs’ achievements, I still don’t care for his manipulative methods.  Continue reading

Shopping on the go

I’ve complained before about the eyeball-assaulting mess of Amazon.com’s entry page, and now it’s time to go a little deeper into that rant.

A noisy site like Amazon.com can work well enough on desktop displays, but not so much on mobile devices.  Given that the mobile internet is rapidly becoming the default mode, fixing this soon is an urgent must.

Stripped-down touchscreen apps aren’t the solution, either.  They’re great for simple use but for people who require the full experience on-the-go, replicating that complete desktop functionality is a requirement.  The trick is how to do so effectively on a 3.5 inch screen.

Somewhere in the middle between dumbed-down apps and a wasteful web page lies web shopper nirvana.  Continue reading

Play-by-Air Gaming

A long time ago in a DOS-based world far, far away, there were Play-by-Mail games.

I was involved in one called Galactic Anarchy, run by a friend and  business colleague, as a tester and (of all things) cartoonist.  The concept was simple: a turn-based space conquest game played over snail mail (and later also email) populated by several character types (“races”), filled with interesting artifacts and of course founded on certain rules.  Players examined the status of their fleets and owned worlds, and then issued commands to move, attack, defend and anything else the command set supported. Continue reading

The seeds of a feedback ecosystem

A few posts ago I kicked off a series of talks here on the subject of a feedback ecosystem and how such a thing could enhance user engagement, particularly on mobile devices.

While I did touch on what such a thing might be, I want to explore in deeper detail tonight.  First some personal background.

How I Originally Got Into This

Nokia hired me in 2005 to be a Quality Feedback Analyst in support of cell phone factory operations.   I had never performed in such a role (I had never even owned a cell phone!) and was surprised to get the job offer.  But my new manager said she saw all the right pieces in my engineering past and that the passion I had for quality was obvious.

I was glad she gave me the opportunity, as that turned out to be the most enjoyable and rewarding job I’ve ever had.  The challenge to analyze and improve the error reporting and corrective action processes was a real thrill!  I had finally found the right home for my problem-solving inclinations.

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Dear amazon.com: your service is great, your website not so much

As a longtime devoted user of amazon.com I have just grumbled occasionally about its Rube Goldberg-ian website but online holiday shopping has me irritated enough to blog.

Over the years, merchandising warrior Amazon has steadily added extremely useful and compelling features to its shopping experience.  The powerful search, review and recommendation aspects have saved me a tremendous amount of time over raw Googling and have introduced me to people and items I might have otherwise never known existed.  That keeps me coming back and building a wishlist that scares even Santa.

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Cloudy days for data, Part 1

Several years ago I was in a product data management role for a major US manufacturer, assessing our information management landscape and helping my boss develop a road map for bringing the 160-year-old company’s engineering systems and processes into the modern age.  What I discovered shocked me although I really should not have been surprised: the vast majority of our mission-critical business data was sequestered in spreadsheets and shared virally via emails.

This sort of working environment tends to spring up as a consequence of two conditions:

  1. Often the information management system(s) are lacking in necessary features, disconnected, difficult to utilize, poorly represented or even non-existant;
  2. People want to hold on to their stuff

Anecdotally, I found the latter to be the greater evil.  When information managers try to improve the first condition, they encounter resistance due to the second.  After all, information is power, and the gut feeling is that if we relenquish any control over it we lose apparent value.  So the people who could benefit most from fixing broken sharing systems often hurt themselves by actually becoming part of the problem.

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